December 4, 2020, 8:06 am


ALIF

Published:
2020-08-24 16:04:25 BdST

E-commerce gets a shove as consumers prefer online shopping


Coronavirus-era is a saga when many despaired, but it is also a time when many explored opportunities in the crisis.

It is beyond doubt that the once-in-a-century-pandemic, the Covid-19, has altered the way people work, shop, and communicate with other people more than any other disruption in the recent past.

The disruptive pandemic has made e-commerce the lifeblood for cities across the world under lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic, and Bangladesh is no exception.

As the country is turning digital, online shopping saw a gradual jump before the coronavirus crisis.

E-commerce, powered by technology, has shaped the mind-set of consumers in opting for online shopping. E-commerce companies have seen jump in orders across several categories in last several months.

Before the pandemic started, a rising fashion house made its mark by the dint of its exceptional and innovative collection and prompt services.

But the business got a strong push amid the coronavirus outrage.

Few years ago, after completing Masters in Pharmacy, Sharifunnahar Smrity, CEO of Orange Fashion BD, started working in the product management department of the White Horse Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

During her corporate life, she comprehended that there are other ways of earning as entrepreneurship is a constructive means. Usually with a background of pharmacy, most people target to set up pharmaceutical industries, but it requires huge investments.

Away from traditional thinking, Smrity pondered over doing something of her own that would generate employment opportunities for women. As conceived, she went for choosing a business on fashionable women outfits.

In her zeal for building a business house on fashionable women outfits, Smrity got constant support from her husband and family.

Primarily she set up a showroom with imported women outfits in 2019. At the beginning, the responses were very slow as fashion related businesses had already been turned to online platforms.

Incorporating sales and marketing into the online arena proved to be a huge success.

As the business signalled a potential future, the Orange Fashion BD launched its first business outlet in Uttara, Dhaka.

The house gradually spread its wings with setting up another outlet at Keranigonj, while the third one has been planned to be opened at Modhupur, Tangail.

Right at this moment, eighteen employees are working there while a dedicated delivery team has been tasked to ensure timely and proper services to the customers.

The success of the online business outlet prompted Smrity to dream of multiplying outlets and setting up countrywide chain shops.

The dreamy businesswoman believes in prioritizing own thinking as it helps materialize one’s own dreams to serve the people.

Permanent changes

The novel coronavirus that has impacted 18 crore people of the country, has increased online shopping.

It has dramatically changed people’s shopping habits as they are afraid of shopping outdoors.

The coronavirus outbreak will mark a big difference for the adoption of e-commerce and mobile commerce platforms.

Given a trifecta of smartphone penetration, cheaper 4G networks and increasing consumer wealth, the Bangladesh e-commerce market is expected to grow. Reality goes by the notion that most consumers have changed their traditional shopping habits.

Consumes are gradually becoming used to ordering things online which they would do normally at stores.

Of these changes, some changes are no doubt temporary, others will be permanent.

As the community moves beyond the survival mode, the digital-adoption momentum is likely to carry forward and become permanent.

Consumers are likely to opt for online shopping even after the outbreak ends, especially for categories such as groceries and personal care.

This trend is likely to continue after the lockdowns are called off as people would still be apprehensive to visit crowded areas like malls and supermarkets.

Given the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown imposed by the government, consumers would opt for online shopping of essentials such as household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene and personal safety.

Though the Covid-19 pandemic related measures have brought the global economy to a shuddering halt, we all know the world is turning digital.

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