Backed by an increase in disposable income and enhanced access to technology, people of Bangladesh are gradually adapting to the idea of shopping online. With a market size of 250 million USD, it’s no surprise that there is tremendous potential for the e-commerce industry to grow. If you have a business, it would be profitable for you to provide scope for your customers to shop online. However, there are certain challenges that the industry faces. If you plan to have an e-commerce business here are some of the issues you would need to tackle-
Trust remains one of the biggest issues towards the advancement of e-commerce. Very frequently you get to hear customers complaining about getting a wrong product or a wrong variation (size, colour) of what they actually ordered. What you see online isn’t necessarily what you get. The physical product may be completely different than what you have perceived. The delivery process itself also raises the issue of trust. Will I get the product in time? Or even if I do, who is to guarantee it will be in perfect shape?
The key to building trust is through your actions and letting people speak for themselves. Let people write reviews in your website, Facebook page about your service. What they say online impacts potential customers’ choice. People go through online reviews before purchases. The more credible your brand sounds through these reviews, the higher are your odds of getting new customers and retaining old ones. Positive word of mouth in this regard helps to build confidence in the system. You can get your Facebook page to demonstrate real life customer experiences through posts to build authenticity as well.
Cost of maintaining E-commerce sites is a challenge itself. Keeping the website running 24/7 has its own costs. Server crashes will always repulse customers. Hence, you will need to spend money to keep your websites functioning. Besides this, you will need appropriate human resources with proper technical knowledge to run these sites. So significant costs are involved. For small scale businesses, the general suggestion is to opt for f-commerce (Facebook commerce) . It decreases the hassle of maintaining websites for receiving orders. You can have a Facebook page for your business where you take orders and provide deliveries accordingly. With Dhaka having as many as 2.2 crore active Facebook users, f-commerce is an effective way for small businesses to scale up.
As the e-commerce businesses begin to scale, you start requiring quality inventory management systems to keep track of products. At the initial stage, it’s easy to calculate what you have and what you don’t. But once the business kicks off, maintaining a proper management system to keep records becomes a must for proper functioning. Lack of efficient management systems leads to error in calculation and difficulty in processing orders.
You would need a proper warehouse as well to keep your inventories. Small businesses utilize home or office space for this purpose. But once you grow, you eventually require a good warehouse system to keep your products. Maintaining a proper warehouse is an extra duty that you need to serve. Various logistic service providers provide such warehousing facilities to remove your burden.
Last mile logistics (delivery system)
Setting up a system to efficiently provide the deliveries to the proper address is a challenge as well. Bangladesh Post Office, Paperfly, Pathao Parcel, E-courier provide delivery services for e-commerce businesses. However, delivery outside Dhaka is still in an underdeveloped stage. Widening the distribution is a problem that needs to be tackled. Cost of delivery, time required and proper handling of the parcel are concerns involved with this business.
Addressing these issues is at the heart of development of an e-commerce business. Finding a right balance between cost and benefit is crucial to succeeding in this business.