Eid is around the corner and shopping is high on the priority list. Given the tedious traffic congestion and the pressure of work, there are many who simply can’t find the time to visit the city’s malls and markets. Online shopping is the answer to their predicament.
Alongside the already established online shopping portals, the popular retail outlets too have begun selling their merchandise online. In fact, they offer attractive discounts too, to their online customers. As a result, virtual shopping is booming.
Of course, there are risks involved in online shopping, questions of quality, colour, size, and so on. It’s prudent to purchase known brands from the known shops to avoid being duped.
According to the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (E-CAB), there are 950 online platforms in the country at present, 900 of which are based in Dhaka. Most of the online items are still clothes.
E-CAB’s general secretary Abdul Wahed told Prothom Alo during normal times, around 30,000 products are sold a day, but during the Eid season, this goes up to around 45,000. People are depending more and more on online outlets.
There are, however, many complaints about online retail. Abdul Wahed said, E-CAB has a complaint centre and complaints against any registered online platform will be taken into cognizance. The complainant must produce proof of purchase.
The big and popular clothing retailers of the country such as Aarong, Yellow, La Reve, Sailor, Cat’s Eye, Anjan’s and others, all have online outlets too. And response is huge. An Aarong employee, on condition of anonymity, said, “Customers take a lot of time in choosing clothes when they come to the showroom. Human resources, showroom costs, and such are all involved. So, online sales are actually good for the retailer.”
Daraz is the largest online platform in Bangladesh. They have an ‘Eid shopping fest’ going on until 6 June. And it’s not all about clothes. They are offering up till 70 per cent discount on air conditioners, fridges, air coolers, microwave ovens and other household goods. Then there are the various credit card offers daily. Southeast Bank and Mutual Trust Bank offer 10% discount on their cards, City Bank’s Amex Card offers a 10% discount too. There’s a 15 per cent discount on Visa cards till 15 June. And there’s a 20 per cent discount till 6 June if the payment is made through the bKash app.
E-Valley added a new dimension to the online platform when it joined the bandwagon in December last year. They have a deal with Dhaka Bank so that the bank’s SME entrepreneurs can use E-Valley as an outlet to sell their products. CEO of E-Valley, Mohammad Russel, told Prothom Alo, “All well-known brands are available on our site. There are up to 20 per cent discounts. There has been unprecedented response during the Eid season. We are trying to provide 24-hour service.”
Bagdoom offers 10 per cent discounts on products purchased through bKash and 10 per cent discount for EBL cardholders. The online grocery store Chaldal also offers all sorts of attractive offers and discounts.