Entrance of global e-commerce giants in Bangladesh

Rapid changes of consumer behaviour facilitated by the growing adoption of internet, smartphones and handheld devices has led to the e-commerce market in Bangladesh to cross BDT 1,700 crore mark in 2017. Against this backdrop of evolving e-commerce market, the possible entry of the largest virtual and physical retailers Amazon and Walmart is certainly good news for customers of Bangladesh.

The two giants dominate the global retail landscape. However, between them, Amazon with its wide range of products, service offerings and delivery channels is briskly expanding throughout the world. The e-commerce journey started in Bangladesh in the late 90s, but tangible positive change in the industry came in 2009 through the implementation of the e-payment gateway by the Bangladesh Bank and the introduction of WiMax internet.

E-commerce now accounts for only 0.099 percent of the total consumers’ spending, but the future looks bright.

American management consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group reported 2 million Bangladeshis will join the middle and affluent class every year for the next decade and Bangladesh will have 63 key cites by 2025 populated each with at least 100,000 people with income of $5,000 or more.

This is the time when both the government and e-commerce industry players need to adopt and implement visionary digital strategic policy equipped with a strategic trade-off between encouragement of FDI and protection of infant industry to build competitiveness and ensure positive balance of trade.

Navojit Dastidar