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In Bangladesh, eCommerce business started in 2000 because of widespread internet access.

Ecommerce Business in Bangladesh [2023]: Present, Past & Future


Ecommerce business in Bangladesh has been starting in 2000. At present, many Bangladeshis shop on online. Ecommerce is a method of business where products and services are buying and selling through internet. And transactions are settled via online or offline payment system.

Although Bangladesh has lagged behind of widespread expansion of E-commerce business, Ecommerce users are increasing day by day thanks to internet availability and awareness among people. In this article, you will learn past, present, and future prospects of eCommerce business in Bangladesh.

Table of Contents

History of Ecommerce business in Bangladesh

Government roles on Ecommerce development in Bangladesh

Most popular types of Ecommerce in Bangladesh

How to start ecommerce business in Bangladesh

Most popular Ecommerce website in Bangladesh

Best time for boosting ecommerce sales in Bangladesh

Ecommerce business challenges in Bangladesh

Prospects of Ecommerce business in Bangladesh

History of Ecommerce business in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, eCommerce business started in 2000 because of widespread internet access. The Bangladesh bank- the central bank of Bangladesh- gave permission online transactions in 2009. Moreover, the Bangladesh bank permitted online purchase and sale of goods by using international credit cards in 2013.

According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), total number of internet subscribers have reached nearly 117.30 million in May 2021. Of them, only 9.8 million internet subscribers have broadband internet connection. The rest- nearly 108 million- internet users use mobile data.

Due to increase the number of internet users in Bangladesh, eBusiness, specially eCommerce business in Bangladesh has been wide spreading.  At present, Bangladesh has more than 2,200 eCommerce sites that are running business. Moreover, more than 52,000 eCommerce pages on Facebook.

On the other hand, Facebook is one of the most popular social media in Bangladesh. Hence, every day many Facebook pages are creating for providing eCommerce business. Ecommerce business has more famous in 2020 thanks to Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to lockdown for Covid-19 deadly virus in 2020, many people had preferred to shop necessary things on online. Since the beginning of eCommerce idea, its necessity has been eye-catching. Moreover, tLaterhe industry has been estimated to reach $3 billion in 2023, according to Statista- a German Research Organization.

Read More: 21 Most Profitable Online Business Ideas in Bangladesh [2022]

Government roles on Ecommerce development in Bangladesh

Bangladesh government enacted Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act in 2006 to facilitate eCommerce business in Bangladesh. Later, this act as amended in 2013, includes fines for those who commit cyber-crimes. Moreover, government of Bangladesh has withdrawn the maximum 49 percent allowable shares for foreign eCommerce companies in 2020. Currently, foreign companies can hold 100 percent shares.

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1. Business-to-Business (B2B) E-Commerce;

2. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-Commerce;

3. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) E-Commerce; and

4. Business-to-Employees (B2E) E-Commerce.

1. Business-to-Business (B2B) Ecommerce

Business-to-Business (B2B) E-Commerce, sometimes called as B-to-B, is a form of business model where transactions are occurred between businesses. More elaborately, B-to-B transactions occur between a manufacturer and wholesaler.

This business may happen between a wholesaler and a retailer. For example: Daraz- an eCommerce company- sells products to ABC company- a retailer of Daraz’ products. This is Business to Business eCommerce because ABC company will sell products to final customers.

2. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Ecommerce

In Business-to-Customer eCommerce, a manufacturing company can directly sell products to final customers. In this business model, customers directly order products to manufacturers. Manufacturers send products to customer’s address. This type of E-business model is widely used in Bangladesh. In the later section, you will learn that most of the famous eCommerce business sites are B-to-C model.

For example: A customers can order Chaldal- a reputable grocery eCommerce site in Bangladesh – to get products at his address within one hour in case customer lives in core city.

B2C eCommerce site example: HungryNaki and FoodPanda.  Facebook-based commerce platforms: Shoprbd and ShoptoBd

3. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) Ecommerce

Customer-to-Customer eCommerce is well-known in developed countries. In C2C business model, a customer can buy or sell something from another customer via eCommerce site. In this case, eCommerce site is used as third party. eCommerce site takes commission as flat rate from one of the customers.

For Example: Bikroy.com is C2C eCommerce business model in Bangladesh. This site uses as third party to settle transactions between customers. In this type of business model, eCommerce owner doesn’t belong to any goods. Customers can buy-sell products via ecommerce site.

C2C eCommerce businesses examples: Bikroy, Ekhanei, and ClickBd CellBazar and Ekhanei.com bdjobs.com, prothom-alojobs.com, and jobsA1.com.

4. Business-to-Employees (B2E) Ecommerce

In Business-to-Employees eCommerce, companies provide products or services to their employees. Bangladesh hasn’t so popular in this type of eCommerce. For example, a company may use online platform to hire employees. Later, the company may provide goods or services to its employees.

This type of eCommerce is mostly used in IT firm. Software company can take service from employees, where employees can work from home or remote places. Company takes service and pays on online.

Read More: How to Start Dealership Business in Bangladesh [2022]

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How to start Ecommerce business in Bangladesh

You can start eCommerce business by following some rules and regulations. Remember that you can start Ecommerce business by opening a Facebook page, or launching an Ecommerce website. But you should register your business as intellectual property act in Bangladesh so that you can take legal action in case someone wants to copy your business.

7 Steps to Start Ecommerce Business in Bangladesh

1. Selecting Ecommerce Category

At first, find out your products for your eCommerce business. You should brainstorm to find out less competitive niche. If you can figure out unique category, you have high chance to survive in competition.

2. Outsourcing Products

Products outsourcing is the second step. You can choose B-to-B, or B-to-C, or C-to-C business model. Your products may vary base on your business model. For Business-to-Business (B-to-B) or Business-to-Consumer(B-to-C) model, you have to manufacture or outsource the products. However, you can start your business by opening a website if you want to start C-to-C business model.

3. Register the Business

You may have chosen one of three business model. It is better to register your business. Although registration isn’t compulsory for small business, you should register at the beginning to avoid any misuse of your potential brand.

4. Create Website

In this stage, you should assign the project to web developer team to develop an eCommerce website for you. It takes money and time to create a standard eCommerce website.

5. Open Business Account

You should open business account, such as bank accounts, by using your company’s details. Otherwise, your customers will not trust on your business.

6. Hire Employees

In order to learn a large eCommerce business, you have to hire employees. You should develop technical team, sales team, accounts and finance team, delivery team and research and development team to add value in your business.

7. Launch Your Business

Finally, lunch your business. Creating a start-up is a herculean task. And surviving the market is another difficult task. So, you should prepare for any risk. Try to create a brand. In Bangladesh, people have less trust on E-eCommerce business. Hence, you have chance to grow in case you can create trust among customers.

Read More: Best Business in Bangladesh (2022)- Education Business

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In this section, I have added some well-known eCommerce sites. You can learn from them. Before you start your eCommerce business, you should study the following eCommerce platforms so that you can learn the challenges and prospects of eCommerce business in Bangladesh.

1. Rokomari

Rokomari.com begun its journey on 19th January 2012. It was the first online bookselling site. Yet it is the number one online bookselling eCommerce site. Rokomari eCommerce model is B-to-C. Although they started with bookselling, they have added Video Tutorials, DVDS, Calculators, Pen-drive, Computer Accessories and so more.

2. Daraz

Daraz.com, which was acquired by Alibaba Group in 2018, is one of the leading eCommerce sites in Bangladesh. Basically, it works Business-to-Consumer (B-to-C) business model. It started journey in 2015. Daraz provides almost all types of products, from home decoration to beauty. Customers can pay one of these following payment options: Visa Card, bKash, Cash-on-delivery, Credit Card, etc.

3. Chaldal

Basically, Chaldal.com started with grocery products in Dhaka. Later, it has expanded the business areas from Dhaka to Chittagong. Its target is to provide grocery items in core cities where people have to face traffic jams and spend hours. They try to provide products within short time. Chaldal business model is also B-to-C.

4. Bikroy

Bikroy.com is a perfect Consumers to Consumers (C-to-C) business model. They have just a website and customers can put anything for sale by giving a specific charge. Another customer can buy this product. Bikroy.com is the third part. Generally, this type of eCommerce needs less capital.

5. Bdjobs

Bdjobs.com is more popular eCommerce site for jobs posting. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are posting in this job vacancy website. But its main business is providing training programs and advertising. Actually, bdjobs.com business model is not limited in a single category.

6. Clickbd

Clickbd.com is more popular for electronics products. They started their journey in 2005, when Bangladesh was beginning step of eCommerce business. They provide both buying and selling facilities through their platform. Customers can buy products, such as computers, phones, fashions from this eCommerce site. Clickbd business model is B-to-C.

7. Othoba

Othoba.com is a sister company of PRAN-RFL Group- a giant group in Bangladesh. It was emerged late November 2015. It also a B-to-C business model. Although PRAN-RFL is a giant group in many sectors, they are yet to giant in eCommerce business. Like other types of B-to-C business model, Othoba has been offered diversified products to its customers.

8. Priyoshop

Priyoshop.com provides all types of products, such as footwear, accessories, jewellery, clothes, books, and beauty etc. In 2013, it begun its journey. Customers can pay both cash on delivery and online payment system. Its business model is also B-to-C.

9. Bagdoom

Bagdoom.com provides lifestyle products. It emerged in 2010. Initially, its name was Akhoni.com. Its business model is also B-to-C. In Bangladesh, you can see almost all famous eCommerce sites are B-to-C model. Hence, you have chance to grow in B-to-C eCommerce model in Bangladesh.

10. Picaboo.com

Picaboo.com begun its journey in 2016. It is one of the popular eCommerce sites for electric and tech items. Its business model also B-to-C. Picaboo’s main products are smartphones, mobile, computer, electronics, perfume, watch etc. Customers can get products within 24 hours in core cities.

Read More: 80 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Bangladesh [2022]

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Best time for boosting ecommerce sales in Bangladesh

In some occasions, ecommerce sites’ sales boost up in Bangladesh. You can target these occasions in order to boost up your sales.

Muslim occasions are Eid ul-Fitr, and Eid-ul-Adha. 

Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian occasions are Buddhist New Year, Durga Puja, and Christmas.

Other major Bangladeshi occasions are Bengali New Year (April 14), Independence Day (March 26), and Victory Day (December 16). 

Ecommerce business challenges in Bangladesh

1. Lack of trust among customers about eCommerce;

2. Inadequate delivery System;

3. A relatively low internet connection rate in Bangladesh;

4. The lack of a strong online transaction system;

5. Existing online transactions fraud;

6. Shortage of online marketing practices; and

7. Shortage of a durable privacy policy.

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Prospects of Ecommerce business in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has nearly 17 crores people. Among them nearly 11 crores people use internet. And the number of internet users are increasing rapidly. In near future, almost 100 percent of her adult population will use internet.

As eCommerce is related with internet access, the number of eCommerce users will increase if internet access increases. On the contrary, banking systems are developing. For eCommerce, online payment is best payment mode. Due to all positive aspects, the future of eCommerce is undoubtedly bright in Bangladesh.

Last Talk

Before starting any business, you should learn the past information for knowing history, present information for knowing demand, and future trend for trend analysis. In this article, you have learnt past, present and future prospects of eCommerce business in Bangladesh.

I hope, you have gathered necessary information about eCommerce Business in Bangladesh. Let’s know what did you learn from this article in the comment section!

Founder of The Financial Ask


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