Poor infrastructure and lack of logistic support have become major challenges for e-commerce business in the rural area of Bangladesh. Besides, payment system is another challenge for online shopping medium, sector experts said.
They also mentioned that gaining confidence of the customers, both at urban and rural areas, is also a major challenge for this growing sector.
Sector leaders and experts came up with the remarks at a seminar titled “How to expand e-commerce to rural area” at Digital World 2016 at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) on Wednesday.
Nahim Razzaq, MP and Hedayet Ullah Al Mamun, senior secretary for commerce were present at the seminar.
Rezaul Haque Jami, Vice president of e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) presented the keynote paper while Md. Abdul Wahed Tomal, General Secretary of e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) chaired the event.
Mofizul Islam, director-general (DG) of Department of Cooperative, Mohammad Abdur Rouf, chief operating officer (COO) of life style brand Aarong, Syeda Kamrun Ahmed, CEO and Co-founder of the e-commerce platform Bagdoom.com, Dr Zoe Mandich, dimension data, UK and Didarul Alam, maniging director of esho.com took part at the panel discussion.
Mohammad Abdur Rouf said, Aarong started their e-commerce business two-and-a-half years ago. Today they have around 20,000 package sales annually, out of them 75 percent in Dhaka, 5 percent in Chittagong and the rest 20 percent in other districts.
He said Aarong has focused on Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NBRs) those who shop gift items for their near and dear ones through e-commerce platforms.
They faced main challenges in payment system using credit card from abroad as above 50 percent transactions are canceled due to error which the experts said happens due to negative country image.
If any e-commerce platform wants to reach the rural areas, they face another challenge due to the poor infrastructure and lack of logistic support, Abdur Rouf added.
He also suggested for using the existing capacity of post office across the country to expand e-commerce services to the rural areas.
Syeda Kamrun Ahmed said, many e-commerce company have not sufficient infrastructure to reach rural areas because it requires huge investment. “Many of our e-commerce companies have not proper infrastructure and many sites are not mobile compatible and many areas are not covered by 3G network”.
She also mentioned that many of the costumers have mistrust about online shopping due to bitter experiences.
Syeda Kamrun Ahmed urged the branded companies like Aarong to come in e-commerce sector to build costumers’ trust.
She urged the government for financing e-commerce companies on easy terms to build up their capacity.
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