The problems, prospects and opportunities of E-Commerce in Bangladesh
As a newly developing business approach, e-commerce initiatives in Bangladesh are facing many constraints. From legal issues to technological complexities, problems that are hindering to forward march of the e-commerce initiatives are large in numbers. To cope up with the pace of today’s business trends it is very much necessary to address those problems as soon as possible. Otherwise alongside with the new business opportunities that might have stemmed from the usage of the technology, the growth of traditional business activities will fall behind than that of the rest of the world.
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The incident of hacking an ecommerce related outlet may cause serious panic among customers which in turn cause serious lack of confidence on the business. The consequence can be anything from shutting down the business to losing huge amount of sales revenue.
In Bangladesh series of Hacking incidents took place. Fortunately most of them are not e-commerce based sites. But stakeholders are very much concerned about the recent hacking and forgery of ATM cards. Culprits used their technological expertise to steal money from some of the bank accounts. Such incidents may cause severe financial loss along with customer dissatisfaction, which in turn hurts the ecommerce industry.
Again, when a bank’s website is hacked, that may not always mean that the customer data is at risk, but it cause an impression that the bank is not capable of even safeguard it’s own website. General people feel insecurity in transacting money over net.
Data theft: Data theft could be included in the security risk. But along with the data theft due to digitally compromised security, there are incidents where users themselves revealed their account details to scammers and fall into phishing trap. Such scams are operated by luring the victims and promising rewards.
Lack of skilled employees: Ecommerce is heavily dependent on technological devices and technical knowledge. But still now Bangladesh lacks in IT skilled professionals. Along with the professionals who are precisely related to IT services, employees who run day to day business operations based on the designed ecommerce service are also in need of technological understanding. Without well trained employees who handle the customers, ecommerce in Bangladesh will not flourish as expected rate.
Lack of proper marketing initiatives: As ecommerce is a relatively new dimension of business operations which includes traditional goods along with electronic goods and service delivery, the marketing of the businesses needs different approaches. Lack of proper marketing is also hindering the local ecommerce in the way of reaching developed markets like the EURO zone and the USA. Even though Bangladeshi softwares are able to compete in the international market, lack of marketing ability is putting the way back.
Again, in local market, ecommerce entrepreneurs seek for reaching more potential customers but are locked down due to lack of financially feasible and effective marketing tools.
Connectivity coverage: For a spectacular growth of ecommerce in Bangladesh connectivity is the very basic need. Without the presence of internet it is impossible to run ecommerce businesses. Even the mobile network can be used for accessing internet, due to insufficient spped, high price, unstable service, lack of compatible devices etc Bangladesh is put in the list of world’s least internet using populations by World Bank. The WB says that only 5 persons in every 1000 people in Bangladesh is actually using internet (in 2011).