Lockdown brings fresh boom in online shopping

Ahamed Ullah

8th April, 2021 09:27:24 printer

Lockdown brings fresh boom in online shopping

Online shopping has increased manifold during the lockdown as people now prefer buying products from online platforms to avoid visiting crowded places and shopping malls.

A seven-day lockdown announced by the government is underway in the country to curb the rise in coronavirus infection. The fresh lockdown measures have further intensified the dependence on online shipping. People are staying at home and buy essential items from online safely and comfortably.

From rice and pulses to fish-meat, vegetables, household goods are now available online.

Asma Shobnom, an employee of a private company, is working from home during the lockdown. She is buying her daily essentials to avoid visiting the kitchen markets in fear of infection.

Many city dwellers like her have restored to online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.

 “I have been doing home office since Monday (April 5). I don’t go out. I ran out of rice, oil and eggs at home. I ordered those items from an online shop in the morning and received all the products in the afternoon,” Asma said.

Kakuli Farzana, a housewife from Dhanmondi, said she has been buying daily essentials from online since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

She said dependency on online shopping has increased as people do not want to visit crowded places during this pandemic.

A.M.M. Habibul Mustafa, chairman of e-commerce company khaasfood.com, said “Sales orders have increased since the day before the lockdown was announced. The sale of goods has doubled as compared to the normal time. In addition to the orders of previous buyers, many new buyers are using our online platform.”

 “Earlier, we used to receive 700 to 750 orders every day. But since the lockdown began, we started receiving 1500 to 2000 orders per day,” he added.

He said “In the last lockdown we had to face some problems while doing online delivery. But this time there is no such problems. We are delivering all the products on time as per the demand of the customers.”

E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (E-Cab) President Shomi Kaiser said “The Prime Minister has advised the public to buy things online to prevent corona infection. As we know, during the corona emergency last year, the government took a quick decision and directed to facilitate the supply of daily commodities through e-commerce services in compliance with the health guidelines.”

A circular has been issued this year to keep the supply of products and services uninterrupted through e-commerce platforms. In the current situation, the deadline for e-commerce delivery has already been extended from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am, he added.

Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu, Finance Secretary of E-Cab, said in the last eight months of 2020 alone, the daily turnover in the e-commerce sector was Tk 3,000 crore. Since then more than 160,000 deliveries are being made every day, 50,000 new jobs, training of 6,000 youths, overall digital transactions worth Tk 16,000 crore have taken place.

“The e-commerce sector, especially in the commodities and food business, has grown by 300 per cent during the corona pandemic,” he added.

With the increase in online sales, the number of scams has also increased.

Dulal Mahmud, an online buyer said: “I once ordered a leather wallet but the seller sent a rexine one. I was cheated once by buying baby clothes. Besides, often the delivery of the products is also delayed, which is very annoying.”

These irregularities and deceptions must be stopped. Then people’s confidence in online shopping will increase further, he said.