Friday, 17 September, 2021

E-commerce industry transformation through an industry leader’s perspective

E-commerce industry transformation through an industry leader’s perspective

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  • Sun Online Desk
  • 2nd September, 2021 04:44:08 PM
  • Print news

Shopping experiences, even a decade back, consisted mostly of family members and friends circling the calendar to visit a shopping mall, making checklists prior to the visit, and coming back home with a never-really-enough amount of shopping bags, with the inevitable shenanigans of that one member in the group who is best at bargaining out the best value for cash. It was exhausting, but it was fun. Fast forwarded to 2021. With smart phones and other intelligent devices replacing many of our manual input requirements, what has changed in the shopping scenario that caused almost all business owners to look for a plan-b?

The answer is simple – e-commerce! The introduction of online marketplaces, virtual consumer engagements, and digital payment systems shifted the game largely from the brick-and-mortar shops and brought all of our favorite brands and products inside the screens of our electronic gadgets. Like most other countries in the world, Bangladesh also has a thriving e-commerce industry (worth approximately USD 2.0 billion, according to a November 2020 report) which is expected to reach a perfectly mature state within the next 5 years.

Although industry-leading organizations like Daraz Bangladesh, Hungry Naki, bKash, etc., are incorporating the basic value of e-commerce to the sector via various B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) modalities, the trends are projected to be altering in the near future. Experts opine that the channels are becoming intricately multi-linear, as different entities are collaborating for better profitability. Now through various online channels, importers and wholesale businessmen are also facilitating their supplies. Hence, it is clear that e-commerce is redefining its presumed utility and adapting brilliantly according to the changing market needs.

Another notable aspect is the improvisation of brands and “influencers.”Although primarily outlined by celebrity figures’ advertising products in mass media, influencer marketing has now gained a whole new momentum. When even global iconic faces like Cristiano Ronaldo, Maria Sharapova, Brad Pitt, or Shakira can become synonymous with various popular consumer brands through brand partnership, it is clear that the integration of celebrity fame with the brand promotion shall reach the local e-commerce markets as well.

The root of this radical shift lies in the immense potential of omni channel marketing. It is different from orthodox multichannel marketing at the very core – it offers a sense of connectivity. From finding a product online to purchasing it, getting it delivered at the doorstep, and providing the seller a review or feedback – all can now be done through omni channel virtual integrations. This whole process gives consumers a notion of ease and familiarity, threading all the virtual and physical outlets with one single needle. Video ads, social media campaigns, celebrity live promotion, newsletters, SMS promotions, push notifications, chat bots – all in all, are now consistently making sure that customers remaining the loop.

While the race to revise and re-accommodate the industry goes on, conservation of mother earth has become a more critical and talked-about issue among the experts. The contemporary market now more often obtains the term ‘eco-friendly,’ and it can be clearly envisioned that trends like green consumerism are set to gain more and more popularity in the days ahead. The increasing uses of recyclable items, energy-efficient electronic appliances, solar power, etc., are indicating the fact that green consumerism has already created an impact in the industry, and Bangladesh shall also not remain out of it.

As of January 2021, the number of internet users in Bangladesh surpassed 47 million, with an increase of 7.7 million since the previous year. In one such market, the country’s leading online shopping platform Daraz has proven itself to be quite timely and fitting in accordance with the consumer trends and the existing technological infrastructure. It has 5000 + employees, including delivery personnel across the country, who are all operating in sync under one enormous virtual chain. From its website and mobile application to DEx delivery channels, customer support service, HR, and employee management – Daraz Bangladesh has crafted an incredible system that is automated to near perfection. Daraz offers both B2B and B2C business features, enabling both the leading brands and the fresh entrepreneurs to compete for sales on the same equal ground. Setting the benchmarks of influencer marketing, Daraz has partnered with celebrity figures like Shakib Al Hasan. Its social media channels are consistently buzzing with multi-way engagements between buyers, sellers, Daraz personnel, and influencers. Moreover, this futuristic lineation of the organisation boldly indicates that Daraz is prepared to face the most updated e-commerce trends and deliver up to its innate high standard through innovation and adaptability.