Current status of e-commerce business in Bangladesh
Part – 2
Instructions are given on paper:
The Ministry of Commerce has issued policies and guidelines for the management of digital commerce to restore the status of e-commerce in Bangladesh and maintain a place of trust in the e-commerce sector. However, the victims have complained that there is a lack of monitoring to what extent these instructions are actually being implemented.
The new guidelines mainly fix the timing of product delivery and refunds. It is said here, if staying in different city, delivery of goods must be ensured within 10 days. If the e-commerce company and the buyer are located in the same city, the product should be delivered within five days. No payment can be accepted if the product is not in stock. The e-commerce companies will inform the customer through telephone, e-mail or SMS that the product has been handed over to the delivery man or delivery company within 48 hours of the advance payment of the buyer.
The delivery man will deliver the product to the customer within the next 72 hours.
What should the government do?
Currently, due to some unethical activities of e-commerce companies, customers are losing confidence. So the government officials are taking necessary steps to restore their confidence. Syed Almas Kabir, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), said that if the e-commerce policies and guidelines issued by the ministry are followed, then consumer rights can be ensured and trust can be restored.
But he is not in favor of closing any institution while implementing this policy. The reason for this, he says, is that if these institutions are closed, it will be difficult to recover the stuck money or goods. He advised the government to form a separate cell or committee in this regard. Whose responsibility will be to monitor the business practices of the accused institutions and bring them back to proper management. A company can offer various kinds of discounts to increase their customers, but it will be the responsibility of the committee to monitor whether it is a business strategy or a fraud.
Besides, a hotline can be launched so that people can easily file complaints with the Digital Commerce Cell or the Consumer Rights Directorate. Mr. Kabir said, “Consumers should not fall into the trap of online offers but should check, read the company’s reviews, check the terms and conditions, and explain to the merchants why it is important to prioritize protecting consumer interests. Keeping promises, along with a transparent refund and return policy will only increase business growth.” (E-Commerce Policy)
Role of e-commerce sector in Corona situation:
The global pandemic of Covid-19 has disrupted most sectors across the world in various ways. But the IT sector has moved on. Just as good has bad side, bad also has some good side. We can say the acceleration of development of information technology as its good side. Of course, there are reasons for this. In this pandemic, technology is what keeps our life going, starting from studying at home, working in the office, in everything.
People have also done shopping at home. From small neighborhood grocery stores and restaurants to big stores and now everyone is delivering online. This is one of the reasons for the important role of the e-commerce sector. At the same time, e-commerce has created employment opportunities for the young generation and connected new entrepreneurs with e-commerce and is enriching the journey of digital Bangladesh in many ways. Besides, Daraz Bangladesh has played a leading role in the successful path of e-commerce in the country.
As the country’s largest e-commerce platform, Daraj is working as a bridge between numerous buyers and sellers in the country. Also, delivery capabilities of other e-commerce firms have increased and digital payment infrastructure is growing in parallel.
New methods of secure money transactions are coming:
In addition to buyers, some banks and mobile financial service providers are also unable to trust some e-commerce companies. Hence, an ‘escrow service’ will soon be introduced for secure payment arrangements. It is like a middleman organization. If the escrow service is started, the buyers pay the money in advance, but the money will not be deposited in the seller’s account until the product is delivered. Besides, in case of failure to deliver the product on time, there is a provision to refund the price within seven days.
Separate law for e-commerce:
At present, there is no separate law governing e-commerce business in Bangladesh But there is a policy called National Digital Commerce Policy 2018 Shami Kaiser said that the e-commerce business structure and eco-system will also be included in this policy. Based on that, a digital cell has been formed in the Ministry of Commerce He believes that the current challenges of this sector can be tackled through digital sales and e-support centers
What to do now:
In the past few years, e-commerce was not as active as it is now. During the time of Covid-19, when people were not leaving their homes, products reached people through e-commerce in an easy way. However, customers are losing confidence due to unethical activities of some companies. However, as people are becoming dependent on technology day by day, e-commerce business is expected to expand manifold in the future. Therefore, to deal with the current situation, first of all, it is necessary to gain the trust of the customer and keep them satisfied.
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