Cover Focus

LEADING THE CHARGE

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The e-commerce sector of Bangladesh has been growing at a staggering pace of 70% since 2016. The sector has introduced consumers to a medium that was non-existent even a decade ago. Daraz, the largest e-commerce platform in the country is guiding the sector to new heights.

Ingredients of Expansion
The factor which played a vital role behind the significant growth in the e-commerce sector is first, the expansion of internet services which has brought enormous opportunities to the business sector as it makes 24/7 business possible. Secondly, there has been a significant increase in the number of mobile users, which also made the use of e-commerce platforms more convenient. Uncountable facilities provided by the e-commerce organization also contributed to the number of total mobile users. Thirdly, over the years, the delivery system, including courier services & postal services have developed rapidly. The products could be delivered much faster than before; moreover, the improved logistics services and the delivery network had created a sense of relief for the customers with the assurance of quality service at their doorstep which was quite unusual even five years ago.

The convenience of Digital Pay
The advancement of the internet payment system has changed the economic interface and made it more reliable as well as convenient for the seller/customer than it was in the past. Apart from online payments, the other payment methods such as bKash, Nogod, Rocket and COD (cash on delivery) also played a vital role in facilitating a convenient payment system to all the parties. Due to various promotional activities undertaken by the e-commerce organization and conducted by the government, people are more aware of the facilities of using e-commerce platforms. This increased awareness has been highly beneficial to inform people about the development of e-commerce at a rapid rate. The government has recently enacted National Digital Commerce Policy to regulate the e-commerce sector which led the e-commerce organization to maintain higher standards and quality of services and expected to help see more growth in the e-commerce sector.

Expanding Logistics
Daraz is carefully preparing for the rising demand by increasing the seller base resulting in an increased number of assortments and also working on end to end customer journey infrastructures so that it can be easily scalable when demand rises. The delivery/logistics infrastructure for the e-commerce industry is not adequate across the country. Daraz is investing a lot of resources in building its logistics ecosystem to ensure the better customer experience. The primary aim to increase the footprint across the country with its own logistics network.

Empowering SME
An e-commerce industry can be compact with good deals, offers and many more. However, to increase and engage a new customer base, it needs to maintain quality service. For SMEs and rural entrepreneurs’, the basic limitations are connectivity, resource limitations, investment, infrastructural limitations, and customer communication. E-commerce increases connectivity by actively connecting thousands of buyers and sellers in a platform. E-commerce is also removing the need for physical shops, physical presence and does more focused marketing and sales communication efficiently and affordably. Thus SMEs and rural entrepreneurs have more access to customers.

The constraints that have been restricting the growth in this segment are logistics, visibility, government documentation, and financial support. To overcome them, companies like Daraz is providing advanced technological, logistic support, and state of the art marketing strategies and a jump start to SMEs and rural entrepreneurs.
Daraz Nandini project for women entrepreneurs is explicitly working to increase the footfall of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

Enhancing Experience
Enhancing customer experience has always been one of Daraz’s top priorities. The app itself is a tool to enhance customer experience, as it is driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and knows what a customer wants. They have incorporated instant messaging service on their app where the customers can instantly talk to the sellers of the Daraz platform. Also, there’s a review & rating option that helps the customers to find reliable sellers and products. Daraz has also introduced a new collection point where the customer can avail of their products from the nearest Daraz hub. This way, the customers will not have to pay for the delivery charge. Daraz already has centers in 33 districts of Bangladesh and planning to gradually expand to all 64 districts by the end of 2020 to ensure better consumer experience. Another initiative by Daraz is- ‘Fan Meet’, where the top management of Daraz face customers and answer all their queries. Daraz top management has traveled to 45 districts already to communicate with customers. Apart from these, Daraz has taken multiple initiatives to ensure faster delivery of the products to the customers’ doorsteps. Daraz also has the best’ Return & Refund policy’, using which, customers can return the product they purchased in 7 days and get a refund.

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