E-Phoenix of E-Commerce

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Shamima Nasrin on providing customers with a vast range of authentic products cementing Evaly’s recognition as the brand that guarantees quality

 

As the Chairman of an ever-growing e-commerce platform, what are some of the key marketing strategies that you implemented at Evaly?

Evaly started its journey in 2018 and ever since its emergence, we have come a long way. Recently, we have celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Undoubtedly promotional marketing is one of the core elements for a business to make progress in my opinion. It is a process that gradually reinforces the behavior and the ideas of customers through communication. This has indeed proved to be quite a success for us. From the moment we decided on the name Evaly, we immediately started our promotional activities.

Even before Evaly was launched in the market, we started Out of Home (OOH) branding in hand-picked locations to cater to our strategic objectives. This happened six months before the launch. We did vigorous offline marketing during these six months by putting up hundreds of billboards and shop signages all over Bangladesh. The reason we stressed so much on promotion was to gain mass attention from potential customers and to capture rapid market share in the shortest period. The term ‘Promotion’ is the spark-plug in the marketing mix. It has to be a gradual process and all the renowned companies do it through many different avenues and at all times.

We also explored both online and offline marketing strategies to attract potential customers. Gradually building it up as one of the core competency elements, we have garnered the
results as expected.

With Evaly becoming a household name, how does the platform envision the sector evolving?

It needs to be expressed profusely that the accumulated market share ensued from e-commerce activities can certainly be proposed as an enormous one. The credit for the development of this sector single-handedly goes to the Government of Bangladesh. Nationwide powerful internet connectivity, widespread 4G mobile bandwidth, and technical advancement have made it easier for Evaly to reach the mass population. The e-commerce industry in Bangladesh is still in its infancy and is continuously changing. We are looking eagerly forward to welcome new structured rules and laws in this developing sector. Currently, Bangladesh has over 160 million population among whom nearly 100 million are internet users with over 40 million smartphone users.

These people are the potential target market of the e-commerce industry. Considering a nominal average monthly transaction by nationwide internet users of BDT 10,000 can generate a high-functioning market worth a trillion taka. A small slice of around 2% of the overall market can result in a monthly 20 billion Tk worth turnover nationally. As for Evaly, the monthly projected turnover is around 0.3 to 0.4 billion Tk according to recent media reports. That brings us to own somewhere around 15% of the national e-commerce market share. Currently, we have nearly 25,000 local organizations, conglomerates, multinational companies, and cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSME) who have chosen Evaly as their top platform for marketing and selling their goods and services.

We are proudly serving more than 4 million registered users who have placed millions of unique orders. We have been securing thousands of product varieties that our customers need and the numbers are increasing every day. With the continuous endeavors of the government to develop this sector, Evaly envisions that the sector will flourish in a short period.

This pandemic has forced the business sector to think of innovative solutions to remain sustainable. What were some of the innovative measures taken at Evaly?

The sudden pandemic has made it very difficult for many businesses to sustain themselves. It has also shifted the global consumer behavior which caused a fundamental shift in the business models adopted by e-commerce-based organizations globally. When Bangladesh went into lockdown, the government took some immediate steps such as tax relief, reduction in the ratio for banks, reduction of repo interest rates, promotion of financial service, and fast-track of economic stimulus measures to control the dire situation.

To serve the greater good of the citizens, we came up with an innovative service, ‘Evaly Express Shop’. The idea was to deliver essential commodities at the doorstep of the customers within 1 hour to a maximum of 36 hours so that they do not need to step out of their homes. Even today, our customers can avail of this service. Many renowned local brands became part of this service to deliver medicines from pharmacies, fresh vegetables, grocery, and fish and meat. We feel that the small and medium businesses are our backbone, as they are for the economy. We believe in supporting local businesses. We happen to be one and we see value in treating everyone equally.

We have big name brands as our partners and we have small and medium businesses as well. We also have over 15,000 ‘Heroes’ in the last 6 months who are individuals providing continuous uninterrupted delivery service besides our nationwide delivery partners. Recently, we received a great response to our food delivery service venture “eFood”, which was launched right after the pandemic spread out. To date, we hold second place in the on-demand food delivery service industry of Bangladesh. eFood is currently taking delivery of over 8,000 unique orders every day with an average order basket of around 700 takas.

Do you think the startup and e-commerce sector bodes differently for women? How has your experience been working in the sector? And if you had any words of wisdom for the female entrepreneurs of the country?

As a woman, what I can say is that we have come a long way. Women are currently enjoying more freedom and have more scope of climbing up the ladder in the corporate sector. Again, the government of Bangladesh had a strong role to play in this. Being a woman herself our Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a strong advocate of women empowerment and has taken ‘Special Initiatives’ to establish women empowerment across the nation. In the year 2011, Honorable Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina composed and adopted the comprehensive and progressive ‘National Women Development Policy’ too.

My heartfelt gratitude to our HPM Sheikh Hasina who is the biggest source of my inspiration, the symbol of development bringing dignified status for the country in the world with glorious achievements. I have been extremely lucky to have my family supporting me constantly. My husband, Mohammad Rassel, the Founder Managing Director and CEO of Evaly has always been by my side. For aspiring female entrepreneurs, I would strongly urge them to never give up and keep on persevering to achieve their goals.

Regardless of how difficult it may seem; women should stay motivated and listen to their hearts rather than what society thinks they should do. Above all, they should believe in themselves because that is the core source of self-motivation and that is what Evaly always says, ‘Believe In You’

What’s your five-year vision for Evaly? How close is the platform to achieving its ambition of becoming an everything-store in Bangladesh?

To begin with, I would like to share that I am thankful for the group of over 850 talented employees and 5000 active riders who are contributing tirelessly for Evaly with strong values, capability, and a sense of ownership. We believe that sharp strategy, value-oriented organization, interconnected system, talent nurturing, and progressive work culture are the key to our stable and quality
growth of the business.

We have already acquired near 15% of the national e-commerce market share, rising above companies with years of experience, and strong funding. If we see the economic revolution in the developed countries, e-commerce business organizations are playing as a crucial contributor to their national economy.

In building the everything-store in Bangladesh, we have already earned the trust of millions of customers, providing them with a vast range of authentic products which made customers recognize Evaly as the brand that guarantees quality. We work for fulfilling every customer’s needs and desires, and we thrive to become an integral part of the national infrastructure for economic development.

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