Online shopping can only flourish in the presence of solid supporting frameworks and adaptability of the people. In Bangladesh, infrastructure development for e-commerce had slow pace in the past, but recent moves by the government and awareness of people have made rapid changes. New generation entrepreneurs have fueled the changes by introducing various e-payment mechanisms with desired security and robust experiences. Let’s go through the past and recent developments.
Today the reach of Internet seems rapid due to proliferated use of handheld and wearable devices. Smartphones and tablets have made Internet ubiquitous and accessible round the clock from anywhere. Therefore, various commercial activities taking place on the handheld devices and the most beneficial segment is e-commerce.
Unfortunately, the fruits of these tech advancements are not dispersed equally in the rest of the world. Bangladesh is one of the countries, which lagged behind in the tech race, due to its adverse political and social situations. Telecommunication and Internet technologies are backbones of e-commerce development in any country and Bangladesh have slow pace of development in this regard. Therefore, Internet access is uneven and limited to specific regions as well as up to specific segments of society.
Deficiencies of Infrastructure
There are visible deficiencies of infrastructural support framework in forms of :
- Poor electricity network resulting in poor supply
- Low affordability of online shopping components such as Internet affordability, computing devices’ affordability, and handheld devices affordability have restricted its reach up to affluent class of the society
- Low literacy level also affecting the usage of Internet and acceptability of online shopping in Bangladesh
Online Purchase Framework
It is true that the proliferation of online shopping and online money transaction activities greatly depending on the online purchase framework and the ultimate components of this framework are:
- Purchase Intentions
- Purchase Adaptation
- Purchase Continuance
These purchase related factors have direct relationships with the behavior and several characteristics such as:
- Consumer Characteristics: Their lifestyle, motivation, knowledge, innovativeness, involvement, demographics, etc.
- Product/ Service Characteristics: The product knowledge, product type, layout, frequency of purchase, tangibility, differentiation, price etc.
- Medium Characteristics: web design, navigation, ease of use, interface usefulness, reliability, security, etc.
- Merchant and Intermediary Characteristics: Service quality, privacy and security control, brand reputation, delivery /logistics, after sale service, incentive, etc.
- Environmental Influences: The culture, subjective norm, exposure, attention, image, etc.
If you closely look at these characteristics, you will find that many of them are at backward conditions or lacking at all and its reasons are obvious:
- Poor national level public key infrastructure
- Distrust regarding secure e-transactions whether in local or international currencies
- Social and technical challenges
- Lack of legal framework to support
Recent Progress in Bangladesh
Fortunately, in recent past, government and many entrepreneurs within Bangladesh or from foreign countries who have taken deeper interest in the development of online shopping framework in Bangladesh, By being Bangladeshi (citizens/origins) these entrepreneurs have brought some progressive changes by influencing government policies, investing in e-commerce and allied sectors, and changing the mindset of people by-and-large.
For instance, medium characteristics and merchant or intermediary characteristics as mentioned above are contextual and you can see some through changes. Today software developer community of Bangladesh is competing with its neighboring rivals like India and Pakistan at outsourcing fronts. Thus, they are indirectly improving the quality of above-mentioned components of supporting framework for e-commerce development. Same way trusted payment gateway providers are helping not only national level e-transactions, but also improving the user experiences of Foreign exchanges coming from various sources.
If political stability persists and the tendency of people improving regarding online shopping in Bangladesh, days are not far away that shine the overall economy of Bangladesh and lifestyle of the people.