E-Commerce: Here are ten steps you can take to become successful in online business

Online business or e-commerce has increased a lot in Bangladesh recently. This number has multiplied due to coronavirus.
After all, big businesses, many of the new entrepreneurs are starting a business selling services and products online by opening a website directly. Again many businesses are Facebook based on Facebook. This includes perishable goods – fruits and vegetables, as well as clothing and electronic goods.

The e-commerce association of Bangladesh has 1300 registered members. However, as an organization, there are millions of e-commerce businesses, including unregistered and Facebook. But what do you need to consider to be a successful online entrepreneur?

The BBC has tried to find out by talking to online entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, members of the e-commerce business association and businessmen in the sector.

  1. Plan: Think first about what products or services to trade?

Everyone involved with the online profession agrees that it is important to plan before starting any business. What he wants to sell, where he will be collected, how long he can continue. We need to plan what the next steps will be. Ismat Jahan Meghla started selling decorative items on Facebook a few years ago by opening a page called ‘A Short Story’ in addition to his private job. Now this page has become very popular. He is also taking the initiative to open a webpage.

“I thought, what can I do besides work? I studied fine arts, I like to design. Then I started designing various ornaments. Then when I put those ornaments for sale on my page, I got quite a response,” said Ismat Jahan Meghla.

She says she can try to start a business by opening a Facebook page to see what others are doing, but if there is no interest, solidarity, and effort to do something new, and honesty, it will not survive. Nasima Akhter Nisha, joint secretary-general of the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (E-CAB), tells BBC Bangla that planning is the first step before starting any business. What do you want to do, how do you want to do it.

  1. Trying to do something exceptional?

E-commerce entrepreneurs say thousands of entrepreneurial organizations have now been created online. To survive among them, to succeed in the competition you have to try to do something exceptional. Ismat Jahan Meghla researched jewelry before opening this page. But he did not start selling pictures after collecting jewelry. Rather, they have added novelty to them.

“When I go somewhere, inside or outside the country, I bring local jewelry. Then I combine it with my own design to create something new. I think customers like it more,” he said. “At first she opened a Facebook page for her business and then bought products from the market after that she started to sell them. But if it’s not standardized, if the customer is not satisfied, then he can no longer survive in this business. And now there is a lot of competition. If you want to take the place, you have to come up with something out of the ordinary. ”

  1. Name selection: Attractive, consistent with business

E-commerce experts say that whether it is Facebook or a website, the name of the organization is very important in the field of e-commerce. Without an interesting name the online world doesn’t remember.

Iffat E Faria, an official at an e-commerce site that sells family necessities ranging from rice, pulses, oil, and eggs, told BBC Bangla that the name of the organization should be interesting. Then people will be able to remember it easily. Again, if it is consistent with the type of business, it will also match their needs.

At the same time, Nasima Akhter Nisha, the leader of e-commerce traders, is advising to register a domain at the beginning of the business. “A lot of times, your business may be gaining popularity, but when you go to open a website, it turns out that someone else has already taken the domain with this name. Should. ”

It is possible to buy domains from Bangladesh and various popular domain reseller sites starting from TK 500 to TK 1100. In this case, the domain should be short, easy to remember and SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.

  1. Starting a business: Facebook is a great medium

Ismat Jahan Meghla has started his business by opening a page on Facebook. Again, companies like ‘Amar Food’ used to supply food products to different organizations. They later opened a Facebook page as well as created a website. Entrepreneurs say that business can be started by opening a Facebook page at the very beginning. Because in this case, the investment takes very little.

Iffat e Faria says that since almost all online users use Facebook, it is easy to get customers from here, to introduce oneself to the customers. As a result, even if there is a website, almost everyone has a Facebook page. Boosting on Facebook means that the news of the organization can be conveyed to strangers by advertising your organization. About three crore people in Bangladesh use Facebook. As a result, it is possible to present information about products or services to a large number of people using this platform. The charge for this type of boost depends on how many people want the ad to reach. After that, if the customers respond, the website can be built slowly. It is possible to build a website in Bangladesh for 15 thousand to 5 lakh Taka.

  1. Legal Registration: Business Legitimacy

In Bangladesh, most of the people who are using social media to sell goods or services do not have any legal registration or validity. Even in the case of opening a website, doing business on a website, or e-commerce, there is no law in the country yet. Then a legal validity of that business is created. Trade licenses can be obtained from city corporations or municipalities for a small fee. However, there is still no e-commerce sector in Bangladesh. In this case, these trade licenses can be done in the IT sector. However, e-commerce has long been demanded to be included as a separate sector in terms of trade licenses. They hope that it can be implemented by next year.

  1. Bank Account: Creating a financial profile

Nasima Akter Nisha, leader of the e-commerce association, suggests opening a bank account in the company’s name immediately after the trade license.

He says that if the business is big, you will need a bank account to transact with other organizations.

Now debit-credit card transactions are also increasing in Bangladesh. As a result, you need to have a bank account to avail of this facility. Having a good relationship with the bank will also make it easier to get a business loan in the future.

  1. Collection and delivery of goods: Deliver the goods within the stipulated time

Iffat E Faria, an official at one of Bangladesh’s largest e-commerce sites, told BBC Bangla: “It’s not just a matter of selling the product to the customer, it is a matter of ensuring that the product is delivered within the promised time. And those who sell raw materials like us, no matter how challenging they are, need to get the product delivered as soon as possible. ” Many e-commerce companies deliver products to customers from other locations. In this case, they also need to create a chain so that they also get the product at the right time. Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman, an entrepreneur of Fish Bangla, an online river and sea fishmonger, said, “I used to go to different places. I loved to eat fish, I used to buy a lot of fish for home. I started the business, then I started communicating with them again. ”

“Now they let me know if they catch big fish. Accordingly, I don’t have orders from customers. They also send on time, I can also deliver on time.”

For this, e-commerce entrepreneurs, are advising to contact and sign agreements with various courier services. At least 20 courier companies are now working with the e-commerce sector in Bangladesh. As well as their own delivery man can be hired, who will quickly deliver the product to nearby customers?

  1. Customer Service: Create your own position

Iffat e Faria says customer satisfaction is also important after product delivery. “If someone has an objection to the product, the product or the picture, the color, etc., which is to be given, if it is not something different, then it should be returned immediately, there should be alternative products or price refund arrangements. If such a complaint is made, the sooner it can be resolved, the better for the e-commerce organization. He says, “Once the customer is dissatisfied, he may not be found again. Rather bad reviews will return many more customers. So in order to survive in e-commerce, customer service must be given utmost importance. At the same time, customers have to answer their questions and complaints quickly. In this case, it is better to have a specific telephone line or chatting line, where a customer will get an instant answer on any matter.

  1. Patience: Success will not come overnight

Nasima Akhter Nisha, leader of the E-Commerce Association, says, “E-commerce is a big place. One can get success quickly by coming up with something new here, but not everyone’s success will come at once. In that case, the business must survive with patience. Success will come one day if we can win the trust and confidence of our customers. ”

It has taken time for many big organizations in Bangladesh to succeed in the e-commerce sector. But after gaining the trust of the customers, their success has multiplied.

  1. Reaching new markets and customers

As for e-cab, the size of Bangladesh e-commerce in 2016 was only Tk 450 crore. At present it is more than 16 thousand crore rupees.

E-commerce experts say that the e-commerce market is growing every year. The market for online-based products has grown significantly overnight, especially during the outbreak of the coronavirus.

But e-commerce services have not yet fully reached out to major cities. People in rural areas in particular are still out of e-commerce services.

Nasima Akhter Nisha says that in order to be successful in the e-commerce sector, one has to think differently. It is easier to be successful if you can come up with something out of the ordinary, especially when there is less competition.

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