Despite the tremendous potential for e-commerce, Bangladesh’s growth has been hampered by a lack of technological advancement and internet penetration, as well as bureaucratic tangles and resource-related problems. Bangladesh’s e-commerce sector is expected to triple in size by 2023, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). From $1.0 billion this year, the local e-commerce business is predicted to grow to roughly US$3.0 billion (Tk 260 billion) next year (Tk 85 billion). Bangladesh already has roughly 2,500 e-commerce enterprises and 50,000 Facebook business pages. Mr Shahab Uddin, president of the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), remarked that the pandemic demonstrated the enormous potential of e-commerce in Bangladesh.
Poor logistical infrastructure is another challenge for such companies. From maintaining proper distribution channels to storing perishables to delivering products to the end-consumer in a timely manner, deficiency in logistical infrastructure is deeply felt. Such companies need to have a proper distribution channel to collect the right product at the right quantity at the right time to be the most efficient. However, e-commerce platforms are struggling to cope with the huge number of orders due to poor infrastructure and scarcity of workforce and supplies. One of the biggest problems regarding logistics is storing perishable goods such as fruits and vegetables. The current vegetable and grocery supply chain is full of inefficiencies. Farmers suffer because of wastage while customers suffer from poor quality of fresh products and price fluctuations. By the time fruits and vegetables are sold the consumers after collection from the farmers, the quality of fresh produce is lost. Thus, to cut costs, malpractices such as using chemicals to keep the harvest fresh artificially are committed. This is where a lack of cold chain network hurts the overall supply chain.