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Inside National F-commerce Summit: Demystifying The Potential and Future Of Social Commerce In Bangladesh

Facebook has an incredible scale. Founded in 2004, it has 1.09 billion daily active users, 989 million mobile daily active users, and 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016 [source Facebook].

It is changing the way people used to experience the web. In Bangladesh, Facebook has a staggering reach, even greater than the Google. In many places, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, the internet has become synonymous to Facebook.

People spend an obscene amount of time on the social network. It has become the center of almost everything, from communication to commerce, friendship to political activism, we are using facebook for every conceivable purpose.

F-commerce is one of the fast-growing mode of business in Bangladesh. Although there is a limit to such businesses, thousands of small and medium enterprises have built upon the advantage of low-cost launch opportunity, minimum distribution cost, targeted marketing, and easy to maintain nature of facebook businesses.

It is simple to start a Facebook business. You open a page, which is free of cost, upload photographs of your products and start selling. However, it has become a little difficult in recent times since Facebook significantly curbed organic reach making people bound to pay advertising dollars for greater reach.

Still Facebook is one of the most effective short-term result driven platforms. Facebook ads are extremely effective to have short-term users and achieving sales ROI. Many e-commerce companies are also taking the platform as their primary mode of advertising, promotion and sales growth.

Due to its growing nature, we have even a term for Facebook businesses. We call it F-commerce. f-commerce stands for Facebook commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services through Facebook, either through Facebook page directly or through an extension of your e-commerce effort.

According to e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), there are around 7,500 active Facebook pages doing business using the social networking site. Although, the growth has slowed in recent times due to several changes in facebook’s algorithm and growing competition but the platform has never been as important as it is today to online commerce industry.

Fcommerce summit 2015
Fcommerce summit 2015

F-commerce Summit

GEEKY Social, a Dhaka-based digital marketing company, organizes an annual summit targeting Facebook commerce companies and users in order to connect f-commerce entrepreneurs, policymakers, industry insiders, media, and domain experts to discuss the potential and future of f-commerce in Bangladesh.

The debut summit, held in 2015, attracted a huge crowd. More than 300+ f-commerce companies attended the summit that hosted 900+ audience in two days. According to organizers, the summit created huge buzz and awareness regarding facebook commerce in the country.

GEEKY Social, organizer of the event, claimed it inspired many young people to try f-commerce as their side project and has propelled the growth of the f-commerce sector. The summit also inspired many SMEs to adopt facebook as their distribution and marketing channel resulting in further growth.

Whatever the impact of the last year’s summit might be, it did surely help create awareness around the idea F-commerce and made the term a little more recognizable.

F-commerce Summit 2016

This year GEEKY Social is holding the summit in even bigger and better format. It aims to bring together entrepreneurs, policymakers, industry insiders, media, and domain experts under one roof to discuss the opportunities and obstacles and to find a better way for tomorrow.

This year’s f-commerce summit, a two-day long conference scheduled on May 7-8, is the second of its kind. The conference, a combination of talks, panels, and mind-blowing conversations, entrepreneurs showcasing and awards will take place at the Faculty of Business Studies, Dhaka University.

“This year we are envisioning the opportunity 150 million,” said Mahadi Hasan Sagor, Managing Director of GEEKY Social. “The idea of opportunity 150 million is basically capitalizing 150 million smartphones both from the supply side and demand side through F-commerce.”

If you are an internet entrepreneur or want to be one, this is an event you should take seriously. While the summit is titled after f-commerce, it is relevant to anyone interested in internet and internet business in Bangladesh not only because facebook is a powerful distribution and marketing platform but because there is a realistic chance that Facebook will end the open web as we know it.

Registration is open now. Please visit f-commerce summit web extension for further details.

Disclosure: Future Startup is a partner of this year’s summit but it did not influence our editorial process while putting together this article.

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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