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B2C eCommerce Shows Huge Growth Potential In Southeast Asia

Business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales in the Southeast Asia region is anticipated to grow from $11 billion in 2015 to $25 billion by 2020, according to an August 2016 analysis from Frost and Sullivan on the state of Southeast Asian ecommerce industry.

Online shopping is one the rise in Southeast Asia thanks to growing mobile and internet penetration. This rapid growth in ecommerce shopping will help the ecommerce companies to significantly grow their revenue.

eMarketer, a digital intelligence company, predicts that retail ecommerce sales will be more than $14 billion in select six countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam in 2016.

In Bangladesh, eCommerce is a seeing a steady growth. According to UNCTAD report, 23% of internet users shop online. The internet users in the country is growing leaps and bounds. According to data from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the number of internet users almost doubled in the last two years; it shot up from 30.48 million in 2013 to 58.31 million in February 2016.

Smartphone adoption is also growing rapidly in the country. According to Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers’ Association (BMPIA), smartphones import saw a staggering 57.44% rise in the first half, January to June, of 2016 compared to the same period last year. Around 35.71 lakh pieces of smartphones were imported during this period. Smartphones also accounted for 26.35% of the total handset imports in the first half of 2016, up from 20.88% a year earlier.

Mobile and internet adoption coupled with the digital awareness, ecommerce expending in Bangladesh is likely to grow significantly in the coming years.

Lead image by Olu Eletu

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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