Bangladesh has been ranked the 10th most prepared country in East, South and Southeast Asia for shopping online, according to UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index for 2018. The other top 9 countries from the region are Singapore, Hong Kong (China), Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Mongolia, China, Vietnam and India. Bangladesh placed 88 in the global index, which is topped by the Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland. India is ranked 80 in the index.
UNCTAD B2C E-COMMERCE INDEX measures the readiness of countries to engage in online commerce. The index is composed of four indicators: internet-use penetration, secure servers per million inhabitants, bank account penetration and postal reliability. The 2018 edition is 4th such report published by the UNCTAD.
The Netherlands has placed top of this year’s index as the most prepared country in the world for online commerce. The Netherlands, which ranked third in 2017, ousted Luxembourg, which dropped out of the top ten as a result of a sharp fall in its postal reliability score.
The new index, released today, shows that eight of the top ten countries for online shopping are in Europe, with index values extremely close and a range of just four points between first and tenth rank.
Singapore and Switzerland are in second and third place. Singapore has surged 16 positions since 2017, with increased values across all indicators. It now ranks among the top countries in accounts, secure-server penetration and postal reliability. Switzerland also rates favourably on all indicators.
All but one of the top ten developing countries in the B2C E-commerce Index 2018 are from East Asia or the Middle East, and all are upper-middle-income or high-income economies.
Unlike the global top ten, the range of index values between developing countries is wide with a 26-point difference between first and tenth. Compared to the 2017 index, Singapore has swapped ranks with the Republic of Korea as the top-ranked country in the list. Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago have dropped out while Chile (the only non-Asian country on the list) and Turkey have entered. Hong Kong (China) ranks second among developing economies and 15th in the world. Like Singapore, it is a small economy with relatively high values on all indicators.
Over the past years, Bangladesh has experienced unprecedented growth in internet and mobile phone penetration. According to BTRC, the country has over 147 million mobile phone subscribers and growing. As of September 2018, BTRX data shows Bangladesh has over 90.05 million internet users in Bangladesh, thanks to unprecedented mobile internet user growth.
Bangladesh is a truly mobile-first nation, according to data from StatCounter GlobalStats, in February 2017, more than 73% of internet users came through mobile whereas the number was only 25% for desktop. Although feature-phone dominates the overall usage, the country has also been seeing an extraordinary smartphone growth, thanks to cheap Chinese handset.
The eCommerce industry has experienced a tremendous growth in recent years in Bangladesh. The market size has grown rapidly. We have seen some very promising companies like Daraz, Chaldal, Ajkerdeal, Bagdoom, PriyoShop in the sector. Some of the biggest investments of 2018 has also happened in the sector.