Online business is affecting the physical market place!
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
This is the era of technology and online business is a part of modern technology. Any transactions and activities that occurs on the internet are known as online shopping hence business. It has no physical presence. It includes the sale of products and services and increasing very rapidly. Online Shopping is also increasing in Dhaka city. People can buy products on the internet with just one click. In Dhaka city, some people get hardly time to shop, and online shop can facilitate them in many ways. Companies use information technology, spend a lot time on recruiting wages and bonuses to attract and retain top technical talent. Online businesses offer high value at consistently low prices. Online business helps people in many ways for instance cost savings, less paper waste, flexibility, research competitors, and improved customer service. This enables online business to communicate with its customers. Online business includes digital communication, e-commerce, and online research. (Frost, 2014). More simply defined, online business is the result of information technology applied to traditional as well as physical market place Most importantly online business has created opportunities for businesses to reach out to consumers in a very direct way and it has create delectronic markets. (ProQuest, 2004)Scholars and researchers are trying to improve consumer behavior on the internet. Online business is already quite popular in Bangladesh and it is rapidly increasing. In Bangladesh, people use internet not only to buy products but also compare prices. Online business came late in Bangladesh but it got popularity very quickly.
Physical market place is a place where sellers and buyers meet together face to face and exchange product and services. Having a physical store is a way to express a vision for brand to sell and reach new market. In a physical store people can buy product directly by touching it. Physical store also provides opportunities for example people can go to a nearby shopping center when they immediately need it. In a physical store, there are various types of products like clothing, home decor, footwear, furniture etc. In Bangladesh, physical store is a traditional business. This expansion has not been structurally organised, because, until recently, retailing had never been perceived as an industry, but rather as an individual or family business entity with a very limited scope of organised expansion. (SCRIBD, 2017)
Internet came to Bangladesh in 1993. In 1996, computers were also being introduced as a subject in secondary level education. Online businesses started in Bangladesh in the late 90’s. from 2000 to 2008 the e-commerce sector observed slow growth. At that time, there was few web sites but no transactions online which was the purpose of online business. The reason of this lower rate of online transactions might be the higher rate of internet usage and finally in 2009, the Bangladesh bank, the country’s central bank authority, began permitted online transactions. 2013 was an important year in the history of online business in Bangladesh, when first ever e-commerce week took place jointly observed by BASIS and Bangladesh Bank with a theme “shop online: anything, anytime.” (Hassan, 2014)In Bangladesh, only 2% of the population has a fixed broad band connection, while 17.8% of the population has a mobile broad brand subscription. (export.gov) Bangladesh bank gave permission to buy products and services online using international credit cards. The e-commerce Association of Bangladesh, the trade body for E-commerce in Bangladesh, estimates there are 700 e-commerce sites and around 8000 e-commerce pages on Facebook, as Facebook is a popular platform for selling products and according to e-Cab report 2017, about 10 billion of money in transaction takes place on e-commerce sites per year.
According to ABC News, online business is increasing day by day, as foot traffic in physical stores has fallen by 5% where online shopping grew almost 10 % and physical store have seen their profit margins however around 5 percent since 2008-2009. “All of this causing tension between retailers and shopping centers as customers increasingly shop online”. (Sands, 2017)
From my secondary research, I have found an article that includes online luxury shoppers show positive attitude towards internet shopping since they are very more innovative and impulsive than non-internet shoppers. This article also talks about in-store shoppers who are more averse to online risk while buying luxury products. (Xia Liu, 2013)
From my secondary research, I have found a detailed information how price influences while people choosing shopping channels. It also describes why people choose online environment because of low cost and it doesn’t overcome the fact of unacceptable service quality. (Jyh-Shen Chiou, 2017)
E-banking is increasing in Bangladesh which enables banks to establish and maintain good customer relationship with consumers. In last few years, e-banking has been seen slow growth but now it is growing rapidly. Moreover, online business is on the rise and it will boost the country’s economic growth. (Nupur, 2010)
Everything related to online business replacing physical market place should be analysed very thoroughly. For this reason, I decided to thoroughly investigate aspects of online business is replacing physical market place in Dhaka city and my research will address the following research questions:
From my research, I assumed people would prefer online shopping more than retail shopping in Dhaka city. I believed that they would go with the trend of the popularity of online shopping. I thought people would get hassle free experience while shopping online. Because shopping is a fun task when there is less crowd and people can simply have a better experience. I wanted to observe which market gave customers transparency, means which market provides fineness at its best. I believed that customers felt that online businesses offer the same price to every customer, so there is no scope for cheater and fraud. I also wanted to see if they felt any differences between online shop and retail store. Because online shopping differs from the traditional shopping. New eye-catching delivery policy and information search on the internet are gaining attention to the people of Dhaka city.
I thought they would love online shopping more than retail shopping because online shopping might be more convenient to them. I believed that they would go for online business since it is a decent way to get good customer services. Customer service is very important to maintain a good relationship with the customers. I expected to find that people in Dhaka city shop lessin a retail store. Dhaka is one of the busiest place in Bangladesh, I assumed they have very little time to go to a retail store regularly since its time consuming. On the other hand, I believed in online business people can order from everywhere. I expected to get all the answers to my research questions through my research.
For my primary research, I have conducted a survey of a representative sampling of 51 of the young people and some of my relatives from income group of middle and upper-middle class and aged between 16-20, 21-26 and 27 and above, who have had online business experience. I made a questionnaire with relevant and different questions to get a range of useful data. I published my questionnaire in Google Drive and shared the link amongst my friends and family.
For my secondary research is completed based on the internet. I got many articles and journals from NSU Library. I took help from Google scholars, YouTube, Google, and some news articles as information sources from the internet. I also used news sites.
In order to collect sufficient data, I hosted a survey questioning on my topic. The data collected helped me draw conclusions about my research topic. The questions were completed by 51 respondents as they are part of doing shopping in an online store and they filled up Google Drive survey form. In the following pages of my report, collected data is presented and analyzed.
1. How would you describe your experience shopping online?
The above graph shows that 26 respondents thought that online shopping avoids the hassle of physical market places, 17 respondents liked the helpful reviews consumers leave online, 4 respondents liked the delivery procedures, pre-order services and they feel like a smart shopper, 3 respondents thought that online buying is a novel, fun way to shop and finally 1 respondent found the internet shopping process hard to understand and use. This indicates among 51 respondents, 51% thought that online shopping avoids the hassle of physical market places, 33.3% liked the helpful reviews consumers leave online, 7.8% liked the delivery procedures, pre-order services and feel like a smart shopper, 5.9% thought online buying is a novel, fun way to shop and 2% found internet shopping process hard to understand and use. The reason of majority experiencing hassle free shopping on the internet because they can connect to the internet from home or elsewhere via smart phones or tabs and can make purchases or sales. There is also no crowd as like in a retail store. The second highest respondents like the helpful review customers leave online. The reason for this is reviews are the most trusted source. No matter what a brand says about their product if a customer’s friend gives a negative review they would never buy that product. On the other hand, people don’t get reviews in a retail store, if they like it they immediately buy it. 4% people liked the delivery procedures because many online shops deliver the product within required time, they offer cash on delivery and there is also money back and return options if someone doesn’t like the product. But if I compare this with 1stoption then 4% is very low because many online shops delay their delivery process. Very few people thought that internet shopping process is hard to understand because people in Dhaka city are very receptive to the internet.
It is proving that 51% people think online business is hassle free business which is not an ignorable thing. And many of them confessed they find online shopping is a good experience. this leads to one direction which is they experience online shopping is better than shopping in a physical store. Since I believed that people would get hassle free experience.
2. Which market provides transparency better?
This survey question got almost 51 responses. Out of them 25 went for option A, 14 people chose option C, 6 of them chose option E, 4 of them chose option D and finally 2 people went for B.Ths. indicates 49% of them answered online business offers one price for everyone, 27.5% people answered consumers can leave reviews online, 11.8% people went for physical store as they can compare with other products, 7.8% chose physical market place because price tags are being placed and 3.9%people answered online shop because it saves their credit card number unknowingly. The numbers are more on the side of online shop. So, most of the respondents thought online business provides transparency more better than physical store because it offers one price for everyone. The reason of 6 people choosing physical store because in a retail store there are varieties of products for instance different colours and sizes. 4 of them chose option D, the reason is price tags are proofs. Very few chose online business because they thought their credit card information is secured because they sometimes don’t trust virtual environment.
3. What changes do you feel between two shopping methods?
The statistics show that 27 respondents (52.9%) felt like online business has broad information search where physical store has limited information, 16 respondents (31.4%) thought online business is hassle free on the other hand more hassle in a physical store, 6 respondents (11.8%) felt like online business offers fixed price for everyone and in a retail store price is being always bargained, 2 respondents (3.9%) believed that in anonline shop delivery policy is easy but in a retail store there are less delivery policies. So, the numbers are more on the two first options mean people think online business differs from physical store in mainly availability of information and hassle-freeshopping experience. Because, the respondents living in Dhaka city, feel like there are many differences between two shopping methods. People’s preferences of online shop only be the reason behind this.
4. What could be your suggestion to improve online business in Bangladesh?
According to my survey, out of 51 respondents 26 respondent answered option D, 14 respondents chose option A, 6 respondents gave option C, 4 people said option B, and finally only one chose option E. That means 51% thought online business should maintain good quality products, 27.5% thought online shop should improve their delivery system, 11.8% believed they should foster their customer services, 7.8% wanted their payment system to be secured in an online shop and finally only one people thought they should protect customers personal information. So many of them want quality products online because some customers may face problems with the materials and fabrics of their products. Second highest number of people demand for good delivery system, since some online shop takes around 15-20 days to deliver the products. Then 6 respondents think they should provide good customer service because good brands will always provide better customer services. And very few think they should protect their personal information, because there are laws for not maintain this.
5. How often do you shop in a retail store?
Survey result shows that majority of my respondents means out of 51 people, 29 (56.9%) answered they shop in a retail store a few times in a month because people get hardly free time to shop though this number is quite good but comparable to online store this is less. Because in an online shop people shop in a regular basis. 10 respondents (19.6) chose option B which is they shop few times a week. One thing surprised me that is only 3 people said they shop every day in retail store which is only 5.9% and the most shocking answer was two of my respondents (3.9%) said they have never shop in a retail store. This result leads toward only one direction which is people do less shop in a retail store than in an online store. Many of them answered option C which proves people in Dhaka city shop in a retail store very few times in a month.
6. What kind of products do you buy online?
We can see from this pie chart most of the respondents buy clothing in an online shop which is 27 respondents (52.9%) because in an online store, customers get all types of fancy dresses, various sizes colours and offers. There is a win-win situation for both options as 6 respondents which is 11.8% answered they buy footwear and another 6 respondents which is 11.8% answered they buy electronics gadgets on the internet. This mean there is similar demand for footwear and electronic gadgets as many customers look for customised and foreign footwear. 11 respondents answered they buy makeup in an online store because most of them are female who are so into makeup. They can buy expensive brand as well as replica brands and make up for every skin types. This indicates people in Dhaka city mostly buy clothes in an online store.
My first target was to find if online business is replacing physical market place in Dhaka city. After doing the survey and researching on this topic I came to know that majority of my respondents have had an online shopping experience, it could be either good experience or bad experience but most of them said that they had a good experience. They mostly shop online to save time, minimize transportation expenses and avoid other inconvenient situations. These things are indicating customers preferring online businesses. My first hypothesis was people in Dhaka city get better experience in an online which is hassle free, survey showed 26 of my respondents believed that they get a hassle-free experience, so it is proving my hypothesis. Then my claim was people would think online shop provides transparency, according to my survey I found that people also think it can be trust worthy source, because all the prices are displayed with the products, everyone can see and compare that. So, it also matched with my hypothesis. Another hypothesis was that there are differences between online store and physical store especially online store has loads of information about product quality, reviews, flaws and various deals, discounts etc. Whereas in a retail store people cannot search for additional information such as what fabrics is being used. I claimed that people in Dhaka city would suggest to improve customer services because that is how relationship between business and customers begin, but majority of my respondents believe online business should maintain good quality product since they think quality is their first priority while shopping in an online store. This is not proving my hypothesis, so this result is against my hypothesis. Another hypothesis was that people would shop very few times in a retail store. My survey result is similar to my claim, as most of the respondents answered that they shop a few times in a month in a traditional store because they don’t get enough time to go regularly and looking for new things. My last claim was that people mostly buy clothes in an online shop and out of 51 respondents 27 said they often buy clothes because they get more fancy, fashionable and relatively different clothes in the internet, so it also proved my hypothesis right. So, people in Dhaka city certainly prefer online businesses more.
Online business is replacing physical market place in Dhaka city, it is a trend. So, it is not a societal issue. Because it doesn’t harm the society as well as its people. Both businesses are earning money and some retail business is also going online. It is completely customers preferences which methods to choose for shopping. There is nothing to recommend as it is totally one’s personal choice.
From my research, I have discovered the majority of people in Dhaka city is moving towards shopping in a n online store. In most cases of my survey, people in Dhaka city don’t get enough time to shop in a retail store. Study says people get better experience in an online store. Also, there are people who think online business is more clear and convenient to them. Besides, from my analysis I found that people are not showing interest to shop in a traditional store because it needs a lot of time and energy to shop. The nation’s dream is to achieve digitalised Bangladesh, online businesses are in progress for the realization of digital Bangladesh. Online businesses are increasing income sources especially for women which is significant. Because there is shortage of time, I couldn’t explore many areas of my research. Someone else may start this research from where I ended and for progressing further in the research.