As Bangladesh tackles the Covid-19 situation, the impact left behind by the pandemic has been quite significant. Not just in terms of loss of lives but economic downtrend as well. Many people lost jobs and many businesses saw themselves on the brink of shut down. However, many businesses are opting to shift their offerings to what’s known as Facebook Commerce or F-commerce. With 22% of the population of Bangladesh being active users of Facebook, the platform can provide a strong foothold to reach customers on a far wider and diverse scale. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best small business ideas for F-commerce in Bangladesh during a pandemic.
Small business ideas for F-commerce in Bangladesh
With a country of festivities, we sure do have a knack for clothing. That is reflected in the apparel market as the market cap stands at around BDT 250 billion. There is a huge opportunity of taking this apparel market to the online platform.
As a startup, you can source apparel locally from wholesale dealers and create an apparel niche of your own. With the Flexibility of F-commerce, it becomes very easy to reach your target customer base. You can even jump-start your business with little to no capital. You can start by having a small exclusive line of collection or simply set up a system of pre-order. That will ensure that there isn’t any loss to your startup venture.
Nothing like a good book in days of lockdown, right? There is a high number of book readers in Bangladesh. The numbers add up as the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela saw a 70 crore BDT jump in sales from 2013-2018. With a growing demand for books, selling them on an online platform can be a good startup venture. The goal here is to find the targeted customer base and set up your business to attract them.
Just like the apparel line, you can list your collections or simply deliver on a pre-order basis. Nilkhet being one of the largest markets of all sorts of books, sourcing shouldn’t be an issue and you can make a profit straight away with very little investment.
The consumer electronic market is another potential sector for F-commerce startups. In 2017, the total market cap on consumer electronics stood at 1.38 billion BDT. However, as a startup, it's not possible to sell large-scale consumer electronics because of regulation and investment.
You can start with smart gadgets and portable electronic items. The pandemic has seen people shift to online platforms for their gadget fix. You can either start by offering a certain product category or you can add multiples depending on your investment scale. The most important thing here is to plan. You should have a definitive F-commerce marketing strategy to attract customers. And since this is a consumer electronic sector, there should be ample focus on the after-sales service as well to ensure customer retention.
There is a huge untapped opportunity in the home-based catering service in our country. With the easy parcel delivery services in Bangladesh, it is now possible for the home cooks to deliver on-demand food items concurrent to the restaurants. A home-cooked meal is not only a healthier choice for many but also a comparatively cheaper alternative to restaurants and takeaways.
Just like the other F-commerce ventures we have mentioned in this article, the capital investment in home-based catering is little to nothing.
The variety of cuisines on demand is what makes this start-up idea a thriving one. Based on expertise, a home cook can significantly monetize their skills and convert them into a functional earning source. And with the pandemic in question, the demand is also at an all-time high.
Online Grocery Store
An online grocery store is another business idea that has been propelled to the forefront in light of the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. The idea of having all the daily necessities right at your fingertip is lucrative for many. This not only reduces the hassle but also ensures that you won't have to risk your safety by visiting crowded places. As a small business, focus can be put on a certain niche of groceries. It can be cooking essentials, dairy items to frozen goods. This solely depends on the target market.
It is possible to source goods from wholesalers depending on the niche. As long as you can ensure competitive pricing, the F-commerce platform can be the perfect place to kickstart your venture.
Beauty products have a considerable market cap in Bangladesh. In addition to local brands, there is a high demand for the international cosmetic brands and their products. A cosmetic line can be a good small business idea because the online market is still in its budding state. People are getting more and more used to buying goods from online stores as the pandemic has reshaped the idea of how we shop.
Depending on your niche, you can source products from the local market or use importers to source products from an international brand. Needless to say, the latter would require a significantly larger investment. But the ROI of this venture is high and considering there is no sunk cost involved, you stand to make a profit in a considerably short time.
Art & Craft
Recent trends show that the millennials of Bangladesh are significantly interested in local arts and crafts. It can be attributed to the widespread cultural promotion and in the general interest of the mass. If you are someone who is an artist, you can sell your work on the F-commerce platform.
Not just art itself, there is a huge of demand for local craft utensils. Whether it's for home decoration or part of utility needs, as a business, you can produce or source these local crafts for online clients.
Sell Your Expertise
If you are an expert in your trade, you can set up your online consulting firm. There are endless niches where there is a demand for expert consultation on different subjects. The same stands true for skills as well. If you are good with graphics designing or web content development, you can sell your expertise on the F-commerce platform depending on your niche. This doesn’t require any investment to begin with and also makes communicating with the clients easier.
There is a huge untapped opportunity when it comes to the startups in the F-commerce sector of Bangladesh. The pandemic has paved a way for many new Facebook-based business ideas in the existing niche as well as creating demand for new ones. Sure enough, you won't see success upfront, and you would need to develop a sizeable community around your product. But the efforts and investment are much more risk-free when it comes to F-commerce and has a high ROI.