Stakeholders in an online dialogue say intellectual property and consumer rights are not being protected on this platform
Experts believe that e-commerce is in question in the global market as consumers do not have confidence in the quality of products on online platforms.
They think that there is a big opportunity in this sector if counterfeit products in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) can be prevented from entering the market.
The stakeholders came up with the remarks in an online dialogue titled "The best way to protect consumer and intellectual property in the digital economy" on Thursday.
Marico Bangladesh arranged the digital dialogue in collaboration with the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB).
Representatives of the e-commerce sector said products are being sold online through numerous e-commerce companies in the country and crores of taka are being transacted in this.
They said in this case, the intellectual property and consumer rights are not being properly protected and consumers are complaining about various products. For this e-commerce companies need to sell quality products from the right companies.
They said that in the case of FMCG products, counterfeit goods are being supplied through fake accounts and consumers and reputable companies are worried about this. In this case, consumers have less opportunity to buy products after verification.
The stakeholders also said so the e-commerce platforms have to look at these issues with due importance. e-Commerce laws cannot protect consumer rights or the brand image. That is why the survival of this sector will depend on gaining the confidence of buyers.
Citing fears of fraud in FMCG products, Pratik Gupta, head of Digital Transformation at Marico Group, said in his keynote paper, "In India, everyone buys at least two FMCG products online. Around 11% of these products are sold online. Sales of these products online have increased sevenfold compared to regular market sales.
"In this case, the market for counterfeit products is growing by 44% every year. The increase in production of counterfeit products has hampered the companies' production."
He said that in order to prevent these, it is necessary to collect and sell the products guaranteed by companies which will protect the brand image of products and the rights of consumers.
He said the actual manufacturers of FMCGs lose 30% of their market share due to counterfeit products. The same thing happens in the case of e-commerce. Because of this, customers suffer from a crisis of confidence.
As the keynote speaker, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (Basis) President Syed Almas Kabir, said that the lockdown put in place to curb the spread of novel coronavirus was a blessing for e-Commerce.
During this period, the number of internet users has increased by 9.5% and the total number has crossed 6.64 crore, which is 44% of the country's population.
Almas Kabir said the size of the e-Commerce market of 2,500 companies in the country has exceeded $2.07 billion. Bangladesh is the 46th largest country in the world in terms of e-Commerce revenue. In this trade, 80% of people are from urban areas and 80% of them are paying cash to buy products.
Wasim Alim, chief executive officer of e-Commerce platform Chaldal.com, said that buyers will lose confidence if counterfeit and locally made substandard products are sold. Doing such fraud with consumers from any e-Commerce platform will harm everyone in this sector.
He said the demand for sanitisers has increased after the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country. At that time, substandard products are being made locally with brand names and levels of renowned companies and are being sold.
He further said but many e-Commerce companies are selling products with caution in compliance with the rules in this regard. Some organisations may not be complying the rules properly.
Ismat Jerin, head of Legal at Daraj.com, said all-out efforts are made to protect consumers in online shopping.
"So that consumers can be assured of quality products and services through appropriate information," she added.
Ashish Gopal, managing director of Marico Bangladesh, said, because of the coronavirus, people have become online dependent for almost all products, including rice, pulses and other daily necessities.
The e-Commerce market in the US has grown as much just in three months at the time of the coronavirus outbreak as it did in the last ten years. People have been dependent on e-commerce for grocery products.