Online transactions have become numerous in the UAE and the whole GCC region, with the number of merchants using e-commerce platforms such as Shopify to offer their products or services online growing tremendously. Compared to Europe, USA, or India, where the e-commerce sector is more advanced, the industry in the UAE is still in its infancy. Over the past three years, the region’s e-commerce sector has enjoyed a double-digit growth, however there are certain pain points which often get overlooked and then cause difficulties. Here’s a look at some of the most pervasive e-commerce pain points faced by businesses in the sector, as well as how to solve them in order to maximize your company’s healthy growth across the region.
1. Inventory and product management online and POS
When it comes to the products listed on your website, have you integrated a proper inventory control system that auto synchs with your e-commerce online platform and warehouse, and, furthermore, with your brick-and-mortar stores? Are you receiving notifications about product stock-in/stock-out, price changes, special discounts, additions to wish lists, customers shopping as guests, and so on? Well, there are great solutions available, depending on your individual needs. Small scale businesses can save money by starting up with an e-commerce platform allowing integrated inventory control. Later on, there are great inventory control and POS tools and options available for this region.
2. CMS and admin handling
Do you know how to handle and manage the content or admin panel of your e-commerce website? Or does any of your employees know? In addition to using Shopify, CMS and admin handling can be managed simply by your team; there’s often no need for an expensive maintenance agreement with any web developer.
3. Choosing the right payment gateway provider
You need to be aware of the differences between payment gateway providers that are operating in the UAE/GCC. Make sure to connect with local/regional payment gateway providers, and only those which are approved and follow the regional laws and requirements. Payment solutions like cash on delivery and credit card payments are the top methods of payments in the UAE, and they should be integrated into your e-commerce platform. You can reach out to the approved payment gateway providers directly since it is much more efficient and ensures maintaining your businesses’ cashflow.
4. Automation of tasks such as special discounts, customizable shipping charges and automated emails
Using automated emails or sales tools can be a big help, so get a straightforward database/mailer/campaigns program that will support you and be time-efficient.
5. Deliveries and logistics
Our environment today follows an “I want it all now” culture, and due to the many online ordering and shopping options, we have a wide variety of choices. Having the right logistics partner is important for an e-commerce business owner, so take it step by step: research the best companies within your region, contact them and negotiate with them, have all terms clear and set. If you feel you need help to overcome this, approach your e-commerce specialist, and you should be able to find solutions.