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E-commerce refers to the process of buying or selling products or services over the Internet. Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular because of speed and ease of use for customers.

E-commerce activities such as selling online can be directed at consumers or other businesses. Business to Consumer (B2C) involves the online sales of goods, services and provision of information directly to consumers.

Business to Business (B2B) refers to the online selling of products, services, or information between businesses.

Selling online can help your business reach new markets and increase your sales and revenues. If you are interested in selling to other businesses, you can use the Internet to find sales leads, announce calls for tender and offer products for sale either through your own website or through an e-marketplace site.

Planning for E-commerce

Moving your sales operations online requires that you look at your business needs and information technology (IT) requirements and the options available to you in order to formulate an e-commerce implementation and fulfilment strategy. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is e-commerce really the right option for my business? If so, why?
  • Who are my competitors online and how well established are they?
  • Can my existing business system processes in my bricks and mortar storefront be brought online? How do I integrate them?
  • What do I need the website to do – i.e. are there straightforward categories and sub-categories or do I need additional functionality?
  • Do I need the shopping cart to be able to do anything beyond taking payments?
  • What resources or knowledge base do I need to set up an online store?
  • How will I drive traffic to my online store?

Generally top 10 goods sold out online are

  • Travel arrangements (e.g. hotel reservations, travel tickets, rental cars)
  • Tickets for entertainment events (e.g. concerts, movies, sports)
  • Books, magazines, online newspapers
  • Clothing, jewellery or accessories
  • Memberships or registration fees (e.g. health clubs, tuition, online television subscriptions)
  • Music (e.g. CDs, MP3)
  • Software
  • Consumer electronics (e.g. cameras, stereos, TVs, DVD players)
  • Videos or DVDs
  • Toys and games

Business News

Today, Dubai is a platform for major global e-commerce firms, thanks to the conductive business environment and flexibility of investment, in addition to the integration between the government and private sector, as well as its logistics and strategic location that facilitates international trade.

Launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the Dubai E-commerce Strategy was prepared by the Dubai Free Zones Council, in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Customs and Dubai Economy. The strategy aims to cement Dubai as global logistics hub for the region - where the e-commerce market is set to reach Dh12 billions of local GDP by 2023 - through a number of simulative initiatives.

A recent study by the World Economic Forum, found that the value of the e-commerce sector in the UAE is expected to reach $27.2 billion by 2020, double what it was in 2016. Reports by Mashreq found that e-commerce spending in the UAE increased by 48 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017.

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