Online shopping is no news anymore. With global e-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba, online shopping has become a new way of conducting business, which has been adopted by consumers very well, all over the world.
On this note, it becomes important to mention that online shopping is growing quite rapidly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and it seems to be growing at the fastest rate in Dubai, among all the Emirates.
A large number of people are moving away from traditional shopping modes to online shopping, thereby signifying the viability of e-commerce in the Middle Eastern region.
E-commerce business setup in Dubai: 10 essential facts to know
- Online shopping trends in the region
Online shopping has grown by 1500% in the Middle East over the past one decade.
The internet penetration in the region is one of the highest in the world. A staggering number of people prefer shopping online from local UAE based websites than foreign websites. This shows the growth potential for local websites who are facing stiff competition from the global giants like Amazon and Alibaba. E-commerce in Dubai is poised to grow to $10 billion dollar industry by the year 2018.
- Licensing procedure
Licensing procedure for business setup is swift and easy. Business owners can choose which legal entity they want to start their online business in terms of the free zone or a non-free zone.
There are multiple advantages for foreign business investors in operating from a free zone company. Here are a few advantages-There is 0% income tax, 100% repatriation of business profits, 0% corporate tax, 100% complete business ownership and negligible custom duties. All these benefits make e-commerce business setup in Dubai a very lucrative business.
There are multiple free zones all over Dubai; you can set up e-commerce business in any of them depending upon your areas of business activity and interest. All licensing procedures will be with the respective free zone authority that you wish to register with.
In can you prefer to not set up in a free zone, licensing procedure will have to be carried out with the Department of Economic Development (DED).
- Office infrastructure:
Typically the Dubai infrastructure is one of the best in the world. There are world-class amenities in terms of office spaces and they come at a reasonable price and leasing options. In certain setups, you might require the help of a local sponsor or UAE resident to help you buy a place. In certain cases, the foreign nationals are not allowed to buy a property. This means that you must take your call accordingly.
The supporting utility services are also one of the best in the world, whether it is round the clock security to utilities, everything is unmatched. This is one fact that you need not to worry about in Dubai.
High-speed internet connectivity, which is round the clock, will be instrumental to keep your business running round the clock.
- Website development and hosting domain
Here is the most important part of your e-commerce business. It is important to have a stable website which is user-friendly and has an excellent user interface & user experience.
There are many facets to developing a website, the following are the starting ones
You need to choose and register a domain name for the website,
Domain name is typically the name that you will use to register your company. It is important to have a unique domain name, one that is not taken up already and one that is easy to search and remember by the users.
Speak to global business consultants Commitbiz to know how to register a domain for online business successfully and in no time.
- Payment gateway integration
An important aspect of an online business is payment gateway integration. There are a number of online payment gateway vendors available in the market. What you must make sure of is the stability of the payment gateway and the transaction success rate. The more stable the payment gateway is technical, the more load of traffic it can take and the higher the success rate of overall transactions of your website. The commercial arrangement can be made with payment gateways where they may bill you per transaction.
- Import and export of the product:
There can be many types of products that you can deal with in-Digital, Physical, consumer goods, Branded, Unbranded, Discounts, Deals etc.
Depending upon the business activity you are pursuing, import and export become a very important aspect of your trade. The appropriate license must be acquired for conducting any kind of business trade. Our team has great ground level knowledge of trading license acquisition process. For a hassle-free licensing procedure, it is advised to speak with the Commitbiz team who will guide you through the import-export licensing procedure including the cumbersome paperwork.
- Logistics, support, and delivery
E-commerce business is supported largely by the logistics and support system. Without appropriate logistics strategy, any e-commerce business can come to a halt. In Dubai, you can either opt for third-party logistics support partner or you can build your own logistics. Depending upon costs that the business can burn, as a business owner, you must take a call if you want to outsource or do in-house logistics.
- Warehousing and storage
This is applicable in case you are conducting business for consumer goods.
Just like logistics, warehousing is a very important aspect of any e-commerce business. On time availability, long term and short term storage instrumental in establishing a successful Supply chain management model. Like logistics, you can either obtain space from a warehouse on leave on can choose to own your own.
- Launch and Marketing
Once the business is launched and you have all the aspects running successfully, product management, supply chain management, it is then when marketing becomes a very crucial part of the business cycle.
All things done, marketing remains the most viable factor in a successful business launch. Marketing strategy should be aligned with the interests of the local population, for whom the website conducts business.
- Customer acquisition and retention
After setting up e-commerce business successfully in Dubai, now comes the important part of customer acquisition. Customer acquisition is usually the most tireless yet fruitful activity of the business set up. The future of the business largely depends upon the number of loyal customers acquired in the initial phases of the e-commerce business setup.
Post successful customer onboarding, measures should be taken to retain those customers.
E-commerce business setup in Dubai is a burgeoning field as local business investors are realizing the viability and profitability it. If you are an investor who wants to invest his/her money in a profitable venture or an if you are a budding entrepreneur who wants to test waters in the Dubai Economy, speak to the Commitbiz team.
Our team has years of experience in e-commerce business setup and have guided multiple business owners set up their e-commerce businesses in the region.
Get in touch with Commitbiz today, contact us. We'd be happy to assist.