A Checklist of E-Commerce Businesses That One Can Kick-start in the Middle East
eCommerce has taken over the business industry in almost every corner of the world and the Middle East is no exception.
The Arabs are undoubtedly the richest in the world with a high spending capacity as consumers. Therefore, if you are planning to start an e-commerce business in the Middle East, then you have tapped the right market. Most of the Gulf countries boast of being amongst the highest per capita income countries. They also have the highest internet penetration rate (more than 65%) in the world in the last decade. This indicates that there is a high potential for an E-Commerce boom in the upcoming years.
In this article, we have tried to list 7 E-Commerce business opportunities that are likely to gain momentum specifically in the Middle East during these unprecedented times of the ongoing pandemic. But before that, let’s have a look at some figures-
- UAE has 99% active internet users and 92% of mobile internet users which is incredible.
- Shoppers at GCC spend $150 on an average per online shopping transaction which is at par with their US and UK counterparts.
- Electronics, Mobile Phones, Beauty & Fashion and Grocery constitute 80% of MENA e-commerce.
- As per UNICEF, the population growth in half of the countries in MENA are expected to increase at least 50% by 2050, than what it was in 2015.
- 60% of the population is under 25 years of age which makes it one of the most youthful regions of the world.
What do we understand from these figures? That the Middle East is a large pool of potential e-business opportunities.
7 Business opportunities that have a scope in the Middle East
- Accounting service
Businesses across the UAE are required to maintain their financial records in accordance with the IFRS standards. Companies prefer outsourcing their accounts to avoid the hassles of being constantly updated on new accounting policies. When VAT was introduced in the UAE, a huge demand aroused for accounting services.
There are many top-notch accounting firms in Dubai but companies have to pay through their nose to hire their consultants. Business organizations in other countries which are not as developed as Dubai find it difficult to hire such expensive consultants. Therefore, there is a huge scope for small scale financial consulting companies to tap the Middle East market. So if you are a master of accounting, this can be a good option to realize your entrepreneurial dreams.
- Home-cooked Food Delivery
There is a huge population in the whole of UAE who travels from one emirate to another for work. Today, with the ongoing pandemic, people are working from homes but studies have shown that people end up working for more hours while at home. In either case, it leaves them no time to cook food. Eating daily from restaurants can feel monotonous and it also takes a toll on our health. Therefore, starting a business of delivering delicious home-cooked food can be a lucrative option for someone who is good at cooking.
- House cleaning
Prolonged working hours and long commutation leave no time for working people to attend to domestic chores like house cleaning. Hiring a house help is cheap in the Middle East due to mass immigration of labour from other countries but it comes with a lot of problems like unnotified absence from work, dealing with police verification and other legal formalities. Therefore, people prefer hiring professional consultancies which ensures that they don’t face such problems. Setting up a well-organized house cleaning or house help online service can prove to be a successful venture.
- Handyman projects
Services of plumbers, carpenters, painters, laundry, electricians and other skilled workers are always in high demand. With the virus scare, people hesitate to call local workers who do not maintain necessary hygiene standards. This creates the demand for professional handyman service providers who can train their staff on how to sanitise their hands and equipment to give the clients a worry-free service. Hence, there is a good chance for an on-demand laundry app solution.
- Flower and Gift Delivery
It is the special moments that we create for our loved ones which make life going in these hard times. The novel coronavirus has brought our social lives to a standstill but we, human beings, are always adamant on finding alternative ways to celebrate our special occasions. Surveys and statistics suggest that the UAE has a huge market for freshly cut flowers and its delivery. Since women are largely enthusiastic about decorations and gifting, they are the prominent consumers in this segment which gives the flower industry a forecast of growing rapidly at the rate of 20% annually. Take your business to the next level by choosing the best eCommerce development company in Dubai and start taking online orders. Don’t forget to add teddys, chocolates and gift hampers in your menu list to expedite sales revenue.
- Documentation Service
Middle East countries have been the favourite hub for foreign job seekers. However, with migration comes a herculean task of paperwork which cannot be handled single-handedly. From filing visas, sponsoring family members to attest all the educational and work experience certificates, there is a lot of documentation that is required at various stages for an immigrant. This is when an e-documentation service provider is required who can save them from physically going all the way to various offices and handle all the formalities in a systematic paperless way.
- EMR software for plastic surgeon’s clinic
Dubai comes in the top GCC countries for plastic surgeries and advanced skin treatments. For people who run multiple clinics, it is very important to have EMR software that streamlines the clinical workflows and enhances efficiency in the daily operations. If you can provide e-solutions for practice management, patient engagement, billing and revenue cycle then you can be sure of reaching out to a large clientele base.
Other than these, there are many eCommerce opportunities like appointment booking app, grocery delivery app development, b2b automotive eCommerce solution, online pharmacy app development, that can be developed easily by approaching a custom eCommerce solution provider in Saudi Arabia that can help you make your state-of-the-art web and mobile application such that your eCommerce solution escalates towards success for sure.
Challenges and Government initiatives for boosting eCommerce
People in the Middle East still predominantly prefer cash transactions as compared to online payments with around 60% of online shoppers opting for the COD (Cash on Delivery) mode of payment. Despite these challenges, eCommerce companies like Souq.com, Noon and Mumzworld have made it big in the Middle East regions by offering COD options to customers as well as working towards promoting safe online payment practices.
The joint efforts of private sectors and the government in promoting digitalization are slowly turning the tables for eCommerce. While the Smart Dubai 2021 initiative emphasizes on a paperless government, the development of CommerCity and Dubai Internet City is an indication that the UAE is ready to boost its online commercial activities. Therefore, approach to the best eCommerce solution provider in the Middle East for complete eCommerce website development services, right now!