eCommerce is where a business can promote and sell their goods online. In other words, you can reach your customer when and where they are ready to make a purchase decision, without them having to do more than lift a finger. eCommerce is essentially an online shop front for your business that allows your customers to browse through your products, choose those they like and then buy them online.
Businesses that move towards an eCommerce solution typically see some major advantages such as:
- Lower cost of sale
- Higher profit margins
- Lower staffing costs / needs
- Higher conversion rates
The content provided in this Toolkit will prepare you to approach an eCommerce service provider, and allow you to expand your business reach to local, regional and global customers.
Not too sure about eCommerce
Should you be uncertain about whether or not a fully-fledged eCommerce site is for you; perhaps the following solution would be the ideal solution for you!
If you think that you are not ready yet to build and manage your own eCommerce site, you could opt to use 3rd party platforms. These could help you access the benefits of eCommerce without having to bear the costs of establishing one. 3rd party eCommerce websites could be auction based, fixed price or a mix of both.
In addition, Group buying websites could present to you the opportunity to expand your sales especially since these sites promote large sale volumes. It is considered less risky as the major cost paid by the supplier is the discounts provided on the products.
Another way to utilize affiliate sites to market your products and services is to use classified ads web sites. While these sites do not offer the functionality of an eCommerce platform, lacking mainly the payment gateway, they still offer you the opportunity to market your products and services and expand your customer base,
In the sections below, you will learn more about each of these options showing you some examples of third party and affiliate sites you could potentially
Complete 3rd party e-commerce platform
This is a third party entity that allows you to present your products and services on their website where they will manage their presentation and all aspects of their sales including payment processing and delivery. You can expect to pay a recurring fee to showcase your products and a commission on each product/ service sold. Some 3rd party eCommerce platform can require an initial subscription fee especially for premium listing/ presentation.
The table below provides you with some examples of international and regional e-commerce platforms that you could use.
Tourism & Hospitality
Group buying sites
Group buying sites are platforms that present to you the opportunity to get large sales volumes in return for a certain discount. The mechanism mainly follows these steps:
- Agree to provide a discount on one of your products/services if more than a set number is sold
- Voucher is given for buyer of the product/service on the group buying site
- Buyer redeems the voucher and receives product/service from your business premises
- You get paid from the group buying site
A number of regional and international players exists in the market today below are some examples of such sites.
Classified ads sites
Classified ads are small advertisement messages that are listed usually in newspaper, online directories or magazines. These might include advertisement for employment, real estate properties, cars and others. Some websites offer you to list such classifieds ads either for a small fee or sometimes free of charge.
In Qatar, there are various classified ads sites that you can use. These range from those specialized in a certain type of products and services and others that are more generic. Below is a list of the major sites you would be able to find.
- www.qatarcl.com – General classifieds (real-estate, automotive, etc) and business directory
- www.iloveqatar.net - Community forum, including Qatar classifieds, e.g. property, jobs, services
- www.totalqatar.com - Yellow pages, product finder, business locator and general classifieds
- qatar.dubizzle.com/en/doha/home/ - General classifieds (cars, items for sale, jobs, property)
- www.qatardunia.com - General classifieds (items for sale, items wanted, housing, jobs)
- www.babqatar.com - General classifieds (jobs, services, housing, mobiles, cars & bikes)
- www.newinqatar.com - General classifieds (business & services, items for sale, real estate, jobs)
- www.adsdoha.com - Focused on automotive and real estate properties
- www.carsemsar.com – Focused on automotive
- www.qatarloving.com - Focused on properties and jobs