How to Set up Your E-Commerce Business in Dubai

Published October 2nd, 2017 - 01:48 GMT
Follow this step-by-step guide to set up an e-commerce business in Dubai. (File photo)
Follow this step-by-step guide to set up an e-commerce business in Dubai. (File photo)

Becoming an entrepreneur is like stepping onto the most intimidating roller-coaster in the world. There are ups, the downs and unexpected turns. At the end of it you will come out extremely sick or very happy.

In Dubai, which is an e-commerce hub, it is crucial to set up an online business that gives your audience an enhanced experience. Factors that affect consumers’ purchase decision can lead to the success or downfall of an online business.

Read more: 5 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Starting an e-commerce business is hard work with many steps and decisions that need to come together at the right time. Below are some points that can help you go from the drawing board to digital and making you move from e-commerce idealist to a specialist.

1. Get your license

In order to set up a web company, you will need a licence from the Department of Economic Development. The type of licence depends on the location — free zone or mainland and also the nature of the business.

The first step to building an e-commerce business is to assess market needs and the dynamics of what one wants to sell. Once you know the category or industry then you need to evaluate your ideas. Put down the pros and cons, market demand and product viability. After all this, the business developer must find out where from to source the product, and the paradigm of one’s own sales — is it going to be wholesale concept or “drop-ship”?

2. Prepare a business plan

You’ve found a product, evaluated the potential and sourced the supplier. It’s time to write a business plan. But before getting into that, you’ll need to research your competition thoroughly to know exactly what you’re up against.

With the competitive research complete, it’s now the perfect time to write a business plan which will be the road map that helps bring one’s ideas and thoughts together. Remember, make two plans — for the favorable and unfavorable situations.

Read more: Millennials Are Driving A $5.3 Billion E-commerce Market In MENA

I remember our business plan was trashed and thrown away in six months, and soon after, we achieved our goal in the next five months. So always have a plan B in place.

3. Register your business

With a business plan in hand, now is a good time to consider options for registering the business. Another difficult decision is determining the business’s name and choosing an appropriate — and available — domain name. Select a domain using the right SEOs, creating meta-descriptions and tags, and making the entire website generally spider-friendly on the web.

4. Build your online store

With a better understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), it’s time to build the online store. There is a need to evaluate the different e-commerce frameworks and their limitations with scalability, user friendliness, and SEO friendliness. Once that is done, making the website mobile-friendly with screen compatible themes, making payment gateways, and setting up shipping methods online is key.

5. Use digital marketing 

Just setting up an online platform is not enough, you also need to generate leads that can be converted to sales. That is when a mere website turns into a full-fledged business and generates revenue.

Once the online portal is fully functioning and ready to take orders, you need to work towards reaching maximum people to boost brand awareness and sales. In today’s digital age, it is not very difficult to do so.

Read more: Dubai SME Supports More Than 23,000 Entrepreneurs Since Inception

Although a well optimized platform will get noticed by search engines, it is necessary to actively promote your website to draw in relevant traffic needed to drive orders. Prepare a digital marketing strategy and chalk out the focus — brand awareness, sales boost, specific product or category promotion. After having a marketing plan in place, allocate a budget that will help achieve the target.

This planning will always help website in the long run.

Building your own e-commerce business is no easy task. From choosing a product, evaluating viability and sourcing, to building, launching and growing sales, the procedure can be challenging but not impossible.

There’re a lot of puzzle pieces to put together. However, following this resource roundup should provide you with a clear road map to help you build a profitable e-commerce business.

By Roshan Harief


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