September has been a busy month for QNET, as the Asian direct selling company hosted its biggest extravaganza in the Middle East for the year—V-UAE 2017, a direct selling convention attracting over 10,000 attendees annually.
Ecommerce brands have moved towards hard sell to focussing more on the experience, and content plays a very big role in this experience as it tells a story more than just a description. A customer chooses to interact with the content that interests them and through this interaction there’s a conversation that grows on a regular basis.
The content you choose to focus on in your conversation with your customer is what helps drive traffic to your site. People tend to shop with those brands and organisations that deliver a seamless, integrated experience, making the online browsing, product selection, purchasing and post-purchasing process simple, easy-to-follow, and relevant. The only goal is to make it a thrilling digital experience. We’ve been honoured to be awarded ‘Best E-commerce Experience’ at the Sitecore Experience Awards 2016 for Asia for our newly launched eStore.
Ecommerce Market In The Middle East
While the online market here may seem to be dominated by a few key players, over the last few years there has been a rapid growth by small companies, and an influx of investments in the field. Undeniably, this region has a massive Internet audience; I read an article in a leading newspaper a little while ago about how an average young Emirati spends nearly ten hours a day on social media. This region is definitely a key player for online retail shopping activity, and this only emphasises the importance for all companies to have an online presence.
We live in a generation where products and services are purchased online from anywhere and at any time. A person could be flying thousands of miles above sea level, and still shopping. If you’re not equipped to manage these digital demands, you’re going to eventually lose out on a lot of business.
Overcoming Ecommerce Challenges In The Middle East
There are a number of reasons why the markets in the Middle East are late bloomers in the e-commerce industry, and several of these challenges will require international merchants to develop strategies based on innovation and vigilance.
Cash on delivery is still one of the biggest challenge for e-commerce players in the region. It involves a lot of high return rates, lag time between order placements, among many others. Today, around 90 per cent of online purchases come from outside the region. However, leading digital commerce players have been investing in logistics, payment methods and supporting tons of Government initiatives, which will see the Middle East grow as a strong digital commerce force in the coming years.
Social Media And Ecommerce
Less than a decade ago, brands thrived on advertisements in newspapers. Today, brands can only survive through its social media standing. You can’t really separate social media and e-commerce in a mobile generation like ours. Even at QNET, we give utmost importance to Social Media being an e-commerce brand. Our Instagram page is always active with tons of requests, reposts and customer engagements. This is now an integral part of our content marketing plan for the company.
The biggest players in this sector for the coming year will be those who can effectively plan their marketing strategy focussed on content marketing and social media.