If you don’t have an online store, 2024 is the best time to join the ecommerce playground. Post Covid pandemic ecommerce has turned into an opportunity. As with rest of the world, the shopping habits in UAE are changed. Just in 2020, retail sales were decreased by 8% according to Dubai Statistics Center.
You may ask: “Well, okay… how can I build an online store?”
If you already have a registered company name in UAE and a retail store in UAE; selecting an e-commerce platform comes next. You will create and run your online store on this platform. There are several excellent e-commerce platforms available, but the most popular online store platforms in UAE are WordPress & Shopify. Every platform has a different set of characteristics that affect its pricing, functionality, and user-friendliness, so it’s important to take your time in selecting the best one for you.
Now you may ask: “Shopify or WordPress? Which one to choose?”
The primary difference between WordPress and Shopify is coding. You don’t need to know a single line of code to start and modify your online store with Shopify. Initially, you will provide Shopify with some information about your present situation, including whether you currently sell online or in person and, if so, how much money you currently make. You will now be able to access Shopify’s dashboard.
Conversely, WordPress is a little more complicated and far extended than an e-commerce platform. First and foremost, in order to use the platform properly, you must be able to code at a rudimentary level. Additionally, it’s not built for online sales by default, so to prepare your website for e-commerce, you’ll need to install a plugin and most famous is Woocommerce. Woocomerce is savvy e-commerce plugin is free to install and transforms any WordPress website into a robust online store. It is also available as an open-source platform – Free to use!
WordPress offers a unified dashboard for website management, similar to Shopify. Because WordPress is such a large platform, there are just so many tools and options available giving you a chance to have a scalable online store that can grow as your business grows.
Shopify may pricey in some areas, such as themes, it may get pricey. But for individuals who solely sell on social media, it does provide excellent value in programs like the $5 starting plan.
WooCommerce on the other hand is free of charge, and you may find moderately priced extensions to help you enhance your store’s capabilities without breaking the bank. This is fantastic for users who wish to run their store more cheaply than Shopify, where you are obligated to pick one of it’s pre-made plans.
Now the question is, how will clients pay on the website?
To allow your customers to pay on your online store. You need a payment gateway.
Following are the steps involved in a payment gateway:
1. Whenever the client is ready to pay it is sent to the payment gateway, this is where necessary data from credit/debit must be submitted.
2. To authorize the transaction, users will be sent to a secure banking website (usually requiring an OTP).
3. If the user has enough money in their account, the transaction is completed.
4. The user’s order is finally placed and they receive a notification confirming the transaction was accomplished and congratulations on your first online sales.