GCC region ranks among the highest in terms of per capita internet penetration levels across the globe. Businesses have also felt the need to go digital and it is safe to assume that e-commerce in the middle-east is on the rise. Experts also predict clear blue skies for e-commerce with booming internet spending. Research by Frost & Sullivan states that e-commerce in middle-east presently contributes to 2% of GDP. But it would rise to 5% by 2020 as the connectivity and convergence of around 500 million devices will enable over 400 million users to utilize internet services. The foresight of shining middle-east calls for business masterminds to sharpen their business acumen and tap the surge in e-commerce. Let’s look at some of the key areas which need to be focused on in order to make e-commerce more of a success in middle-east.
1.Warehouse Design & Optimization
It has been observed that conventional supply chain infrastructure is not the way to go for e-commerce supply chains. Warehousing is a key component of e-commerce supply chain which is used for storage as well as last mile fulfilment. Research states that existing warehouse infrastructure is not optimized as per the required demand and e-commerce in middle-east may hamper due to prevalent gaps. As per your business requirement, it’s important to seek expert assistance while designing warehouses and getting them optimized for layout, storage models and order processing methods.
2.Distribution Network Model
Another key aspect of not only middle-east e-commerce but any supply chain is the network design as each delivery impacts the overall business in long run. Experienced professionals in this domain lay a lot of emphasis on pick-up centre location so that once the order is placed; it gets picked up as early as possible. Distribution hubs need to be strategically located closer to the customers which enhance the last mile delivery speed. For instance, in Dubai, street level route mapping has to be taken into consideration while designing the network so that delivery speeds meet customer expectations. In addition to this, e-commerce players should seek a detailed explanation of transportation models to be employed for greater efficiency and more productivity.
It’s important for middle-east e-commerce players to alienate the conventional supply chain processes from the processes to be implemented in the online retail. Experts design tailor-made processes which suitably meet your requirement and achieve the maximum out of the reengineered processes. Processes for inventory management must be redesigned to cater to the ever-increasing demands of e-commerce customers. Experts put together their experience and real-time analytics to come up with order fulfilment processes which are backed with an optimum level of inventory. E-commerce supply chain processes may get affected if workforce planning is not there. Experienced professionals analyze each process requirement and make a better assessment which suits e-commerce needs, thereby increasing the overall efficiency.
4. Implementation of IT Solutions
To make your e-commerce business a success, it is important to back it up with robust IT infrastructure. Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a must in order to cater to the multiple orders being placed over the internet. WMS minimizes the manual efforts and also paces up the operations. Also, there should be better Order Management System (OMS) in place so that order fulfilment is as per the desired level. Another factor to consider is – online customers for e-ecommerce are very particular about the delivery status and it is desirable in middle-east market where trust is the biggest factor to keep the customers informed at all times. Tracking solutions like Delivery Management System (DMS) must be implemented by middle-east e-commerce players to stay ahead of the competition.
5. Payment Models
It has been observed over the last few years in middle-east e-commerce market that most of the orders are paid in cash, i.e. Cash on Delivery. Consumers have been slow to adapt to the new payment models like credit cards, online wallets, Internet Banking and so on. It’s important to adapt systems which implicit trust among the potential customers and they start using the payment techniques which encourage online payments.
Analysts predict bright sunshine for e-commerce in the middle-east with growing internet usage and technological adoption. It is the acceptability and psychological changes which have opened gates for online businesses in the middle-east. It’s of paramount importance to e-commerce players to keep an open eye for the above points in order to gain desired success. With the experience gained in association with major e-commerce players in India, Holisol experts have the know-how of implementation of these key aspects which will surely bring success to your e-commerce business.