A Quick Guide on Starting an e-commerce website based business in Qatar


Qatar has not seen an adoption of deep-rooted e-commerce companies yet. There is a great 'early mover benefit' and a chance to get ahead of the competition at the moment. With a favourable background of high income and a connected community, the Qatar e-commerce market allows for noteworthy growth and prospect. Jonathan wanted to exploit this advantage and set up locally to ensure his e-commerce business would have the best possible success. His strategy was simple. Here are a few of his top guidelines to help develop a competitive and efficacious online presence:

  1. First, ensure that your filing is in order and that you are operating legally. If you have a business in Qatar you will need to ensure that you have added ‘e-commerce’ as the activity to your Commercial Registration before you start trading online. If you are unsure of how to do this, BBMS’s PRO service offering can help you.

  2. Use the resources available to you by the Ministry of Transport and Communications e-Commerce information portal and handy guide: www.ecommerceqatar.qa

  3. Don’t lose out to the competition. Jonathan was keen to secure himself a .qa domain name and you should do the same. Your Domain Name is your first online identity. It helps you connect your business to the domain and using a Qatar domain shows you are exclusively in Qatar! Check to see if your domain name is available now: www.domains.qa

  4. Use a secure payment portal: Every e-commerce site needs a payment portal/gateway. A good example of one is QPAY. Your e-commerce site should feel reliable and dependable. Thanks to the new technology, QPAY-SECURE, which was launched last March, this enables banks and financial institutions to provide the highest security in payment processing. Using this payment dispensation system banks can trace transactions and fund transfers whether they are Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C). Find out more: www.qpay.com.qa

  5. Ensure your online website is designed to be user-friendly: What’s the fastest way to lose a customer? From Jonathan’s extensive research and experience, he says an unclear, cluttered website. It is important to have a website that’s easy on the eye but the ‘customer journey’ is the difference maker. Your website needs to have a clear sitemap and navigation for people to quickly find exactly what they want – the easier they can find what they are looking for the more likely they are to buy. Develop a world-class website yourself or use a third party company to develop it for you.

  6. Create an easy and secure user experience: According to Jonathan, your website must be responsive. He says it is critical that your website is mobile compatible. Majority of the world today use phones to browse. Your site’s loading speed needs to be quick. No one wants to wait long to see what your page loads up like. Ensure it’s optimized for faster load time and has an SSL certificate that ensures security. Use optimized images and videos. Today’s customers are spending more time than ever before on mobile devices using phones and tablets to search, review and purchase products.

  7. Position your business on different social media platforms: Qatar has strong online communities, many people engage with these to connect, share info and interact with each other. Use a blend of platforms to promote your product or service to give you a competitive advantage. Being on about 2 - 4 social networks is often manageable. Also add an analytics tool as well to measure, pivot and be highly relevant.

According to Jonathan, these points would help boost your company to have the competitive advantage you need in the State of Qatar.

If you or anyone you know are planning to start such a business, BBMS can help with the legalities behind company formation and help you with the required Governmental PRO services. Call us at +974 40120333 or email us at info@bbms.qa for a no-obligation consultation.

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