08 Jan 2018 - 4:00
Siege fails to affect online shopping business in Qatar
By Amna Pervaiz Rao | The Peninsula
DOHA: Despite the ongoing blocked imposed on the State of Qatar by the neighbouring countries, people and e-retailers claim the siege has not affected online shopping business and trends.
Using different routes, e-retailers have made it easy to deliver orders on time. It usually takes around seven days for an order to be delivered from outside Doha and they charge a reasonable shipping fee. Few e-retailers deliver orders without any shipping charges as well.
“In spite of going to shopping malls, I always prefer online shopping. I see a lot of benefits using e-shopping services. Being a working woman this option is more convenient. There are several online platforms of my Qatari friends which are making it more easy and reliable,” said Al Noor, a Qatari working woman while talking to The Peninsula.
Explaining the alternative routes used by the courier services, she said: “Qatar has now countless online shopping platforms; Facebook pages, Instagram accounts and different websites to shop from and the delivery is efficient as well. Due to the blockade, we faced problems from our courier services coming via Dubai but now the dealers have alternative routes which come on time.”
There are also e-retailers who run a small business from homes such as Distinctive Touch, Qatar Dress Boutique and many more. They also vouch for the increase in demand.
Maryam, a local owner of a home-based business said: “I sell many products which include Arabic perfumes, clothes, key-chains and customized pillows and cushions. The demand of my products has increased as compared to the last two years. People have liked the quality of my products and now become my regular customer as I offer delivery within 24-hours.”
Many people select online shopping in order to gift their loved ones on special occasions. The main reason is traffic clogging and chaos on the city roads combined with huge rush at malls and hypermarkets.
“Online shopping has made my life easy; it provides me with countless choices. The time and money I spend on travelling to a mall I save by shopping online which is now click away. The problem I face while going to mall is if I buy a dress worth QR100 I will spend another QR60 on taxi fare, in this way online shopping is more convenient.
“Different online websites provide me with beautifully designed Turkish dresses with perfect measurements which are rarely found in Qatar. The only thing we have to be careful of is a ‘Reliable Retailer’,” said Fatima, who is a frequent online shopper.