With projected revenue of US$7.7 billion in 2021, Saudi Arabia surpasses Belgium and falls just behind Norway as the 27th largest market for e-commerce.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce has grown significantly in Saudi Arabia, supported by the country’s high internet penetration and booming smartphone market. This growth motivated new businesses and even small retailers to start developing their own e-commerce stores.
This article explains how to launch an e-commerce company from scratch in Saudi Arabia in response to the latest trends and the crucial first steps involved.
How to start an e-commerce business in Saudi Arabia
- Select an eCommerce Business Model
You can choose between 2 different categories of eCommerce business models—either a single vendor or a multi-vendor. Depending on your business budget, you can decide whether to have a single or several product lines.
You will have more control over your inventory if you choose a single-vendor marketplace. There are only two entities in this e-commerce model:
- A single seller selling products/services to multiple customers.
- A multi-vendor marketplace enables multiple vendors to sell and market their goods and services to various clients. With this model, you can deal with confidence. Additionally, it aids in managing demand fluctuations and averting supply chain disruptions.
- Define Your Target Audience.
A target audience is the group of people you want to reach with your marketing and advertising. Choosing your target market is crucial when running an online store. It makes finding new clients more straightforward and attracts potential customers to your website, increasing conversion rates and revenue.
- Create Your Own Brand.
Choose the ideal name for your brand. Let it be unique, easy to remember, and short. Make sure it reflects your brand’s personality as well.
You also need to finalize the design of your company logo and store.
- Register Your Online Business.
You must register and follow all legal requirements. As a business owner, do the following.
– Get a Trade Name Clearance Certificate.
– Get a certificate from a bank that is approved.
– Submit paperwork to the General Authority for Investments’ Companies Establishment Department (GAFI).
– Notarize the business’s contract.
– The General Authority for Investments will obtain a Chamber of Commerce Certificate and issue the notification of incorporation.
– Get a commercial Registry Certification.
– Register for taxes.
– Register your employees with the National Authority of Social Insurance.
- Open a Bank Account.
After receiving approval for your company registration, you must open a bank account under the legal name of your business.
- Build A Website for Your Online Store.
You have two primary choices:
- Construction of an Online Store from Scratch: You can build your eCommerce website step by step exactly as you had pictured it in your mind.
- Utilization of a ready-made platform, such as BigCommerce, Shopify, ExpandCart, etc. These platforms provide ready-made, simple-to-use templates tailored to your online business.
- Choose Payment Methods and Logistics.
You must set up payment gateways to process transactions using credit cards, debit cards, cash cards, and other payment methods.
Determine also the logistics. It’s the process of shipping an item to a customer or transporting inventory to a retailer. Effective logistics plays a significant role in preventing products from going missing and efficiently responding to customer queries regarding the expected delivery time.
- Promote and Increase Traffic to Your eCommerce Website.
It’s time to advertise your online shop and draw customers who will buy from you. You can select various digital marketing strategies used successfully depending on the goals and budget you’ve set for promoting your eCommerce website.