The eCommerce channel is exploding

Here are some basics.

We have been advising clients on eCommerce for many years; one thing we find lacking is knowing the various digital platforms and how their product fits into it. Our latest launch of ViroMasks shows that Centric can build a brand from scratch and take it internationally in the middle of the lockdown, with work from home for most of our offices (including one that is actually underway in UK), and overall the edginess towards health.

So let’s take a look at eCommerce for your brand. First things first the brand has either an affinity or no affinity. As a brand owner, you will normally know about this, or you might hire a third party consultancy to do a consumer study.

Affinity: Is it already there? Let’s switch to the next level.

No Affinity: Get your budgets ready to use people who already have affinity. Mainly social influencers and other well-known faces to push the brand.

Now comes the second step, identify your product. Can your product do well as a stand-alone product? Or is it going to be part of the basket. By being part of a basket means that consumers would not usually buy your product on their own; they will purchase several products and then add your product to the end. Items that are generally cheaper come in this realm.

Standalone Product: You should start thinking about developing an eCommerce platform now.

Part of Basket: Use an agent to take you to eCommerce marketplaces and other eCommerce retail (Yes, there is a difference and Centric offers this service)

If your product is part of a basket; then use an enticing brand recognition website to engage the visitors; hold the primary KPI for the website to dwell time. The goal is to make sure that your brand is “top of mind” when the visitor goes shopping.

For eCommerce Portal; what we’ve seen in the region is honestly well below the global quality. Including payment gateways that usually block all cards issued in North America! Can you believe that? Some of the eCommerce sites we audited were unsafe; poorly structured; and largely motivated by creative demands instead of UX/UI skilled user journey design.

Second, any platform that does not have a built-in Experience engine should not be considered. If you’re testing the idea; you can certainly go to Shopify or WooCommerce; but at some stage in the future; you’ll need to create a more robust platform.

Third, I will leave discussing the structuring of business to ensure distribution is smooth and VAT liability is reduced by placing goods in Freezone. This is especially important in the light of 15% VAT in Saudi Arabia and SAR 1000 limit for B2C shipments to pass through without VAT applied. Finally, let’s talk if you want a reliable business to take your brand online; sell it around the region and sell it well. From the Centric point of view; take a look at and what we’ve done with it in the last 4/5 months. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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Usman Khalid

About the Author Usman Khalid

Usman Khalid is the founder & CEO of Centric DXB. He excels in taking the point of view of both our clients and our internal teams - expressing those perspectives, concerns and requirements to the other side. Aspiring clients & partners can reach him on