The latest trend of online shopping is gradually picking up in Oman. While there are many advantages of people choosing to shop online, the practice is still in infancy stage in the sultanate. Although online shopping saves time and offers an array of choices, there are also fears that it can lead to frauds and cybercrimes.
Jessica Asher, founder and solutions provider for Socioholics, said, “Online shopping is catching up everywhere including Oman. Malls are already affected – if you walk into any mall during a weekday you will know what I’m hinting at. But it’s not only because of online shopping. It can be spending power, unavailability of required or quality products, offering of retail outlets or any such thing can affect mall retailers. Oman is a value-driven economy, retail positioning should be done accordingly with appropriate marketing efforts.”
She added that the country still has a long way to go. Online shopping is catching up but rather slowly. Both from supplier side and buyer side market is responding but in a calculative and slow manner.
From home products to food items and DSLR cameras to perfumes, Oman’s online shopping portfolio has widened over the years. An official from roumaan.com, a popular shopping website in the country, said there has been a surge in online shopping.
He said, “We have been in Oman for the last five years and there has been an increase in online shopping. We also come up with offers from time to time. Our platform offers a varied range of products. We deliver products within a span of three to four working days for a charge. Over time, we are seeing that more and more people are finding it comfortable to shop on our platform because of the diverse range of products we offer.”
Saada al Naamani, an entrepreneur, said, “I have been into online shopping for a long time and I find it more convenient than conventional shopping. These days I buy almost everything from sites like Fordeal and Amazon.
“The main advantage is that unlike at malls I do not have to spend time standing in queues and the choices are varied. I save time and the options are easily available on the site in various colours, sizes as well as prices.
“Many websites also offer exchange options. I shop for dresses, gardening tools, home and kitchen appliances. However, there are drawbacks as well. Some items like clothes don’t match the description when you get them. There are times when the size is not right.”
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