Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- A few months ago, Iman Mohammed chose to tackle the field of e-commerce after losing all hope of gaining employment in her specialized field. After seeing the sufficient success of some of her colleagues, Iman Mohammed chose to venture into the same field and work from home until they find employment. Their work focuses on presenting and marketing new products to society and the transactions are made “electronically” through websites.
Iman obtained a bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of King Saud and faced a number of difficulties when she entered this work field that according to her still faces “legal difficulties.”
Iman told Asharq Al Awsat that at first, she was challenged as she incurred a number of losses due to her unfamiliarity with the kind of products that are in demand. Nevertheless, she quickly learnt how to present goods that are distinctive and popular amongst women.
Iman, who earns a humble income as a result of e-commerce, stated that her profits do not exceed $500 at best. She stated that the business did not start overnight but rather benefited from the experience that her sister enjoyed before her in the same field. After selling products on major websites, Iman established her own website where she advertised all her products and received orders for various goods.
Observers have stated that e-commerce has attracted many people in the Arab world as an employment field, in light of the unemployment rates and the search for any additional income for example for those who earn a small wage. Many women in Arab countries have found their niche through electronic marketing and selling, especially women who stay at home.
According to some women who have entered the field of e-commerce, there are a number of girls who insist on the challenge and achieving success in this field that still lacks organizational rules on the Arab level.
The director of Al Bawaba al Khasa, for public relations and promotion, Ali Bin Mohammed al Boshr said, “We need to make the most of technology to avoid difficulty. However, the belief in e-commerce and the demand for it will not be achieved unless effective laws regarding informatics and security are set.” He pointed out that the Arab world is in need of laws to govern e-commerce however that this kind of technology is good if dealt with in a safe manner.
Al Boshr added, “E-commerce is not very popular as there are many risks entailed”. He lists some of the risks including credit-card fraud and problems in the method of receiving goods.
According to a questionnaire that tackled the issue of ‘obstacles facing the spread of e-commerce in the Arab world,’ which was published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Qassim, 96% of particiapants believe that it is not safe to make payments through the internet. On the other hand however, 80% of people who buy products online are satisfied customers and would shop online again.