Online Shopping UAE Cash on Delivery

“Hello! What are you up to?”
“Hi, there! I was checking out some online shopping sites. You have heard about online shopping, right? And I am sure you must have done it yourself.”
“Um, well, not really. But I do want to know it, as I am new here in Dubai you know! Can you please tell me more about it?”
“Of course! I would love to explain everything about it.
In the UAE online shopping is getting very popular these days. Dubai is the best place for shopping anything you want. Online shopping is a life-saver for a lazy person like me! It’s great even if you don’t have much time to visit the biggest shopping malls in the worlds. That is why online shopping idea has made your life easier. It lets you shop travelling in your car or lying on the bed or relaxing on a cozy couch and having your favorite coffee.”

“Wow! That is such a great way for me to save time. As you know I spend most of my time at work and then study. But how does it work?”
“To shop online you just need an internet connection and a laptop or good mobile phone and you are all set. Visit the shopping website of your choice in Dubai, choose whatever you want and add then buy it. Simple!”
“How am I supposed to get stuff to my home?”
“To do that you might need to log in with a verified email address where all the payment details will be stored including your address, house number, road number, area, zip code, country, contact phone number as well. It is very important to get your address absolutely right otherwise your parcel might get lost and get delivered to someone else.”

“That’s it? Don’t they need payments? I mean, how am I going to pay for my purchases?”
“Yes, of course, you have to clear your payments as well. Most of the Dubai shopping websites allow you to pay by credit cards or bank cards. So, you have to put all your card numbers in so that you can make payment for the item you want. You also have to pay shipping costs on top of the price of your product. This cost may vary according to your delivery location as shipping in different locations have different delivery costs. After that, you will receive your product in just 3 to 4 days. Some shops may take longer as location also matters.”
“Okay, that is great! But I don’t have a credit card. So it is no good for me, is it?”
“Well, yes because you can still pay cash on delivery(COD).”
“That sounds like that I can pay for it at the time of delivery. Doesn’t it?”
“Exactly that.”
“How does this work?”
“It is a service that enables you to pay for your purchase in cash when your parcel is delivered to your doorstep. For this, you have to choose the Cash on Delivery or COD option during checkout. For this you do not need to even log in. Rather you can just place your order as a guest. In the checkout process make sure your address and contact details are correct. Then select Cash on Delivery, review your order, then submit. And that’s it. You just then have to wait until it comes to your door.”
“It sounds good to me. Are there any restrictions?”
“Well, that depends on the website. Most of them allow payment in the local Dubai currency of AED. Some of them do delivery out of Dubai such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia or in Kuwait.”
“Is there any minimum amount for cash on delivery?”
“Yes, this also depends on the website. Some have a minimum of 2500 AED, for some, it is 5000 AED. It depends on the website. The website usually tells you the lowest amount you can pay to use COD. Some websites wait until you try to make your COD purchase to tell you to order more, because it is not enough.”
“Any charges?”
“Yes, you usually have to pay a cash on delivery fee. Some of the shops call it handling charges. It can be absolutely free or they may charge a little amount depending on their policy. At the time of delivery, the carrier will collect everything you owe from you including the delivery charge. A little tip: You should check your delivered items in front of the carrier to make sure that you got the right item because mistakes can happen to anyone. If you find something wrong with your delivered item after the deliveryman has left then you might need to take it back by going to the physical store or post it back.”
“Okay. Got your point. But other than a mistake by them, if I need to change the item or if I find any problem with the product, what do I do then?”
“Most of the shops deal with refunds and exchanges for purchased items in their real store. But once you receive your shipment you must make your payment to the deliveryman.”
“Got it. Any other tips or suggestions?”
“Any more suggestion? Oh yes, another point. Once you get your product at your doorstep, you cannot pay by card or personal cheque. You have to pay cash. Otherwise, you won’t get your product. If you can’t pay cash to the delivery man, you may lose the right to buy Cash on Delivery in future. And eventually your account may be banned from the website.”
“Thanks a lot for all the important information and suggestions. I badly wanted to learn the process and needed to understand how it works. You made it be clear and now I do not have any fear of shopping online.”
“Pleasure is mine, dear. Actually, I have researched about online shopping in UAE and I now know a lot about all this online shopping stuff. It is really emerging as a new age for everyone,”
“What type of research have you done?”
“This online shopping is actually known as E-commerce and it is flourishing in UAE because of the likes of Amazon, Souq etc. Statistics from the Arab Federation for e-commerce says, right now this industry is worth $20 billion a year.”
“$20 billion! That is a lot!”
“Yes, indeed. Governments in the gulf are confident that this figure will reach $200 billion by 2023.”
“Wow! Internet shopping is growing really fast!”
“Yeah, but it is still lagging behind other markets. It only accounts for 0.71 percent of the total regional GDP.”
“Eventually it will take a larger share of GDP as the world is waking up and people are also getting busier.”
“Hope so.”
“How popular is this Cash on Delivery method?”
“This method is particularly popular with the people of UAE. However it is not popular in Kuwait at 41% popularity. But it is popular in the UAE as 51% of online buyers much prefer this way of paying. In Saudi Arabia, it is 59% of the population prefer it and in Egypt, 72% prefer it. This is just because the level of credit card ownership there is less so they have to pay cash. Most of the customers are between the ages of 26 to 35.”
“It seems like cash on the delivery is more successful in the UAE. Hmm… They are quite clever!”
“Yes because about 75% online shoppers from UAE prefer to pay at the time of delivery. The statistics of industry analysts also shown that cash on delivery is less profitable because it has a higher rate of product return than online payment. It is makes the system less efficient as it takes a long time to complete the entire delivery but still people trust it more”
“Most of them are afraid because of online security, I guess.”
“Yes and in UAE they find it easier and safer as they are not familiar with using credit cards online.”
“Is there any barrier to the growth of e-commerce?”
“Yes. Cashflow is a problem and economy of scale, as these are important elements for a business. Delivery speed of cargo along with the cost of products can be a barrier. Most of the retailers do not have an adequate warehouse and delivery system to deliver within less than 24 hours as the customer demands. Very few of the retailer have a regional e-commerce distribution center that results in more imports and higher freight costs. Also, the volume and scale matters. Because competition is lacking in the region online companies have to negotiate hard to achieve economies of scale in terms of product distribution and acquisition.”
“You explained everything clearly about online shopping and the cash on delivery method. Thanks a bunch. You are such a sweetheart. Now I am able to shop online without any worries.”
“You are always welcome. Let me know if you need more help. I will try my level best to help you.”
“Sure, I will. Take care.”
“Same to you. All the best, dear.”