In response to demand for an online shopping and delivery service, Lulu Hypermarkets has partnered with Qatar Foundation (QF) to launch a trial version of the idea.
No timeline has been given for the start of this new service, which will initially be limited to the QF community, the foundation announced in a statement.
The groceries will come from Lulu’s Express store, located near staff housing, close to Education City. That market has been popular with residents of the surrounding community housing district since it opened in December 2010.
The trial will initially run through a portal dedicated to QF employees and their families. If successful, the plan is to expand the service to include other local and regional shops.
Currently, online grocery shopping and delivery services in Qatar are possible through sites such as freshqatar.com, but this will be the first time a supermarket chain has set up its own dedicated web ordering service here.
The number of online shopping/delivery options in Qatar is growing.
Spinneys grocery store, which recently opened a new branch at the Pearl-Qatar’s Medina Centrale district, has said it also plans to introduce a similar service in the country, although it has not given a date for when this might start.
Already established in Lebanon, the spinneysdelivery.com service is in the process of being rolled out across the region.
Online shopping caution
Though popular in many parts of the world, online shopping appears to be eyed warily by most residents in Qatar.
While the internet is relied upon here for accessing news, online shopping remains a niche activity in Qatar, according to recent research by ictQATAR, which found that just 15 percent of residents bought items over the internet.
The ICT Landscape 2014: Households and Individuals report found that reluctance to embrace virtual shopping stemmed from a fear over lack of security of a shopper’s card details, a lack of personal control and a feeling that the process was too technical.
Complicating matters is the difficulty in using debit cards online in Qatar. The country’s central bank recently began enforcing restrictions on the use of these cards to improve cyber security.
In December last year, retail banks began notifying their customers that only credit cards would be able to be used for online transactions.
If more online shopping/delivery options were available in Qatar, would you use them? Thoughts?