Buy IT!

Don’t have time to get to the shops? Windows Middle East explores which of the region’s technology stores offer online ‘e-tail’ sites and how all of their different cyberspace offerings compare...

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By  Matthew Wade Published  August 3, 2006

Power Optionz|~|Power-Opt---m.jpg|~||~|www.poweroptionz.com Online retail? Y Regular price promotions: N Online support: N Product range: 3/5(enthusiast kit: cases, power supplies, cooling, modding tools & accessories) Payment mechanism: COD, CashU card, money order, banker’s cheque Pricing: 4/5 Ease of use: 4/5 Other: Case gallery, some modding articles, store details Feedback: N (usual Contact page). Windows says: A firm favourite of the Windows team, Power Optionz may be UAE based but they’ll ship across the region and accept a range of payment methods through which to grab their mod-friendly kit. Geek heaven!||**||CompuMe|~|CompuMe---m.jpg|~||~|www.compume.com Online retail? N (site claims Y) Regular price promotions: Y (daily mentions) Online support: N Product range: 4/5 (everything but PC components) Payment mechanism: Non-functional Security: n/a Pricing: 4/5 Ease of Use: 3/5 Other: Search function, checkout page not available (so online buying disabled) Feedback: Online form, full branch contact details. Windows says: A great looking, easy-to-use site that does everything but actually let you buy, thanks to its online buying having been disabled. As pure product catalogues go, it’s fine. ||**||Jacky's|~|Jackys---m.jpg|~||~|www..jackys.com Online retail? Y (registered users only) Regular price promotions: Y Online support: N Product range: 5/5 (IT, consumer electronics, household appliances and photography kit) Payment mechanism: Various Security: n/a Pricing: 4/5 Ease of Use: 4/5 Other: Search function, monthly newsletter (un-subscribable), Jacky's Wired! updates Feedback: Online form. Windows says: Packed full of products at great prices, but its registration process is flawed; we could register, but no confirmation e-mail appeared (luckily we just logged in anyway and used the site). ||**||Plug-Ins ElectroniX|~|Plugins---m.jpg|~||~|www.pluginsuae.com Online retail? N Regular price promotions: Y (in physical stores) Online support: N Product range: 4/5 (basic text overview provided) Payment mechanism: n/a Security: n/a Pricing: n/a Ease of Use: 3/5 Other: This Plug-Ins ElectroniX page of holding company Al Futtaim’s site includes store details, contact numbers, press releases and career opportunities. Feedback: N. Windows says: This site is much more a corporate overview than a consumer resource. Plug-Ins would be well advised to consider a standalone store site, ideally with e-commerce store functionality (and the kinds of regular deals seen so often in its stores!). ||**||Carrefour|~|Carrefour---m.jpg|~||~|www.carrefourme.com Online retail? N Regular price promotions: Y (in physical stores) Online support: N Product range: 4/5 (limited PC components) Payment mechanism: n/a Pricing: n/a Ease of Use: 3/5 Other: Middle East site links to UAE, KSA, Oman. Qatar and Egypt mini-sites, special promotions, printable shopping list page, competitions, fast facts, store details. Feedback: N. Windows says: An effective product brochure site with nice extra features such as a printable shopping list. Let’s hope then that Carrefour one day takes the lead of supermarkets such as Tesco’s in Europe and adds full, comprehensive online shopping capabilities. ||**||Jarir Bookstore|~|Jarir---m.jpg|~||~|www.jarirbookstore.com Online retail? N Regular price promotions: Y (in physical stores) Online support: N Product range: 4/5 (technology, arts and even engineering products) Payment mechanism: n/a Pricing: n/a (only special offer prices shown) Ease of Use: 4/5 Other: E-mail mailing list offered on site (but when we tried, its registration didn’t work), Jarir advertisement section, store locations and contact numbers, plus career opportunities. Feedback: N. Windows says: Like Plug-Ins’ website, Jarir’s is an online brochure with extra information rather than an internet store. Worth a look though, as it includes plenty of store numbers for you to call. ||**||UAEmall.com|~|UAEmall---m.jpg|~||~|www.uaemall.com Online retail? Y Regular price promotions: Y (by sellers) Online support: N Product range: 5/5 (everything and more) Payment mechanism: Various (depends on seller): cash on delivery (COD), bank/money transfer, other (negotiated with suppliers). Pricing: 4/5 (depends upon various merchants) Ease of Use: 3/5 (differing buying methods could confuse some users) Other: Online stores available, mix of buy now and bidding auctions, e-mail product-related newsletters, site traffic reports Feedback: Y (under Suggestions). Windows says: A basic design, but this ‘buy or bid’ trading place includes a huge range of new and used products (including PC components), from all manner of vendors, making it one to click. ||**||

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