external frame Worldwide tech market has been undergone a new boom after the introduction of Smartphone and tablet computers. Dubai tech market is always considered as one of the leading tech markets of the world, having plenty of potentials. Along with the tech market boom, another industry has been caught everyone’s attention in these days and that is the ecommerce market.wikibuy.com After the introduction of smartphone devices and tablets, ecommerce activities have gained significantly. It is has been proven through many surveys that ecommerce development in recent few years in UAE is terrific. Observing this swift growth in the ecommerce sector, small-medium businesses as well as ‘giant fishes’ or big brands are now emerging in the Dubai ecommerce market. According to a recent survey, carried out by eMarketers, this year 15 percent of the online sales have been taken place through mobile devices. For the year of 2012, it was around 11 percent for UAE and for the forth coming years, predictions are really encouraging for those, who are willing to invest in Middle East ecommerce sector. Easy accessing to the internet is the key here and smartphone along with tablets have truly made this easy. As one can browse or surf internet comprehensively through such devices, online selling or purchasing is becoming a common practice!
After doing his research and meeting Economic Development Board (EDB) in Mumbai, Amjad realised that Bahrain would be the place to start up in. Besides, the fact that it is a mobile-first economy sealed the deal. What has also gone a long way is a supportive ecosystem in Bahrain. They got aid from Tamkeen, a semi-governmental organisation in Bahrain. “Tamkeen helped us acquire talent. We get 70 percent salary support for the first year, 60 percent in the second year and 50 percent in the third year. They helped us hire freshers from the University of Bahrain and the support is to help skill them,” says Amjad.
The founders started GetBaqala as a mobile-first grocery startup, with 1000 stock keeping units. The team now has over 8,000 SKUs on its app. The value proposition for GetBaqala was convenience and selection. From day one, GetBaqala focused on fresh produce, one of the most difficult segments to crack. Initially, the team started with the hyperlocal model, by working with convenience stores and having the products delivered to the customers. It, however, realised that the model wasn’t viable and it didn’t help them get the unit economics and margins right. GetBaqala then pivoted to an inventory-driven model by setting up its first warehouse of 1,000 sqft. Now, it has an 8,000 sqft warehouse. Setting up the warehouse, however, did not come cheap. While there is a government push towards startups, raising capital is still a challenge.
“We didn’t restrict ourselves to Bahrain or only to the Middle East for that matter. We spoke to several people and investors globally,” says Amjad. The Middle East ecommerce scenario seems to be fast growing. GetBaqala got its first round of funding from Silicon Valley-based Social Capital, through their CaaS (Capital-as-a-Service) initiative. It was the only startup from the GCC (Gulf Corporation Council) to be a part of the initiative. It also garnered investment from Saudi Arabia-based Manafa VC, and Bahrain Development Bank’s Seedfuel. This funding helped the team scale and grow. 45, with 19 items typically. 100,000, which, the founders believe, will grow by 10x next year.facebook.com The team is now in the process of raising its next round of funding. Amjad adds that while the existing investors are looking to pump in more money, new investors are showing interest to come on board as well. “We are now looking to expand into Saudi Arabia. We also are setting up a tech centre in Bengaluru, where we will be sending our engineers for training. From Saudi, we hope to look at the larger GCC market and MENA (the Middle East and North America) region. We are also tying up with local farmers for fresh produce,” says Amjad.
You might know that Middle East is one among the top shopping regions. 2 billion by 2018. Another survey ways that, nearly 42% of people in the Middle East access their internet with the intention to shop from an online store and 87% of these online shoppers are satisfied their shopping experience. With the growing trends, many brick and mortar stores have taken their businesses to the online platform for more reach and exposure. Mobile commerce in the Middle East is predicted to play a significant role in this growth. According to MasterCard, the percentage of mobile and general internet users making online purchases ranges greatly, from 37% in Oman to a high of 95% in Kuwait. The UAE has led the growth of B2C E-Commerce (Business to Consumer Ecommerce) in the Middle East in the past several years by several measures.
UAE has one of the best infrastructure for B2C (Business to Consumer) E-Commerce, with the highest mobile, smart phone, Internet and payment card penetration, apart from being the largest online market in terms of sales. You might be aware that, Saudi Arabia is the second largest B2C E-Commerce market in the region. A recent survey says that more than two-thirds of online shoppers in Saudi Arabia make their latest online purchase via smart phones. M-Commerce has a very high potential in Saudi Arabia. Another promising market in the list is Israel. Price is an important factor in B2C E-Commerce in Israel, both in terms of attracting online shoppers and in competition among the merchants. Israel shows high potential for online retail growth with both the Internet and online shoppers.
Qatar is the country with the third highest per capita GDP worldwide. In Qatar, less than 20% of Internet users alone made purchases online, despite the fact that the majority of residents already have Internet access. Consumer surveys indicate that better prices than in-store retail could motivate consumers to shop online more. Among other Middle Eastern countries, Bahrain is the fastest growing B2C E-Commerce market. In Iran, the environment of online retail development has been improving over the recent years, with a number of E-Commerce start-ups emerging. Though the Internet penetration grew rapidly in Oman and Jordan only a small percentage of Internet users have grasped the benefits of online shopping.
To attract and retain customers at a web store, a good shopping experience needed. In order to deliver such experience, your web-store should be equipped with user-friendly features, streamlined workflow and fulfillment processes. This feature implementation and backend integrations with ERP, CRM and other systems require in-depth technology expertise. It also requires extensive project experience with popular ecommerce platforms . So, in order to focus on the business and customers, only an experienced and trustworthy technology vendor should be appointed, which allows the management to focus on core business activities. Need some help to start an Ecommerce Store? Then click on Ecommerce Website Development to start the work.
One Hour Translation, the translation agency, has released the results of a study showing the growing demand for American eCommerce websites to ensure they have an established reach with Arabic speaking audiences around the world. Yaron Kaufman, co-founder and CMO of One Hour Translation states, “based on the numbers we’ve collected, the Arab world constitutes an important growth engine for eCommerce companies in the United States and the world. Localization into languages such as Chinese, Spanish, German and French is often the first move toward global expansion made by eCommerce companies based in the United States. The staying power of this trend was no more solidified than when Amazon announced it would be purchasing the Middle East’s first eCommerce unicorn in late March.
Today, they are a digital commons where consumers have access to about 75,000 brands, with a total number of around two million products spanning 30 different categories of items. In addition to this marketplace, Amazon is acquiring a retail operation in the Middle East which they previously didn’t have much of, as well as local expertise, which will immensely assist Amazon in dealing with bureaucratic tasks in the region. “Even though all of these benefits will help Amazon hit the ground running in the region, the primary reason behind the deal is tapping into the growth in this emerging market. Thanks to this little thing called the Internet, every business now has the chance to become a global brand and should never count out a certain culture or language base, as anywhere could be their next gold mine. A digital business, marketing and social media enthusiast, Laura thrives on asking unique, insightful questions to ignite conversation. At an event or remotely, she enjoys any opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the industry.
Did you know that the UAE online sales account for 1% of total retail sales? Luckily, however, experts expect growing of the eCommerce in the Middle East. Although it is estimated that the number of Internet users in this region is more than 130 million, only 15% of the businesses in the Middle East are present online. 15 billion in the next two years. Needles to say, the eCommerce penetration is on different level in different countries of the Middle East. UAE leads this region when it comes to online sales, but still, the penetration level is low. For example, the UAE Internet penetration reaches 80%, and only 15% of those users purchase online.
The studies have showed that Morocco had 300.000 shoppers in 2013, while in Saudi Arabia only 10% of users have bought something online. Are There Online Shoppers? Most Arab online shoppers come from the age group of over 35, in which 53% of the people in that group say that they purchase online occasionally. Next is the 26-36 age group in which 52% say they’re using the Internet for buying. Men shop more than women - 46% of men and 32% of women shop online. Speaking of genders, we must mention the fact that women account one third of the entire online population. 222 per year are the following categories on which online shoppers in the Middle East spend the most. What are the Motivations for Shopping Online?
There are a few region-specific eCommerce websites in the Middle East which are way more popular than Amazon, eBay and other international ones. Souq is the most popular website when it comes to spending per shopper. Namshi - online fashion store, and MarkaVIP - flash sales website are next on the list of the most popular eCommerce websites. As a matter of fact, the best four eCommerce websites in Saudi Arabia are all regional ones: Souq, Sukar, Namshi and MarkaVIP. Amazon is pretty popular in the UAE; it’s placed third on the list with 11% of online sales. Souq has 20%, Cobone has 13%, and MarkaVIP has 9%. The overall levels of eCommerce in Egypt are lower than those in the Gulf.
However, the range of eCommerce websites that are used in this region is quite different: Jumia and Souq are the mass merchants that dominate the Egypt eCommerce landscape, followed by Alibaba and Amazon. Cross-border online shopping is also very common in this region. 35% of all the online shoppers in UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia bought something on US eCommerce websites, 30% on Asian eCommerce websites and 25% on European eCommerce websites. The account of regional eCommerce websites is 10% of the online transactions in UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, even if 52% of the shoppers are doing their online purchases on Souq.
What’s the Main eCommerce Challenge in the Middle East? The Middle East eCommerce relies on cash on delivery, since 2% of the entire population use credit cards. What’s more interesting, 82% of people are unbanked. This information shows that the Internet users in the Middle East fear fraud and aren’t comfortable with online payments. 46% of the users have claimed that they feel some kind of a barrier to eCommerce adoption and don’t trust the payment options. The unsuitable payment options are another reason for this barrier; PayPal, for example, doesn’t support paying in local currencies. This payment platform collaborates with almost every eCommerce website in the Middle East, but it accounts 500,000 active customers. The address system is another common challenge. In some areas, there are addresses that are unstructured or don’t exist at all. In that case, customers need to manually verify their address before delivery. That’s why the unreliable delivery in 23% of the Internet users is a factor that discourages them from shopping online. More than one third of all Internet users are afraid they won’t be able to exchange or return the product in case they don’t like it.
Expansionist Kia shows no sign of slowing down its forays into the European car market - and the London show provides more evidence of what's to come from the Koreans.usaa.com What’s new on Kia's London motor show stand? The three Soul concept cars that give a good indication of the production Soul - a Fiesta-sized hatch that looks like an urban SUV. Think smaller Qashqai and you get the picture. It’s a chunky five-door front-drive vehicle that aims to put some emotion into bargain basement Kia brand. What were they thinking? The gold trim on the Soul Diva concept - gold door handles, alloys and roof rails. Straight out of a Bahrain shopping mall and perfect with that fake gold Rolex. Fortunately, it won’t be offered for production.
With the online retail market in the Middle East continuing to boom, and to coincide with the opening of our new office in Dubai, we highlight some of the ecommerce opportunities in the region. UAE represents a significant opportunity for retailers as the fastest growing market in the region. However, the neighbouring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is expected to see even higher growth rates and overtake UAE as the largest online retail market in the Gulf by the turn of the decade. Currently only 15% of businesses in the Middle East have an online presence and almost 90% of online purchases are shipped from abroad.
The region’s retail market is on the verge of a digital disruption, with industry players undergoing a structural shift from the traditional in-store concept to online channels. Amazon and Souq.com’s union looms large, as retailers must adapt to the potential reshaping of consumer expectations and shifting of the Middle East retail landscape. Payment methods - approximately 80% of purchases made online are paid with cash on delivery. Concerns over data security and fraud - 40% of mobile shoppers in the MENA region have been victims of cybercrime.apple.com Low awareness of ecommerce - in fact, only 35% of internet users in Saudi Arabia and 55% in the UAE are even aware of ecommerce platforms. Retailers often have inadequate warehouse coverage for rapid delivery of products across the region.
Lack of unified address system - presenting a challenge for logistics companies and is a barrier to ecommerce adoption. The overall lack of courier services in the region results in high costs for last mile delivery. Generally high trade tariffs - moving goods through customs can be difficult and orders placed with overseas merchants can take weeks to arrive. After opening our latest office in Dubai, Practicology is uniquely positioned to help retailers and brands make the strategic move into the region. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help your business tap into the largely untouched online space in the Middle East, please contact us today.
Over Easter I did a lot of shopping! This was partly because I was in Bahrain, and the main mall there is a mixture of both British, American and European shops. This was heaven to me, and I dragged my friend shopping on numerous occasions. Yes, I probably spent WAY too much money, but I feel like I got so much! This playsuit is from Pimkie, and I love it so much! Its got a zip all the way down the front and tightens at the waist, so totally makes me feel skinny! Its got an adorable collar, which I normally don't go for.
My friend who I was staying with in Bah convinced me to Buy flowers in Bahrain this, because when it was on the hanger I wasn't so keen, but everytime I put it on, I love it! This adorable summer dress is from Aeropostale, and was super cheap! I remember that I got it for 7BD, when it was reduced from 21BD! Its got a higher front, but still rests just above my chest, but I love the back on this number! Its a floral pattern which I'm still trying to figure out if it is black or navy, but its super comfortable and I love wearing it! This dress is also from Aeropostale, and I got it again for 7BD (reduced from 21!)!
I love the summery patterns on this! The skirt is white with a pattern, and it feels very vibrant. The waist goes in again, but I would say its a little less flattering than the other things I have! The one thing I loved about this was the back! Its fully open, with 3 strings which can be tied and adjusted to be comfortable for you, which is good if your chest is perhaps bigger than average! I love the patterns on this dress too! This playsuit is the only piece of clothing which I purchased back in England. Its from River Island, and cost me £25!
I only bought it recently, so it should still be on the shelves! The straps are super pretty, with 3 strands each.defensenews.com The pattern is different, being almost purple with white, black and turquoise. Again, the playsuit clinches in at the waist which I love, as I feel like I have a body shape which goes in at the waist and is probably one of my best assets. I loved this playsuit because I felt that I could dress it up for a night out, or I could wear it casually during the day! Back to Bahrain shopping, I got this top from Forever 21. It cost me 4.9BD, but I couldn't tell you how much this is in dollar/uk pound! It's more of an aztec pattern, with deep reds, yellows and blues.