Souq- The Ultimate Gateway to Ecommerce in Middle East
Insights into Souq.com
The Arabian world is reverberating the fullest potential of E-commerce for global online sellers and brands. According to a report by Payfort, the total number of online buyers in the region is about to increase manifolds by 2020. No wonder, E-commerce giant Souq.com has established its foothold here over the last decade. Souq.com is apparently the largest eCommerce site that the Arab world can boast of. Founded back in 2005 by Ronaldo Mouchawar, Samih Toukan, and Hussain Khoury, Souq.com is an award-winning international online marketplace that is often referred to as the ‘Amazon of Middle East.’ Initially, the marketplace started off as an auction site but pivoted to a fixed price model in 2011. The marketplace has its localized operations running in countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Egypt. Reports suggest that the marketplace hit a record annual turnover of AED 500 Million in 2014 that was expected to reach AED 1 Billion in 2015 which got closed due to a funding of over $275 Million in 2015. The marketplace offers an overwhelming 8.5 million products over a range of 35 product categories. It is quite evident why Souq.com attracts 41 million visitors every month from across the world.
How does Souq.com operate?
With a large number of free trade zones coming up in the Arabian world, Souq.com is an active pursuant of this special business framework. As such, a global online seller needs to have an incorporation and trading license for selling across MENA that might cost roughly around INR 6Lakhs. Also, opening up an active bank account in that region and maintaining a registered address might seem an uphill task for a new marketplace entrant. Eunimart, a competent international eCommerce aggregator, is assisting aspirant Indian online sellers and brands to set up their businesses across UAE free trade zones and sell successfully on Souq.com. This highly acclaimed international online marketplace follows FBS (Fulfilled by Souq) working model. Staying in line with the vision of offering the best services in the region, Souq.com’s FBS aims at empowering sellers by saving time for expanding their businesses and augmenting the overall profit levels. This way sellers don’t need to worry about logistics across MENA and customers experience fast and safe delivery at their doorsteps.
More Facts and Figures on Souq.com
Some more significant facts and figures that prove Souq.com is one of the most demanding international online marketplaces can be summarized as follows:
Country-wise Traffic Inflow:The marketplace witnesses a high traffic inflow from the nooks and corners of the Arab world. UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait exhibit the highest number of visitors as can be seen in the image below-
Customer Demographics:The marketplace is widely preferred by male and female buyers alike from countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait as can be noted in the image below-
Best-Selling Categories:Not all product categories can soar high on Souq.com. The best-selling categories on this marketplace are Fashion, Electronics, Home & Décor, Sports & Fitness, Baby Care & Toys etc.
Additional Value Offerings:The marketplace offers two extremely helpful value-added services. Firstly, it helps driving demand on a dedicated page in the form of newsletters to its millions of subscribers. Secondly, it runs new product launch campaigns from time to time to keep its subscribers posted about the recent product updates.
Closest Competitors:Souq.com receives a neck-to-neck competition from some of its closest competitors in the Middle East. Some of the most notable ones amongst them are Awok.com, Namshi.com, Wadi.com, Noon.com, Jadopado.com and so on.
Take-over by Amazon:Amazon in its attempts to march across the globe has recently acquired Souq.com for price value of $650 Million. In order to spearhead its business operations in the Middle East, Amazon targeted this leading international online marketplace.
Getting Started on Souq.com
The objective of Souq.com to help global online sellers or brands leverage their online businesses by tapping into the Middle East region is being executed with full speed and efficiency. To make use of this potent opportunity, enthusiastic Indian online sellers or brands should first get their incorporation and license in UAE free trade zone. Eunimart, India’s first B2B global E-commerce enabler, can be the right point-of-contact in this regard.
Image Source: Arabian SupplyChain; Souq.com