Author: Dan Berthiaume
Source: CSA The Business of Retail
Amazon is giving its Middle Eastern marketplace (Souq online) a new name, broader assortment, and new shopping options.
Dubai-based Souq, which Amazon purchased for $580 million in July 2017, is being rebranded to Amazon.ae in most of the Middle East. The Souq platform remains operational in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Visitors to Souq.com in other countries will be automatically redirected to Amazon.ae. The new site features 30 million products, including everything previously available on Souq as well as 5 million additional items from Amazon U.S. In addition, Amazon now enables customers to shop in Arabic on both its website and mobile app. The etail giant says it now employs more than 3,600 people in the Middle Eastern region.
“Customers shopping on Amazon.ae will enjoy the same commitment to great prices as on Souq, fast and reliable delivery, and a range of convenient payment options,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, cofounder of Souq and VP of Amazon MENA. Shoppers pay for goods in United Arab Emirates dirham (AED), using local or international credit cards or cash on delivery.
Amazon is stepping up its Middle Eastern presence after reporting first quarter international growth of 9%, down significantly from 34% international growth in the prior-year period. CNBC reports that Amazon.ae utilizes the same seller back-end system used in the U.S. and offers sellers access to the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) storage and shipping service.