SOUQ ON­LINE GONE BIG­GER

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

Over the past 10 years, Souq.com has grown many-folds, paving the way for e-com­merce to thrive and for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional busi­nesses to flour­ish in this re­gion. To­day, Souq.com is the largest on­line re­tail and mar­ket­place plat­form in the Arab world, fea­tur­ing more than 1.5 mil­lion prod­ucts across 31 cat­e­gories such as con­sumer elec­tron­ics, fash­ion, health and beauty, home and house­hold goods, toys and baby items. It is now the plat­form for many di­rect brands, from global brands, to ex­clu­sive ones, at­tract­ing over 45 mil­lion vis­its per month, with lo­calised op­er­a­tions in the KSA, UAE and Egypt as well as serv­ing the rest of the GCC coun­tries through Cross Bor­der Trade. As part of its am­bi­tious plans to grow the busi­ness, fur­ther drive the e-com­merce up­ward trend in the Mid­dle East and sup­port thou­sands of mer­chants on the plat­form, Souq.com has re­cently launched its new cam­paign and tagline, “It’s yours.” Arabad caught up with Ron­aldo Mouchawar, CEO & Co-founder of Souq.com, to learn more what has pushed him to ex­pand the site’s se­lec­tion of prod­ucts and im­ple­ment such dy­namic new plans.

On­line pay­ment was also a hur­dle. Many cus­tomers pre­ferred to pay with cash on de­liv­ery rather than en­ter­ing credit card de­tails on­line. Cash on de­liv­ery put a strain on the com­pany’s re­sources as it had to ship goods first and col­lect, or not, the money later. On­line pay­ments are now be­com­ing more widely ac­cepted with the grow­ing num­ber of tech-savvy con­sumers who un­der­stand the ben­e­fits of e-pay­ments even more such as speed, con­ve­nience, se­cu­rity and value for money.

In 2010, we shifted strat­egy to of­fer­ing goods only at fixed prices, en­cour­ag­ing tra­di­tional re­tail­ers to sell their prod­ucts on the plat­form. To­day, Souq.com op­er­ates both as a re­tail site and as a mar­ket­place for third party sell­ers. Through mar­ket­place plat­form, we pro­vide im­mense op­por­tu­ni­ties to var­i­ous small to medium sell­ers, who can di­rectly sell prod­ucts to cus­tomers without much has­sle and costs. We have been suc­cess­ful at build­ing a ver­ti­cally in­te­grated mar­ket­place where pay­ment, ful­fil­ment and de­liv­ery are fully aligned to en­able sell­ers to reach out to mil­lions of monthly buy­ers on Souq.com. Our plat­form pro­vides tech­nol­ogy, in­fra­struc­ture and wide-reach that gives homegrown busi­nesses the power to build and grow au­tonomously.

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