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Middle East Markets Offer New Opportunities for Amazon Sellers

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Middle East Markets Offer New Opportunities for Amazon Sellers
April 7, 2022
Middle East Markets

Amazon has expanded its platform into the Middle East markets to include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

With the purchase of Souq.com in 2017, Amazon began building an operations infrastructure in the region, carefully sharpening and expanding product selections for shoppers. 

In tandem, Amazon created a strategic partnership with Saudi Post for package delivery and has built several warehouses across that country.

This represents a tremendous opportunity for Amazon sellers to introduce and offer their products to millions of new shoppers in those regions. It also presents an ideal occasion for any seller looking to increase their brand’s international footprint in the global marketplace. 

 

UAE 1

Image Source: Amazon Selling to the Middle East – What is the Opportunity?

 

Benefits of Selling on Amazon in Saudi Arabia

Apart from having the third-largest population in the Middle East markets, Saudi Arabia is the 19th largest economy in the world by gross domestic product (GDP)* and is one of the top 20 richest countries by spending power.** 

Shoppers in Saudi Arabia are some of the most digitally diverse and comprise the second-largest internet user population in the region. The Amazon.sa site offers Arabic and English, on both the shopping app and on the website.

Pro Tip: The most popular products and categories for Saudi Arabian online shoppers include clothes, mobile phones, and watches. New sellers can help to establish themselves in the Saudi Arabia marketplace by offering items from these categories.

* Gross domestic product is the monetary value of all finished goods and services made within a country during a specific period. It gives an economic picture of a country, used to estimate the size of an economy and growth rate

** IMF (2019); General Authority of Statistics, KSA (2020); Statista Digital Market Outlook (2019); Investopedia

 

Benefits of Selling on Amazon in United Arab Emirates + Hub

Quite simply, if you are a seller wishing to dramatically increase the potential revenue of your Amazon business, there aren’t many better places to do it than in the UAE/Hub marketplaces.

The United Arab Emirates is an elective monarchy formed from a federation of seven emirates, consisting of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah, is the 18th largest economy in the world***. With 57% of its population under the age of 34, the UAE is a magnet for global businesses because of its ultra-low tax policies, reputable regulation and convenient time zone.

*** 421.1 billion USD, 2019, source: World Bank

 

Why Amazon Sellers Should Consider Selling in the Middle East

  • There are no language barriers. Every listing and all customer communications on Amazon.sa and Amazon.ae are available in English. 
  • Transactions are easy. The logistic solutions are simple and include FBA.
  • An UAE trade license is not required. Sell without additional trade licenses.
  • Seller payments are processed in US dollars directly to the seller’s US bank account.

 

Pro Tip: When opening a new Amazon seller account in a Middle East marketplace, sellers can set up their account to get paid using a bank account in the marketplace where they want to list, or they can use Amazon Currency Converter to receive payment from their local bank in their local currency.

 

How To Start Selling on Amazon in the Middle East

  1. First, log into Seller Central via the marketplace in which you’re already selling.
  2. Hover over Inventory and then click Sell Globally
  3. Click on the Middle East and North Africa tab.
  4. Expand the table for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, then click Register Now to create an account for each country.
  5. Follow the prompts for each country’s sign up process, after which you will be able to link your account to your main Seller Central login
  6. Once your accounts are linked, you will then be able to add products directly to your Amazon.ae and Amazon.sa accounts by clicking Add a Product.

Middle East

Bonus Tip: Sellers should understand the local laws for selling on Amazon.sa and Amazon.ae. It is crucial that when importing goods into these areas, that they are aware of and comply with Saudi/UAE customs laws, as well as other laws and regulations.

 

If You Do Not Already Have a Seller Central Account:

  1. Go to the Amazon.sa website and click on ‘sell on Amazon’
  2. Click on the ‘Register Now’ button 
  3. Once on the registration page, enter basic details like name, email address and passwords
  4. After verification, an Amazon.sa rep will inform you about any additional steps to be taken if necessary or the status of the registration
  5. Upon successful completion of all formalities, you will be granted access to your own Amazon.sa seller account. You can use this as your central hub to also set up additional accounts in other marketplaces.
  6. Once setup is complete, you can then begin creating listings, sending inventory, and setting up advertising.

 

Bonus Tip: If you’re setting up a Seller Central account for the first time, consider reviewing these excellent educational resources:

 

How to Optimize the Customer Experience in Saudi/UAE

If this is your first endeavor into selling in the Middle East, it is imperative to keep certain economic and cultural differences in mind when building listings.

Much of your existing product detail page content can be repurposed, but remember to adjust any mentions or imagery of currency, measurements, and sizing charts to reflect information that is accurate for the specific country in which you’re selling.

Always review your photos to ensure they are appropriate for the culture you’re marketing to. While it may not be financially feasible to do so at first, you may wish to consider getting new lifestyle photos taken that reflect the customers you’re selling to should your brand take off in this new market.

Bonus Tip – More Helpful Links:

 

An Emerging Market

The Saudi/UAE marketplaces have experienced exceptional growth in recent years and are expected to continue their aggressive generation of online revenues. 

Amazon has positioned its platform to be center stage to provide millions of shoppers a conduit for their needs and desires. 

Amazon sellers should give serious consideration as to whether they want to be in the forefront of this economic gold rush in the Middle East, or playing catch-up down the road, struggling to compete in already saturated markets.

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