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.
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
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
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.
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.
Bonus Tip: If you’re setting up a Seller Central account for the first time, consider reviewing these excellent educational resources:
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:
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.
Entourage: Software to Scale Amazon Ads and Results Driven Management.
He is the owner and founder of PPC Entourage, one of the original amazon ad software and management companies. Mike started off as a physical therapist in 2015 and just knew there had to be a better way so he started his ecommerce journey. Using the power of Amazon Ads, he built a 7 figure brand in less than one year. Now he helps other sellers do the same with free valuable education, PPC Entourage software and the ad agency. He is also the author of the Amazon Ads Playbook series.
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