Technological advancement rev-up boosts e-commerce


31/03/2012 08:02 AST  Khaleej Times

Consumers are looking more into online shopping, with technological advancements revving up security and the convenience it brings, a top official of Souq.com said.

“We have witnessed a big change in consumer behavior that is resulting in more aptitude to online shopping. Consumers are brand-savvy, price-conscious and constantly looking for best deals on the latest brands,” general manager Mahendra Asarpota told Khaleej Times in an interview.

“Combine that with the technological advancement, trust and safety is no longer an issue as the digital experience has shifted customers to seek more convenience through online shopping.”

Souq.com, which was established in 2005, is now the largest online shopping portal in the Arab world. Over two million visit the site monthly, a figure that is growing by double-digits every month.

The portal’s largest market is the UAE, where it is also headquartered. It also operates in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan. Dubai makes up 40 per cent of its customers in the UAE, followed by Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Quoting figures from IMRG, Asarpota said that Arab penetration into online shopping has surged, with the UAE accounting for 60 per cent of total e-commerce sales in the GCC.

The frequency of people to the site has enabled the company to triple its sales in this quarter compared to the same period a year ago, Asarpota said.

“New and exciting changes are taking place in 2012 and moving forward, we expect it to positively impact our growth,” he said.

With regards to the competition, Asarpota said that Souq.com strives to achieve getting orders delivered to buyers as quickly as possible.

“Competition and learning enable us to address our consumer needs and make changes to our offerings constantly. We are investing in fulfillment centers/ warehouses in all the countries we operate in and launching a new platform that will make the buying experience a piece of cake for shoppers,” he said.

“Investing in the highest methods of technology is essential for sustaining a secure and safe customer experience, especially for e-commerce platforms.”

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