Middle East e-commerce Platform Noon.com Officially Launched in Saudi Arabia! — Main Rival of Amazon
Noon.com, the Arabic e-commerce shopping platform, has been launched in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to share the prosperous and profitble e-commerce market. Noon is a joint venture between Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, MH Saudi Arabia public investment fund and MH Alshaya, a Kuwaiti franchisee. The company was first established in the United Arab Emirates in October. Analysts say the Saudi market offers huge growth potential for e-commerce retailing, as Saudi Arabia has a low percentage of people shopping online and more people prefer to shop in shopping centers of Saudi Arabia. "Saudi Arabia is a key market for e-commerce retail," said Rabia Yasmeen, Euromonitor International analyst. He added that e-commerce accounts for about 1.4% of Saudi Arabia's retail market.
Norma Taki, PricewaterhouseCoopers retail director for the Middle East, added: "According to our 2017 retail survey, 27% of Saudi Arabian consumers prefer to shop online once a month, while 45% of people buy online only a few times a year." This highlights a huge opportunity for new market entrants like Noon.com as they can tap into the younger crowds in the Saudi market and technology-savvy end consumers. "Noon launched on the 12th of December. The company is headquartered in Riyadh, a city in the central Arabian peninsula, offering products including beauty, fashion, electronics, home, kitchen and lifestyle products. Shoppers can purchase or download app through the eCommerce website.
Noon's founder Mohamed Alabbar said: "Noon provides the country with a vibrant, localized, customer-oriented digital platform and offers an improved new retail experience." Noon is going to be the rival of Souq.com, the latter one was acquitted by the e-commerce giant Amazon in March this year. Souq is currently available in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt. This month, Souq launched the Amazon Global Store, which allows UAE customers to buy products from Amazon US. According to BMI Research, the Middle East will be one of the fastest growing e-commerce providers in the world. A study released by the company in September predicts that by 2021, ecommerce sales in the region will double to at least 48.8 billion U.S. dollars. BMI said the increase was due in part to the higher proportion of young consumers in the region and the population of 20 to 39 year-OLD people in the Middle East accounted for more than 30% of the total population. The United Arab Emirates still dominate the Middle East e-commerce market, BMI said the United Arab Emirates's e-commerce sales will reach 9.7 billion US dollars in 2017, by 2021, it will reach 23.3 billion US dollars.