Archive for the ‘e-commerce’ Category, Egyptian Web 2.0 Automotive Portal

| July 1, 2009 – 9:32 am | comment No Comments is an online automotive portal, that aims to offer its users a complete and comprehensive web experience that enables them to manage all tasks related to their car and speed up all related processes for buying, selling or simply maintaining a car.

Through the portal, users can add and list their cars in the system and keep track of their maintenance history, having the service remind them of upcoming maintenance tasks they have to do for their car.

The site also enables people to search for cars to buy, or on the other hand, create ads to sell their own cars; making it an online marketplace for cars as well. Car dealerships can also use the service to list their available cars for sale on this online marketplace.

The interface was designed to be easy to use and to make it as simple as possible for online users to learn and manage everything throughout their car ownership lifecycle through various applications designed to satisfy the user’s current and future automotive needs. was founded by Omar Soudodi, who previously founded now-defunct, and developed by Egyptian web company eSpace. The site has a dedicated management team from various backgrounds, such as investment banking, technology, marketing, and product development. was launched at the 14th International African Arabian Exhibition for Vehicles, buses, and Automobile spare parts, Automech 2009; and were one of the participating demos in DemoCamp Cairo last month.

The portal is currently only targeted at users in Egypt only, and is in English, with an Arabic version following soon.

MasterCard Survey: Online Shopping In UAE Peaks In Fourth Quarter Of 2008

| June 17, 2009 – 9:29 pm | comment No Comments

United Arab EmiratesPer capita online shopping in the UAE reached $1,193 (Dh4,378) in the fourth quarter of 2008, making it the highest in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, according to the latest MasterCard survey.

Online shoppers made an average of 3.6 purchases in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with 3.1 during the same quarter in 2007.

Shoppers in the UAE conducted 26% of their overall shopping online, and 59% of them splashed out on airline tickets – the number one purchase according to the report.

Around 37% of people surveyed bought home appliances and electronic products and 30% paid for hotel accommodation online.

Surprisingly, not only have UAE consumers shopped more frequently despite the economic situation, they’ve also showed an increased intention for future online shopping compared to a year ago, with 60% of respondents expressing that were “likely” or “very likely” to shop online.

[Source: Gulf News]

Over 69% Of UAE Consumers Have Bought Something Online

| June 4, 2009 – 10:31 am | comment 6 Comments

Google recently hosted a day for the top agencies in UAE, in an initiative to point businesses to the hotspots in online media.

In preparation for the Agency Day, Google surveyed 1,410 consumers in UAE about their purchasing behaviour, and was able to build an accurate picture of online/offline research and purchase segmentation, use of search engines and attitudes to online shopping in UAE in 2009.

The data gathered from the survey was revealed to the agencies as part of the training, aiming to stress on the importance of getting online. The results reflected the increasing sophistication of consumers in purchasing behaviors and the need for businesses to update their online presence to capture this market.

The main highlights from the UAE report are:

  • More than 69% of respondents have bought something online.
  • Amongst UAE residents, the Internet is the ‘information tool’ used most often when researching possible purchases across a range of categories including digital cameras/camcorders, mobile phones, cars as well as hotel reservations.
  • Search engines are the most used source of online research information (81% of respondents). Manufacturer websites (49%), Directories and local listings (27%), retailer websites (26%), and online auction websites (25%) are also very popular.
  • Search engines are used most for research in relation to technology (67%) and travel (48%) products.
  • Google is the preferred search engine in the UAE with (58% preferring and 38% preferring
  • In general, as a mean average across the 20 products listed in the survey, 11% of all product purchases were researched and purchased online; 28% were researched online but purchased offline; 5% were researched offline but purchased online; and 56% were researched and purchased offline.
  • Credit and debit cards (64% of respondents) are the most common payment method when making online purchases
  • 74% of the UAE online users notice sponsored links, and of those who do notice them 7% almost always, 6% regularly, 45% sometimes and 22% seldomly click on them.
  • While one third of UAE respondents say the current economic crisis has not changed their shopping habits, an almost equal proportion say the recent financial turmoil has led to less of their shopping being done online. This may be related to the fact that many of their online purchases may have fallen more into the ‘non-essential/leisure’ categories (i.e. travel and event tickets) which people choose to cut out during difficult economic times.
  • In the UAE, English (76% of respondents) is by far the most popular ‘search’ language (likely to be related to the highly multinational nature of UAE society) vs. 23% preferring to search in Arabic.

Ekree, A Tunisian Portal To Rent Anything Online

| April 26, 2009 – 2:58 pm | comment 5 Comments

ekreeEkree, which means rent in Tunisian Arabic, is a new Tunisian portal that allows people to post any of their items or belongings online for rent, and gives people who are interested the possibility to rent them.

By providing a platform for renting things online, Ekree aims to fill a gap in the market of classifieds and e-commerce sites, targeting people who can’t afford to buy a certain item, or who only need a certain thing temporarily; and also offering a way for people to make some money out of certain belongings of theirs.

The site is open for both individuals as well as businesses who want to use the site as a platform to provide their products for rent online in hopes of expanding their reach and making their products easier to find.

The interface is pretty straightforward and very similar in principle to any e-commerce site out there, with the only difference being that you rent instead of buy. Available items can be found organized under categories and subcategories or through the search engine, which allows users to filter by keyword, category, subcategories, location, price and more.

After finding an item of interest, the user will find rental conditions with it, and will be able to directly make a reservation to rent the item online from the site.


In order to build customer confidence, Ekree provides a full circle rating system enabling the rating of items/products, renters, and owners. Standardized rent contracts are also generated through the system to organize rentals happening through the system.

The portal is in French and available for Tunisia only for the time being, but should expand to other countries in the future.

Ekree was founded by Habib Redissi and Tarek Nachnouchi, who are behind a young company called World Easy Web that mainly targeted the European market, but is making its first step into the Tunisian market with Ekree.


Oman Internet Users Spent US$ 236 Million Online In 2008

| March 16, 2009 – 9:14 pm | comment 2 Comments

Flag of OmanA new Arab Advisors‘ survey of Oman’s Internet users revealed that 40.2% of adult Internet users in Oman have used e-commerce services, at more than 158,000 which is around 5.62% of the total population in Oman, spending US$ 236 million in e-commerce transactions in 2008.

The survey of Internet users in Oman was concluded by the Arab Advisors Group on January 29, 2009 and released on March 5th under the title ’Oman Internet Users and E-commerce Survey 2009′.

The survey covered the Internet usage, e-commerce, cellular and Pay TV usage and habits of the online community in Oman. The survey’s online field work was conducted during January 2009.

Respondents were randomly targeted by receiving an email shot in their inbox to ask them to fill the survey in cooperation with Oman’s incumbent telecom operator, Omantel. The survey results encompass answers from 696 respondents that passed Arab Advisor’s quality control checks. The survey was conducted on the general Internet population that is above 18 years of age. Arab Advisors claim the online survey yields a confidence level of 99% with a margin of error of less than 5%.

According to the report, VoIP usage among Internet users reached 27.0%. 20.7% of total respondents use special software packages (Skype, GoogleTalk, etc) to make calls through the Internet. The majority of respondents (73.0%) do not make calls through the Internet.

The Arab Advisors Group divided the survey questionnaire into four main sections: Telecommunications, Internet, e-services and Pay TV.

Viva To Launch Mobile Payment Solution In Kuwait

| February 18, 2009 – 10:24 am | comment No Comments

VivaSTC’s Kuwaiti subsidiary Viva announced that it will be launching a new mobile payment solution in Kuwait, using a platform provided by Irish firm Macalla.

Viva, the third mobile operator in Kuwait, which launched services in December of last year, will provide payment services in Arabic and English directly to Viva subscribers and also via its dealer and agent network.

Rollout of the project will be done through a number of phases, and service channels will include mobile, kiosks and online, with supporting payments done by mobile wallet, cash, debit or credit card.

STC operates telecom networks in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa and Malaysia, and will launch a mobile network in Bahrain, but has not stated yet whether it will extend the same mobile commerce service to its other subsidiaries.

[Source: Comm.]

Mezed Expands Into Italian Market With BidBloom

| December 6, 2008 – 4:21 pm | comment 3 Comments

BidBloomMezed, the online auctions site that was launched by Tunisian startup La Référence in mid-2007, and that seems to be doing pretty well, is expanding into the Italian market through its recent launch of an Italian version of the site called ‘BidBloom‘.

BidBloom, applies the same auctions system and logic used in the Tunisian site, as well as the new design that was recently introduced.

Mezed was previously reviewed here, with details about their system, and how their auctions system works, but in short the system used by it and BidBloom is as follows: Users get to buy a number of “bids”, that they then place on an item, raising its price by a certain predefined amount and adding time to the life of the auction. The winner then pays the final amount that was reached for the item.


Something I found weird about the Tunisian version is that the site is only open for auctions during working hours, meaning from 9AM to 6PM. The Italian version stays open a bit longer, from 8AM to 11PM.
But I still don’t get why an online service has to go on pause, and not enable people to bid whenever they feel like it. 


Nokia Music Store Officially Goes Live In The UAE

| December 3, 2008 – 7:17 pm | comment No Comments

As planned and previously announced here, Nokia went live with their Music Store in the United Arab Emirates a couple of days ago, the first in the Middle East and twelfth globally.

The online store can be accessed at, and boasts a comprehensive catalog from four main international labels – Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI – as well as Arab label Rotana and content aggregator Qanawat. 

Once subscribers set up an account on the site, they can access the Nokia Music Store via their computer using the freely downloadable Nokia Music for PC software, which allows users to manage their music, create playlists and synchronise their music library with their Nokia device. Users can also access the software directly from compatible devices, and listen to a 30 second clip of any track on the store before buying it.

Nokia Music Store

Individual tracks, irrespective of language or genre, will cost AED 3 and complete albums will be priced at AED 30. Additionally, subscribers can also enjoy unlimited PC streaming of the entire online catalog at a competitive price of just AED 20 per month.

Fresh tracks and albums will be added periodically, with specially compiled playlists, specific to the region, to help music fans discover more.

The UAE was selected for its high internet penetration and statistics showing that an important percentage of the target audience is comfortable shopping online.

Purchased songs are Windows Media DRM protected, with no limits on the number of transfers for a song, but with a maximum of 10 CDs to be burnt.

eMapia Location Based Marketplace Launches Full Screen Mode

| November 8, 2008 – 10:38 am | comment No Comments

eMapiaeMapia, the location based marketplace, which was previously reviewed here, and that integrates Google Maps technology to enable sellers (businesses or individuals) to add their items and link them to specific locations on the map, where they are available for sale (shop or person’s home), recently launched the possibility to view the site in Full Screen mode.

This feature gives users the ability to use the whole width of their screen to navigate through the world map and find products for sale near them; they can zoom by scrolling in and out.

By passing the cursor over the selected item, a little box shows providing a summary of that item’s details.

eMapia full screen mode

In this full Screen mode, visitors can also click on the “Show Items” link available in the site’s header to see all items within the current zoom level in the form of a left-side panel showing all the items’ thumbnails; allowing visitors to conveniently and quickly check out the available items.

SouqElArab Partners With LebanonPath To Provide More Products From Lebanon

| October 25, 2008 – 1:58 pm | comment No Comments

SouqElArabThe Arab social Web shopping portal,, just announced a partnership with to better serve Arab communities across the globe with the finest Lebanese and Arab products. is an Online Lebanese shopping Web site that serves directly from the heart of Lebanon with products such as Lebanese sweets, food, coffee, books, flowers, arts, olive oil, clothing and much more. Through major suppliers of gourmet foods, such as Atayeb Alrif and sweets from Douwaihy, has been able to serve customers from all over the world whom have the interest and taste for the Lebanese product.  

The partnership between and will boost the service from Lebanon with expanding product offering for both Web sites, supporting regional supplier reach and logistics platforms. will be offering more products from Lebanon, while has the reach of suppliers from the 15 countries operates from.  

The CEO of SouqElArab Inc. points; “Our efforts are going in to synchronizing the operations in Lebanon, and concentrating on the core markets abroad by serving them with the best quality and wide product offering. Both operations will be coming together in Beirut, cutting costs, while enriching the service provided to our customers.” Fadi Dababneh continues; “this gives SouqElArab Inc. the focus to expand further in its operations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran.” 

Albert Abu Hamra the CEO of LebanonPath.Com claims “This effective partnership between both LebanonPath.Com and will flourish the online shopping services and products in the Arab world, in order to provide the Arabic audience all over the globe with the best quality of these products and fastest door to door delivery of the products”. CEO of LebanonPath.Com adds: “LebanonPath.Com with its operations from Beirut and in full cooperation with SouqElArab.Com will be covering all product lines where a customer will be shopping safely and choosing from between thousands of products”.

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