Archive for the ‘e-commerce’ Category

First Online Nokia Music Store In Middle East To launch In UAE

| October 3, 2008 – 9:26 pm | comment 2 Comments

Nokia music storeNokia, the worldwide leader in mobility, recently announced that the first Nokia Music Store in the Middle East will be opening its virtual doors in the United Arab Emirates in December 2008.

The new online music store, to be accessible at music.nokia.ae, will feature a large array of tracks from major regional and international artists, independent labels, and up-and-coming acts.  The site will include a host of interactive features such as music browsing, personal track recommendations and streaming service. Other highlights include the ability to listen to a 30 second clip from any track on the store. Part of the Ovi by Nokia offering, the Nokia Music Store offers a compelling combination of download and streaming services, empowering users to connect to the music they want, in the way they want.

“This is a first of its kind offering in the region in terms of the scope and diversity of the content, as well as user experience. The Nokia Music Store is a fantastic way to build a music collection that is truly mobile, where users can be confident that they are legally downloading music that is high quality and risk free.  It brings a new kind of experience where people can preview, try and discover new music on their PC or on their mobile device like never before,” said Chris Braam, Vice President, Sales, Nokia Middle East and Africa. 

This is the 12th music store that Nokia is rolling out globally. Music will be provided by all major international and regional labels including Universal, Sony BMG, Warner, EMI, Rotana and leading content aggregator Qanawat, as well as thousands of independent labels.

“The UAE is a melting pot, and people here literally come from all parts of the world.  This is why we have ensured that we are offering a diverse collection of music that suits people’s different tastes covering Arabic, Bollywood and international music.  Music, by nature, is ever-evolving, and as new music comes out, we will be continuously adding and updating our catalogue,” said Ayman Chalhoub, Business Manager, Music, Nokia Middle East and Africa.

Users will be able to purchase music as individual tracks, as albums, or through a monthly subscription for PC streaming.   With a single account, music lovers will access the Nokia Music Store via their desktop computer or directly from a range of optimized Nokia devices to browse for new music, get recommendations or search for their favorite artists, songs or albums all from the palm of their hand. Once a track captures their attention, users will be able to add it to their wishlist to buy later or purchase it immediately for download to a mobile device without having to download the same song again on their computer. They will also be able to transfer purchased songs via a PC to compatible Nokia devices.

To celebrate the announcement of the Nokia Music Store in the UAE, Nokia will be presenting Kylie Minogue’s exclusive concert to take place in Dubai Festival City on 21st November 2008, as part of Kylie’s X2008 Tour. The event will be the Australian Pop singer’s first ever show in the Middle East.
As part of this sponsorship, Nokia will be conducting an online competition offering tickets and a host of other prizes.

music.nokia.ae

Amazon Joins Taufeer.com E-Channel Retailers Program

| September 7, 2008 – 7:03 pm | comment 4 Comments

TaufeerTaufeer.com, part of Riyadh-based Taufeer Information Systems LLC, a leading e-commerce service provider, today announced that amazon.com, one of the world’s largest online retailers, has joined Taufeer.com e-channel retailers program.

By using Taufeer.com e-channel service, amazon.com will be able to present its products and offers to millions of Ready-to-buy customers in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

‘We are very excited about signing up a mega retailer such as amazon.com to our e-channel program,’ said Yasser Abdullah, Founder and CEO of Taufeer.com.

‘After careful analysis and testing by amazon.com, our advanced comparison shopping service was selected for its simplicity and ease of integration with Amazon.com infrastructure,’ he added.

Starting with consumer electronics products, amazon.com will expand its offering on Taufeer.com to cover a large selection of products targeted for the Saudi market. Amazon.com has no presence in the Arab market and this represent the first step in bringing their collection and shopping experience to Middle East.

‘This is an important milestone in our strategy to be the first destination for online shoppers in the Middle East. Our service is suitable for all retailers, regardless of their current ecommerce deployment stage. So far, the feedback has been excellent and we expect to sign up a few major retailers in Saudi Arabia very shortly.’

Taufeer.com e-Channel service is aimed to help retailers jump start the challenges and technical difficulties and proceed to achieve significant returns without significant investment. Web retailers can also benefit from Taufeer.com shopping comparison to generate qualified sales leads to their online stores.

Dia Diwan, Your Gateway To Middle East Chic

| September 1, 2008 – 5:53 pm | comment 2 Comments

Dia DiwanDia Diwan is an online portal that offers the latest news on lifestyle and entertainment in the region; bringing the world of modern, chic, and cool to an audience of Middle Eastern women; also providing the possibility to shop online for fashion items and luxury goods is available through the portal as well.

Dia Diwan tries to position itself as a high-end multimedia experience, where interactive magazine-like content is coupled with shopping opportunities and blogs.

The portal aims to showcase all the interesting things going on in the region, whether it’s a new restaurant, a boutique, an artist or a designer; also trying to make sure that every cool product with a link to the Middle East can be bought online.

Dia Diwan

All the portals sections were designed with a Middle Eastern audience in mind:

Dia Daily: Reporters will bring daily news from the Middle East’s major cities: whether it’s a new designer in Jeddah, a spa in Amman, a restaurant in Beirut or an art gallery in Kuwait.

Dia Style: In-house stylists will make sure each week is different, with the best selection of international and regional fashion.

Global Souk: Bringing the best boutiques and designers online, showcasing one each month, and presenting a selection of their products online for sale, delivering anywhere in the Middle East.

Blogs: Experts from around the region will be blogging at least twice a month on topics of interest to readers; humorous serial bloggers Ms. Mishmaoul and Mr. X will write about being single in the Middle East today, and the Diw Diwan team will be sharing what they’ve been up to and what ideas they have up their sleeves.

Dia Diwan was launched in the spring of 2007 and is based in Beirut, Lebanon. The website is available in English only for the time being.

# Dia Diwan

Tunisia Internet Users And E-Commerce Survey Report 2008

| August 27, 2008 – 2:57 pm | comment 10 Comments

Arab Advisors GroupA new Arab Advisors Group major survey of Internet users in Tunisia revealed that 36.4% of Internet users in Tunisia use e-commerce. Based on the survey results, the Arab Advisors Group estimates that Tunisia’s Internet users spent US$ 132.7 million during the past 12 months in e-commerce transactions.

The survey report, ‘Tunisia Internet users and e-commerce Survey 2008′ was released on August 20, 2008 and provides the results of a major comprehensive online survey of Internet users in Tunisia. The survey covered the Internet usage, e commerce and cellular usage and habits of the Internet users in Tunisia. The survey field work was conducted between May and July 2008.

Respondents were randomly targeted by receiving an email shot in their inbox to ask them to fill the survey in cooperation with reputable mail list providers in Tunisia. The survey report includes online replies from 1,093 respondents. Quality control checks and personal validation were conducted by Arab Advisors Group’s team. The survey was conducted on the general Internet population, including both genders and all age groups across Tunisia. The online survey yields a confidence level of 99% with a margin of error of less than 4%.

According to the survey results, 84.0% of Internet users in Tunisia have Internet access at home, 75.8% use Internet at work, while 24.0% use public hot spots. Naturally, access methods overlapped.

While the survey covered Internet users, it also probed the reasons behind why other members of the same households surveyed do not use the Internet. Based on the feedback of Internet users, computer illiteracy, lack of interest, lack of a perceived need to use the Internet and being too young to use the Internet are the main reasons for keeping non-Internet users in Tunisia from using the Internet.

The survey also revealed e-commerce adoption in Tunisia. 36.4% of Tunisia Internet users shop online or through their mobile phone. The Arab Advisors Group estimated the number of e-commerce users in Tunisia to be over 416000 and total e-commerce expenditure during the past year to be US$ 132.7 million.

“The majority of e-commerce users make electronic payments through credit cards. 64.8% of e-commerce users use credit cards as their e-commerce method of payment. Following credit cards, 27.4% of e-commerce users use prepaid Internet shopping card for their payments. ” Mr. Hussam Barhoush, Arab Advisors senior research analyst wrote in the survey report.

This survey report can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group, who can provide a copy of the report’s Table of Contents and the survey questions. The survey report includes 70 pages and 82 detailed exhibits.

Taufeer.com E-Channel Opens Online Markets To Saudi Retailers

| August 15, 2008 – 3:50 pm | comment 5 Comments

TaufeerRiyadh-based online shopping service Taufeer.com has launched their new ‘E-Channel’ service to enable retailers in Saudi Arabia to get their products online.

They aim for this new service to be a comprehensive and fully managed e-commerce service for retailers across Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

The Taufeer.com E-Channel service allows retailers to take full advantage of a range of online tools to quickly and efficiently use the internet as a sales channel. E-Channel gives retailers a single centralized interface to add products; update inventories and prices; add and manage multiple physical stores; review and manage their online orders; and provide online payment service via credit card, logistics and delivery.

Additionally, Taufeer.com E-Channel allows retailers to stay in touch with their customers through a range of tools and community networks.

As for pricing, Taufeer.com will only be charging for actual sales, with fees starting from as low as 1%.

This service puts Taufeer.com in direct competition with Maktoob’s Souq.com Stores, which has been proving a success in the UAE recently.

eMapia Location Based Marketplace Launched

| August 9, 2008 – 7:23 pm | comment 4 Comments

eMapiaA couple of days ago at the Swalif Think Day event in Dubai (UAE), a new interesting online service was launched, which is eMapia; brought to us by the same people behind Darrb, the community powered shipping and delivery service, previously reviewed here; eMapia aims to be a usable location based marketplace.

eMapia hopes to make shopping online an easier experience, integrating 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).

It’s very much like the classifieds systems we’ve gotten used to where people post items they have for sale and set their own prices, and others get to contact them if they’re interesting in buying them from them. But eMapia tries another take at it through a new interface concept, focusing more on the location side of things, letting users zoom into specific areas to search for products in those areas or checking out all products being sold in their area.

It’s pretty obvious that the team behind eMapia and Darrb will slowly start building bridges between the two services as it’s clear that they’re a great match; after all, if someone finds something they’re interested in, and they want to buy it, they’ll certainly also want it delivered to them as cheaply as possible too, if the seller is not near enough for them.

eMapia screenshot

The interface is pretty simple and straightforward to use; there’s a big map that users can zoom to different locations with, in search of items available for sale in those areas; and there’s a list of available products on the left that gets refreshed automatically as locations change or as the user zooms in further.

Users can click through from the map or the list of products to view more details about the item and the seller. Seller and buyer rating functionalities haven’t been integrated yet, but they’re obviously really important features that should be integrated soon, just like they are in Darrb.

eMapia offers users the ability to add up to 5 items for free. To be able to add more items, users will have to upgrade to a premium member account, which they will be announcing soon.

# eMapia

Souq.com Stores Proving An E-Commerce Success In The UAE

| August 5, 2008 – 12:52 pm | comment 10 Comments

Souq.com StoresSouq.com Stores, a service launched by Souq.com early this year, and that allows businesses and individuals to set up their own exclusive online merchandise stores to showcase and sell products at fixed prices, is proving to be a big success in the e-commerce scene in the UAE, with a number of big-ticket companies, small business owners and individual traders turning to the e-stores to broaden their market reach and achieve instant results.

Businesses and individuals setting up shop on Souq.com Stores stand to benefit from the extensive customer base already present on Souq.com, which is currently the largest online marketplace operating in the UAE, allowing them to market their products to a pre-existing community of consumers and achieve quick turnover with minimal upfront investment.

Souq Stores already features over 70 stores that trade in Arts & Collectibles, Books, Clothing, Games & Gadgets, Jewelry, Mobiles & Accessories, Computers and Consumer Electronics among others. Large companies including Cellucom and RadioShack have signed up to operate their own stores on Souq.com as well.

Souq.com Stores screenshot

The Souq Stores feature offers customized branded pages through which sellers can showcase all their listings under their own Souq.com store. Souq.com also offers customized and tailored solutions to businesses for their stores, based on their own specific requirements.

Souq.com members trading on Souq Stores will continue to enjoy free delivery of goods within the UAE and benefit from Souq.com’s varied secure payment and delivery options.

With over 140,000 registered users and over 270,000 unique visitors a month, Souq.com has emerged as the premier online marketplace in the region. It recorded over 8.4 million page views in the month of July 2008.

Souq.com is a subsidiary of Maktoob Group.

# Souq.com Stores

SouqElArab Launches Islamic Clothing Category With eJilbab

| July 20, 2008 – 11:55 pm | comment 1 Comment
SouqElArab
eJilbab

Press Release: SouqElArab.com launches the Islamic Clothing Category with eJilbab.com
Amman, July 20, 2008

The Arab social Web shopping portal, SouqElArab.com has partnered with eJilbab.com, which offers a wide variety of Islamic and Middle Eastern Apparel, to launch the new category of Islamic Clothing on SouqElArab.com.

The new category comprises of modest clothing like Jilbab, Abaya, Dishdash, Thoub, tops, pants and skirts based on Islamic principles.

These product lines aim to fill the gap of fellow Muslims who are living in the Western societies, where there is substantial need to acquire good quality yet affordable modest clothing.

“Our partnership with eJilbab.com is about joining experiences and care in serving Muslim communities across the globe with much demanded ethnic and religious clothing not easily accessible in the West. We chose eJilbab.com as the optimum choice to launch our Islamic clothing category with, and do look forward on a further expansion in this product line, hand-in-hand with eJilbab.com.” SouqElArab.com CEO stressed on their launch.

eJilbab.com is powered by professional and talented Muslims who have the capabilities to offer good quality of modest clothing like Jilbab, Abaya, Dishdash, Thoub, tops, pants and skirts based on Islamic principles. That is the reason why ejilbab.com was established, to be committed to serve their customer to the fullest of their abilities and to guarantee their needs by producing a good quality Islamic clothing and friendly customer service.

SouqElArab.com, operated by SouqElArab Inc., is a growing Arab on-line marketplace. It offers visitors a social shopping experience whereby they can network with like-minded people and shop at the same time. The shopping experience is based on members’ recommendations and feedback, where visitors rate and review products and come together to form a community based on their hobbies, interests and traits.

Getmo Arabia To Bring Digital Downloads To The Middle East

| May 28, 2008 – 3:37 pm | comment 8 Comments

GetmoArvato Middle East Sales and Abu Dhabi Media Company yesterday announced the launch of Getmo Arabia, a new digital media platform for the Middle East and Africa, at the MECOM 2008 conference in Abu Dhabi.

Getmo Arabia will offer services direct to consumers through www.getmo.com where customers can download over three million songs, videos, movies, games and ringtones in English, Arabic and other Asian languages to their mobile phones & home computers.

The content will be available to users at significantly reduced rates, in hopes to kickstart a new era in the market for mobile & PC entertainment in the region.

Abu Dhabi Media Company also announced a partnership with Sony BMG, in which the record label will provide local and Arabic content for the platform, which can be accessed via PC or mobile.

Getmo Arabia is set to service the 33 million internet users and 80 million mobile phone users in the Middle East region.

At the time of this article’s publication, the getmo.com website is still not accessible online.

# More: Zawya, ITP

FotoArabia, Arab Stock Photography & Image Service

| May 20, 2008 – 1:30 pm | comment 4 Comments

FotoArabiaFotoArabia is a new Arab stock photography service dedicated to the Arab community of photographers and artists; that was just launched a few days ago from Kuwait.

The service aims to provide an online place for Arab photographers and artists around the world to submit their high-quality material and put it up for sale. On the other hand, FotoArabia will work on attracting interested buyers from the photo and graphic design market segments from around the world; such as newspapers, magazines, web publishers, and others to search for and buy photographs, illustrations and other artistic material through the website.

Buyers can purchase Download Credits from the FotoArabia store, with credits starting as low as $1 each, with a minimum purchase of $13; these credits are valid for one full year from the date of purchase and become less expensive when bought in bulk. Buyers can use these credits to download images for 1, 3, 5, or 10 credits, for x-small, small, medium, and large files respectively. Even larger resolution images are available, for 15 and 20 credits and video clips are available for 10 to 50 credits.

All uploaded files are inspected for quality and legal integrity before becoming available for sale; and the revenue generated from the sales is divided between the contributor and FotoArabia.

FotoArabia Screenshot

FotoArabia have a limited time introductory offer for the first 50 photographers and contributors. These first 50 contributors will be making 80% of the sale of their photos and/or art work for their first year, after that the earned royalties will be 50%.

The service was developed by Generation Four Company LLC, a Kuwaiti technology company.

# FotoArabia

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