Following up on Omar’s recent post, 5 Predictions for Ecommerce in the Arab World in 2015, we thought it would be fun to do a follow up.
So we chatted to our industry analysts to see which way the winds were blowing in the UAE, Egypt and KSA and to find six companies that are poised for big things in the next 12 months.
In the UAE, the theme is innovation with companies looking to fulfill consumer needs for a smartphone toting population. In Egypt and KSA we are predicting the rise of more standard ecommerce models built around deals and online retail.
Careem looks poised to change the way people book taxis in the region. On-demand car bookings have proved popular in other markets, and with customers looking for safety, comfort and convenience on Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s helter skelter roads (especially in the rain!), Careem’s position looks good.
High adoption rates of mobile phones will help spur on app based bookings and their Airport Promise (a free ride if your airport pickup is 5 minutes late) plus an advanced booking option will help them gain market share.
Task Spotting is incredibly cool. The premise is simple – companies will pay consumers to complete simple tasks like checking if a product is on shelves at their local store or filling out a survey
The goal is to provide brands with up to the minute data; market research for the iPhone age if you will. This proposition makes sense as people will be incentivized to provide unique insight that marketers and business leaders can use to make decisions.
There are limitations of course, as Task Spotting is likely to primarily attract certain segments of the market, however, it will be fascinating to see this new manner of consumer engagement and research evolve.
Data is power and in the 21st Century it seems outdated to rely upon market research reports.
dealgamed is an online retail store with a wide array of products from clothes to electronics to toys. Their focus is to appeal to price sensitive consumers with discounted products.
As the penetration of ecommerce and retail banking grows in Egypt sites like dealgamed will be the first beneficiaries. The company has a trustworthy user interface that will convince first time buyers to dip their toes into the world of online shopping.
Many companies use live chat features on their websites. This technology feels old and clunky, however, it generally improves conversion rates.
User Talk allows companies to complete the same function but in a more modern way. The Egyptian firm’s product allows your visitors to speak to your call center directly through their browser. There are no extra steps and no need to use Skype or other plug-ins.
Given the obvious limitations of live chat sessions, we expect to see many companies across the GCC experiment with User Talk.
To succeed in the Saudi market you need two things: a legitimate presence in the country and a product that appeals specifically to Saudis.
#Dokkan Afkar fulfills both of those functions nicely. Its strong Saudi roots will earn consumer trust while their collection of quirky clothing, gifts, accessories and gadgets is targeted directly at the market.
At Payfort, we are very excited to see the growth of SMEs like #Dokkan Afkar in 2015. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post about how to succeed in Saudi!
Group buying has proved to be a tricky market to crack in the UAE as tight margins have always made it hard for this type of model to succeed. Lammt in KSA looks poised for success by focusing on activities, some of which are free.
Users can upload events while brands can use the platform to engage with new customers and bolster sales. We are particularly intrigued by the free events – this should increase market penetration by opening up a range of fun activities in Jeddah and Riyadh while engaging Saudis with the Lammt brand.
What companies do you expect to take off in 2015? Let us know on Twitter by tweeting @Payfort – who did we miss!?