Looking back to pre-COVID times any visitor to London or another major European capital city would have noticed the spending power of Middle East consumers, and the strong brand orientated purchasing habits. That appetite is still there yet like other markets, Middle Eastern shopping habits have certainly shifted in the last 12 months from bricks and mortar shopping malls over to online.
This market has over 140 million consumers with some of the highest per capita incomes in the world and this market would be the envy of the most seasoned digital marketer in the western world.
Traditionally, the market has been seen as hard to penetrate and has been down the list of priorities of companies to expand into. The key reasons for this has been language, lack of local understanding and perceived logistical challenges. However, it is simpler than may be expected. Similarly with generally high basket values can prove a very productive area to develop.
How to best approach the middle eastern market
Payment on delivery – Up to 80% of consumers require to pay for their goods when they receive them which is a strong cultural expectation of not parting with your money before the goods have arrived.
Over the past 10 years, the team at Naqel Express has developed a series on methods and systems that have helped control this process to ensure that the vast majority of these orders are successful and we return millions of USD per month to our clients.
Address Quality – The reality is that address quality in the Middle East is very poor. At Naqel Express we have utilised a number of innovative systems combined with personal contact by the driver to overcome these challenges and this has resulted in the high delivery performance within the countries we operate in.
Returns are known to be a challenge in any marketplace, particularly in fashion which is an integral part of the Middle East consumers purchasing profile. However, we have found that returns rates are significantly less that that commonly found in Europe and the USA. This is attributable to a number of factors gifting and greater care when ordering mainly because Payment on Delivery is the main method of payment
Localisation is key. Our experience is that full website translation into Arabic and locally expected payment methods are vital. The Middle East covers a vast area and local methods, tradition and culture form key parts of each country’s individual DNA and should be respected as such. At Naqel Express, we have fine-tuned our proposition to suit the requirements of individual clients to help them get the most out of each country. We have purposely employed a female contact centre to ensure that particularly the local female population feel comfortable in their interaction with us and that cultural traditions are respected.
Expectations in this market are high, consumers are used to buying goods from high profile brands and therefore expect high levels of service and delivery. Naqel Express understands the local market and its customs and we are proud to serve the people of the Middle East. We have being utilising our expertise for over 20 years, have adapted our delivery models and technology to serve this exciting area and help enable retailers develop this still largely untapped market. With a still low % of penetration, the rewards and growth you can expect from the region are certainly worthwhile considering seriously as demand continues to outstrip supply.
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