SOUQ-Amazon integration underway says Mouchawar
The US $650-million acquisition of SOUQ.com by Amazon was formally concluded this week, with work to integrate the various systems of the two companies now underway, Ronaldo Mouchawar, the co-founder and chief executive of SOUQ.com told The National.
“For now, SOUQ will continue to operate its current websites as is,” Mouchawar said, but added that customers are now able to log into SOUQ using their Amazon account details. “This is a milestone for the online shopping space in the region,” he added.
It makes SOUQ.com’s offering much more accessible, and Mouchawar says that the company will now be “moving into the next phase of the integration to bring more products and offerings to the region’s customers”.
The integration of SOUQ and Amazon will have a profound impact on the availability of e-commerce goods in the region. SOUQ is the largest e-commerce platform in the Middle East with more than 8.4-million products, but that pales in comparison to Amazon, which has 480 million products for sale worldwide.
“It is an exhilarating time for the e-commerce industry in the region. Integration of Amazon’s technology and global resources with our local expertise will help us to offer a great service to our loyal customers,” Mouchawar told The National.
There are huge logistics challenges that both e-commerce giants will need to overcome though, according to David McAdam, the chief executive of the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres.
“Last mile delivery remains problematic in Middle East markets,” he says. “This last mile delivery is such a headache for so many different businesses. Amazon still loses money on its last mile delivery [in the US]. How are they going to do that here? There’s a long way to go before it’s really smooth.”