Best eCommerce websites in Saudi Arabia
E-Commerce websites offer electronic business, they provide services and goods to be purchased over an electronic medium which is the Internet. They might also involve electronically transferring information and money. In a nutshell, they offer what people usually refer to as online shopping. In this day and age, especially after social distancing became a thing, eCommerce websites have bloomed. ECommerce has witnessed a breakthrough all over the world in 2020 alone, and Saudi Arabia is no exception. So let’s take a look at the online shopping business and learn about the best eCommerce websites in Saudi Arabia.
The different types of eCommerce websites
There are several kinds of eCommerce websites. According to the function they perform, different types of eCommerce websites have different categories.
B to B: Business to Business
The name B2B refers to websites that perform electronic transactions of goods and services among businesses. For example, a company that sells IT solutions to other companies.
B to C: Business to Consumer
The name B2C refers to websites that offer electronic transactions of goods and services from businesses to consumers. For example, online stores that sell clothes.
C to C: Consumer to Consumer
The name C2C refers to websites that mediate to offer electronic transactions of goods and services within consumers. For example, websites where people offer their used stuff so other people can buy it.
C to B: Consumer to Business
The name C2B refers to websites where individuals offer products or services to businesses through electronic transactions. For example, freelance websites where people offer their professional services.
Important factors for successful eCommerce websites
When taking a look at the best eCommerce websites, we see that some factors stand out, those can very well make or break a website.
Just like any other website, being user friendly is of utmost importance, if the user cannot easily navigate the website to find what they are looking for they most likely won’t pay money to shop from it.
Any website that is not mobile-friendly will most probably go out of business in a few years as mobile usage takes growth leaps. Consumer spending via mobile jumped from $204 billion in 2014 to $626 billion in 2018, and that number will almost double in 2020.
Images must stand out and capture the attention, especially on eCommerce websites that sell goods, items must be displayed clearly and as aesthetically appealing as possible.
Social media integration
Social media is the medium of the era, no one can build a successful business without it. First, it allows the business to interact with customers, and second, they are the perfect place for online shopping campaigns.
The best eCommerce websites in Saudi Arabia
Ecommerce is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 as it is foreseen to contribute about 80% of the retail sector by 2020. One of the reasons why The government is planning an investment of over $100 billion in developing logistics infrastructure is to boost eCommerce growth in the Kingdom.
Let’s take a look at some of the best eCommerce websites in Saudi Arabia.
Souq KSA ( now Amazon.sa)
Established in 2005, Souq is the largest e-commerce provider in the Middle East and one of its fastest-growing businesses.
Souq employs more than 3,000, employees, from high-level management to delivery staffers and all the hierarchy in between.
Launched as a C2C bedding website, Souq was fashioned after eBay, it was designed to offer individuals the chance to auction their items to the highest bidder. However, in 2010, the company realized that there was an opening in the market for a B2C website, and it made the switch with remarkable success.
Thanks to Souq’s success in the market, many small businesses that started selling a few goods as retailers on the site have now expanded into turning millions of items and dollars per year.
In March of 2017, Amazon decided to acquire Souq to be its Middle East arm.
Officially launched in 2006, Haraj is a C2C eCommerce website. People sell their used stuff to other people through the website.
One of the most popular eCommerce websites in Saudi Arabia, Haraj is divided according to cities and categories, you can navigate your way through the website by choosing either the city you live in or the category you want or both for more targeted results.
Almost all Saudi cities are in Haraj, as well as most items for sale, starting from real estate, cars, to pets and livestock, and everything else.
The project was created by two college students, one computer engineer, and the other a civil engineer. While still at college, they both saw the value for providing such a service to the people, they knew the future would have a huge market for this service, and being the first will grant them the lead in the market.
Nowadays, more than 400 million Riyals are traded across Haraj per month and more than 600 million pages are viewed.
Launched in 2010, Cobone is an eCommerce website that sells vouchers to goods and services.
Featuring various vouchers for things to do, see, eat, and buy in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam, as well as several emirates in the UAE, Cobone is currently one the biggest 'daily deals' websites in the Middle East.
Just like any other website, you browse the offered services and goods, click on what you like, and buy a voucher if you want to. The difference with deals websites is that all goods and services offered must be either on sale, or offer a package deal, or feature some sort of promotion. That’s what makes them unique.
Launched in 2018, Ootlah is a B2C eCommerce website that sells tour packages and recreational activities in numerous countries around the globe. However, it specializes in selling activities and things to do in the Middle East.
With a click of a button, you can buy a trip to Cairo, a cruise in Jeddah, or book a spinning class in Riyadh.
The website is user friendly and easy to navigate, both on desktop and mobile, it can also suggest what to do based on your hobbies and preferences.
A few years ago the renowned Jarir Bookstore opened its eCommerce website and it was an immediate hit thanks to the company’s long history in the market.
Established as a small bookshop in Riyadh in 1974, Jarir is one of the market leaders in the Middle East for consumer IT products, Electronics, Office Supplies, and Books.
The website offers consumers a chance to shop for Office and School Supplies, Children’s Toys and Educational Aids, Arabic and English Books and Publications, Arts and Crafts Materials, Computer Peripherals and Software, Mobile Phones and Accessories, Audio Visual Instruments, and Photography Tools. It also offers weekly deals and gift cards.