Amazon completes Souq.com purchase for $580m

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Amazon has completed its acquisition of Middle Eastern marketplace Souq.com. It gives them a strong bridgehead in that part of the world. And don’t forget they have also announced a South Korean marketplace in the past few days and are also working on a launch in Australia. International expansion is part of the Amazon credo right now.

The price paid for Souq was $580m according to filings made by Amazon.

The first steps of integration between the two have been completed but there’s much more to be done. Already customers can login into Souq.com using their Amazon account. The next step seems to be a much deeper integration for sellers too, opening up the growing Middle eastern market where Souq has already been successful.

Souq boats that it has over 45 million visitors per month, 8.4 million products for sale in 31 categories. But ecommerce in the region is nascent with only 2% of spending happening online.

Souq.com CEO and co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar says it “is an exhilarating time” for the ecommerce industry in the region. Joining the Amazon family enables Souq.com to continue to bring even more products and services to customers in the region and further expand “Fulfilled by Souq” to empower sellers.”

“Together with Amazon, our goal is to offer our customers the widest product selection, great prices, improved delivery times and first-rate customer service. Integration of Amazon’s technology and global resources with our local expertise will help us to offer a great service to our loyal customers.”

Amazon executive Russ Grandinetti, who is Amazon senior vice-president, International Consumer, said of further integration and the future: “We are working to quickly integrate Souq.com and Amazon capabilities, in terms of both customer experience and fulfillment, to provide an ever-improving shopping experience for customers in the Middle East. Amazon and Souq.com are seamlessly moving into the next phase of the integration to bring more products and offerings to the region’s customers even faster.”

This international partnership seems like a canny move and it is most impressive that a deal announced in March is already complete and seeing successful integration. It’s evidence that the two firms are singing from the same hymn sheet and both have tech capability that’s compatible and noble. It’s also notable that thus far Amazon is expanding Souq under its own brand (rather than say Amazon UEA etc.) and allowing Amazon users to login with their Amazon credentials. That’s new.

Would you be tempted to plug into an Amazon driven marketplace in the Middle East?

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