Amazon are aiming to launch an Amazon branded Middle East marketplace. Having acquired Souq in July 2017, Amazon have already made over a million products available on Souq through the Amazon Global Store.
Amazon’s aim now is to have an Amazon branded site although it’s not yet clear if Souq is to shut down or if the two will run in tandem. For Amazon merchants this will bring a familiar Amazon back end to the selling experience to assist more Western sellers to expand in the Middle East.
According to a CNBC report based on private conversations with Amazon merchants in the US, Amazon’s Middle East marketplace will first launch in the United Arab Emirates followed by Saudi Arabia. Amazon are already asking sellers to concentrate on listing on Amazon rather than Souq calling it a groundbreaking new sales project in the Middle East.
It is expected that Amazon will introduce all the normal marketplace trimmings in the Middle East – Fulfilment by Amazon will be key to attract merchants from the US and Europe to sell in the region and doubtless Amazon Prime will soon follow. Tech and Beauty will be top target categories of interest to merchants. One bonus is that much business in the Middle East is carried out in English to translation could be minimal.
A Middle East marketplace would be Amazon’s 18th country site following the launch of Amazon Turkey in September 2018.