As with every year, businesses and consumers alike rejoice during the latter months of the year. With several slated holidays and pseudo shopping festivals, such as White Friday, Black Friday and Christmas, there’s always something for everyone.
In the GCC, these primarily western shopping events have begun gaining traction, with both major and minor retailers getting in on the action.
What are regional online retailers cooking up this year?
Souq having a field day
Just like in the US with Amazon and other online retailers’ killer deals, online stores in the GCC have taken a page from that book. E-commerce sites like Souq, noon and Wadi are all building hype in anticipation of the upcoming Black Friday next week.
Souq, for example, has dabbled with White Friday, their version of Black Friday, since 2014.
“We saw very strong electronic sales during white Friday 2014, with lower cost smartphones leading the charge, especially in Saudi Arabia,” the company said in a statement.
285,000 units were sold during the 24-hour period on the site in 2014. On average, Souq sold two items per second, and saw 6 times their normal traffic rate. White Friday became a staple ever since.
Their 2017 iteration saw deals of up to 70% available over an expanded 4-day period, between 22-25 November and an excess of 500,000 deals across 16,000 brands. That is 50 times more than 2016.
This year, they are bringing back the event, with up to 70% deals once again, but over an extended period of 5 days this time, from 20-24 November. 2 million deals are slated.
Souq’s partnership with Amazon has brought an array of new products to their site, with emphasis on devices such as the Kindle. They have partnered with Samsung, Pampers, and Ariel for this year’s event. Customers using an Emirates NBD or Emirates Islamic Bank card for payment can earn an extra discount of 10%.
Noon joins on the mega sale with Yellow Friday
Following the trend of seemingly multi-color Fridays, noon has gone with yellow to fit its branding, continuing their annual tradition.
noon said it is joining the “sales madness” to offer customers in the region the best value, experience and service with big discounts.
Joining in a bit late, having only launched the company in 2016, the PIF-backed retailer is offering deals of up to 80% between 20-24 November, with free delivery in the UAE on orders over AED 100.
But noon is going beyond just deals, also offering customers competitions and draws to keep things exciting. It started building up hype ahead of time, giving its customers a chance to win AED or SR 1,000 credits if they had ordered anytime during November. The e-commerce brand will also be distributing Yellow Friday Lottery vouchers in packages at random across Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Like Souq, noon is also backed by a Western retailer, namely eBay. This will give noon a competitive edge and keep it in the game next week.
Wadi ditching the “Friday” namesake
Wadi has foregone the western naming completely for a few years now, instead opting for a more generic sounding Shopathon. Unlike its competitors, the sale will run from 20-25 November, one day longer.
During last year’s iteration, Apple, Samsung, Jaguar, Sass, Nespresso, Casio, Calvin Klein and Fit Mate were the most popular brands among consumers, with everyday products like powerbanks, bed sheets, clothing and perfumes ranking highest in sales volume.
Following the 2017 event, Wadi reported three times more traffic on the website with a five-time increase in sales than usual, which made 700% year on year growth in their sales during the shopathon and 500% increase in sales per day.