AMEinfo spoke to Ronaldo Mouchawar, VP Amazon MENA and Souq.com co-founder, to learn more about Souq.com's brand and site transition to Amazon.ae in the UAE.
Just last week, Souq.com announced that it will now become Amazon.ae in the UAE, shifting the site's brand identity and overall experience to reflect that of Amazon's. This was not replicated for Souq.com's branches in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
AMEinfo got in touch with Ronaldo Mouchawar, VP Amazon MENA and co-founder of Souq.com, to learn more about this transition.
1. It's been 2 years since Amazon acquired Souq. Why was it decided that now is the right time for Amazon to officially assimilate the Souq.com brand and reposition it as Amazon.ae, and what's the reasoning behind it?
Since Amazon’s acquisition of SOUQ.com in 2017, Amazon has been focused on integrating the SOUQ and Amazon offerings to provide customers with a great service, a trusted online shopping experience and an ever-growing array of products and services at great prices with fast delivery. These will now be available through Amazon.ae as we complete the integration process, a major milestone on our journey here in the Middle East. We are very excited to be bringing the global Amazon benefits to the UAE to further enhance the customer experience.
As always, our focus is the customer and we wanted to ensure complete readiness before launching here in the UAE so they had the smoothest experience possible.
2. What is Amazon hoping to achieve with this transition?
We are focused on our customers. We will work day in, day out to offer the best customer experience we can, underpinned by vast selection, great prices and fast delivery.
3. What will this shift mean for customers? Is there a big change to the service?
Customers, including those who previously shopped at Souq.com, can now shop at Amazon.ae where they will continue to enjoy a selection of millions of products, including the most popular global brands, as well as products from thousands of local businesses, at great prices, with the fast and reliable delivery that has made Amazon a household name worldwide. They will now have access to 30 million products, including five million from the Amazon Global Store.
4. What are Amazon's objectives for the UAE and the greater Middle East region?
Our customers tell us that they value the vast selection at great prices, as well as our convenient delivery options. We will continue to build on those. In addition, we have built an infrastructure that supports SMEs to develop successful businesses, by offering them a simple onboarding process, training materials, logistics and payment solutions, technology resources, and the opportunity to connect with millions of customers. GCC and the region still has huge online potential, so our goal is to further develop our offer for customers, by building an even bigger selection at great prices.
5. The rebrand to Amazon.ae is a major benefit for Souq.com, as this transition brings to Souq the brand power of a mega international brand such as Amazon. Your competitors won't necessarily be able to emulate this. What market share is Amazon hoping to acquire with this move?
Since Souq started operations over 13 years ago, there hasn’t been a single day without intense competition. That won’t change. Global retail is going to continue to grow—there’s a ton of green field ahead—and there will continue to be lots of winners. At Amazon we focus on the customer, not other companies.
6. What new omni-retail technologies are Amazon investing in locally and regionally?
The launch is a milestone on our journey in the Middle East. We continue to work hard but have nothing to announce at the moment. Stay tuned.