E-retailers reap rewards from pre-holiday offers

Consumer electronics is the best-selling product category for most e-commerce giants

Gulf News

Dubai: Online retailers in the UAE reported brisk business from pre-holiday sales promotions, which started from last Wednesday and will continuing until National Day.

Many retailers are bringing the tactics that America’s biggest retailers use for Black Friday to the region; however, some are launching their promotions using a different names — White Friday and Shopathon.

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving (November 25), has emerged as the busiest shopping day of the year in the US, with retailers offering huge discounts and attractive time-constraint deals. Black Friday also launches the Christmas shopping season. Retailers in the UAE defended the practice saying that most consumers would not understand a Black (or White) Friday event. Usually, Black Friday sales last for 24 hours but many retailers in the UAE are holding the event for three days — November 25-28 — and some for more than a one week to coincide with the National Day.

Omar Kassim, CEO of JadoPado, said that sales were pretty good. The best-selling items were iPhone 7, iTunes $100 (Dh367) gift card and MacBook Pro.

“Friday has been the best day of the year. So far, we have seen sales increase 20 per cent year over year.

Consumer electronics is still the biggest category for online sales. Other categories such as beauty, jewellery and fashion are slowly gaining traction,” he said.

Ronaldo Mouchawar, Co-Founder and CEO of Souq.com, said that 1.2 million items were sold this year across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Egypt.

“Four items were sold per second with 10 times more traffic and sales than the daily average on the website as well as the app. Mobile commerce continued to be a huge driver for growth, with over 50 per cent of the sales. There was also a remarkable upsurge in credit card payments at 37 per cent, highlighting the rising trend and consumer shift to online payments,” he said.

Fashion and lifestyle

Most e-retailers said that consumer electronics was the best-selling product category, expect for Souq.com. For Souq, 75 per cent of the sales came from the fashion and lifestyle categories, while electronics accounted for 25 per cent.

“Our Black Friday sales have seen a very strong increase compared to that of last year, with an estimated 35-38 per cent growth, which is roughly about fivefold more than normal on an average day,” said Jan-Paul Jeffrey, general manager for Singapore and international markets at Reebonz.

Venkat Reddy, chief experience officer at AlShop.online, said the sales were good but did not beat expectations.

“We were expecting around 40 per cent year-on-year growth but it grew 10 per cent. It may be due to the current market conditions. As we have extended the offers till National Day, we are expecting a pickup in sales due to a long weekend and some people getting their salaries by end of the month,” he said.

Wadi.com registered more than 100 per cent year-on-year growth.

Pratik Gupta, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Wadi.com, said that it was their biggest sale period of the year.

“We ran the biggest shopping marathon in Saudi Arabia and the UAE region called ‘Shopathon,’ as we do every year. The fastest selling products were the iPhone 7, power banks, perfumes, bedsheets and gaming consoles,” he said.

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