MarkaVIP expands across Middle East
Dubai, August 2, 2011
E-commerce in the Middle East is poised to gain further momentum with MarkaVIP, a home grown private sales website, announcing its expansion across the region.
The company, which has adapted the tried-and-tested flash sales model to suit local consumers and retailers, says its e-tail platform is well placed to boost the adoption of online shopping throughout the Middle East.
The flash sales model, already well established in the US and Europe, works on the forces of time urgency and scarcity. MarkaVIP sources excess or introductory inventory from premium brands worldwide to be sold to its private members within a limited period of time.
In return, the customer gets much lower prices than they would normally be offered and opportunities to purchase products they may not otherwise have.
The convenience, value and quality offered by MarkaVIP quickly captured the attention of savvy shoppers across the Middle East when it launched in Jordan and Saudi Arabia in November 2010.
Eight months later, the company is rapidly approaching half a million members and attracts between 2,000 and 4,000 new members daily.
Membership to MarkaVIP is by invitation only. Customers must be invited, referred or approved to join the site, presenting suppliers with an exclusive and discerning online audience. Once accepted, MarkaVIP members gain access to deep discounts of between 40 to 70 percent on men and women’s apparel, accessories, children’s items, electronics and home decor.
They also have the opportunity to access new-to-region brands that use the site to run introductory launch campaigns as a means of market testing.
Having recently raised $3 million in funding from high profile U.S, European and Middle Eastern investors, MarkaVIP has expanded to the rest of the GCC countries and Lebanon. It now enjoys seven-figure monthly revenues and is on track to become the fastest growing Middle East e-commerce brand. It already is the fastest growing Middle East brand on Facebook with close to 140,000 fans.
According to founder and CEO Ahmed Alkhatib, the key to MarkaVIP’s success has been market localisation. Despite the nascent state of e-commerce in the Middle East, he says the untapped potential of the region far outweighs the current barriers to entry.
“There are around 385 million people living in the Middle East and North Africa and 135 million of them are online currently. Internet penetration is expected to grow very quickly over the next few years, so we see a significant opportunity to provide the market with a convenient and secure online shopping platform that also delivers great value,” he said. TradeArabia News Service