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In short, White Friday is the Middle Eastern equivalent of Black Friday in the United States. Taking place at the end of November, customers are presented with thousands of sales, deals, and discounts for a variety of desired products by all demographics.
Amazon (formerly Souq) , the largest e-commerce site in the Arab world, first introduced the idea of a grand sale to the region in 2014 as a way of increasing internet traffic and, in turn, their sales. Then CEO and co-founder of the company, Ronaldo Mouchawar, attended university in the United States during which he became acquainted with the wild sales phenomenon that is Black Friday. After witnessing first hand how Americans seemed to go crazy for the discounts and deals, he decided to bring a similar event to the region with his e-commerce company. However, he decided to put a little spin on it. White Friday takes an American tradition and alters it slightly to be more compatible with the region. To create a successful, new regional phenomenon, Mouchawar had to resonate closely with the culture of the Middle East. (more…)
Saudi Arabia is a booming online market in the Middle East with vast opportunities for those looking to market their products and services in the region. This article will discuss some of the facets of reaching a Saudi Arabian audience with your search engine optimization efforts. Of course one article cannot sum up all the strategies for reaching an audience in the KSA but here we will reveal 6 keys to effective SEO in Saudi Arabia.
Pay per click marketing is changing at a pace we haven’t seen before in the Arab world. Below we will explore some of the key changes taking place in the world of Arabic pay per click advertising.
When I first launched an Arabic digital marketing agency nearly seven years ago, there was almost non-existent competition for Arabic keywords in Google paid search. At the time, even the most competitive industries didn’t have Arabic ads on the first page of a Google result for a specific keyword. Much has changed since then. Many industries and verticals now have Arabic keywords that trigger a full page of Arabic ads, and there will be far more in 2022 as the market has awoken to the opportunity. (more…)
Ecommerce continues to take over global commerce with every year that passes, and the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region is no different. MENA is a unique region in that it spans three continents- Europe, Africa, and Asia. Its huge diversity in resources, population, and economic development lends the region to both success and interest in e-commerce and online shopping, and while some countries in MENA already have solid e-commerce bases, others are just getting started.
Widely, e-commerce is the buying and selling of goods using the internet. Goods can mean anything- from clothing items to wholesale machine parts, to cosmetics, electronics, and more. The convenience and accessibility of e-commerce make it popular with a young population, and nearly 30% of the MENA population are between the ages of 15 and 29. This is a market booming with potential.
The market is currently being propelled by three main countries- Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, the three of which form cumulatively 80% of the region’s e-commerce market. Though culturally very disparate countries, the digital economies of these three players continue to grow, especially through the novel COVID-19 Pandemic, which further exacerbated the demand for digital commerce worldwide. To provide an overview of the digital economy in the MENA region, we’ve broken the top most-pupular popular e-commerce and shopping websites in the region down in the following article, both regionally and internationally.
Ramadan just like Christmas has become a season of increased consumerism and attention to shopping. Marketers need to understand how to effectively market during this season in order to take advantage of many of the opportunities it contains and to avoid Ramadan marketing mistakes that could be costly. In this guide, we briefly cover some of the various aspects of Ramadan marketing to help you be more successful with your seasonal marketing efforts in Muslim regions.
Image credit: justyn
Despite the opulent wealth in many of the Gulf countries, payment methods in the Arab world are still catching up to what they are in many western countries. Many Middle Eastern countries have typically been cash-based societies and the use of credit cards has been a relatively new thing in the region. To add to this laws about interest in the Quran and the Hadith have made it hard for many interest-based payment methods to take hold in the region because they are considered to be against the practices of Islam. In this article I will outline some of the payment methods that are available in the region.
Cash on delivery is probably the most popular payment method in the region. Because of the lack of credit cards in the region cash on delivery has gained popularity as an online payment method among locals. Not only is cash on delivery the payment method with the smallest barrier to entry. Cash on delivery is also a payment method that allows consumers to see the products they buy online before they actually pay for them. Due to this fact many online retailers in the region say that cash on delivery has a return rate much much higher than any other payment methods. We have seen statistics that say anywhere from 12 to 13 times the number of returns happen with cash on delivery when compared to credit cards. Consumers receive the package open it and often times say they don’t want it and return it immediately. As you can imagine this can be very costly for the e-commerce merchant as they have to pay the delivery cost without receiving any type of reimbursement. This issue has made it so some retailers in the region have chosen not to use cash on delivery, especially when the e-commerce merchant is just getting started.
Comparable to almost all major public holidays in the United States such as Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving, the holiday of Eid Al Adha has created a boom of consumerism across many different industries within the Muslim world. Marketers need to understand how to effectively aim their marketing efforts towards this holiday in order to take advantage of the many
opportunities which accompany it. To successfully reach your target audience, it is important to know the facts that are covered in this guide, as appearing insensitive or ignorant about this holy day could be a damaging mistake for your business. In this all-encompassing Eid Al Adha guide, we will explain what the holiday is and how to maximize your reach towards the Muslim world.
Holidays in the Middle East, just like in other countries around the world, are important times for businesses to bring their A+ marketing games. One of the most notable holidays in the Arab world is the United Arab Emirates’ National Day, and is critical for anyone who does business in the country to know. This important national holiday is associated with heightened purchasing habits, resulting in tremendous business opportunities across the country, so marketers must understand how to effectively position their businesses to best take advantage.
Welcome to the internet’s most comprehensive English language marketing guide about this holiday. To help you optimize your UAE National Day marketing efforts, we provide in-depth background information, must-do steps, and mistakes to avoid.
Prior to what we know today as Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz was a monarchy made up of tribal groups across the Arabian Peninsula, each with individual systems of governance and rulers. In the early 20th century, the ruler of Nejd, King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud in Arabic, or “son of Saud” in English) – set out to unify his ancestral land. Nearly 30 years after this initial goal, he and his armies successfully conquered these diverse Bedouin groups, sultanates, minor kingdoms, and emirates from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf and unified them under his rule. Ibn Saud chose his family name Saud for this new state, Saudi Arabia.
As the birthplace of Islam with monumentally significant sites such as Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia has historically limited its national celebrations to religious holidays such as Eid el Fitr, Eid al Adha, and the Hajj. However, in 2005, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decreed that September 23 was to become an official, annual holiday for the country starting for the country’s 75th anniversary in 2007. This was a monumental step in building nationalism and establishing a strong Saudi identity. (more…)
The Middle East is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the entire world. While it is still nowhere near as developed or complex as the markets in the United States or many countries in Europe, the region is experiencing an undeniable boom. It is estimated that online sales in the Middle East currently equal only a meager 2% of total retail revenue, as opposed to 15% in more developed regions. E-commerce in the Gulf States alone was estimated to quadruple from the $5 billion in profits seen in 2015 to $20 billion before 2020. There are some analysts that are even reporting estimated profits of $48.8 billion in 2021. Currently, almost 90% of online goods bought in the Middle East are still shipped from outside countries, but this is changing rapidly. As a result, there is huge potential for e-commerce profit during this modern age in the Middle East. (more…)
One of the key factors to marketing success in the Middle East is understanding and relating with an Arab audience. Given that Arabic is the main language of more than 300 million people it is essential that a brand figure out when and how to localize their logo into the Arabic language to be effective in the region. It is important that the Arabization of a brand’s logo and name be done in a way that is both easy to read in Arabic while maintaining the overall theme and colors that the brand has in English. In this post we will give examples of some big brands that have done a great job at localizing their logos in an easy to read format while maintain the branding.
Subway has gained huge popularity in the Middle East and you can now find the franchise across many of the countries in the GCC, the Levant, and North African. Subway used innovative designers to capture the famous white and yellow logo and flip it around for Arabic. They were even able to incorporate the arrows at the beginning and the end of the logo to give it that truly Subway feel.
The Arab consumer is unique and needs to be treated differently than consumers in other parts of the world. Below we will examine some of the consumer behavior, traits, characteristics and demographics of a Middle Eastern Arab consumer that set them apart from consumers in other parts of the world. It should be noted that many of these points are broad generalizations with the intent to help inform businesses looking to operate in the region on how they can better reach their target audience. Since these are broad generalizations about Arab consumers there will always be exceptions to these traits that defy the norm.
If you’re looking to take your marketing in the Arab world to the next level this post will provide and in-depth look into seasonal marketing opportunities in the Arab world. Feel free to use this post to help you plan out your seasonal promotions to Arab consumers in countries across the in Middle East.
Situated on the Persian Gulf, next to the Gulf of Oman, the city of Dubai is a renowned global city whose importance to the global economy is almost unparalleled. Because of its strategic position, actively-diversifying economy, and excellent trade relations and prestige, Dubai is an excellent location for any businesses looking to expand or invest, especially into Middle Eastern, North African, and Central and South Asian markets, or anyone looking to do business in the Middle East region.
Though the world of Arabic PPC is always expanding, many new ad campaigns fail to be effective due to several common mistakes. Any ad campaign run in Arabic needs to be optimized just as an English campaign needs to be optimized. We find many companies try to save money by outsourcing translation of ads or by having Arabic ads run by someone without experience running Arabic PPC campaigns. In most cases we’ve seen this ends up costing the company much more in wasted ad-spend, than the company saves from not hiring a professional to run the ads. We’ve literally seen companies waste tens of thousands of dollars on irreverent keywords and targeting in their ad campaigns in an effort to save a small amount on the management side of running ads.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequent mistakes we see in Arabic PPC campaigns in the MENA region so you can avoid these pitfalls in your own efforts.
When creating ads in Arabic, it’s important to utilize similar calls to action, like “buy,” “find,” or “shop.” Without these calls to action, the meaning of the ad can become unclear to the customer. For example, the ad below is for a company that finances Islamic real estate purchases, meaning they provide a specific kind of financing for Muslim customers. The ad was generated while searching for “عقارات لندن” (London real estate) and it advertises mortgage financing. However, the ad’s wording leaves the user without a call to action, opting to instead state the services offered. For a list of Arabic calls to action you should be using, see this article.