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Exclusive | Amazon Egypt GM discusses Egyptian expansion and new website

Business Today had a quick chat with Omar Elsahy, General Manager for Amazon Egypt to answer some of the biggest questions consumers want answered

By: Business Today Egypt

Mon, Sep. 13, 2021

Amazon closed its acquisition of Souq.com’s Egyptian assets on September 1st, launching the brand new Amazon.eg website around 4 years after Amazon’s official acquisition of Souq.com.

Souq.com has been an influential player in the blossoming ecommerce since its launch, and many questions have arisen since the announcement of the rebranding.

Related > Amazon to rebrand Egypt’s Souq.com 4 years after acquisition

Business Today had a quick chat with Omar Elsahy, General Manager for Amazon Egypt to answer some of the biggest questions consumers want answered and what will Amazon’s fully-integrated expansion into the country mean for Egyptian consumers and the ecommerce industry.

 

Egypt’s Souq.com was previously rebranded as an Amazon company, integrating its logo and signature smile on the packaging. Just how different will Amazon.eg be compared to Souq.com in the last 4 years since the acquisition?

Amazon has been proudly supporting customers and selling in Egypt since Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com in 2017.

The launch of Amazon.eg is a continuation of this journey, offering customers a wide selection of millions of quality items from local and international brands, along with great prices, easy payment options and reliable delivery.

 

Amazon launches Amazon.eg in Egypt (3)

 


What will Amazon be bringing to the table in terms of services and products to both consumers and sellers, compared to Souq’s current offerings?

 

Similar to Souq.com, customers of Amazon.eg will enjoy a great shopping experience with low prices, wide selection, easy payment, and reliable delivery. We want to offer everything that people in Egypt want to buy and will continue to grow our selection.

Completely localized for a seamless experience, Amazon.eg lets shoppers search for their favorite products and pay in Egyptian Pounds (EGP) using credit, debit, and prepaid cards, including Visa and MasterCard, in addition to the option of cash on delivery (COD).

Amazon.eg will also continue to offer customers free delivery on orders above EGP 350, with Same-Day and Next-Day delivery options available across select cities in Egypt. Amazon’s global expertise in logistics will provide reliable delivery and shipment tracking as we continue to invest in ways that improve the delivery experience.

Customers purchasing on Amazon.eg also have access to 24/7 customer service support to help with any queries. If any item, including those sold by Amazon Selling Partners, is unsatisfactory, customers can report the problem to the customer service team for support. All purchases on Amazon.eg are covered by the Amazon A-to-Z Guarantee, which covers the timely delivery and condition of all items ordered on Amazon.eg.

 

Will Amazon bring in more internationally shipped inventory, and will local merchants have the chance to sell products to international customers through Amazon’s network? What will be the situation with the customs? 

At launch, Amazon.eg will carry the selection that our customers have told us they want, featuring thousands of local brands alongside Egyptian businesses selling international brands through local distributors, which are not subject to custom fees. With over 30 categories including home and kitchen, beauty, fashion, health, sports, electronics, grocery, and more, there is something for everyone on Amazon.eg.

As we combine Souq’s local know-how with over 20 years of Amazon’s global expertise, we are taking steps with our logistics and customs partners to move towards the import and export of international products through Amazon.eg as we continue growing our selection.

 

Are there plans on a new warehouse based on Amazon’s efficiency models/system, new headquarters or personnel expansion/reduction?

Amazon has a strong presence in Egypt as well as a robust and growing operational infrastructure, already including Amazon’s main Fulfillment Center in the 10th of Ramadan City, 15 delivery stations across Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta, Ismailia, and Assiut, and several established corporate and customer service offices.

Amazon launches Amazon.eg in Egypt (4)

 

We were honored to host His Excellency Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly at our main Fulfillment Center in the 10th of Ramadan City, in the Sharkia Governorate, as he witnessed its inauguration.

The renovated Amazon Fulfillment Center, located on an area of 28 thousand square meters, is part of our investments in the logistics sector in Egypt, allowing Amazon to deliver a smarter, faster, and more convenient experience for customers.

We also currently have a local workforce of over 3,000 employees across corporate, customer service, and operations, and we expect to create more roles over time to support our operations in Egypt.

 

Both Souq and Amazon have their own distinctive “sales holidays,” will Amazon be keeping Souq’s annual White Friday festival or replace it with Amazon Prime day discounts?

While we don’t discuss future plans, what I can say is that we are extremely excited to have launched Amazon.eg and have the same commitment to low prices that we had on Souq.com. We will continue to innovate on behalf of our customers to offer them a great shopping experience.

 

Will international Amazon services such as Amazon Prime and its benefits, Amazon reading, Amazon games, and Amazon wardrobe be coming to Egyptian accounts? If not, is there a possibility of these services to become available in the near future?

We are taking steps to ensure any new Amazon service we introduce on Amazon.eg is launched while we deliver on our promises to provide great prices alongside fast and reliable delivery options to our customers.

 

How have customer behaviors, in terms of shopping, delivery option preferences and payment preferences, changed since the pandemic hit in March 2020?

The retail sector is constantly evolving to meet customers’ needs. Consumers recognize the increasingly larger selection of products they have access to online and appreciate the fact that they can scout for the best prices, all from the comfort of their home.

We believe that the retail sector will continue to grow, as the region's economies continue to diversify economically, female empowerment and their growing role in the workplace increases, logistics improve, and the number of mobile users grows, broadening the pool of consumers for retail to target.

With regards to payment options, while we continue to offer cash on delivery (COD) as a payment option for Amazon.eg customers, we are increasingly encouraging customers to use online payment methods for contactless deliveries using credit, debit and prepaid cards, including Visa and MasterCard.