Published on July 18th, 2015 | by Guest Post0
Report: 60% of products are cheaper in UAE than on Amazon
According to SimilarWeb, a popular web traffic measurement tool, 0.15% of Amazon’s impressive 1 billion monthly desktop visits globally are from the UAE. That’s 1.5 million monthly visits shopping on the US giant retailer’s website, excluding the mobile app. Although this figure pales in comparison to Souq’s reported 10 million monthly visits in the UAE, global retailers such as Amazon, Ali Express, and increasingly online fashion stores such as Zara are offering an attractive value proposition in the form of a wider variety of products and the trustworthiness that comes with their reputation.
1.5 million monthly visits on Amazon.com from the UAE
However, international investors such as Rocket Internet have already identified opportunities for a local play. Namshi was launched in early 2012 in Dubai to cater for fashion, while more recently Wadi was launched to focus on Saudis’ lack of local shopping options. Souq continues to grow with the backing of Naspers and Tiger Global, while other homegrown players like Jadopado have managed to build a reputation for superior customer service and fast delivery times.
Interestingly, a handful of smaller but up-and-coming UAE online retailers are giving the likes of Souq and Amazon a run for their money, often through extremely competitive prices on electronics products and lean logistics. Crazydeals, Mobileshop and MikeNSmith are a few of these aggressive pricers that are hoping to acquire a customer on a loss and later get them back to buy higher margin items.
Amazon Prices vs the UAE
According to research by Aramex presented during ArabNet this May, the number one reason people shop abroad is a wider variety of products, followed by lower prices.
The number one reason people shop abroad is a wider variety of products, followed by lower prices.
We compared prices of 10,000 products across 13 shopping categories and more than 60 online stores in the UAE with Amazon. Our findings show that 60% of products can be bought cheaper in the UAE than on Amazon, with an average price difference of 250 AED. As a general rule, we’ve found that popular products are cheaper locally than on Amazon, and more specialized or niche products are either not available locally, or are significantly cheaper on Amazon. For example, professional audio equipment can be 20-30% cheaper on Amazon than locally, whereas the iPhone 6 — a hot product — is 300 AED cheaper locally.
80% of products were sold cheaper in the UAE than on Amazon. Online stores in the UAE also had better prices across popular electronics categories such as phones, tablets and gaming, where around 65% of products were sold cheaper. Amazon, on the other hand, wins on categories such as wearables and laptops, where 60-65% of products are sold cheaper. Categories such as watches, cameras and consumer audio show a tie between local stores and Amazon.
We’ve included more than 60 UAE stores and a representative sample of 10,000 products across 13 categories. A sample of the most popular stores in our comparison analysis with Amazon includes Souq, Jadopado, Alshop, Axiom Telecom, Crazydeals, Sharaf DG, the Apple Store, Jumbo and dozens of others that are generalists, but also specialist stores such as Advanced Media (pro audio), Office One (office supplies) and Dubai Gamers (video games). Check out our full list of stores right here.
Amazon product prices were pulled directly from Amazon and matched with the product sold locally. To account for shipping charges, we’ve added a flat 75 AED shipping fee to the Amazon price, although this fee will vary greatly depending on the weight of the product. For example, a TV’s shipping fee could go up to 500 AED, whereas a smartphone’s fee can be as low as 40 AED.
Haneen is a web enthusiast and founder of pricena.com, a leading online price comparison website operating in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Pricena compares prices of thousands of products across hundreds of categories such as electronics, appliances, fashion and more to help shoppers find the best prices online.