"We are super excited. It is a huge day for Egypt and our customers here," Ronaldo Mouchawar, who founded Souq in 2005 and became vice president of Amazon Mena when it was acquired in 2017, told The National.
Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, announced in late July that it would be launching Amazon.eg “later this year”.
Amazon.eg will feature millions of items from local and international brands across a range of categories, including electronics, apparel, home and kitchen, grocery and Amazon products, the US e-commerce company said.
“There have been many milestones for Souq.com over the years and today, we have another one to share with you. We are proud to announce that your Souq.com is now your Amazon.eg,” Omar Elsahy, country manager of Amazon Egypt, said in a message on the new site.
Seattle-based Amazon is investing more than 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($63.8m) in the Egyptian market, according to Mr Mouchawar.
On Tuesday, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly inaugurated Amazon’s 28,000-square-metre logistics warehouse in the 10th of Ramadan City, an industrial area about 60 kilometres north-east of Cairo's city centre.
"It showcased a new era for us in Africa. It is the first fulfilment centre in this part of the world," Mr Mouchawar said.
Amazon already has 15 delivery stations across Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta, Ismalia and Assiut, and a workforce of more than 3,000.
The company also plans to launch a “sizeable customer service centre” in the country, Mr Mouchawar said.
“The potential here to work with the local young people is something that is a key moment in our journey," he said.
In July, local Egyptian businesses already on Souq and new sellers were invited to register on sell.amazon.eg, the company’s seller management tool.
“Egypt has a strong industrial sector and a wealth of great retailers, sellers, brands and handicrafts. As we launch today, thousands of Egyptian businesses use Amazon.eg to reach their customers and we look forward to growing this number further in the coming years,” said Mr Elsahy.
More than 50 per cent of items sold on Amazon globally come from third-party sellers and most are small and medium enterprises.
Existing Souq.com customers will be able to transfer their accounts to new Amazon.eg accounts.
Delivery in Egypt and browsing in Arabic and English are available on both the website and mobile app.
Customers can pay in Egyptian pounds using credit, debit and prepaid cards, as well as cash on delivery.
Free delivery is offered on orders above 350 Egyptian pounds and same-day and next-day delivery options are available in select cities in Egypt.
Amazon has been operating in Egypt since 2017, but "the first item ever ordered on Souq.com was delivered to a customer in Egypt" in 2010, Mr Elsahy wrote in his message.
Mr Mouchawar did not say whether Amazon would be expanding in other countries in the region, but called the opportunity huge.
“I think we have a lot to do still in the region … We are nowhere near where our customers and sellers can be. At this stage, we are still focused on where we are," he said.