Amazon and Souq announced the launch of Amazon.sa, which replaces Souq.com in Saudi Arabia nearly three years after the US giant's $580 million (Dh2.13 billion) acquisition of the e-commerce platform.
All existing Souq.com customer credentials, wish lists, orders, delivery addresses, payment methods and customer support queries have been converted to new Amazon.sa accounts, the company said on Wednesday.
“Today marks a key milestone … with Amazon.sa, we want to provide what customers have been asking us for the ability to shop a broader selection of both local products and international goods from Amazon,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, vice president of Amazon in Middle East and North Africa.
“Partnering closely with our local and global sellers, we will continue to delight customers in Saudi Arabia by growing our product range while ensuring great prices, fast delivery and a convenient and trusted shopping experience," said Mr Mouchawar, who founded Souq in 2005, initially as an auction website linked to internet portal Maktoob that was bought by Yahoo.
Customers shopping on Amazon.sa will enjoy free next day delivery on orders above Saudi riyals 200 (Dh196), as well as the option of paid same day delivery to select areas in the kingdom.
Amazon’s global expertise in logistics will provide accurate delivery and shipment tracking and the e-commerce giant will continue to invest to further improve the delivery experience in the region, the company said.
Shoppers can search for products and pay in local currency using debit and credit cards. They can also opt for a cash–on-delivery option and make installment payments from select banks in the kingdom.
"As we launch today, thousands of Saudi businesses use Amazon.sa to reach their customers and we look forward to growing this number further in the coming years," said Rafid bin Amin Fatani, Amazon's head of public policy in Africa and the Middle East.
Amazon is building a local logistics and operations network spanning across the kingdom. Currently, it operates three fulfillment centres and 11 delivery stations across the nation, with a workforce of more than 1,400.
The company announced that women will make up approximately 40 per cent of the workforce at its newest 226,000 square-foot Jeddah facility.
“This new partnership with Amazon will only serve to strengthen the kingdom’s digital transformation in the payments sector,” said Ziyad bin Bandar Al-Yousef, managing director of Saudi Payments, adding that this association will encourage Saudi consumers to continue the move towards digital payments.