Being an eCommerce seller, brand or business in the Middle East can be truly rewarding as the online shopping trends in the region are on a rapid rise with a vertical graph of growth for all eCommerce players.
Seeing the immense opportunity in the eCommerce industry of the GCC region with Saudi Arabia and UAE already becoming the centre of maximum online shoppers followed by Qatar, Kuwait, Oman etc., large marketplaces, both local and international ones are working on providing seamless and easy to use business models to sellers and retailers in order to boost sales, increase profitability and enhance customer relations.
Two of the most renowned and highly valued marketplaces with the best seller models in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are:
While both are the biggest rivals fighting it out big to dominate the Middle Eastern eCommerce market, selling on either or both of these platforms can really bring in tons of revenue for your online business and help you reach a massive customer base regionally and internationally.
This article has been designed to enlighten sellers, retailers and brands like yours to understand each of the seller models of these two platforms and curate the best strategies and plans to not only sell on them but also to be fully ready to tackle any issues or challenges along the way.
Noon Selling Models
Starting off with homegrown and one of the first most popular marketplaces across UAE and Saudi Arabia, Noon offers two selling models for eCommerce businesses to choose from or use both at the same time for higher sales. The only condition Noon implements when you go with both the selling models is that of keeping separate inventory for each one of them.
1. Fulfilled By noon (FBN)
Fulfilled by noon or FBN allows sellers to deliver their products to the Noon storage facilities and take care of the next processes all from there.
The entire process followed by FBN to enable faster, efficient and hassle-free service to your customers includes:
- Once FBN facility receives all the products, a thorough quality check is performed
- Items that pass the quality check are then allocated locations in the noon fulfilment centre as per product type, size, expiry, etc.
- The FBN team takes care of the entire picking, packing and dispatch process once a purchase has been made.
- To help you with every single update on your orders, there is a dedicated noon support team that manages, tracks and updates all your inventory and orders and ensures that your sales run smoothly.
- Post dispatch, the FBN team handles all the customer queries and disputes regarding your product.
- For returns and cancellations, FBN keeps the products under its wing till you raise a return request from their facility
- Payments for each successful delivery is processed into your seller account on a weekly basis.
While noon takes care of the complete cycle of your online sales, all you have to do is maintain pricing of your products and promote them as much as possible.
How does noon Express help me?
FBN also renders special delivery benefits such as same-day delivery anywhere in Dubai for orders placed in the morning and for other regions in the UAE, it ensures that orders reach the customers within the next 24 hours of purchase. For orders placed in KSA, FBN allows easy dispatch and free delivery for orders above AED 100.
These quick delivery options are a major governing factor for customer happiness and can help you acquire loyal and repeat shoppers.
Using the noon Express or FBN facility you can experience higher sales, focus more on developing your core business, and deploy cost-effective steps for better stability of your eCommerce business.
2. Cross-dock Back 2 Back (B2B)
Cross-dock Back 2 Back or B2B is the second selling model provided by noon that helps sellers do things as per their own convenience.
With the Seller Back to Back selling model, you do not have to send your products anywhere and keep them in your own storage facility until an order is placed and you receive an email notification to confirm the same.
Once you receive an update, the support team of noon follows a series of steps to ensure correct and timely deliveries of your orders to the customers.
The major steps followed in the Crossdock selling model by noon include:
- Post requesting for stocks, the logistics team of noon, noon express collects your orders from your facility then brings it back to their own customer fulfilment centre
- In the noon fulfilment centre, all the products undergo Quality Checks and those that qualify the checks are then prepared for dispatch
- Once the order is dispatched from the noon facility, a confirmation on the same is communicated to you.
- If an order is cancelled post it has reached the noon facility, the staff tries to reallocate the item to another customer order in line but if there is none, then the product is converted to FBN within the next 24-48 hour or returned back to you.
Even with the B2B selling model, you save big on most of the processes and only have to take care of the storage of your products while having full control of the pricing, quality and promotions of your items and be assured of the noon serviceability to provide your customers with the best shopping experience.
While you can choose either or both of the noon selling models, understanding the major difference between the two FBN and B2B selling models is important.
Here is a tabular depiction of the most distinctive differences that the two selling models have.
No matter which of the two models you choose, noon allows you complete control over your products and works as an extended business model to help you make the right decisions and take your business to the next level.
Amazon Selling Models
The journey of a global marketplace, extremely popular and highly beneficial for sellers looking to start their eCommerce journey, Amazon began its operations in the Middle East by acquiring Souq.com in 2017 which was the biggest eCommerce platform in the region during that time. Post acquiring the platform for a whopping $580 million, Souq.com UAE became Amazon.ae in 2019 and Amazon.sa for Saudi Arabia in 2020.
Souq.com now serves as the subsidiary of Amazon in the GCC region and allows thousands of sellers, retailers and brands to move their offline business online to sell on the biggest marketplace and experience a customer poll beyond any.
Amazon allows sellers to choose their own fulfilment options, FBA or Fulfilled by Amazon, or unlike noon, it provides logistics assistance to businesses known as Amazon Easy Ship as well as Amazon Seller Flex that wish to ship their own products.
1. Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA)
The most preferred and trusted choice of sellers, new as well as existing is the FBA or Fulfilled by Amazon selling model which is also popular amongst the shoppers as they receive assurance of good quality by Amazon for the products they purchase.
With Amazon FBA your products need little to no assistance from you and are taken care of completely by the marketplace as soon as you have sent them to the Amazon warehouse. The complete structure of the FBA selling model consists of:
- Keeping your products in the Amazon fulfilment centres across all regions with a huge storage capacity to eliminate the chances of your products going out of stock.
- Amazon allows the flexibility to pay on the go, as in paying for only the storage space that your products acquire in the facility with no extra costs on shipping.
- Picking, packing and shipping of all your products from these Amazon fulfilment facilities
- Amazon takes care of all customer services right from resolving queries to giving tracking updates, handling disputes, etc.
- As FBA is present in almost all regions, your customer pool expands internationally and helps you achieve greater sales
- With Fulfillment by Amazon, customers trust your products more and you save a lot on marketing expenses, manual involvement, shipping charges and more.
- Amazon also handles all your return orders and ensures that you experience minimum losses.
Apart from these very cost-effective features by Amazon, your products also get to be featured in exercises like Lightning deals, getting free shipping etc., that attract more shoppers to your products.
Amazon also gives out a very special ‘Buy Box’ feature for sellers or brands that reach a certain level of popularity and repeated order rates.
|Check out the success story of YZ Buyer, Dubai’s leading supplier of premier quality fashion & lifestyle products that achieved 2X Growth in Sales by selling seamlessly on 5+ marketplaces including Amazon.ae FBA with Unicommerce: How YZ Buyer Demonstrated 2X Growth With Unicommerce|
2. Amazon Easy Ship
For businesses that can or want to take care of their inventory all by themselves, Amazon offers another selling model in which all it does is provide assistance for shipping products whenever your products are purchased from the platform.
Amazon Easy Ship enables sellers to store and pack their products in their own warehouses or storage facilities and then sends in an associate from Amazon’s identified courier partners to the seller’s location to take up the packed orders and deliver it to the customer while charging a small delivery fee.
Sellers who want their customers to have a faster and more accurate delivery experience as well as to have accurate shipment tracking information, choose the Amazon Easy Ship model that offers a number of advantages including:
- Option to schedule orders for pick up at your one convenience all through the day
- Undivided attention to core business without the distraction of handling customers
- Live tracking for orders and real-time updates on its location
- Allowing easier and faster modes of serviceability to enhance customer satisfaction
- Availability of Cash on Delivery or COD options.
Although the AES selling model offers more control to the sellers, it has some restrictions too. One of them is the unavailability of the feature throughout the GCC region and the second is the fact that certain product types such as heavy or bulky items cannot be delivered through the Amazon Easy Ship program.
3. Amazon Seller Flex
Especially beneficial for local sellers and logistics service providers, the Amazon seller flex model allows the best last-mile delivery services around UAE as the Flex Seller Model allows independent logistics partners to pick up bundles of items from local Amazon warehouses and then deliver them to a specific address provided to them by Amazon.
The sellers have complete control over storage, packaging, time of dispatch etc., and can ship more orders with multiple Flex drivers to specific locations at a time. This model also helps these local logistics companies to make maximum wage delivering Amazon packages in their chosen and well-known locations.
4. Amazon Global Selling
With Amazon Global Selling, sellers can reach customers beyond borders as it allows them to sell internationally from anywhere. Over 200 countries fall under the International Selling of Amazon Global Selling model including the USA, Canada, Mexico & Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, UK, UAE, Turkey, Japan, Singapore & Australia.
Amazon Global Selling makes export of products from one region or country to another seamless and offers sellers a wide range of customers across the globe.
Apart from these selling models of Amazon that are being used around the GCC region, there is one more model rendered by the platform across the world to further help sellers choose the right option suitable for their eCommerce business and then proceed to expand sales and provide greater customer experience. The other selling model of Amazon is:
5. Amazon Self Ship FBM (Fulfilled By Merchant)
Quite popular in regions like India, the Amazon Self Ship model allows sellers to fulfil orders themselves without the involvement of any third-party entity.
Using this model, sellers get to produce as well as store all their inventory at a single place in their own facility, pack and ship items on their own which guarantees more cost savings and faster deliveries.
Although Amazon Self Ship model is yet to hit the GCC eCommerce market, if you plan on choosing any of the other selling models currently provided by Amazon, i.e., Amazon FBA, Amazon Easy Ship, Amazon Flex or Amazon Global Selling, you can always be clear on the fact that the level of trust customers from all around the world have on Amazon, you can fully expect a rapid release in your demands, order volumes and fulfilments to find yourself climbing the ladders of success with your business.
Start selling on Amazon & Noon today with the right solutions to support you!
Different selling models, tons of options to choose from within each model, various advantages and disadvantages, and of course the possibility to onboard on any of these platforms, let alone both can all be a little intimidating if you do it all by yourself.
But with a highly knowledgeable and robust technology solutions platform that provides:
- Seamless integrations to 100+ biggest eCommerce players including Amazon & noon
- Automates all inventory, order and warehouse operations from a single panel
- Enhances productivity and overall profitability
- Provides real-time updates to you on all business operations
and a lot more so that you can sit back and gather all your focus into expanding your business and providing the best in class customer service.
Unicommerce is leading supply chain technology solutions platform that excels in empowering your business to integrate on both of these platforms if not one along with 200+ other leading e-commerce service providers including logistics providers, ERP & POS systems, etc., to make the entire e-commerce journey for your business truly simplified.
With Unicommerce, over 20,000 businesses have accomplished the true potential of their business and have unlocked the best possible strategies to experience:
- 35% Increased Sales Growth
- 25% Reduced Inventory Cost
- 30% Lower Manpower Cost
- 20% Reduced Order Return
Don’t wait up, allow your business to explore new opportunities and increase your profitability with the customized and tremendously impactful solutions of Unicommerce.
Read how Businesses are growing with Unicommerce –
1. How Dubai-based Vidiwell achieved 230% sales order growth in 7 months in the Middle East
2. 99.99%+ Fulfillment Rate for the Kuwait-based Platform Toyfull
2. Oryvo Achieved Maximized Efficiency and Minimized Workload