Aramex Launches Shop and Ship in Dubai
Aramex will soon be launching its international shipment service, Shop and Ship, in Dubai, in a move that could dramatically boost e-commerce in the Arab world.
In addition to having accounts in New York, London, and Shanghai, customers will be able to register for an account in Dubai and have merchants ship to that local address; Aramex will forward the items to their locations around the world.
The UAE is now the first country in the Arab world to enter the Shop and Ship program, but its time has come, says Hassan Mikail, Aramex’s Global Director of E-Commerce. “There’s no doubt that Dubai is a global shopping destination, both online and offline.”
For online retailers based in Dubai, which include some of the region’s biggest, such as MarkaVIP, Souq, Sukar, and Namshi, the move will open up new markets dramatically without straining their resources, as they will only need to ship to a local address and Aramex will forward the packages onward.
“Shop and Ship offers online merchants the ability to access new markets without having to stretch their delivery solutions and worry about the last mile,” says Mikail.
It’s also a boon for offline businesses considering going online, or those that cater to customers from around the world, as those businesses can now serve a global market using only local shipping, he says.
For startups in Dubai that already face high overhead, it’s especially useful; those that store their inventory at Aramex’s eHOUSE can simply have their goods forwarded from the warehouse directly, as the building doubles as the Shop and Ship facility. “What's truly disruptive for startups is that we're offering the Shop and Ship service out of our e-facility in Al Quoz, where several new entrepreneurs are already stocking their goods,” says Mikail.
Over 90% of current Shop and Ship customers reside outside Dubai, he says, so signing up for the new service will allow local merchants to tap into a new customer base.
For those wondering what the distinction is between using Shop and Ship and setting up an international shipment service through Aramex, the biggest difference for merchants is that Shop and Ship customers have pre-verified their pipeline, and pay using credit cards. “Hopefully this will alleviate the pains of cash on delivery eventually,” says Mikail. “Everyone wins in this model.”