The Middle East ecommerce market has grown fast and the pandemic has only accelerated Western brands wanting to sell online there, particularly on Amazon.ae. However, it's crucial to ensure that your brand is properly represented for the benefit of your sales through all channels, so you should ensure you protect your brand on Amazon in the UAE.
The region now has one the highest ecommerce growth opportunities, and it is predicted that retail ecommerce across Middle East & Africa will grow by 20% in the next five years, compared to a global growth of 13%. Western brands will want to capitalise on this, but should not underestimate the impact of grey market activity, unauthorised sellers and fake product; all of which can make it harder for them to maximise sales
Below, we highlight some of the reasons and benefits as to why now is the time to protect your brand on Amazon in the UAE.
Protect your brand from unauthorised sellers
In our recent benchmark analysis of 50 brands being sold on Amazon in the Middle East, we found 74% of them had more than one reseller on their listings. The category with the most competition was Electronics where 47% of listings had more than six sellers. Whilst competition can be a good thing, offering customers more choice on who to purchase from, in reality, a high number of sellers on a product is a sign of a messy seller landscape which can have a negative impact on customers and the brand.
Although Amazon may not be a brand's first choice as a sales channel, you can be sure that if you are not selling your brand directly on the marketplace, it’s highly likely it’s being sold by another seller that is potentially damaging your brand reputation and perception. Typically, these types of sellers’ main business strategy is driven by quick revenue rather than investing in quality control, marketing, and brand experience. As a result, customers are often left unsatisfied with the quality of their products, often questioning the authenticity or items, and consequently, generating bad reviews and ratings for the brand.
A category where we noticed this to be a significant issue was Beauty, where most of the brands reviewed experienced a high volume of negative reviews. In comparison to other categories, brands in the beauty category also had a lot more customer questions on their listings; mainly questioning the legitimacy of the products. However, none of the brands replied directly. This is a missed opportunity to generate sales, build trust and protect your brand from other customers or sellers providing inaccurate responses.
For brands that may be sceptical about scaling up their business on Amazon.ae, the benefit of working with an authorised third-party seller such as Pattern, is that you can build your legitimate presence and diminish the impact of unauthorised sellers. This will help significantly improve reviews and ratings, as well as drive revenue on sales channels outside of Amazon.
A high percentage of cross-border sales in the UAE
In 2020, 86% of consumers made purchases from outside of the region, partly due to high local pricing, and partly because consumers are actively seeking out brands and products that are not yet sold locally.
Vitamins and Supplements is one category with strong cross-border sales. It also scored relatively poorly in the benchmarking, partly due to a competitive seller landscape of unauthorised sellers and a low percentage of product listings that had a rating of 4* and above. Product that has been stored incorrectly and slow delivery are two problems that can impact the customer experience and perception of your brand, even if it is a third-party supplying your product.
Amazon Advertising can help increase your awareness
Brands will also benefit from investing in Amazon Advertising to increase their presence in the market and compete against their peers within the category, especially since competition for Sponsored Brand and Sponsored Product Ads are low.
When we analysed the use of Sponsored Advertising for the 10 Vitamins & Supplements brands selling on Amazon.ae, we found none were utilising this ad type – this is a great opportunity to advertise your legitimate listings at relatively low costs if you aren't already doing so.
To sum it up, being able to protect your brand on Amazon in the UAE means more than making direct sales. What's equally, if not more, important is the impact on Middle Eastern consumers' perception of your brand in general. Having the right strategy will grow your sales while ensuring your brand is protected.
Download the Amazon UAE benchmarking report where we share best practise examples that effect more than just your presence on Amazon or to learn more about how Pattern can help you grow your business on Amazon, contact MENA@pattern.com