Souq.com the Middle East’s equivalent of eBay has signed a deal with popular bookshop franchise Diwan Bookstores to launch it’s online store through Souq’s recently launched Egyptian version which marks a unique shift of online e-commerce in the region.
The word Diwan has multiple uses in Arabic the most popular of which is ‘a collection of poems by a single author’, and Cairo based Diwan Bookstore is one of the leading distributors of books and cultural products in Egypt. With 14 branches spread across the country including everything from cultural event hosting & organizing, to books multimedia and children’s games.
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Its tie-up with Souq.com is aimed at developing online marketing of their products by utilizing Souq’s experience in logistics and online transactions, including everything from complete transactional security through Souq SafePay to purchases delivery to customers.
The 8 year old company which launched their revamped online retail portal in Feb 2010 with a similar interface to that launched for it’s Souq.com store is simple and straightforward providing customers with their wide range of products in an interface clearly optimized for the English language, but provides some support for Arabic as well.
Omar Soudodi Souq.com Egypt’s GM said “25% of Egyptians use the internet to learn about the products they would like to purchase and 12.5% actually buy the products online so for Diwan Bookstores it is essential to establish a presence online to cater to this growing segment in Egypt”.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Diwan Bookstores turns digital in the process of leaning more heavily on online book sales, but one thing’s for sure, the region really needs a service similar to Amazon and some serious improvements on services like KutubArabia to cater to the region’s growing literature demands.