If you’re hopelessly addicted to online shopping, then I’m sure that you’ve come by the wonderful service of Shop and Ship brought to you by Aramex. Personally, I get an extra thrill when I spot an online bargain, and knowing that I can look anywhere online, literally anywhere, to find it, is more liberating to me then scouring store upon store to find a certain product. With Shop and Ship accounts in the US, UK, Istanbul, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and even Dubai, users around the globe can shop their hearts out in an innovatively connected manner. For e-commerce entrepreneurs, Aramex also provides a one-stop solution for all of their needs. We talk to Hassan Mikail, Global Director of e-commerce at Aramex International, to give us the lowdown on how Aramex is revolutionizing e-commerce and facilitating online business with Shop and Ship.
How does Aramex continue to invest in its commitment to e-commerce?
We believe e-commerce can be one of the driving forces for employment and a superb means for new business opportunities, particularly in emerging markets. Remember, you can now trade 24/7 globally. Young and ambitious entrepreneurs have a lot of ideas to offer, in tune with the latest developments of technology and new trends. We’re very active on several fronts, the enablement of these young guns to go out and get it, with our suite of e-commerce solutions and delivery solutions that are tailor made to different business requirements. If you visit www.aramex.com/ecommerce, you’ll see REDe, our primary resource center for e-commerce. There, we offer introductions to our integrated partners, their offerings, etc.. The beauty of e-commerce is that it is something anyone can start on the side, learn from it, and test it, before deciding to take the full-time plunge. We’re also heavily involved with the likes of Astrolabs, Wamda and ArabNet, helping get the message out, mentoring, advising and evangelizing the wonderful potential of e-business. In addition, we’ve also ensured that we extend the most competitive rates/services for your e-business.
In Dubai, we’re piloting the eHOUSE project, a purpose built facility for e-business, offering warehouse and inventory management, logistics and temporary workspace/stations for startups, all under one roof…. they can hit the ground running from day 1.
How has the Shop and Ship service evolved since its early beginnings?
The model originally started as a catalog business (pre-Internet boom) and has evolved into an online delivery solution for cross-border shopping. We’ve learned that numerous sites back in the days wouldn’t ship internationally and if they did, they’d be charging excessively. Today, it’s an industry leader, with a very healthy customer base and new services have been introduced such as the shipping of special commodities, i.e. perfumes and aerosols (in select markets), and an optional protection service. Innovation never stops at Shop and Ship. The brand is constantly fueled and challenged by innovation…
How is online shopping and e-commerce, for both the consumer and business, facilitated with Shop and Ship?
Shop and Ship is now also a fantastic cross-border service for many online merchants who don’t have the resources to sell internationally, nor the financial means to invest in international logistics. We’ve brought down the global challenges of trade with this merchant-friendly solution. From a consumer perspective, as a Shop and Ship member, you’re no longer restricted to products only available in your local market. You have the right to shop from anywhere and anytime.
What does the addition of new cities mean to the avid shopper?
Our plan is for any individual or merchant to be able to sell or buy globally, from any key city in the world. In addition to New York, London and Shanghai. This year alone we’ve introduced Dubai, Istanbul and Mumbai and Hong Kong, to be followed by 2 more cities in Q4. Watch this space!
This one’s from our shopaholics. A problem we tend to run into with online shopping is not having a US based credit card. Can Shop and Ship help?
Problem solved! We’ve introduced a solution for this by partnering with the likes of US Unlocked not too long ago. SNS Members love it. Here you go www.usunlocked.com/aramex.php.
People tend to complain about shipping rates. What’s Shop and Ship doing to address this situation?
The shipping rates alone are very competitive, especially since we don’t charge volumetric; however, as an end-consumer, it’s the additional charges that add up, which cause concern. Majority of these charges are usually customs and duties related, at point of import, or, when additional duties are not streamlined in the process, such as the case here in Kuwait. These are concerns that also affect us as a company and we’re continuously addressing them with the concerned officials.
Can you tell us more about Shop and Ship Extra?
It’s all about giving our members more choices and variety. We spend a lot of time curating the site; giving our members what appeals to them, new gadgets, special offers and quirky things you don’t easily find on the internet. We have right now over 100,000 products listed, with the option to scale up to 250,000 by year-end.
How does the Kuwaiti e-commerce market fare out when compared to its regional neighbors?
Kuwait’s online population is one of the most advanced and switched-on, in the region. Several things have made this happen: 1) We’ve had our boom way before any other country in the region, 2) We generally are well-travelled, 3) We have solid IT infrastructure and telecom, 4) High penetration of credit cards/advanced financial system…remember…we’ve been a cashless economy (thanks to K-net)…way back in the 80’s.
I have a small e-commerce business in Kuwait and am looking to expand regionally how can Aramex help me?
It can start in 1-minute. Visit aramex.com/ecommerce and you’re good to go.
Check out www.aramex.com and
www.shopandship.com for more information, and start selling or shopping online.