iPhady rebrands, hopes to ride Saudi e-commerce wave

New name Lifestyley.com reflects evolving mix of products on offer

Tags: E-commerceUnited Arab EmiratesiPhady.com (iphady.com/)
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iPhady rebrands, hopes to ride Saudi e-commerce wave Saudi Arabia’s Government systems and regulations are quickly adapting to the e-commerce trend, says Ashadawi.
By  David Ndichu Published  August 25, 2017

iPhady.com, one of the most popular e-commerce sites in Saudi Arabia, is rebranding to Lifestyley.com.

iPhady has rapidly expanded its product portfolio in the recent past, thus the motivation to adopt a brand name that reflects this shift. From predominantly selling Apple products – hence the name iPhady, a combination of iPhone and iPad with an Arabic twist to it – the site has transitioned into offering more lifestyle-oriented items such as electronics and gadgetry, baby products, adventure and fitness items such as backpacks, hiking boots, clothing and accessories, and stationery and school supplies, among others.

“We are moving to a brand new and much more enhanced website with many added services and benefits for our customers, including a loyalty program in the coming months,” said Ahmed Ashadawi, president and CEO, Al Falak, the parent company of iPhady.

KSA’s e-commerce is booming. According to research firm Statista, e-commerce revenues in KSA is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2017-2021) of 12.1 %, one of the highest rates in the world, resulting in a market volume of US$ 8.6B by 2021. The market's largest segment is fashion, with a market volume of US$1.7B this year.

The local Saudi e-commerce market is now very attractive to investors and start-ups, said Ashadawi, including Al Falak which made its debut in the domestic e-commerce industry after acquiring iPhady in the last quarter of 2014. “KSA’s systems and regulations are quickly adapting to the e-commerce trend. In fact, Saudi Arabia has an official Commercial Registration for e-commerce businesses,” he added.

The latest entrants into the market include Amazon.com with the recent acquisition of Souq.com while noon.com is expected to launch in coming months. Ashadawi described these recent developments as another step that will pave the way for new growth and open a new phase of development in the local e-commerce ecosystem as a whole. “If anything, their entry will pressure current providers of supporting services such as logistics, packaging, digital marketing, and the like to up their game.”

Ashadawi says iPhady can differentiate itself even with bigger rivals looming large. What will set iPhady.com (soon to be rebranded as Lifestyley.com) apart, he said, is that it will target consumers who are looking for trendy products and gadgets and not necessarily for the cheapest providers of specific and popular items such as iPhone 7 units. “We will differentiate ourselves by providing our customers with a superior shopping experience and value-added services, regularly maintaining a portfolio of up-to-date and sought-after products, and deploying attractive offerings and promotions,” he added.

Cash on delivery (COD) is still the most preferred payment method among Saudi e-commerce consumers. Most of iPhady’s customers, Ashadawi says, are gradually shifting to digital payments. “We have a wide array of payment schemes, including credit card payments with instalment options for specific financial institutions, bank transfers, Sadad Olp online payment system, and cash on delivery (COD).”

iPhady.com was one of the first online store to introduce the popular Happy-Nes brand of earphones in KSA. “These have consistently been our most popular items since we introduced them in 2016. We also continue to work very closely with this Turkish brand that supplies customised, embroidered, and original Apple, Philips, Bose and Urban earphones. We seek to bring their novel bracelets, hair accessories, camera, and glass strap products to KSA.”

Additionally, iPhady is working with Happy-Nes for the launch of an exclusive line specifically made for us to celebrate Saudi National Day in September.

Expansion is a short-term focus for the brand amidst the Kingdom’s considerable growth potential. There are plans to expand to the UAE one to two years from now, Ashadawi said.

The Saudi e-commerce market is still in its infancy, accounting for less than 2% of all retail sales. This means that products on offer are still more expensive items compared with other established markets, Ashadawi observed. “We also need to remain consistent in terms of quality services across the Kingdom’s large and dispersed consumer market,” he added.  

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