Engaging the Arab female digital consumer: Is Souq.com seizing the opportunity in Saudi Arabia?

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Larras, Souad
Issue Date
MSc in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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Ever since businesses began embracing E-commerce, marketers have been on the pursuit of methods to benefit from this revolution and make use of the new facilities (Roosendaal and van Esch, 2007), however there is an apparent distinction of how this occurrence has hit different parts of the world, in developing countries including the Arab world, E-marketing is yet to be effectively introduced (Basahel and Khoualdi, 2015). When digitally targeting a country such as Saudi Arabia, practitioners face various challenges such as culture, language, trust, lack of regulations surrounding payment systems, postal system. Etc (Almahroos, 2012). This study is putting the spotlight on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a fast-growing market and a member of countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States (commonly referred to as the GCC). The interest in this particular country can be associated with the apparent lag in development on an international scale in regard to E-commerce (Jawa and Chaichi, 2015) it is still considered a wave in the country’s IT revolution despite the fact that there is a radical transformation taking place in the Kingdom (Al-Gahtani et al., 2007). The study will be exploring how the female Saudi consumer can be engaged in online commercial activities. In order to shed the light on what the Saudi woman views are on the use of technology for online shopping a survey has been conducted and distributed to Saudi nationals mainly from the cities: Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, as well as Saudis currently living as expats in Dublin and London, in addition to two interviews with two Saudi Consumers. After examination of available academic literature on the subject and upon collection and analysis, the data is put into perspective with the findings of in-depth interviews carried out with practitioners in the region.