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Europe & Middle East Outlook

Tawseel Ecommerce Group
Middle East retail
Kuwait
Kuwait retail
ecommerce
FinTech
online retail

TAWSEEL ECOMMERCE GROUP

Reactive Retail

Tawseel Ecommerce Group has enjoyed exponential growth over the past 12 months as internal technological advancements translate into strong business development 

Writer: Matthew Staff

Project Manager: Joshua Mann

The past 12 months has seen Tawseel Group excel to new heights, virtue of the Kuwaiti ecommerce group’s commitment to continuous improvement and client-centric innovation.

With early success in the retail industry, Tawseel Ecommerce Group (Tawseel General Trading W.L.L) has evolved successfully over the past decade, the Company reporting last year that it was the nation’s largest online retailer, staying true to its local roots.

And now, as Chief Operating Officer, Frank Berger reports, the story has got a whole lot more positive still.

“I’m happy to report that all is well,” he says. “From a general business outlook, in the first half of 2018 we have seen no less than 50 percent growth across all of our platforms. Though we continue to develop these capabilities, we have also implemented many technical goals that we set out previously. Successful implementation of AI and marketing automations on the platforms are just two examples.”

Across its five portals - Sheeel.com, Digumz.com, Thouqi.com, Berwaz.com and Taw9eel.com – Tawseel has developed to become Kuwait’s largest hyper e-store, comprised of more than 20,000 items when the Company last spoke with EME Outlook in 2017.

Back then, Berger revealed: “We are able to offer great deals on electronics, groceries, beauty, fashion, wholesale products and much more; all of our Taw9eel products are delivered within four hours of purchase.”

The Group has made profound efforts to ensure that it is constantly aware of its main competitive advantages and unique selling points, by asking itself a few questions to establish if it is worth a company’s time: How could the Company improve and protect the product? How could it acquire more USPs? Where did the product go wrong and why?

“Our future plans are then based on the answers we get from these questions,” Berger continued. “We will launch initiatives and experiment with those and tweak them, either with the intention to launch them with full backing or dump them and learn from our mistakes. 

“This is a tried and tested cycle in which we are honest with ourselves and nothing is too precious to be changed, improved upon or abandoned.” 

In-keeping with this continuous improvement ethos, 2018 began with three overriding goals: to improve the stickiness of its platforms to consumers; to provide merchants and suppliers with the necessary tools and data to push target campaigns and attract new customers; and to perfect its last mile logistics approach.

A win-win situation

A host of upgrades and enhancements have already occurred to this end to realise each goal. And simultaneously, Tawseel has laid out an aggressive feature rollout plan for its platform in order to remain at the forefront of technological innovation; and thus, edge nearer to achieving these three aforementioned goals 

“From a technological perspective, we have four areas of targeted investment this year; more AI and automation, a completely new loyalty programme, adoption of reactive commerce, and the rollout of AR assisted consumer experiences,” Berger lists. “We have successfully rolled out AI into many parts of our platforms, however, we plan to take it a step further this year. As for automation, we have been incredibly successful in marketing automation so far and we plan to run more targeted campaigns that help us and our suppliers reach the right customer at the right time.

“We have also started development of our enhanced loyalty programme. This will allow us to connect all our platforms, and potentially third parties as well, to a single platform. The benefits to consumers will be above and beyond your average loyalty programme.”

A further interesting area of development is in reactive commerce, which will offer customers a more dynamic and real-time proposition when shopping online; offering consumers potential promotions and offers in reaction to their interest in a singular product. 

“It’s a win-win situation - we increase the basket size and customers benefit from additional savings,” Berger enthuses. “Then, on an internal note we will be rolling out a new ERP system to start the fourth quarter. With it, we will have a more detailed insight into our last mile operations and our overall business decision process.”

Great growth

In perfecting its internal structure, Tawseel is better equipped to prepare for and react to the the retail sector’s ever-changing trends; the first of which being the growing number of competitors entering the market.

Berger details: “These players are either new aggressive entrants with a unique disruption angle, major retailers switching focus online, or international ecommerce players expanding into the region. 

“Secondly, as more players enter the market, customers demand more value for their spend, especially on the service side. This is precisely why we are investing heavily in loyalty and last mile this year. Thirdly, more of the major suppliers are engaging with ecommerce at unprecedented levels, which is fantastic for us. However, they require a level of data sharing that allows them to accurately and precisely measure their ROIs.”

Facilitating the ability to keep up with such complexities is a knowledgeable workforce armed with the requisite ecommerce skills to take Tawseel to the next level. As Berger has explained in the past, finding these skills is no easy task but thanks to a concerted internal training programme and a can-do ethos that emanates throughout the Group, everyone and everything is now in place to drive another year of exponential growth.

“We have seen great growth and advancements in our offerings to a growing customer base,” Berger affirms. “And now, we want to make sure that our customers remain happy, that our suppliers continue to move goods robustly through our platform, and to ensure that our business goes from strength to strength.”