A service to bridge the gap between Chinese ecommerce sellers and customers in the region is introduced into the Middle Eastern market.
iShip, an international shop and ship service launched by Dubai startup iMile, has been launched into the Middle East. The service allows customers and small businesses in the region to purchase directly from Chinese factories and Alibaba.com and have their products shipped straight to their doorstep in the UAE or KSA. The orders are made in bulk and are transported to the Middle East via air or sea.
iShip is currently operational. After its soft launch in the UAE over a year ago, the service has been functioning between China and the UAE. It plans to be fully functional across China, the UAE and KSA within the year.
Given that China is the largest trade partner for the UAE and KSA, this venture presents an opportunity to bring customers and businesses in the Middle East even closer to sellers in China.
iShip was launched by iMile, a logistics delivery service founded on the use of premium, state-of-the-art technology. iMile was started in 2017, initially operating with a small team in Dubai. Now, the company has grown to a team of 700+ employees based in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China.
iMile CEO, Rita Huang, said: “We specialize in delivering goods from Chinese e-commerce websites to customers in the Middle East in order to serve the dynamic e-commerce marketplace of tomorrow in the region and beyond. We have successfully built our foundation in technology and operations for COD delivery, helping to establish an even stronger connection with China.”
With the rise of ecommerce in recent years, accelerated by the global pandemic, the launch of iShip is occurring at an opportune time to serve the increased digitalization of both businesses and consumers in the region.
Before COVID-19, the GCC’s ecommerce market was projected to grow at CAGR of 14% leading up to 2022. Post pandemic, the regional ecommerce market is predicted to grow at CAGR of 20% in the next year.
This directly correlates with changing consumer behaviours. Up to 40% of consumers in the UAE and KSA are shopping online more now than prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. 48% in the UAE and 69% in KSA are expected to maintain these purchasing habits.
Consequently, more businesses are undergoing digital transformation to transition retail supply chains to support e-commerce. This transition requires both digital experience and supply chain expertise, which partners like iMile can provide to enable increased business growth for their clients