Business Blog commercetools enters the Middle East – and is one step closer to being present in every corner of the globe

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
December 2021

In the past year we’ve won our first client in India and entered into the French market. And we’re not slowing down. The next region on the commercetools list for global expansion is the Middle East, and in particular, the GCC region consisting of the UAE, the KSA, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

commercetools expands to the Middle East

Why the Middle East represents such a huge opportunity

Predicted by consulting firm Kearney, the Middle Eastern market will be worth $50 billion USD by 2025 thanks to their huge growth in retail. This number is based on the trend of rapid eCommerce growth in the region that has increased from $5 billion USD in 2015 to $25 billion USD in 2020. The region is going through a major digital transformation and omnichannel is driving the rapid transformation of retail and business-to-business commerce. Most sectors within the Middle East are investing heavily in becoming an online-commerce-first business to meet the swift changes in consumer expectation that is predicted to last far beyond the influence of Covid-19.

The annual spend of digital-savvy consumers has nearly doubled from $600 USD to $1,200 USD in the last two years. To meet this enormous demand, the region is looking for robust, future-ready and scalable omnichannel eCommerce solutions. Currently, the market is dominated by Amazon and Noon, while major regional retailers are digitally transforming themselves to get in on the action.

Our current customers in the Middle East

With our partners Astound Commerce, Brand New Galaxy, Emakina, EPAM, Futuremind, Tacit Knowledge and Valtech, we have already secured a foothold in the region with a handful of clients that have seen the value of our MACH-based (Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless) architecture. These customers include:

  • selfologi – An innovative digital platform looking to disrupt the aesthetic medical industry with a combination of medicine information, a tech-driven marketplace and cutting-edge eCommerce; won with our partner Tacit Knowledge.

  • Alghanim Industries – One of the largest, privately owned companies in the Gulf region operating over 30 businesses and more than 300 brands; implemented by our partner Valtech.

  • Trolley – A chain of convenience stores that offers a “one-stop” shopping solution with a wide range of everyday consumables; implemented by our partner Futuremind. 

At commercetools, we have assembled a dedicated to meet the needs of the Middle Eastern market, headed up by Nikhil Kulkarni, the Sales Director for MENA; Mahmoud Belal, the Business Development Lead; Siawash Shibani, the Solution Engineer Lead; Dan Gershfield, the Partner Lead; and Diana Fusekova, for Partner Marketing.

The Middle East, especially the GCC region, has shown the world that when digital vision and ability to execute meet, then regional transformation toward a $50 billion USD eCommerce market is guaranteed. commercetools, along with its MACH partners, are investing in the region to meet the demand for composable commerce solutions. As the creators of headless commerce and named as a “Leader” by Gartner, commercetools is well-positioned support our customers desire to apply laser focus on their digital-savvy consumers – just like Al Ghanim aims to do.
Nikhil Kulkarni

Sales Director, MENA, commercetools

How commercetools exceeds the top challenges in the region

The regional retail commerce of the Middle East is largely based around shopping malls, which are also a lifestyle environment. Current eCommerce solutions that supported the region up until now were designed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These met the requirements of a channel which was, at that time, only 0.4% of the total revenue. However, with double-digit growth forecasted, these monolith platforms are crumbling under the pressure and online retailers are looking to adopt a MACH approach to compete with the online pure players that are increasingly dominating the market.

commercetools is building a network of MACH solution partners to tap into the growing demand for headless commerce, which facilitates more flexibility, faster time-to-market and a truly omnichannel experience. This will create a strong base for growth, and our above-mentioned regional team will always be ready to support the huge demand we are already seeing for composable commerce.

Learn more about the overwhelming benefits that headless and MACH-based commerce platforms bring to eCommerce with our white papers: Benefits of Headless Commerce and Making the Switch to MACH.

commercetools author image Stephanie Wittmann
Stephanie Wittmann
December 2021

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