E-commerce platform launched in Egypt
LONDON - Safina Egypt Company introduced the first e-commerce platform for Egyptian products, which it described as a response to the hopes of the country’s manufacturers to give their products an international reach and visibility and increase the demand for them in the local market.
The company called its platform “Safina” (for “ship”) and intended it as an electronic trading “mall” grouping all Egyptian industries. The platform provides a substitute for each participating company, a sort of a virtual outlet for the business.
Islam al-Bana, chairman of the board of Safina Egypt Company, which owns the safinaegypt.com website, said in a statement that there were more 1,000 Egyptian-made products on the platform.
He said the platform allows every Egyptian merchant, import or export agents to search for a product on the platform, which provides a list of manufacturers of that product in Egypt.
He pointed out that users could navigate from one manufacturer to another on the platform because each has a mini-website on the site containing specific information about the manufacturer.
He explained that each product is accompanied with a caption giving its name, average price, minimum order quantity, specifications and a brief description. When customers choose the manufacturer they wish to deal with, they can contact them through the platform using a dedicated chat engine window.
Bana said the Safina platform does not take a commission on any sales. Its revenues are derived from subscription fees from manufacturers on the platform.
He said that the opportunity is ripe for Egyptian products to compete at a global level, encouraged by several factors, such as the depreciation of the Egyptian pound, which led to relatively low prices of Egyptian products.
He highlighted the Egyptian government’s efforts to support the domestic manufacturing industries through the creation of industrial complexes and improving infrastructure to facilitate logistical operations, in addition to monetary and financial policies supporting this trend.
Bana pointed out that the Global Competitiveness Report, issued in October, ranked Egypt 23rd out of 141 countries in terms of the market size available for Egyptian product locally and internationally.
He said 23rd place is considered an advanced position that indicates the size of the market available for Egyptian products locally and internationally but what is missing from the chain is a mechanism to ensure easy and fast access to those markets, which is what the Safina platform is designed to provide.