Published on October 2nd, 2011 | by SayginYalcin0
Sukar.com crosses the millionth member mark in less than 18 months since launch
Sukar.com, the Middle East’s largest online private shopping club, today announced it had crossed the millionth member mark, demonstrating the region’s growing confidence in the online medium as an eCommerce channel.
The private shopping club, which offers its members a daily changing selection of deals on women’s, men’s and children’s fashion, jewellery, watches, accessories, gadgets, electronics and home décor brands at up to 90% off retail prices, has seen its membership base grow rapidly since it launched in April 2010. The phenomenal growth in members enjoyed by the club in 2010 has almost tripled in 2011.
“The popularity of deal sites has skyrocketed in the region in the past year. While Sukar.com offers something very different from that offered by group-buying sites on the market, our special deals work on a similar principle of limited availability – in terms of number of products and a short purchase window,” says Muhammad Chbib, CEO, Sukar.com. “We have achieved month-on-month revenue growth of 20-30% in the 18 months since we first launched and that has significantly exceeded our initial projected expectations.”
According to Chbib, rising internet penetration rates alongside the growing confidence in the internet as a safe purchasing channel has spurred the growth of this sector. All transaction data on Sukar.com is sent over extended validation secure socket layer protocol (EV-SSL) which is the highest security rating any web page can attain. “Today people are comfortable making transactions online, which wasn’t really the case just a couple of years ago. The market needed to reach a level of acceptance before its potential could really be explored. Growing consumer confidence in the safety of online transactions has enabled them to really start to appreciate the convenience and choice online shopping offers.”
“In addition, the region’s fairly young, tech-savvy and brand-savvy consumers increasingly resort to tag-comparing behavior, in that they will compare prices of products they find in their local stores with prices available through other channels, mainly online. They also look for products that are not available in their own markets,”says Chbib.
Sukar.com Founder and President Saygin Yalcin said: “Our global sourcing team continually expands its portfolio of international partners – which range from top fashion and
lifestyle brands such as Fendi, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Ray-Ban, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Apple, Blackberry, Diesel and others to up-and-coming designers – allowing us to offer our members the best designer deals all the time.” He added: “Our club has increased the number of deals available to our members to between 400-450 campaigns per month. The sourcing plays a major part of what separates Sukar.com from ordinary retail outlets, as members are able to get access to brands and collections that are sometimes unavailable in stores in the Middle East.”
Sukar.com currently ships out of Dubai to customers across the GCC, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, and is expected to enhance its warehouse operations in the next few months to deal with its growing volume of business. In Dubai, Sukar.com’s warehouse capacity has recently been tripled and a second shift has been introduced for its operations staff to cover the increased volume of customer orders.
“The majority of our purchases are made in the UAE and KSA, around 40% from each market, with the balance distributed between the other markets. There really isn’t a typical Sukar.com buyer in that our buyers are both male and female, aged between 18 and 55, from different income brackets – they all enjoy our great deals on designer brands. With the number of different campaigns we run, we aim at serving all of our members’ interests,” said Yalcin.
“We are currently investing in a website upgrade that enhances usability. But we are also actively looking into creating Sukar Apps for various mobile platforms as this is where we expect the market is going. The logistical processes and systems development linked to a quickly growing operation such as Sukar.com is currently the most challenging aspect of our business as everything we do amounts to a pioneering development for the industry in this region,” Chbib concluded.