The people’s revolution that has ushered in a new era of peace, happiness and hope for Egyptians from all walks of life, has led to an explosion of intellectual freedom with thousands of people snapping up new, used and even previously banned books online, thanks to souq.com, the largest e-commerce marketplace in the Arab world.
The number of internet users has recorded a sharp increase following the 25th January revolution to rise from 20 million subscribers to 24 million in the past few months , and experts have predicted an exponential growth in online shopping, especially the purchase of books by various classes and age groups in Egypt, following a revival of the reading habit.
In fact, the books and cultural products section on www.souq.com, has registered a phenomenal 300% growth in the last few weeks. This section offers publications of top publishers, that are being sold by leading bookstores, in almost all categories including the future of Egypt after the revolution, the current debate on change, democracy, the constitution and the economy of Mubarak era, globalisation, the fall of capitalism, American hegemony, international intervention, liberalism, and dialogue of civilizations, as well as books covering religion, and those of an academic nature, books on banking and even political satire and children’s literature. The long list of books available on Souq.com includes books banned under the previous regime.
The books have been written by numerous authors including outstanding writers and thinkers like Ibrahim Isa, Dr Abdel Halim Kandeel, Subhi Aseela, Bachir Abdel Fattah, Dr Waleed Mahmud Abdel Nasser, Dr Saleem Mandur, Dr Usama Nabeel, Dr Emad Gad, and many others.
In its quest to provide the best service to book and music lovers, the Souq.com cultural section also offers used books alongside new products. You can visit the section by clicking: http://egypt.souq.com.
Commenting on the growing popularity of books, Omar Soudodi, General Manager of Souq Egypt, said:”Against the backdrop of freedom initiated by the revolution and the ongoing healthy debate on democracy and future choices in Egypt we have witnessed a massive 300% increase in the sale of books and cultural products at our virtual marketplace. Further, bookstores are increasingly turning to e-marketing to promote their books. In this regard, they are keen on offering new products through Souq.com, as they seek to reach out to a wider market that has been made possible by the huge customer base of Souq.com with millions of page views a month on the site and leveraging various social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and also making use of the technological and logistical advantages that are exclusive to Souq.com, from e-payment to product delivery”.
Mr. Soudodi added: “We at Souq.com are proud to help develop the Egyptian publishing industry on one hand while on the other hand, further enrich the debate on choices for the future of Egypt. We offer bookstores the opportunity to open an e-store on our site through which they can grow their business by reaching out to more customers. At the same time we help readers locate their most sought after books in a simple, safe and speedy way from the convenience of his home or office.
“We, at Souq.com are pleased to work closely with bookstores in Egypt, as it gives us the opportunity to serve new categories of the market, especially intellectuals along with our customers in all other categories ranging from electronics to accessories and home appliances”, he said.
Souq.com Egypt provides complete transactional security through Souq SafePay, a unique service that verifies all transactions between buyers and sellers, ensuring 100% security for complete peace of mind, as well as speedy delivery to customers through its partnership with the best express freight companies in Egypt.
The list of bookstores and publishing houses offering their products on Souq.com include AUC publishing house, Nahdat Masr, Dar El Masrya El Lebnaniah and Dar El Houda, in addition to Diwan Bookstores, Alef Bookstores, Al Kotob Khan, Adam Bookstore, Modern academic books and Books and More.
All publishing houses and bookstores offer customers, through their own e-store on Souq.com, all books and cultural products available in their book shops including a wide range of books from literature to specialized subjects such as investment, financial services, food, sports, vocational development, nursing or family issues, as well as music and movies.
The publishers and book retailers have benefited immensely from the rapidly growing e-commerce and online shopping industry in Egypt. Recently published research indicates that 25% of Egyptians use the internet to learn about the products they would like to purchase, and half of them actually go on to buy the products online.
Souq.com is enjoying unprecedented growth in Egypt since its launch. Souq is currently the fastest growing e-commerce site in Egypt. It is now ranked 255th on Alexa Internet Inc’s list of most popular websites in Egypt, moving up from the rank of 7000 that it had held previously. Souq.com’s rapid growth is being driven by its popularity as the premier online marketplace for people looking to buy or sell new and used goods over the Internet. Souq is currently tripling its registered user base every month, and doubling the volume of goods sold online every month.