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E-shopping: these young Saudis have the wind in their sails

A piece by young Saudi creator Huda Beydoun

The covid-19 pandemic that has been hitting humanity in recent months will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the world's economy. However, it is not without certain undeniable advantages, such as the development of e-commerce, boosted by the confinement of a large majority of the population to their homes.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, will not say otherwise. Online sales are doing well. The American billionaire is on his way to becoming the richest man in history and the first to amass a personal fortune of up to $1 trillion. This is all thanks to the unprecedented boom in online commerce that has been taking place since the beginning of containment.

Supporting young local talent

Nor will it be the young Saudi artists and creators Fida Al-Hussan, Ameera Al-Sheikh, or Huda Beydoun who will contradict this observation. At a time when art galleries, museums and fashion houses are trying to reinvent their business model to continue to exist during the health crisis, online platforms are gaining momentum, as are the artists they represent, including the three aforementioned.

 

This is notably the case of Spark, the platform created by Bahaa Gazzaz, which he himself describes as “an affordable art platform that transforms artists’ creative expressions into custom-made products. Since its launch in 2016, Spark has acted as a commercial platform where artists, designers and photographers come to register and showcase their work. The products, such as t-shirts, are made to order, in order to waste no stock is wasted and to give artists the opportunity to earn a fair percentage of the revenue. Since the arrival of Covid-19, the entrepreneur admits to seeing “a sharp increase in online sales” which he hopes will continue even after the pandemic.

 

Reboosting the economy

More than hope, it’s a conviction. The latter believes in a real paradigm shift around commerce and believes that, even if a drop in sales is to be expected, consumers will continue to shop more online than before. This vision is both optimistic and realistic since it is based on a simple observation of consumer habits. Indeed, its platform is not the only one to perform particularly well in these difficult times. Others, such as its elder Dokkan Afkar, with relatively similar positioning, and co-founded by Saudi Arabia’s Ammar Waganah, are also booming. And in the tough times ahead in the post-Covid period, God knows if the economy will need such nuggets to get healthy, both for the sake of these e-commerce platforms of all sizes, and for the small artisanal brands they represent?