How Redsea Introduced Omnichannel to the Middle East
A webstore built from scratch.
Founded in 1945, Abdul Latif Jameel has deep roots in the Middle East and a wide range of businesses, including an electronics and home appliance company. Abdul Latif Jameel Electronics and Air Conditioning is one of Saudi Arabia’s major providers of washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators, and more. They are the exclusive distributor for some of the world’s best-known electronics and home appliance brands including Bosch, Electrolux, Toshiba, Sharp, White Westinghouse, Dora, and Mekar. But until 2015, the company had no online store. In the Middle East, eCommerce is still an emerging retail channel, and culturally, the preferred method of payment remains cash-on-delivery. Recognizing the opportunity, Abdul Latif Jameel Electronics wanted to sell online, direct to both consumers and wholesale clients. To usher them into the digital age, they hired British eCommerce expert, Nadim Naqavi. “We wanted to develop a B2C and a B2B online offering,” he said, “and we felt Magento was the right platform.” Nadim had previously worked with Redbox Digital, the Magento Global Elite Partner, and chose them to lead their digital transformation.
"Magento is an easy-to-use system. It has a lot of different types of plug-ins, so you don't have to do lots of coding."
An original, omnichannel experience.
The company started by building a rudimentary online store using dot net to initiate fulfillment and logistics for the new online business. At the same time, it was decided that Abdul Latif Jameel Electronics should create a new standalone brand for both its online and bricks-and-mortar offering. Working with Omnia, the Dubai-based branding agency, the company chose Redsea as the brand name for its retail and web stores.
Nadim's six-person team collaborated with the digital commerce specialist, Redbox Digital, to create the main web store for Redsea, redsea.com, using Magento Commerce 2. As part of the new brand, color-coded zones were developed to provide consumers with an easy to navigate in-store experience; home appliances are green, air conditioning is blue, etc. The same colored sections of the store would be replicated on the website, creating a unique omnichannel environment. A click-and-collect module designed by Redbox would also allow customers to pick up items from those stores.
Meanwhile, the new online store would boast a new PIM solution, personalized recommendations, and intelligent search for both Arabic and English languages. Finally, the site offered cash-on-delivery, with free delivery for customers using a credit card or PayPal. Checking out online was also encouraged by offering the popular Saudi Arabian payment system, SADAD.
A new way for Saudi Arabians to shop.
Redsea.com was launched in April 2017. It delivered a staggering 100 percent increase in the company’s overall revenue, and a 50 percent boost in conversion rate. There were some other more surprising results: Abdul Latif Jameel Electronics discovered that the website’s content was so comprehensive that some customers were using it as an online catalogue. “They use the website to do their homework,” said Nadim, “Then they come in [to the store] and say, ‘I want that one.’” Meanwhile, they found that younger Saudis are more comfortable buying online. In a country where the cell phone is an essential requirement and a primary source of entertainment, mobile penetration was huge – representing 70 percent of traffic. This produced greater mobile sales than on desktop.
Following the success of Redsea.com, Abdul Latif Jameel will soon launch a B2B website, becoming the first Middle Eastern electronics retailer to offer quantity discounts online. A Redsea app for B2C will follow, allowing the brand to send direct offers to its customers. Abdul Latif Jameel is also working on an in-store kiosk and they plan to expand their range online. In a territory where eCommerce is in its formative years, Abdul Latif Jameel Electronics has used digital innovation and Magento Commerce to stake a claim in a fast-growing online market — and Redsea is a brand to watch.
“Redbox Digital has been instrumental in making our eCommerce platform a success. From the start, they understood what we were trying to achieve and collaborated with our internal team and brand agency to deliver a rich omnichannel shopping experience.”