The world of ecommerce has boomed exponentially especially over the past two years and companies are promptly adapting to the latest consumer trends to grow their market share. Everything (almost) can be sold and purchased online and the benefits for store owners and customers are becoming even more apparent. A series of questions remain however – what is the right platform to build an ecommerce store on, how can store owners grow their sales online, and what are the most integral factors to get it right? BDD’s team sat with Ecomz to answer these very questions.
BDD: First things first, why was it integral to create Ecomz?
Ecomz: Ecomz is not your typical ecommerce platform. It was built from the ground up, to cater specifically to the MENA region, where regionalization is crucial in helping local merchants to sell their products locally, regionally and globally. We are not a reseller of off-the-shelf solutions but rather an integrated ecommerce management platform catering for the unique needs of this region. To this end, we have partnered with leading regional service providers and customized our platform for each Middle Eastern country and come up with the level of localization that is unmatched worldwide. We consider ourselves as a powerhouse technological platform to help merchants of all sizes sell their products easily and efficiently.
Store owners can also access our ecommerce ecosystem, which includes legal services, content creation, SEO, social media, photography, marketing, analytics, merchandising, integrations, logistics, training, and way more.
BDD: The ecommerce market, in terms of providers and platforms that facilitate setting up an online store is abundant. How does Ecomz differentiate itself from others on the market?
Ecomz: There are certainly many ways to sell online, and each way has its own advantages and disadvantages. There is no clear winner in terms of one platform that fits all, given that every country or type of industry has its own way of doing business and a bunch of requirements that constantly vary.
In our case, Ecomz differentiates itself through its unique selling propositions:
- Advanced Tech: We continually seek to understand the problems that both merchants and consumers face, in order to come up with adaptable and practical solutions. This includes currency conversion options, multilingual platforms that can easily be adapted to Arabic, and key partnerships to provide merchants with various needs, such as shipment management and multi warehouses. We also offer advanced features from inventory management to an awesome theme builder, multi-currency support at checkout all the way to a multi-marketplace vendor solution.
- Deep Localization: With the growth of cross-border sales, merchants have had a need to request a multicultural, multi-currency, and multi-store platform. Over time, Ecomz became an expert in the industry creating a record number of stores in the past few months during COVID-19. Ecomz has gained a lot of experience through understanding local needs.
- Unparalleled Customer Service: Having quick, responsive, unparalleled, advanced and local customer service teams that are available 24/7 and help merchants or any website go online in less than a week.
Not to boast, but Ecomz is an award-winning platform by the Touch Innovation program with Zain, nominated as Tech Innovation of the Year by the Brilliant Lebanese Award, and finalist in many competitions, in addition to having harvested a great opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley and mentored by the leaders in this field.
BDD: We can imagine that Lebanese companies are facing many challenges given the current situation. What are you doing to support them?
Ecomz: Lebanon is currently facing the biggest financial crisis in its history and trust has been lost with regards to the banking sector. To resolve these matters, we:
- Bridged partnerships with major providers: We have partnered with all major local payment gateways such as Areeba, Bank of Beirut, Net Commerce, Credit Libanais and BLOM Bank, as well as regional players and negotiated attractive banking fees and deals to our merchants in order to help them sell internationally. Our partnerships also include leading logistics and marketing service providers.
- Operate with three currencies: We have also enhanced our payment module to easily accommodate the 3 currencies that we currently have in Lebanon: LBP, USD Fresh and USD Lollars (at the bank rate). In case merchants sell in fresh dollars, they will be paid in fresh dollars by the banks. We are offering all the flexibility for merchants to decide what kind of payment currency they want to accept and this can be easily configured in their store settings with a few clicks.
- Provide cash on delivery: We are providing merchants with the ability to decide how and when to accept cash on delivery payments. For example, merchants can accept local payment cash on delivery and this feature will be hidden for merchants outside Lebanon.
- Offer multi-store features: Additionally, our multi-store feature allows merchants to manage multiple websites from one account in order to target different markets. For example, one website will be targeting Lebanon and the other international markets. This gives merchants the ability to have more control on the pricing, inventory availability, and marketing messages for each website.
- Bridge global partnerships: Moreover, we are constantly working with global partners such as Facebook, Google, Paypal and Microsoft, amongst others, to support our regional merchants in the most efficient way. For example, we partnered with Facebook and launched the Ecommerce Start Lebanon initiative. Link:, offering merchants a professional store set up free of charge fully sponsored by Ecomz, Facebook and Mindshare. Our goal is to support merchants who are selling any Lebanese-made product aiming at exporting their goods abroad in return for fresh US dollars. In addition to the free online store set up, merchants will also benefit from ad credits from Facebook and Instagram. The total financial support is valued for more than USD 6,000 per merchant. Facebook Lebanon Support Hub link
BDD: What advice do you have for the Lebanese (and regional) companies when setting up their online store?
- Act fast: Selling online is not a task, it is a journey. Merchants have to constantly work on enhancing their shopping experience. Best advice could be to start as soon as possible and adapt as you grow. While you are thinking others are doing. Do not worry about the little details, you will solve them along the way.
- Choose the right partner: When choosing a platform, many people forget that it is not about creating a store, but it is about growing it. Therefore, choose the right technology adapted to the business’ needs with the right support and maintenance of the right team behind it. Store owners should choose a partner who is ready to understand the pain points and fix them for you.
- And finally, the last piece of advice would be to avoid extensive customization because you will be stuck with it for life. You will regret this route because it is hard to maintain and is unpractical. You will be wasting time and resources. Hence, follow the standards and modify them later.
BDD: How important is it to be part of a community (such as BDD) for entrepreneurs and companies such as Ecomz?
Ecomz: BDD has done a great job in becoming a tech hub for entrepreneurs and innovators in Lebanon. It offers a community that brings together all businesses by facilitating spaces and services and an appealing culture for start-ups. By joining BDD, it gave us more exposure and credibility. Not to mention that BDD is situated in the heart of Beirut and offers a lot of services. BDD is based on a culture where it does not only care to help start-ups kick off, but also reach bigger and more successful places. It is not only a space that caters for offices and workspaces but it is also a place that hosts social activities where entertainment and engagement take place. Being part of BDD allows business growth and encourages creative minds to collaborate being a high tech and high quality environment.
For more information on Ecomz or to set up your online store, visit www.ecomz.com
And stay tuned for tips from Ecomz, on how to grow your online store.