As reported by MENAbytes last week, Noon, the billion-dollar ecommerce venture of Mohamed Alabbar is now live and can be accessed in UAE at Noon.com. For unknown reasons, the company has not launched the platform in Saudi yet but plans to do it in coming few weeks.
Noon has also launched its Android application which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. The iOS app is said to be released in coming few days. The customers in UAE can use the web platform or Noon’s android application to purchase products from different categories including electronics, fashion, beauty, baby, home & kitchen and grocery.
Shipping is free for orders above 100 AED. For orders less than that, the company will charge 10 AED as shipping which seems reasonable. We tried browsing different products to learn more about the delivery time. There were many of them for which estimated delivery time was Tomorrow including iPhone 8, which is not bad. But it’s important to remind here that the company has earlier made statements about offering 3-hour delivery for some it’s product. For now that doesn’t seem to be the case or atleast we were not able to find any products listed with a 3-hour of delivery time.
Even the products listed in grocery have delivery time set as tomorrow. We don’t think people would want to wait for a day for groceries esp. when there are other platforms offering same day delivery including el Grocer.
The payment options available on Noon are just like any other ecommerce platform of the region, including Credit Card and Cash on Delivery. A slightly different option is Noon wallet which according to the information available on website allows customers to make online purchases with the credit which Noon may have refunded to them which means that the customers cannot top-up the wallet. But that would definitely make the refunds easier and with this the company will obviously keep the money with them if it is the only option for refunds.
Mohamed Alabbar speaking about the launch said: “Today, we are excited to deliver orders to our first customers. We are proud to take this important first step in our journey, and we are committed to making Noon the region’s Arabic-first e-commerce platform.”
He added: “As digital technologies cause disruptions across industries and geographies, it is important for us to shape a digital marketplace that is relevant to our local markets and serves as a growth platform for brick-and-mortar retailers.”
Our initial impression about platform is pretty good but we can’t say much yet as it’s not only the platform but the whole shopping experience that counts so we’ll have to wait and see what customers think of it.
Also, there are a lot of other details about the platform that are worth sharing so we’ll probably write a detailed piece trying to cover the good and bad about about it in coming few days.
We’ve reached out to Noon to learn more about the reasons for not launching in Saudi yet and will update the story if we hear back from them.