Saudi Arabian women continue to make great strides across the Kingdom thanks to government and private support, and the statistics coming out of the country over the last few years are a testament to their progress. For instance, last year March, it was reported that Saudi Arabia witnessed a 144 percent growth in tech firms run by Saudi women. This week, more great news has been coming out of the Kingdom, with the Ministry of Commerce and Investment announcing that about 49.5 percent of the 27,000 shops e-shops registered on the Maroof e-portal are now owned by women.
According to Think With Google, the retail market in Saudi Arabia is among the fastest growing in the world today, a growth that has been mainly fueled by the country’s overwhelmingly young population whose median age is only 29 years. In this environment, e-commerce solutions such as Maroof have become an inviting platform for many industries to explore and have a presence on.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Investment established Maroof as a platform that aims to offer one of the best ways for shoppers in the Kingdom to find and evaluate electronic stores. According to the ministry’s website, Maroof is a free e-service that aims to enhance the trust between buyer and seller, by enabling sellers to have easier access to a community of shoppers and by giving them a clearer image of the quality of their services through comments left by customers. On the buying end, the portal provides a platform for customers to comment on and evaluate the entire purchasing experience, while also allowing them to base their choices on the experiences of other customers.
In order to combat fake shops and accounts, the ministry has been diligently monitoring its platform, giving warnings against advertising fake products on social media and announcing that harsh penalties would be waiting for those who do this in violation of the country›s commercial regulations. According to Saudi Gazette, the ministry has also called on owners of e-shops and social network marketers to register trade activities with Maroof to ensure credibility of the traders’ activities and products, and protect the rights of buyers.