In the burgeoning online marketplace, many stores are franchises from retail companies in the Gulf region. To combat this trend, several Egyptian companies have launched their own Egyptian online stores which focus on locally-produced goods. One of those stores is Tajjer, or “merchant”.
Dr Sherin Mohamed, a strategic partnership manager for Tajjer, explained the philosophy of the e-market. “Tajjer is an online shopping platform and brand management network that draws together many stores, where all products and promotions in different catalogues and categories are available. It facilitates search, shopping, buying and communicating between stores, manufacturers and customers through a call centre or hotline, website, smart phone applications and smart TV as well,” she said.
The platform was developed by an Egyptian company called COMMIT. The website allows high usability for customers: “Users can manipulate several shopping lists simultaneously and define several delivery points for their orders. It has an engaging and interactive interface, giving users the chance to make an impact influencing each other’s decisions and allow comparison between different products and promotions within the customers’ region,” Mohamed explained.
The website operates on the concept of stores within the platform, with each brand given a space to highlight their products. “We are very selective with our brands and stores, especially when it comes to each product’s quality, warranty and the origin. We only deal with original and new products. No first copy products, no used products.
“When we receive a new request to join our business partnership network we start an investigation into the store, its products’ quality and origin, and even the store’s legal documents. We also approach specific stores when we find that several followers are asking for certain brands or products,” Mohamed said.
A lot of work is involved for brands to develop their space. Tajjer offers business partners their own virtual store, including a platform accessible for mobile phones. “We also have several services to offer them like call centre outsourcing, managing social media accounts and online advertising,” Mohamed explained.
The platform also tracks customer and market trends for different products, as Mohamed explained: “We have certain categories with a very high daily traffic and orders such as mobile phones, perfumes and handmade bags and accessories.”
Tajjer is constantly updating their website to meet with customers needs, establishing new categories such as stores for books and even pets, including pet accessories and food. The online shopping site is also preparing to launch new categories for groceries, lingerie and watches.
While Tajjer currently only delivers to Greater Cairo, service will soon be extended to Alexandria. When asked about the process for ordering products, Mohamed said: “Customers start their orders by surfing our different categories, then submitting an order for selected products through our call centre, the Tajjer website or Tajjer mobile application. We receive the order and confirm the products’ availability. Delivery is on the same day, which the customer pays for in cash on delivery. We have a very keen call centre and online customer support service.”