Aramex, PayPal combine forces for ecommerce solution

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Aramex and PayPal are working together to get around cross-border shipping and payments issues. (Image via ArabianSupplyChain)

Despite its massive potential, the Middle East and North Africa ecommerce sector also has massive challenges, from payment to delivery.

In trying to overcome these challenges, Aramex and PayPal are working together with the I Shop the World (ISTW)  program, which uses both party’s individual strengths to get around cross-border shipping and payments issues.

ISTW is an integrated shipping and payments platform that combines Aramex’s and PayPal’s services. It allows consumers to buy goods from merchants locally and internationally, and sort shipping in one transaction. It also allows companies to export to more than 60 cities where Aramex’s Shop and Ship service is available, and offers consumers a wider selection of products.

It should be noted that Aramex and PayPal have had a partnership since 2012. What’s new is the ISTW marketplace, which is currently available only to Shop and Ship customers.

When an order is placed, the merchant delivers the item to their local Shop and Ship hub, where, Aramex notifies the customer and ships the item to the to the customer’s Shop and Ship location.

The value of goods sold online in the MENA region is expected to reach $13.4 billion by 2020. Although the ISTW the process seems simple enough, it underscores how critical it is to get both shipping and payment right. Startups are trying to fill the gap.

Dubai-based delivery service Fetchr closed an $11 million Series A funding round not long ago.

Camelship recently launched its courier comparison platform.

“In ecommerce, buying and shipping are most important,” said Francis Barel, PayPal head of market growth. “How do you market a website to attract customers? How do you convert prospects that are on website into customers? How do you convert one-time customers into customers for life?”

“Delivering goods on time and in good condition — this is logistics,” Barel continued. “Aramex is our most strategic partner to date in the Middle East.”

The program helps merchants as well. It opens markets and eliminates cash on delivery payments and its attendant issues.

“It’s not a traditional way of shipping, but this is where merchants are seeing value,” said Hassan Mikail, Aramex chief ecommerce officer. “They no longer worry about cross-border transactions.”

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