Souq.com, the Middle East e-commerce platform owned by Amazon, slashed the prices of some products in order to compete with those of newly launched Noon.com.
The price war between the Arab portals, predicted this week by analysts, appears to have started early as Souq.com dropped the price of some of its key products.
In two key examples, the top-selling Apple AirPods went on sale this week on Noon.com for AED575, lower than what it retails for on Apple's official website price of AED649. Souq.com responded by also dropping the price of the product to AED575.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 Dual sim 32 GB was reduced on Noon to AED1,099 as part of its opening prices. Souq.com had priced this product before the weekend for AED1,389, but has since dropped its price to AED998.
Souq.com has also reduced its shipping rates from AED12 to AED10 for regular delivery, and 18AED for same-day delivery, which was previously AED24. This is for all products sold by Souq.com. Free shipping is available for orders over AED100, a reduction from the previous AED150. All of this is flagged with a new banner on the homepage.
Some sellers are believed to have contacted Noon to change their names on the newly launched e-commerce portal over pressure from Souq to stop selling their products on rival websites.
Analysts this week predicted that Noon.com's arrival on the Middle East e-commerce scene would trigger a price war and likely alter how shopping is conducted in the consumerist culture of the Gulf.
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