The Middle East region has always been infamous for its lack of clear addresses and street names, where residents and companies alike use landmarks to describe their locations. Looking at this from a business perspective, this poses a big challenge for companies, especially e-commerce businesses that rely on the last-mile leg to get packages delivered to their customers on-time to guarantee a high-quality customer experience.

Traditional logistics companies operate with their own set of challenges

The traditional logistics players in the Middle East region are not equipped to address the challenges of on-time deliveries and an unparalleled customer experience as their business models rely on legacy systems that are difficult to restructure. Handling the changing business requirements, especially those of companies that are now moving online, is quite difficult for these players.

The changing market landscape in the Middle East

With a young and growing population that relies on smartphones to shop online, the Middle East’s market is ripe with opportunity for e-commerce businesses, both locally and internationally. In the GCC region, there are 50%+ customers who are shopping online via smartphones and almost 80% customers in the UAE use their smartphones to access online shopping channels.  Recently, Net-a-Porter also reported that the average basket size of a shopper for the Middle East is typically twice that of a shopper from the rest of the globe, confirming the huge shift and purchasing power of online shoppers in the Middle East.  Moreover, with the e-commerce market expected to reach to 10B USD by 2018, there is a huge opportunity for e-commerce companies from across the globe to capture a market that is ripe with opportunity.

The impediment to growth of e-commerce

The biggest impediment to the growth of e-commerce in a region, which is now turning toward online channels to shop is to get the delivery to the customer on time and at the right location. The delivery experience is the last leg of the order life cycle, and challenges at this stage is typically what leads to unhappy customers who face a terrible delivery experience with longer lead time and multiple phone calls from the couriers to get the delivery address right. Moreover, with a market that relies heavily on Cash on Delivery options, late deliveries mean that customers can change their mind about their purchases, leading to higher returns for the business. A set of unique challenges make the market difficult to tap into, despite its huge potential.

How Fetchr can help your business

Fetchr tackles the “no address problem” in emerging markets, typically encountered by companies, including e-commerce businesses, delivering packages to customers. In a region where more than 80% of users have smartphones, Fetchr is tackling delivery challenges via its app by going directly to the customers’ phone and capturing the geo-location for package deliveries. With technology at the centre of their business model, fetchr’s vision is to address the shipping challenges across all emerging markets and make delivery as easy as shopping online.

With the growing demand of e-commerce from international markets, fetchr has now expanded its reach to bridge the gap and overcome the challenges for e-commerce players from UK, USA and China by facilitating a seamless delivery experience for e-commerce players and the end customer in the MENA region. Working with retailers across these markets and enabling COD payment options for customers in the Middle East, a market where more than 80% of the customers prefer cash on delivery, fetchr has helped them successfully reach their target customers by offering a seamless delivery experience and cash on delivery payment options.

Fetchr’s technology is focused on addressing three key areas that are typically a challenge for traditional logistics companies:

  1. Capturing an accurate delivery geo-location (enabled via our app)
  2. Enabling 3-hour time slots for customer deliveries
  3. Enabling COD payment options for customers


Reema Thawrani, Strategic Project Manager, Fetchr