Online fashion retailer ZAFUL expands into the Middle East

DUBAI, UAE, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — ZAFUL (, an Asia-based online women’s fashion outlet with a large amount of its sales coming from North America and Europe shoppers, is expanding into a new market – the Middle East.

The timing of this launch was set to coincide with Arab Fashion Week at the Meydan Hotel in Dubai this week. ZAFUL’s Arabic site (, which offers COD payments as well as post service, highlights the latest styles and design elements for Middle East women.


“Last year, we started advertising in this area and it definitely showed some potential,” said Benjamin Zhao, Director of Operations for ZAFUL. “This year we are going to focus on the Middle East. It is an evolving market, one that is growing slowly but steadily. Splash, the leading online fashion merchant in the Middle East, has created a demand for Internet shopping in the region, opening the door for other similar companies. “ZAFUL has an excellent reputation in the US and Europe, and we are confident we can capture a good share of this market,” Benjamin said. “We offer high-quality apparel at discount prices and that has a strong appeal in any market.”

About this market

In the Middle East, there is a general lack of raw materials, especially for clothing and footwear. This generates a large number of imports and online sales for these items.

According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report, there are many practical issues relating to payment and delivery. The postal system is not fully developed in some parts of the region so consumers frequently use post office boxes or collection depots.

Paying with cash

In addition, only a small segment of the population has credit cards and online payment systems are just starting to emerge. Thus much of the Middle East still relies on COD shipping, which results in higher costs and problems with returns. Many customers are willing to pay a premium for speedy delivery.

ZAFUL instituted a COD payment plan in January 2017. “It works well and provides convenience,” noted Benjamin.

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Price still a strong factor

ZAFUL’s low prices are a major factor in Middle East sales. “The Middle East has a large population and the purchasing habits are quite mixed,” said Benjamin. “The demand for luxury, high-end products is low to medium so the vast majority of Internet shoppers are attracted by discount prices.

“Monetary reward programs motivate shoppers as well. And we’re also finding that a good portion of Middle East consumers are young so fashion and styles that suit that demographic are very important.”


ZAFUL, founded in 2013, is a global online fashion wear marketplace that offers excellent quality at discount prices. Sammydress and Rosegal are her sister sites which focus on different market.

In order to meet the needs of France, Canada and other French shoppers, ZAFUL launched a French-speaking site in August 2016. The company also launched a Spanish-speaking site in December 2016.

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