Our Correspondent / EMIRATES BUSINESS
Over the past two years since honor was first launched, the brand has been growing globally at 100 percent year-on-year, which the company expects to replicate in the Middle East market again this year.
Since, the launch of honor in this market in May 2015 with honor 6 plus and subsequent honor 4X and honor 7, the sales of the smartphone company in this region had exponential growth. Honor 6 plus sold out in the first week on Souq.com, prompting honor to ship more units to meet local demand. The second device, honor 4X was launched in August last year and broke sales records everyday before selling out within a week. The honor 4X actually smashed online sales records to become the fastest selling device sold on Souq.com ever. The honor 7, which was launched in October, is the number one smartphone in its price category online in the Middle East. In fact all the devices rank number one within their price category on Souq.com.
“In terms of our devices, we are really excited about our most recent launch of the honor 5X, the ‘street smart’ device, which has caused an amazing reaction amongst consumers all over the globe. Before launching to the region, it received seven accolades at the CES 2016 in the US and dubbed amongst ‘the most impressive products from the show’,” said Chris Sun Baigong, VP of honor.
Once honor launched, it sold five times more than its predecessor, honor 4X device. The company deems the reason for its success is down to the gap they have filled spectacularly in the mid-range phone market with the honor 5X. Gone are the days when purchasing the latest smartphone with cutting edge technology will break the bank, as the 5X at AED 899 is jam packed with high spec features, including the fingerprint sensor, never seen before in this price category. This is a very exciting time for consumers, as technology is becoming far more accessible and with huge value adds.
E-commerce in Middle East
“We see huge potential in e-commerce as it continues to grow exponentially across the Middle East, particularly within our key markets —KSA and the UAE. Consumers here are choosing to experience their lives online more and more, including browsing and shopping, so based on this insight we recently launched our own e-commerce platform, in the region,” said Sun Baigong. E-commerce provides an additional touch point within the consumers journey to purchase, as well as learn and experience more about the brand, which is only a year old in the Middle East.
“As a brand in its relative infancy, we urge consumers in the Middle East market to question what their current device may be offering them and ask whether there is more available out there. We are confident that if consumers do look beyond some of the top players in the industry they will find devices that will actually offer them more in terms of technology and value, whether it be the camera or the battery, as well as fit more effectively into their lifestyles,” he added. Many consumers are now doing that, which is reflected in the success of the company in the region, as well as globally. Honor is delivering a 15 percent contribution to Huawei’s extensive progression in the Middle East. Globally, honor’s revenue contributed 30 percent to Huawei’s registered 69 percent revenue growth in 2015 compared to the previous year.
Honor unveils the top three hottest trends for 2016
2016 is the year when consumers in the Middle East will turn to digital more and more as they choose to live their everyday lives online — and why is that? The UAE and KSA come out as one of the highest internet usage penetration rates in the world. According to the Consumer Barometer with Google, more than seven in ten smartphone owners in the UAE and KSA would choose to complete a task digitally if possible and more than half of those in Saudi who don’t own a smartphone prefer the same, highlighting the reality that the internet not only serves as a vital tool in people’s everyday lives but that they literally live and breathe online.
E and M-Commerce
The Middle East is still the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world and as consumers are living online more and more, brands are quickly responding by providing online platforms that offer convenient, value for money shopping experiences, including honor which has just launched its new e-commerce platform. In the UAE, the internet was used in 24 percent of recent purchase journeys; in Saudi, the number is higher, at 33 percent and with more consumers shopping online each year this number is predicted to triple in the next four years. Why are we seeing such a swell in this sector within the Middle East and particularly KSA and UAE? An explosive combination of factors is driving this mega trend in the region – the Middle East is a youth dominated population, particularly Saudi where 75 percent are under 25 years old.
Communication has become far more transparent and the consumer has more power and influence than ever. ‘Adapt or die’ has never been truer in the digital age as the power of citizens on the net has meant that the brands that listen, react and adapt accordingly are more likely to succeed in producing products that suit consumer lifestyles and create seamless and enjoyable experiences. With six out of ten people more likely to make a purchase if the website has consumer reviews. Being present online allows brands to get closer to the end-user and react to feedback more efficiently and
communicate directly in real-time.