A pilot project to let consumers buy new cars online could become permanent if enough vehicles are sold.
UAE-based letstango.com has teamed up with the car dealership Al Rostamani Trading to sell Suzuki cars online during Ramadan, the retailer said . This is understood to be the first time a dealer has let consumers buy new cars online in the Middle East.
Letstango.com is initially selling 12 cars and offering Dh4,000 worth of vouchers and cash-back guarantees with sales.
If the tie-up is successful, letstango.com will look for full partnership with Al Rostamani, the company said.
“Customers wishing to buy the models online are presented with several options of payment – cash or credit card, or through financing companies,” the company said. “Payments made in cash are collected by a letstango.com representative. If by bank financing, the company introduces the customers to an Al Rostamani representative and assists in the completion of the remaining process. Customers paying through credit card are required to pay 10 per cent of the model’s value online, and are assisted in completing the process.”
Online sales during Ramadan usually go up, and sales through mobile are increasing fast, according to the French online advertising company Criteo.
Online sales jumped 28 per cent on average in the UAE during last year’s holy month, with travel sites benefiting the most. Retailers also performed well, especially in the home-improvement and sports and outdoor units.
In the UAE, electronic retail sales rose 23 per cent during last year’s Ramadan, while travel online sales rose 42 per cent, Criteo said in a report.
Purchases through mobile phones increased toward the end of the holy month, the report said.
However, sales using mobiles are increasing throughout the year. On average, sales through mobiles account on average for a quarter of online retail sales in Muslim-majority countries that the company has studied, compared with 29 per cent in the US and 22 per cent in France.
Several countries in the Middle East exceed the average. For example, in the UAE sales through mobiles make up 28 per cent of total online sales, and in Saudi Arabia they account for 33 per cent.
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