Starting a Business Online in Egypt
Whether you’re looking to start an online only business or move your offline business to the online world this article will help you know where to start.
Before we go further into establishing some facts and information about how to start a business online in Egypt, let’s take a brief look at our country’s rich, old but interesting history.
The country Egypt, a North African country which is also regarded as a Middle Eastern country, is consistently gaining more and more importance in the affairs and politics of the Middle East. By virtue of the developmental rate and civilization, Egypt may even be more of Europe and Asia than Africa.
It is a Mediterranean country with active land borders with Libya, Jordan, Morocco, Israel, Saudi Arabia. Egypt is formally referred to as the Arab Republic of Egypt, the majority of the population are Arabs and have Islam as a major religion.
Its’ borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia are not through land but by sea, connected by the Sinai Peninsula and the Gulf of Aquba.
Egypt is probably one of the oldest nations, if not the oldest. Egypt possibly came into existence and emerged around the year 10,000 BC, making it one of the world’s first nations, having one of the oldest and longest histories. It is referred to popularly as the cradle of civilization, since a lot of invention, technology, knowledge, artistic innovations were credited to the country. The developments are in arts, science, writing (hieroglyphics), astronomy, agriculture, architecture, religion, city building, and governments.
The Giza Pyramids will forever be a feature synonymous with Egypt and has been rightly included by UNESCO as one of the seven wonders of the old world.
Some popular and obvious locations of these feat of nature are the Giza Pyramids, the sphinx that lay right by their side, as well as many ruins in Memphis, Thebes, Karnak and the valley of the kings. These iconic monuments and ruins reflect Egypt’s legacy which remains to this day a significant focus for archaeological study and popular interest from people all over the world.
Population & Influence
The population of Egypt is growing and increasing daily as it serves as a focus point for many African nations to learn from and adopt their blue print in development. The most popular cities in Egypt are Cairo and Alexandria. Egypt is one of Africa’s most populous countries, and the most populous country in the Middle East. With a population of over 92 Million largely situated around the Nile River banks. 50 percent of Egypt’s population live in an area estimated to be around 40,000 Square kilometers that are considered urban areas like Greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities on the Nile Delta. Egypt also presents an example to other African countries in search of diversification and economic policies. It is a relatively peaceful country despite the ongoing Middle Eastern wars and serves a major role in the affairs of the Middle East region.
History of the Internet in Egypt
The Internet was introduced to the Egyptian public in the mid 90’s specifically in 1996. It has ever since penetrated the Egyptian household with an average rate of 21 % every 5 years.
Studies show that in 2000 there was a 5% penetration rate, the latest statistics show that in 2014 penetration rates went up to 54.6%. This is due to an increased awareness of the benefits of the internet service.
Everyone knows how the internet had a great influence on Egyptians public opinion during the Egyptian Revolution and how it still shapes how people think and behave to this day. At the time the internet and Social Media were used as a great source of communication, entertainment and news delivery and it is even growing to other aspects like marketing and advertising for many businesses. Day after day the popularity and usage of such websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Google keeps growing in Egypt and new players keep appearing. This is because there is really no limit to satisfying people especially in the face of huge marketing potential and opportunities that are existing in abundance In Egypt. Not only are those websites growing, but businesses are formed from the existence of these websites, the number of online marketing agencies in Egypt is growing by the number with each passing day.
Internet Users in Egypt
As obtained from intense research and studies, a recent report that was issued by an Egyptian provider for online and competitive intelligence support called eMarketing, showed that Egypt in 2016 had over 50 million internet users; that is nearly half the Egyptian population, 23% use the internet from their smart phones. 33 million of which are Facebook users. From those 33 million users 47% are younger than 25 years old and 34% are females.
The figures above are majorly from Facebook generated data, which is fast becoming obsolete especially as the youths majorly now focus on other social media platforms. Facebook is not the only thing worth looking at in reality that was the case in the past few years. The most recent statistics from Alexa an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon shows that Google in 2017 is most used website in Egypt, then YouTube, followed by Facebook.
This brings us to the next most important thing, how can this be used by businesses in Egypt looking to reach their potential customers. This is the basis of our operations existence.
Firstly, no business in this age and present world setting should not be on the internet in any given form, because the potential client, investor and investment opportunities are just too enormous to be ignored. If the business is just a local business, and the major marketing method is dependent on word of mouth alongside some offline marketing strategies, it may just be the right time to dispense with the habit and explore new and sophisticated marketing strategies. Business owners are normally expected to always be reactive and constantly assess their positions to reflect what obtains in the society.
We want to shed light on some of the things we at Lead SEO feel should be done when introducing a new business online:
Creating a Presence Online
Develop a professional website which will articulate to impeccable terms your business and business plan. The website must be organized, simple, and easy to understand, to provide your customers with service and product details and provide all other relevant information needed the Web Design needs to be appealing to the eye, full of valuable and important content, easy to navigate between your products and services, mobile friendly since nearly 12 Million Egyptians use their phone to browse through the internet, Search engine friendly so people can easily find your website online.
Reaching out to your Audience
The next thing that any business would seek after establishment is a return on investments. This would be the drive to increase marketing and advertising. This majorly explores reaching the pre-identified target market and get them to pay, order or buy your products or services. Just like your offline business you need to advertise your business. In the online world, this can be done in many ways, which include Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing etc.
In investigative work investigators usually use a formula to find out the story behind something. The formula investigators use is called the 5 W’s and that is exactly what we will use to know what would be the most beneficial marketing strategy to use for our online business.
The 5 W’s are What, Who, Where, When and Why?
The way we would apply the 5 W’s for ourselves would be to ask yourself.
- What is your business selling?
- Who are you selling it to?
- Where are you customers?
- When do your customers need your product or service?
- Why would they choose your business?
So for instance,
XYZ, Software Development Company
Let’s say you are running a software development company selling expensive software to big businesses in Egypt. The information we discussed earlier shows that Social Media won’t be the most ideal marketing platform to use since as we said earlier most of those users are below the age of 25 and 34% are females which is not our target audience the “Who?”. You might be better off putting more effort improving your position on Google for people looking for “Business Management Software Egypt” this is achieved by optimizing your website to meet Google’s Algorithm through Search Engine Optimization, maybe running a PPC campaign to target your audience with precision or try marketing on LinkedIn where most business oriented users are.
XYZ, Swimwear Company
On the other hand if you have a business selling Swimwear knowing that most of your potential customers are 25 years old or younger. In that case then Social Media Marketing would be the path to follow, or you could go with a PPC campaign targeting anyone looking for anything related to swimwear on the internet.
The point we are trying to get across is that every business is different than the other and what might be beneficial for one business might not be as beneficial for the other.
Our Concluding Point
We at Lead SEO a Digital Marketing Agency in Egyp tbelieve that one of the most important things to consider as a starting point would be focusing on the Web Design part by creating a professional website, developing active social media profiles for your business and optimizing your website to be search engine friendly. This applies to nearly all businesses.
Advertising through Social Media, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Adwords etc., all depends on what sort of products or services you are looking to sell.