E-commerce SMEs

The E-commerce Challenge: How these Saudi SMEs are building for digital

Last month, we celebrated the wins of 100+ Saudi businesses that have graduated from the PepsiCo Scale Up Accelerator program. A collaboration between PepsiCo Middle East, AstroLabs, and the Center of Digital Entrepreneurship (CODE), this program graduated some of the freshest Saudi e-commerce SMEs. Making sure they possessed the right tools and know-how to boost their operations digitally and rise up to the opportunity.

The PepsiCo Scale Up Accelerator provided in-depth learning tracks for 100+ SMEs designed for direct impact. Local Entrepreneurs were able to leverage the latest data analysis tools, implement effective online marketing strategies, and optimize their digital revenue streams. Today, we meet some of the top participants and the newest Saudi E-commerce businesses in the market.

From Reaching Wider Audiences to Serving New Segments

Magic Beans Takes Cloud Coffee to New Levels

Digital marketing was heavily featured in PepsiCo Scale Up Accelerator. Among the top 40 participants, 80 digital campaigns were run during the program. This resulted in stellar outcomes for these star businesses, with 57% growing their revenues by up to 30%.

Rima Alghanim is the Founder and Owner of Magic Beans, an emerging Saudi company with a focus on specialty coffee. Alghanim entered the program as a means to reassess after being in the business for one year. A top participant, she was able to benefit from valuable digital marketing insights and subsequently increase her revenues by 10%.

For Magic Beans, it was all about predicting customer behavior by analyzing trends. This allowed Alghanim to shift her digital marketing strategy and increase her reach. By leveraging Google Analytics and SEO, she is now in better touch with the mindset of her customers. Getting ready for a hot summer ahead with plenty of cold brew solutions!

The 3L’s of Good Business: Leaping, Learning, and Leveraging

Jewelern pivots to a younger market in e-commerce

A diverse range of business operations and strategies was covered throughout the program based on the participant’s needs. For Jewelern, a top participant in PepsiCo Scale Up Accelerator, the challenge was identifying a gap in their marketing strategy. Through 3 months of learning and mentorship sessions, Faisal Sedrani, Founder and CEO of Jewelern, was able to detect an untapped growth area in the company’s marketing strategy and scale up the business accordingly.

The program helped Jewelern identify new audiences who might find interest in their products. Sedrani learned the best methods to build customer personas and the most effective ways to target and reach a broader scope of potential customers. As a result, Jewelern’s marketing strategy now accounts for Gen Z customers, who are avid consumers of affordable gold-plated jewelry.

By implementing fresh digital marketing strategies, Jewelern and Magic Beans have scaled up their operations significantly, each now operating along 7 digital channels. As the program comes to a close, they are considering the next step on their business growth journey, which we were also able to assist them with, credited to the holistic approach of PepsiCo Scale Up Accelerator.

Jewelern is currently applying what they learned in the program in their ideation process for new product designs and offerings. This will grant them access to new branches of the market, such as stoned jewelry and men’s accessories. As for Magic Beans, the next step is to secure investment opportunities. Alghanim highlights the importance of the sessions revolving around the legal setup of different companies, which is proving to be extremely helpful during this crucial step.

The PepsiCo Scale Up Accelerator: A Blueprint Forward for Saudi E-commerce SMEs

Key takeaways for digital-forward E-commerce SMEs

The digital transformation that Jewelern and Magic Beans underwent is a blueprint of what awaits SMEs in Saudi Arabia as the ecosystem completes its shift into e-commerce. Tapping into the latest digital capabilities to form educated insights into customer behavior, the Kingdom’s SMEs are fast-tracking their growth, as well as the growth of the Saudi economy on a broader scale.

Taking the initiative to engage with ecosystem enablers like AstroLabs is sure to set early-stage entrepreneurs and business owners on the right track, a sentiment shared by Sedrani and Alghanim. As emerging e-commerce champions, they insist that the key to kickstarting an SME’s journey is to benefit from every learning opportunity that comes along, acquiring a 360 understanding of every aspect of business operations.