London: A UK-based online marketplace, which will seek to promote, market and facilitate trade in Halal products and services, is due to launch later this month.
Halal.co.uk, a private platform based in Peterborough, plans to become an Amazon-style marketplace for Islamic products and services by directly connecting sellers to targeted audiences.
“Our platform is not just for products, but will also seek to offer services such as accountants, financiers, lawyers and even bespoke vacations,” said Aaron Henderson, co-owner and brand strategist. . “We will select products from the following categories: food and beverage, travel, professional services, books and education, home, electronics, modest clothing, health and beauty.”
In addition to halal, the market also plans to be a space for ethical businesses as well as those that are underrepresented such as female entrepreneurs, Henderson said.
The platform does not hold any stock. It connects the customer with buyers or sellers, and then the purchase is made through the seller’s digital storefront within the platform. The platform charges a 5% commission on each transaction.
Halal.co.uk is open to local, regional and international businesses, entrepreneurs and services in the halal space. To ensure Shariah compliance, all products and/or services are authenticated before appearing on the platform, Henderson said, adding that due diligence is performed by third-party Shariah advisors and lawyers.
Growth of the Halal e-commerce space in the UK
Halal.co.uk will join a growing Halal business-to-consumer e-commerce scene in the UK. Players already in the market include Ummazing, Noor and Zafir and Halal Street UK.
“We don’t see a major competitor in the UK, particularly in the Islamic economy space which remains fragmented,” Henderson said. “We have a complete solution that is built and maintained in-house, so we are able to offer a comprehensive digital strategy to other businesses selling on our halal.co.uk marketplace to help them succeed.”
Shelina Janmohamed, vice president of Islamic marketing at Ogilvy, said start-ups and businesses built by Muslims for Muslims have grown, and Muslim consumers are now much more discerning in their selections.
“The key will be to build trust in the platform and the vendors they support,” she said. “On top of that there will be ease of use in the customer interface and strong customer service. I can see the interest of Muslim consumers wanting to shop in an environment that suits their needs and brand desires. Likewise, I can see the appeal for Muslim-focused businesses to find a tailored target audience. »
Henderson thinks a key advantage for halal.co.uk will be its website address or URL. “Our URL is the Golden USP [Unique Selling Point],” he said. “The design and build of the marketplace is all in-house as we coded the marketplace to make sure we have all the intellectual property [Intellectual Property].”
Adding to that, he said the platform’s strategy to promote businesses and products will help give it that extra edge.
“The platform is omnichannel and will have regular podcasts, social media content and blogs to communicate our brand, support other businesses and raise community awareness,” he said. “We will provide businesses with brand exposure to capture customers’ attention.”
Halal.co.uk also plans to export the platform overseas and will seek to enter different markets during the year.
“We are looking to dynamically adapt our platform solution to expand into other markets, including Spain, France, Russia, Italy and also the United States, although this will likely be more in the third or fourth quarter,” Henderson said.
To support this growth and development, it is likely that the company will need external financing in the future. “We are looking to evolve both our platform and the expansion of our team. As such, we can consider external investment if needed,” he said.
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