JEDDAH: As Saudis and expats celebrate the Eid Al-Adha festival, livestock dealers in the Kingdom are making the traditional purchase of offerings easier through e-sales and smartphone apps.
Online sellers have adopted the latest marketing techniques for sacrifices, with market traders this year offering a selection of sheep, cattle and goats to customers via Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
The result is greater convenience for those wishing to buy Eid offerings without visiting the market.
Merchants publish and market Eid sacrifices on social media with videos and photos showing the outlet’s location as well as the weight, age and price of the animal.
Livestock e-sellers offer options such as slaughtering, packaging and delivery of the sacrificial animal.
Abdullah Al-Harbi, a sheep trader who posts images of live sheep and goats on Twitter, told Arab News that traffic jams, crowds of buyers and chants from sellers are commonplace at the Jeddah livestock market on the eastern side of the city.
But conditions have changed in the past two years, he said.
“Many are still visiting the markets to buy sheep after inspecting them physically, but we have noticed many are seeking to avoid crowds and are going online to buy everything from groceries to clothes and electronic devices. That’s why we created our own accounts to sell online.”
Al-Harbi, 39, who sells hundreds of sheep during Hajj, said that online sales had climbed this year.
Digital sales mean buyers have no need to visit his premises. “It’s safer to do the transaction online, getting the best service, and we make sure we deliver to their doorstep on time,” he said.
Al-Harbi said that prices for sacrificial animals this year ranged from SR1,200 ($320) to SR1,800.
Abdulqader bin Abdulrahman Al-Biladi, a private sector employee, told Arab News that he usually brings his sacrifice home a week before Eid, as his children enjoy taking care of the animals. But not this time.
“Traditionally, I visit the cattle market to buy the animal of my choice to sacrifice on Eid Al-Adha, but one of the traders I always deal with offered me his service online instead of going to his farm,” he said.
Commenting on the way delivery apps are transforming society, Abdullah Al-Subaie, a tech expert, told Arab News: “As the pandemic hit in early 2020, consumers quickly changed their shopping habits. Instead of risking disease exposure and waiting in long queues, consumers started to rely on delivery services, and for many it became a habit.”
He said that society benefits from the technological advancements, with food delivery apps making dining more comfortable for people.
“Food delivery app development is gaining peak popularity in Saudi Arabia.”
The Ministry of Commerce said that 83 outlets have been registered on its Maroof platform, offering e-shoppers a choice of sheep with a simple click.
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