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Oman’s dropshipping start-up to help entrepreneurs launch online businesses

In regards to dropshipping awareness, Al Hadhrami, revealed that it still remains low in Oman

The first dropshipping company in Oman, M5azn, also known as Makhazen, aims to offer entrepreneurs low-cost and low-risk solutions to start their enterprises.

Speaking to the Observer during COMEX 2024, owner Ibrahim Sinan al Hadhrami told the Oman Daily Observer, “The electronic M5azn platform serves both traders and suppliers simultaneously; we enable owners of online businesses to enter the market with minimal risk.”

The venture, launched in 2021, boasts a deck of over 5,000 products from all categories at cost price, according to its administrator Moza al Shukhaili.

Shukhaili further explained that using M5azn’s expertise, individuals can pick a category of products they are interested in, such as care products, beauty or electronics, and start their businesses. They can then market these products through means like online stores, and social media accounts, or sell them among their social networks directly.

According to Al Shukhaili, M5azn then facilitates the payment getaway and handles the logistics aspects, including packaging and shipping.

The company currently operates from three warehouse locations in Muscat, in collaboration with local logistics firms, including Asyad Express backed by Oman Investment Authority (OIA), and Empower Muscat.

According to al Shukhaili, her company boasts over 4,000 users with more than 300 active subscribers generating an average of 500 sales per month.

Additionally, Makhazen provides sellers with a host of subscription models including a free one that includes various perks such as integrated links and customised packaging.

In regards to dropshipping (a form of retail business in which the seller accepts customer orders without keeping stock on hand) awareness, Al Hadhrami, revealed that it still remains low in Oman. However, he believes that M5azn’s local logistics model can help boost awareness of this service.

“Dropshipping awareness remains limited due to past misinterpretations of the term. However, our focus is on local dropshipping rather than global, as globally, logistics control is lacking, whereas locally, you have the capability to manage logistics,” he said further, while adding that M5azn has been established in partnership with Saudi M5azn, which originally launched dropshipping services in the region in 2020 and currently operates in the UAE as well. Earlier 2024, M5azn signed an agreement with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to provide access to over 250,000 products.

What Is Dropshipping?

The concept of “dropshipping” revolves around the practice of conducting online retail businesses without dealing with operational challenges like buying, storing, and shipping inventory.

“When a dropshipping store makes a sale, it forwards the order to a supplier, who handles delivery to the customer. This lets store owners focus on other tasks, like marketing and branding,” states Shopify in its blog.

Under dropshipping, an online store doesn’t keep its products in stock. Instead, when a customer makes the order, the store forwards it with payment to a dropshipping supplier. The supplier then ships the product to the customer.

“Many business owners prefer dropshipping because it passes the task of order fulfilment to suppliers. This means stores don’t need to invest in warehouse space or risk getting stuck with unsold inventory. As a result, businesses can allocate more resources to other retail activities such as marketing. It’s estimated that dropshipping generates more than USD 300 billion in e-commerce sales every year,” Shopify explained further.

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