E-commerce giant, Amazon, has recently announced its plan to open 11 brand new buildings across Saudi Arabia. Once all the new buildings are opened, which should happen by the end of 2021, they will create over 1,500 new jobs.
Right now, Amazon has three warehouses in Saudi Arabia, referred to as fulfillment centers, located in Riyadh and Jeddah. With the planned buildings, Amazon’s total floor area is supposed to reach 867,000 square feet, or about 80,000 square meters.
Amazon wants to enhance its storage capacity by 89 percent and its geographical delivery network by 58 percent to better cope with the growing demand for its services in the region. In addition to building new facilities, the company will also upgrade existing ones to enable faster, smarter, and more consistent deliveries of products to customers.
“These new investments reiterate our commitment to Saudi Arabia, contributing to the local economy through the creation of new job opportunities,” said Prashant Saran, Amazon’s Middle East and North Africa director of operations.
“Our investments in technology and infrastructure align with Saudi’s digital transformation goals, enabling world-class fulfillment offerings to our independent seller partners, and faster delivery on an expanded product selection to our customers,” Saran added.
Amazon is among the biggest winners of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its net profit increased by 84 percent to $21.3 billion as revenue grew 38 percent to $386.1 billion. In January of this year, the company launched its Amazon Prime service in Saudi Arabia, offering many convenient perks to Saudi shoppers, including free same-day and next-day delivery.
A small survey of nearly 1,000 Saudi shoppers conducted by advertising platform Criteo last year found that 58 percent of Saudis now prefer online shopping to in-store shopping, and 35 percent see the cost of shipping as a big factor in their decision-making process.
With the new facilities, Amazon will be ready to expand its presence in the region even further to meet customers’ growing expectations.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.