E-commerce in Middle East grows fast

E-commerce in Middle East grows fast

Middle Eastern e-commerce is on the rise and it is expected that the online turnover will grow from 9 billion euro to 15 billion euro in 2015.

Region has 30 million online customers

The Middle East, with countries like Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, currently has some 30 million online customers, according to a Payfort study. A lot of customers live in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, partly because both emirates have a lot of foreign employees with high wages.

 

Almost 7 out of 10 online shoppers claim the favourable prices are a reason to shop online, while 56 % believes the ease of use is also a benefit. Plane tickets, travel arrangements and digital products are the most popular online purchases.

 

Remarkable is that mostly young people buy things online. The Egyptian-focused part of the study shows that 75 % of all purchases are done by people in their twenties or thirties. 70 % of online shoppers is male.

 

With an increasing amount of people having internet access in the Middle East, the future seems bright. Only 28 million had access in 2004, but ten years later, that number rose to 141 million.

 

Still obstacles in the way

There are still a few issues to be dealt with, as the number of Middle Eastern e-commerce companies is still very low. There are a few regional success stories, like Souq.com.

 

A lot of deliveries are still "cash on delivery", with 80 % having to be paid on arrival, which raises prices. It also takes longer before the money has been transferred as more than 80 % of people in the Arabic world does not have a bank account.

 

More involved parties have to arrive to stimulate e-commerce in the region, but Payfort also believes payment methods have to change.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Rocket Internet wants to go public with Home24

19/01/2018

Rocket Internet wants to go public with its furniture web shop Home24 in the summer. During the next few months, it will work tirelessly to improve the web shop’s results.

Carrefour buys stake in Showroomprivé

12/01/2018

Carrefour has obtained a 17 % minority stake in flash sale seller Showroomprivé with the intent of increasing its digital and non-food reach. Former shareholder Conforama did suffer a loss.

Will free home delivery disappear?

15/12/2017

A growing number of online orders also brings additional pressure on the logistical industry. Free home delivery can no longer be maintained according to research company ECC Köln. More flexible options should be installed.

Amazon brings its private labels to Europe

14/12/2017

After it introduced Amazon Prime to an increased number of European markets, Amazon is now bringing in its own FMCG private labels. Over the past few weeks, the online department store launched several private label products in Europe and it has plans for even more. 

Amazon Echo is now available in the Benelux

11/12/2017

Amazon announced it will ship its smart speaker Amazon Echo to another 28 countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands. Its own music streaming service will also get a local launch.

Luxury manufacturers can block retailers from selling on Amazon

07/12/2017

Luxury product manufactures can block retailers from selling their merchandise on online marketplaces like Amazon. The European Court of Justice has ruled on the matter after cosmetics manufacturer Coty filed a complaint.

Back to top