The data was compiled by the UK body for e-retail, the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG). The study based on 2012 data, says the MENA region recorded an estimated 45 percent year-on-year increase to USD 15 billion in 2012. Even though the growth remains encouraging, security threats could pose a challenge to future sales. Therefore, retailers need to take measures to tackle this issue.
Here’s a video on MENA e-commerce
UAE leading e-commerce within MENA
The UAE is seen as a leader in the e-commerce market within MENA, with online spending in 2010, totaling around USD 2 billion. UAE’s online spending accounted for about 55 to 60 percent of total GCC e-commerce sales last year. The UAE online retail market is followed by Saudi Arabia (USD 520 million), Qatar (USD 375 million), Kuwait (USD 280 million), Bahrain (USD 175 million) and Oman (USD 70 million).
According to Ihab Ayoub, VISA general manager for Middle East and North Africa; “E-commerce is one of the key drivers for the economy in today’s closely connected global environment, and is rapidly expanding here in the GCC. But rapid growth also means that both individuals and business organizations will have a natural level of concern about the security of online transactions.”
MENA e-commerce has achieved the fastest growth in the world due to high internet penetration and changing buying habits of consumers. As young consumers turn towards the internet to meet their shopping requirements, the demand for e-commerce and other online solutions is booming. Online businesses have responded to increased consumer sophistication in the UAE by offering quality products, home delivery and better online security.
The latest estimates of Euromonitor International show internet retail sales will grow by 95 percent in the UAE over the next five years. The group believes internet retailing in the UAE will continue to enjoy sunny days until 2018, on the backs of a “surge in consumer enthusiasm and confidence.”
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