UAE leads Middle East e-commerce Trends

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Middle East e-commerce
Middle East e-commerce

Ever since electronic commerce or as the popular acronym goes, e-commerce, has come into existence, there has only been positives being raved about it. The concept’s dynamics have been explored thoroughly over the course of the years and with newer technological stimuli making inroads into the commercial spectrum, the relevance of e-commerce has gained further accentuation.

Where in the initial years of the concept’s origin, e-commerce activities were restricted to certain countries in the world, presently a lot has changed in the peoples’ mindsets about effectually utilising e-commerce channels. More and more countries in the world are coming to understand the viability of the commercial system that allows them to purchase anything from anywhere in the world by means of a few clicks with transparent and safeguarded transaction procedures.

SEE ALSO: e-commerce in the Middle East [INFOGRAPHIC]
SEE ALSO: Digital world revolutionizes MENA consumption habits

MasterCard’s survey results released today on Online Shopping Behaviour across the world for 2013 has reflected these prevailing trends and has gone out to given out solidly reinforcing courses as far as e-commerce mobilisation and utilisation are concerned.

Online shopping Middle East
Online shopping in the Middle East. Image courtesy-MasterCard

MasterCard survey results highlights:

  • e-commerce activities are the highest in the UAE with around 51% people utilising e-commerce portals to conduct their commercial transactions
  • According to MasterCard’s Online Shopping Behaviour Survey, it emerged that out of 10 people shopping, five used e-commerce transaction methodology for their commercial activities
  • According to Sarwant Singh, Senior partner and head of visionary innovation group at Frost& Sullivan, UAE’s e-commerce is expected to be valued at $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) by 2018
  • The enhanced results of e-commerce activities in UAE have been charted down to the presence of substantially higher percentages of internet connections and smart-phone users in the country
  • Statistically, around 71% of UAE’s population boast of internet connections while almost 73% population has state-of-the-art smart phone technology. This has added to the profundity of technological astuteness in the country, leading to enhancement of e-commercial channels.
  • Major online shopping websites in the country are localised websites with Cobone and Souq.com being the e-commerce frontrunners in the country

SEE ALSO: MENA e-commerce records fastest growth globally
SEE ALSO: MENA Internet users [Infographic]

Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments – Middle East and Africa, MasterCard said: “Well-developed internet infrastructure and the availability of secure online payment options means companies can expand their online presence to grow their business and diversify their customer base. For consumers, online shopping is convenient, fast and safe. When you consider the benefits, it is not surprising that more people are going online to make purchases.”

“The steady growth of online shopping trends in the UAE sheds light on the priorities of the technology-savvy new age consumer, who now enjoys the convenience, speed, value for money and safety of their transactions while shopping online,” added Oliver.

Alongside UAE, survey results for the rest of the Middle-eastern geography pinpoints the following:

  • The utilisation of e-commerce portals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar is the second-highest after UAE at nearly 48%
  • The biggest areas where people use e-commerce include shopping for air tickets and other travel-oriented services, DVDs, CDs and books, clothing and accessories and foodstuffs
  • Shopping transactions via mobile phones are also expected to grow strongly in the region, increasing by almost 20% in the next forthcoming year from the previous year’s statistical tabulations.

Meanwhile, PayPal Insights e-commerce report reveals that around 30 million people are shopping online in the Middle East and the e-commerce market is forecast to reach US $15 billion by 2015.

The numbers forecast seems to be matching with an earlier report by VISA/IMRG which revealed that the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region represents the fastest growing e-commerce region worldwide with an estimated US $15 billion in 2012.

These positive manifestations towards online shopping and e-commerce activities promise to usher in more focused channelizing in the perception of people about them, leading to a more commercially connected world.

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