“MENA B2C E-Commerce Market 2016”, a new publication by Germany-based secondary market research firm yStats.com, highlights the prospects of online retailing in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. According to the report’s findings, B2C E-Commerce accounts for just a small share of total retail sales in the region, but expansion is predicted as the increasing numbers of Internet users begin to make purchases online.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has shown rapid growth rates in number of Internet users over the past five years. Two years from 2016, there are predicted to be over two hundred million Internet users in the Arab countries alone, as the new report by yStats.com reveals. Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are the region’s leaders in Internet penetration, while countries such as Algeria and Egypt lag behind. Nevertheless, due to its large population, Egypt is predicted to have one of the largest Internet user bases in the whole Middle East and Africa in 2016.
As Internet connectivity grows, more people in the Middle East and North Africa gain the opportunity to make purchases online. However, the yStats.com research shows that barely a quarter of Internet users in the region do so. Only Israel has an online shopper penetration rate close to 50%, while other countries report low two-digit or even one-digit numbers. As a result of low penetration, just above 1% of retail sales in the MENA region was generated over the Internet in 2015. With more Internet users grasping the benefits of online shopping, and infrastructure improving, Internet retail sales in the countries of MENA are predicted to maintain rapid growth rates.
The yStats.com report also shows that multiple local E-Commerce companies have emerged in this dynamic market. Among them, Souq.com closed an investment round in early 2016, raising funds to support the company’s growth across the region. Furthermore, consumers in MENA also show interest in large international E-Commerce platforms, such as Aliexpress.com, Amazon.com and eBay.com.