Germany-based secondary market research organization yStats.com has released a new report with the title “Saudi Arabia B2C E-Commerce Market 2016”. This new publication sheds light on the online retail market size and growth potential in the Middle East’s largest economy. yStats.com’s CEO and Founder, Yücel Yelken, highlights that despite the drop in the oil prices, the retail market in Saudi Arabia remains vibrant and B2C E-Commerce is the fastest growing retail segment of all.
Saudi Arabia is the second largest B2C E-Commerce market in the Middle East after the UAE, as revealed in this new yStats.com report. While the UAE outperforms Saudi Arabia in terms of online retail sales and Internet penetration, Saudi Arabia ranks the highest in the Middle East for the E-Commerce market attractiveness. Online retail growth is supported by high Internet and mobile connectivity in the country, as well as the increasing population and dynamic retail market, supported by the government’s effort to expand non-oil sectors of the economy.
Around one quarter of Internet users in Saudi Arabia made purchases online in 2015, with male online shoppers outnumbering female online shoppers, according to yStats.com’s findings. The most popular product categories include electronics and fashion, boosting website visits to retailers such as Jarir.com that sells books and electronics and Namshi.com that offers fashion products. The market’s leading company, however, remains UAE-based Souq.com, accounting for a large share of B2C E-Commerce product sales in the country.
Among the major challenges to online retail development in Saudi Arabia is the dominance of cash on delivery, the payment method used by more than 50% of online shoppers in the country in 2015. Nevertheless, yStats.com’s research indicates that online payment methods are projected to take off as bank card ownership in Saudi Arabia is high and continues to grow and several banks started to offer special products for customers shopping online. Overall, given the market’s high potential, online commerce transactions in Saudi Arabia are predicted by various sources to nearly double in value during five years to 2020.