Middle East ecommerce turnover expected to take off – report
Middle East B2C ecommerce has shown signs of improvement and is expected to register a significant increase, recent research data reveals.
Apart from being the largest online market in terms of sales, it also has the best infrastructure for B2C ecommerce, with the highest mobile, smartphone, internet and card payment penetration, according to the `Middle East B2C E-Commerce Market 2015` report issued by the market research company yStats.
With more consumers shopping online every year, the share of B2C ecommerce on total retail sales of goods in the UAE is forecasted to triple between 2014 and 2019. Saudi Arabia is the second largest B2C ecommerce market in the region. M-commerce has an especially high potential there, with more than two-thirds of online shoppers making their latest online purchase via smartphones according to a survey made in 2014.
In Israel price is an important factor in B2C ecommerce, both in terms of attracting online shoppers and in competition among the merchants. With both internet and online shopper penetration growing, Israel shows high potential for online retail growth. In Qatar, the country with the third highest per capita GDP worldwide, less than 20% of internet users made purchases online, despite the fact that the majority of residents already have internet access. Consumer surveys indicate that better prices than in in-store retail could motivate consumers to shop online more.
Among other Middle Eastern countries, Bahrain stood out as the fastest growing B2C ecommerce market. In Iran, the environment of online retail development has been improving over the recent years, with a number of ecommerce start-ups emerging. Meanwhile, in Oman and Jordan internet penetration grew rapidly, but only a small percentage of internet users have grasped the benefits of online shopping.