The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is set to be the next big growth market for e-commerce, with many retailers turning their attention to countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.
The Middle East at a glance...
- 22.6m people across the Middle East, with 74% able to access the internet
- Saudi Arabia: 15.6 million internet users, 3.9 million online shoppers
- UAE e-commerce revenues expected to reach $4.4billion by 2020, with 60% of shoppers based in Dubai
With overall e-commerce growth across the Middle East and Africa expected to reach 11% by 2020, and the ME market soon to be valued at around $69 billion USD, there’s no better time to consider expanding your business into the Gulf region and beyond..
So why start selling to shoppers in the Middle East?
- There are very few prominent e-commerce marketplaces currently in the Middle East, so while internet penetration in the region is high, many local retailers aren’t fulfilling demand thus driving online shoppers to buy cross-border. Major marketplace Souq.com was acquired by Amazon in 2017, the same year in which Noon.com launched promising to be a “game-changer”. Both sites are large online marketplaces selling vast ranges of products, offering competitive prices and fast delivery; their success in the region shows demand for quality e-commerce sites is high.
- Many Middle Eastern governments are investing heavily in infrastructure and digital services to encourage international e-commerce growth in their countries. For example, by promoting a “digital society” the Omani government successfully doubled the number of yearly electronic transactions in 2017, while Bahrain’s Electronic Transactions law protects payments and gives shoppers greater confidence buying online.
- The key to successfully selling to the Middle East is fast and reliable delivery. Many cross-border shoppers in the region want a delivery service they can trust; 21% of Middle Eastern shoppers described delivery issues as a barrier to buying online. Working with trusted local partners is key to countering this.
ASENDIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Our formal sales partnerships with local mail providers such as Israel Post and Oman Post enables Asendia to combine our expertise and global delivery capabilities with the local knowledge of regional carriers.
We have the infrastructure and experience to ensure delivery in the Middle East is fast, reliable and efficient for your customers, as well as being cost-effective for you.