Ecommerce Market Future Trends in Middle East :-
Now let’s face it, that e-commerce is gaining immense popularity in recent times in the Gulf countries in general and UAE in particular. The retail sector is also witnessing a steady shift from brick and mortar to online shopping.
Shopping online has come a long way from being just another new trend-it has grown to become a preferred medium of purchasing for a rising number of consumers in the region.
Future of retail is here for the keeps as more and more people are leading busier lives and in pursuit of growing demand for convenience and e-commerce caters to this requirement perfectly well. Just driven by shear convenience people would prefer online shopping as e-commerce players are able to gain consumer trust and people will prefer shopping online.
A study conducted by Google states that the UAE leads in global smartphone usage at a whopping 73.9 per cent while the internet usage statistics show that 92.1 per cent of the population has internet access. Strong internet and mobile penetration across the Gulf region, has played an active role in the growth of e-commerce in this region. A report on the online shopping trends in the UAE last year indicates an 80 per cent of the online retailer’s customers shopped using mobile devices.
The total number of people accessing the internet exclusively through mobile devices is estimated to grow by more than 25 per cent globally in the next five years says a report of the International Data Corporation.
As people spend more time on their devices, more daily activities are likely to be conducted online. Online retailers both domestic and international will have to concentrate in offering efficiency and convenience in order to be mobile friendly for customers to enjoy great shopping experiences.
However, the online purchasing trend is becoming the popular shopping culture but the percentage of online shopping here is comparatively lower than what is seen in developed markets like the US or the Indian developing markets.
Frost & Sullivan foresee that by the year 2018, E-commerce will be a mega-trend for businesses across the UAE and the market is pegged at $10bn (Dhs36.7bn). As such, e-commerce is one of the fastest growing businesses in the UAE and the region, and will continue to expand as consumer behavior evolves with the advancement of technology.
One of the key factors that helps encourage online shopping beliefs is customer trust. Only recently, consumers in the region have started to buy and pay online. This trend is slowly catching up but absence of trust has been the fundamental reason for the sluggish growth of e-commerce. However, this trend is changing. It is observed that a lot of people in the region have started trusting and conducting online transactions.
In the meanwhile, online shopping sites are becoming more innovative by keeping in mind trending habits of consumer. One example from recent times is cash on delivery. In the UAE, over 85 per cent of shoppers prefer paying by cash on delivery, while the remaining 15 per cent prefer online payment system.
As the e-commerce sector grows, many new players will enter the market and some old players will exit. This is customary of every industry’s life cycle. In a dynamic country like the UAE, new companies would launch fresh demands and healthy competition, which is ideal for a growing industry.
In the emergent online retail trade, online retailers are compelled to offer discounts & freebies to attract and retain loyal customers. Companies will have to be invested in making the shopping experience for each individual as customized as possible. The offer for same day delivery and virtual stores are trends that digital retailers in the region will have to be quick to offer in order to retain customers.
Global e-commerce titans have an active interest in the UAE and nearby potential markets in the neighboring regions and these companies would be appropriately equipped to offer customers the comfort and convenience of international shopping experience viz., same day delivery, and other perks which the local players have to gear up to match.
It is going to be a significant year for e-commerce developments and improvements in the UAE and spreading across wider GCC expanse. In order to achieve result oriented online business, customer convenience and their satisfaction will have to be kept on priority.