Middle East ecommerce grows, cash payments still dominate

Wednesday 4 June 2014 11:32 CET | News

Middle East ecommerce industry has doubled its value over the course of 2012 and 2013, although cash transactions still dominate, a recent report unveils.

A study conducted by Aramex shows that even though ecommerce-related business grew 100% for 2013, the number went down from 150% in 2012. This is confirmed by Aramex’s chief operating officer, who also pointed out that international growth was 20% in 2013, as international e-merchants targeted the region.

Findings indicate that Saudi Arabia is the top country for online retailing, followed by the UAE and Egypt in second and third, together accounting for 75% of the MENA online retail market.

The slowing growth in the ecommerce space for 2013 was attributed to different factors, including regional free zones, local banks or bureaucracy. The size of the industry was also considered an issue, as was the reliance on cash-on-delivery payment methods.

A research by Facebook MENA also shows that the current strength of traditional bricks and mortar retail will have dropped to 85% of trade by 2020 compared to the 92% in 2014.

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Keywords: Middle East, ecommerce, cash payments, regional free zones, bricks and mortar retail
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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