Skip to main content

Upside for eCommerce in the Middle East and Africa


The number of mobile phone users worldwide will continue to grow through 2016, and smartphone users, in particular, are on the rise. This year, there will be 950 million smartphone users around the world, reaching 1.94 billion by 2015.

In the developing nations of the world, a mobile device may be the first and only way that many of their consumers will access the internet. As people prosper and move upward in the local economy, their expectations and related product or service needs evolve.

According to the latest market study by eMarketer, business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) -- including sales of travel, digital downloads and event tickets -- are growing much faster than in any other region in the world by a margin of nearly 10 percentage points.

But the growth in this region is somewhat limited by a very low base of online spending. eMarketer estimates online buyers in the region will spend $20.61 billion this year, making MEA the most underdeveloped regional ecommerce market in the world.

By comparison, in Latin America, the second-smallest ecommerce market, online buyers will spend $36.82 billion -- that's nearly twice as much. Spending in all of the Middle East and Africa combined is comparable to that in just one highly developed nation -- South Korea.

The underdeveloped market in MEA is primarily due to a small number of internet users, low penetration and high cost of broadband internet access, and an apparent lack of familiarity with online shopping.

To date, the online goods and services that are available to users in this region are extremely limited. At the same time, there is a shortage of stable online payment systems and very low credit card use among consumers.

That being said, there are few regions of the globe that have this amount of pent-up demand and untapped raw potential for new consumer-driven ecommerce growth. Meanwhile, savvy marketers will continue to develop m-retail solutions that harness very basic mobile communications capabilities, such as SMS capabilities.

eMarketer forms its estimates of B2C ecommerce sales worldwide based on the analysis of estimates from other research firms, historical trends, consumer online buying trends and macro-level economic conditions.

Popular posts from this blog

Anywhere, Anytime Workplace Demand for SASE

The ongoing adoption of flexible working models within the enterprise market has significant implications for typical IT organizations that must now support knowledge workers and front-line employees that operate outside the corporate network perimeter. The global COVID-19 pandemic created IT networking and security challenges. The expansion of the distributed workforce, an increasing reliance on cloud computing infrastructure, and the requirement to securely connect online employees -- wherever they choose to work, at any given moment in time. Legacy IT solutions that have rigid network underlays and a requirement for on-premises infrastructure cannot adequately deal with these trends. This 'Anywhere, Anytime Workplace' led to demand for new Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions, with networking and security delivered as-a-service. Anywhere, Anytime Workplace Market Development   Although converging networking and security capabilities offer enterprises a promising solut

The Metaverse Raised Virtual Reality Interest

After years of slow growth and limited use cases, the Virtual Reality (VR) market is now forecast to grow significantly over the next five years. Consumer interest in VR games and media continues to grow after the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated activity. At the same time, the need for employee enablement and immersive content within the enterprise environment remains strong. According to the latest market study by ABI Research, over 90 million Head Mounted Display (HMD) shipments in 2027 will drive total VR market revenues to reach over $95 billion across hardware, software, and services. Virtual Reality Market Development "The virtual reality market is no stranger to false starts, with identifiable efforts in VR dating back to the 1980s and 1990s. While the technology never found purchase results, the increased capability of VR hardware combined with the demand for immersive content in numerous markets, presents a significant opportunity," says Eric Abbruzzese, research direc

Cloud Edge Computing Demand Continues to Grow

Public cloud computing solutions are moving closer to the edge of networks where CIOs and CTOs are hosting new apps. The edge journey is well underway for forward-looking organizations as they seek to connect with customers, improve operational efficiency, and adopt digital business technologies to drive innovation. The latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC) found that three-quarters of organizations plan to increase their edge computing spending over the next two years with an average increase of 37 percent. A combination of factors is driving this increased spending at the edge. Cloud Edge Computing Market Development The performance requirements of expanding workloads and new use cases that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) demand greater compute capacity at the edge. In addition, the amount of data being stored in edge locations are rapidly expanding, and organizations plan to keep this data longer. As a result, the numbe