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

Software-Defined Infrastructure: The Platform of Choice

As more organizations adapt to a hybrid working model for their distributed workforce, enterprise CIOs and CTOs are tasked with delivering new productivity-enabling applications, while also seeking ways to effectively reduce IT cost, complexity, and risk. Traditional IT hardware infrastructure is evolving to more software-based solutions. The worldwide software-defined infrastructure (SDI) combined software market reached $12.17 billion during 2020 -- that's an increase of 5 percent over 2019, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). The market grew faster than other core IT technologies. The three technology pillars within the SDI market are: software-defined compute (53 percent of market value), software-defined storage controller (36 percent), and software-defined networking (11 percent). "Software-defined infrastructure solutions have long been popular for companies looking to eliminate cost, complexity, and risk within their data cente

Digital Identity Verification Market to Reach $16.7B

As more enterprise organizations embrace the ongoing transition to digital business transformation, CIOs and CTOs are adopting new technologies that enable the secure identification of individuals within their key stakeholder communities. A "digital identity" is a unique representation of a person. It enables individuals to prove their physical identity during transactions. Moreover, a digital identity is a set of validated digital attributes and credentials for online interactions -- similar to a person's identity within the physical world. Individuals can use a 'digital ID' to be verified through an authorized digital channel. Usually issued or regulated by a national ID scheme, a digital identity serves to identify a unique person online or offline. Digital Identity Systems Market Development Complementary to more traditional forms of identification, digital identity verification systems can enhance the authenticity, security, confidentiality, and efficiency of

Global Pandemic Accelerates the Evolution of Transportation

Given the current trends across the globe, organizations that depend upon the continued growth of personal vehicle ownership will need to consider a plan-B scenario. While some companies will be able to adapt, others may find that their traditional business model has been totally disrupted. According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) will displace over 2.2 billion private car journeys by 2025 -- that's rising from 471 million in 2021. Juniper believes that for MaaS to enjoy widespread adoption, subscription or on-the-go packages need to offer a strong combination of transport modes along with feasible infrastructure changes, high potential for data collection and low barriers to MaaS deployments. Mobility-as-a-Service Market Development The concept of MaaS involves the provision of multi-modal end-to-end travel services through a single platform by which users can determine the best route and price according to real-time traffic