E-commerce in UAE – Can this sleeping giant be woken?

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On the face of it the UAE market has all the essential ingredients to exploit the potential that e-commerce has to offer – it is after all one of the most technology enabled markets with one of the highest internet penetration levels per capita in the Region. With a median age of below 25 the UAE has young, technology savvy (some would say dependent) population with access to multiple smart devices, and a growing consumer demand for e-commerce solutions.

USD 3.2 billion was spent online by GCC consumers in 2012 and e-commerce is among the fastest growing businesses, not just in the UAE but across this Region, with transactions estimated to reach USD 15 billion by 2015. The retail landscape is changing and must continue to do so in order to recognize and effectively address this growing demand.

For businesses the benefits of including e-commerce as a channel, particularly in the large and ever expanding retail sector, are clear – enhancing the customer experience by providing increased choice and convenience, a lower cost base and in some cases a more eco-friendly solution are attractive reasons in their own right. For established brands, embracing the omni-channel model is becoming an essential evolution to meet customer demand, and for new start-ups incorporating an e-commerce platform and solutions into their customer offering should, in theory at least, be an easy decision.

Another key factor shaping the landscape is the impact that mobile-commerce is having within the e-retail sales channel with access to the internet through mobile devices anticipated to exceed fixed internet during 2015. This acceleration of m-commerce is likely to be felt relatively faster in the MENA Region, as an example mobile commerce in the UAE is expected to increase to US 1.3bn over the next 5 years, representing a more than 10 fold increase.

To read the full article visit Linkedin Pulse -> https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/e-commerce-uae-can-sleeping-giant-woken-olivier-sauser

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