25 Essential Stats on E-Commerce in the Middle East [Stats]

by Glen Dalakian II, October 16, 2012

E-Commerce is Growing

1) There are 72.5 million internet users in MENA. [tweet this stat]

2) 66% of consumers in MENA use the Internet to research products and services[tweet this stat]

3) Roughly 33% of MENA consumers make online purchases. [tweet this stat]

4) B2C e-commerce sales in MENA will reach an estimated $15 billion in 2015. [tweet this stat]

5) The total current value of the offline retail sector in the Middle East is around $425 billion. [tweet this stat]

6) According to Google, 15% of Middle East businesses have an online presence; there’s a huge offline to online opportunity. [tweet this stat]

The Gulf Opportunity

7) 33% of internet users in the Gulf regularly use the internet for purchasing or researching products, compared to 14% in North Africa and 12% in Levant. [tweet this stat]

8) Among all GCC countries, around 43% of Internet users reported making an online purchase at least once a month. [tweet this stat]

9) UAE has the highest percentage of internet users who shop online, compared to other countries in the Middle East. B2C 2010 e-commerce sales growth in the UAE was US $2 billion, 55% to 60% of the total GCC e-commerce sales, according to Visa. Saudi Arabia has the second largest e-commerce market in the GCC with an estimated $520m, followed by Qatar ($375m), Kuwait ($280m), Bahrain ($175m) and Oman ($70m). [tweet this stat]

10) The GCC e-commerce industry is estimated to grow to US $15bn by 2015, up from $3.5bn in 2010. [tweet this stat]

11) Saudi Arabia has the second largest e-commerce market in the GCC at an estimated US $520 million[tweet this stat]

12) 39% of adult internet users in Saudi Arabia buy products and pay for services online (that's 3.1 million people; around 12% of the total population). [tweet this stat]

How Are Users Spending Online?

13) Of shoppers who are older than 26 in MENA, 52-53% shop online. Only 41% of 16-25 year-olds buy online, and more of their purchases are under $100 than any other age group. [tweet this stat]

14) Gaming accounts for 41% of online purchases in the Arab world, more than any other single category of online shopping, and 87% of gamers are under 25. [tweet this stat]

15) 32% of online shoppers in the Arab world are women. [tweet this stat]

16) Aramex announced that their e-commerce shipments grew by 300% in 2011. The average value of an Aramex shipment is $115. [tweet this stat]

How Are They Paying?

17) Almost half of consumers in the Middle East (47%) have a payment card. [tweet this stat]

18) There are over 9 online payment gateways available in the MENA region. [tweet this stat]

19) The main barrier preventing online purchase is a lack of trust in payment, an issue cited by 43% of internet users in the Arab world. [tweet this stat]

20) Most e-commerce sites in the Middle East that are selling physical goods see 70 to 80% COD. [tweet this stat]

21) COD is necessary in Egypt - Only 10% of the population has bank accounts. Given that 45% of the population is younger than 18 and so are not yet eligible for bank-issued cards, only 4% of Egyptians have debit cards and less than 2% have credit cards. [tweet this stat]

M-Commerce

22) The smartphone penetration rate in Saudi Arabia is set to double to 50% within the next four years. [tweet this stat]

23) 41% of Egyptian smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone. [tweet this stat]

24) 50% of online shopping in Saudi originates outside of major cities, highlighting a growing m-commerce opportunity. [tweet this stat]

25) The value of m-commerce in MENA could reach US $4.9 billion by 2015. [tweet this stat]

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Glen is Features Editor at Wamda. You can follow him on Twitter @glenjd2, connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+, or reach him at glen[at]wamda[dot]com.

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