Aramex is developing “package solutions” for e-commerce sites and startups in MENA to make shipping more affordable and accessible. They have also collected significant data regarding e-commerce consumer trends in the region, noting that apparel is the most popular purchase followed by books and DVDs.
Kamal notes, however, that there are some serious challenges facing e-commerce in MENA today. An issue of cross-border trade prevents affordable prices for e-commerce companies targeting the whole region. Especially in the Levant, where customs, duties, and tariffs are so high, e-commerce has been severely limited, as opposed to the GCC where cross-border trade is relatively easy, leading to a higher penetration in e-commerce.
Kamal also mentions that the best way to address these issues and barriers to e-commerce is by bring all of the regional stakeholders together to discuss what needs to be done to move forward.