Report sheds new insights on booming Saudi ecommerce market

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Ecommerce is growing exponentially in Saudi Arabia; the market is expected to expand to 9.9 billion Saudi riyals in 2015 ($2.7 billion USD), up from from 3.8 billion Saudi riyals in 2012 ($1 billion USD), according to PayPal Insights e-commerce report in the Middle East.

The infographic below [Arabic], which was conducted by online payment gateway PayFort, shows that young people between 18 and 25 conduct the majority of online transactions. It also highlights that plane tickets is the most popular category for online consumers in Saudi, with 59% of transactions conducted by foreigners living in the country and 32% by locals. This difference could be due to fear among locals of using their credit cards online, given that the concept of online payment is relatively new to the Arab region. Perhaps this is also why only 24% of transactions are paid online compared to 76% completed using COD. 

PayFort’s infographic shed light on other trends as well, such as consumer gender, location, popular social networks, and preferred shopping categories. 

  • 85% of people who make online transactions are men; 15% are women. 

  • Most online shoppers in Saudi Arabia come from Riyadh (32%), followed by Jeddah (29%), Dammam (7%), Mecca (5%), Medina and Jizan (4%), Abha (3%), and other cities (16%).

  • Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has the highest Twitter penetration in the world, the infographic shows that 59% of them use Facebook compared to 33% for Twitter and 3% for LinkedIn.

  • 24% of shoppers buy online tickets, followed by electronics (20%), booking hotels (12%), and entertainment (9%).

For more information, check the infographic below or click on it for a bigger picture. 

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