The growth rate of the electronic commerce sector in the Middle East region is the highest in the world.
It is expected that the amount of online sales will double and amount to $ 48.8 billion (179.3 billion dirhams) by 2021.
The main source of growth in this sector is the increasing consumer spending on food products. Such trends open up new growth prospects for companies involved in e-commerce. Consumers want convenience in making purchases, and this makes it possible to offer new products and delivery services that will be in demand.
The UAE is one of the leaders in the field of electronic commerce. It is expected that consumer spending on online purchases will grow by 170% and amount to $ 27.1 billion by 2022. For comparison: in 2017 this figure was $ 9.7 billion.
Growing incomes will contribute to consumer demand for better food products. Consumers show interest in premium products and organic products, which are sold at higher prices. Consumers are willing to pay for convenience in making food purchases, so more people are turning to around-the-clock shops offering a wide range of goods, delivery services for ready meals and food products.
Thanks to the large number of young and wealthy customers, the wide spread of the Internet and improved supply chains, the e-commerce sector in the Middle East region is growing faster than anywhere else in the world.
In June, Noon.com, an $ 1 billion e-commerce platform that was founded by a businessman from the UAE and the Saudi Arabia Investment Fund, signed an agreement with eBay. Thanks to this cooperation, Noon customers will be able to order online purchases from the US and other countries. This Noon initiative is similar to the steps taken by other global e-commerce companies.
For example, Amazon bought Whole Foods for $ 13.7 billion last June, and Alibaba set up its own platform for selling Hema food products in 2016. Platform competitors began to launch their services for the delivery of food products with the ability to register online already several years ago.
Noon.com’s biggest rival, Souq.com, has been offering such services since 2016 under the Souq Superstore brand. At the same time, Carrefour in the Middle East region, also offers delivery services for products that can be ordered online.
Another strong player in the food sector – Lulu Group – has a network of warehouses throughout the city and the necessary transportation for the rapid delivery of orders to customers. The company will also work to strengthen its multi-vector strategy and expand the range of delivery services.
The Spinneys chain of stores, which plans to open another 18 stores in the UAE by 2020, is also going to launch an online platform in the coming years.