ME set on route to e-commerce
spending around $1.1 billion through the internet and this is expected to double by 2016.
Researchers have found an exponential growth in online retailing in places like the UAE and Saudi Arabia. However, it is still a niche sector in the region.
The growth has prompted further investment in modern technologies that have helped expand trade over the Internet and also in the required infrastructure, shaping the Middle East into a successful model for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) implementation.
Here, the Gulf region is considered as one of the leading areas in terms of developing a robust environment for information and communication technology by implementing a series of training programs and forging strategic partnerships with leading regional and international organizations that specialize in modern techniques and technology. There are many variables that could be leveraged in the process of nationalizing e-commerce, which contribute in the equal distribution of general services and in reducing prices of goods and the high cost of marketing and advertising.
The region achieved the generated new entrepreneurial and employment opportunities and created significant changes in the skills required in today’s job market. Hence, it must be noted that the success of e-commerce is not only contingent on general public awareness, but the presence of qualified human resources is equally important that can support the dynamics in the job market which ultimately leads to reducing unemployment.”
The reasons for people still not buying online in the Middle East are due to issues with payment gateways and a lack of quality homegrown websites. However, research now presents a positive outlook for e-commerce in the region, with about 93 percent of customers being positive towards e-commerce despite problems of security, availability and delivery. People say that if it is cheaper to buy online they would buy more often, while others say they would buy more often if it was more convenient to purchase online.
There is certainly great potential for online stores where online retailers provide a mix of value and convenience for a potentially receptive market.