A new report from PayFort sheds light on the rapid growth of the e-commerce sector in the Middle East, saying that by 2020, the market will hit $13.4 billion, compared with $7 billion in 2014.
When looking at specific sectors, the report found that entertainment and electronics are the largest portions of the market. Although groceries are a small sub-sector, the researchers believe that there is a large potential for growth if key players worked on their strategy.
With regards to internet usage, the report stated that 40.7 million Egyptians use the Internet, making it the largest market in the Arab world, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
“Egypt has the most online buyers [15.2 million] of any country in the Arab world,” the report read. “However, by proportion of the population, the UAE and Kuwait have more online buyers and are easier for ecommerce companies to penetrate.”
Although e-commerce is usually synonymous with online payment, the new survey found that cash on delivery was still an integral component of many online businesses. This is particularly true in Egypt,where 72 percent of consumers use cash for their e-commerce activity. This reliance on cash on delivery is described as being one of the biggest hurdles for small e-commerce companies.