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Sep 6, 2023 4:43:28 PM | Shoplazza News E-commerce Surge in the Middle East: A Report to Help Your Business

Should you expand your business to the Middle East? In this report, we share our insights into ecommerce in the Middle East and present the best solutions.

Cover image for blog post about ecommerce in the Middle East shows the report's title: "The ecommerce surge in the Middle East: A Golden Opportunity for Global Brands".

The global e-commerce landscape is ever-evolving, and the Middle Eastern market has recently emerged as a significant player. With products from various parts of the world gaining immense popularity due to their quality and cost-effectiveness, the question arises: How can global brands leverage this momentum and stand out in this competitive arena?

Enter Shoplazza. Offering a comprehensive solution for the Middle East COD, Shoplazza assists brands from website creation to remarketing, paving the way for brands to establish a strong foothold in the Middle Eastern market and beyond.


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Opportunities and challenges: The rise of online benefits


E-commerce growth

E-commerce platforms now boast an impressive 80% coverage rate among internet users in the six Gulf countries. The younger user demographic and the surge in traffic on online social media and entertainment platforms further evidence this rapid development. Notably, Dubai has inaugurated the Middle East's first e-commerce free trade zone.

E-commerce sales in the UAE are forecast to rise at an annual rate of 8.57% from 2023 to 2027, culminating in an estimated market value of US$16.37 billion. In the GCC, e-commerce income is expected to increase by 10.95% annually over the same period, reaching $49.78 billion USD by 2027—a significant jump from $32.85 billion USD in 2023.


Graphic titled "Ecommerce market size and growth in the GCC in Billion USD" indicates that the market is expected to grow to 50 billion USD by 2025.


Platform competition

While the e-commerce boom presents numerous opportunities, it's not without challenges. Platform entry barriers are rising, and application processes are becoming more intricate. Sellers often navigate through evolving platform policies, face intense competition for platform traffic, and grapple with the pressures of stock preparation.


The rise of branded sites

Independent sites offer a beacon of hope. They promise quick construction, the potential for private domain traffic (leading to increased repeat purchases), and a cost-effective, flexible approach to market strategies.


Consumer digital engagement continues to surge 

In the last three years, consumers have shifted towards digital platforms, a trend that isn't waning. Globally, across various sectors, there's an anticipation of sustained or even heightened digital engagement in the upcoming six months.

An interesting exception is the grocery sector in the United Arab Emirates, which anticipates an 8% drop in digital engagement compared to the last six months. This steady growth in the region starkly contrasts with Europe, where digital uptake seems to be plateauing.

The e-commerce landscape underwent a significant transformation, especially in regions like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The 2010s saw a surge in mobile internet usage, catalyzing the rapid expansion of e-commerce within the GCC and the broader Middle East. A turning point was the 2012 acquisition of Sukar, an early e-commerce entity, by Souq, a dominant force in the MENA and GCC e-commerce sectors. This merger signified the region's decisive transition to the digital commerce realm.

The COVID-19 pandemic further amplified this shift, propelling the evolution of online storefronts and marketplaces. From 2020 to 2023, MENA's e-commerce growth outstripped any other global region. Today, more than 90% of Middle Eastern consumers opt for online shopping, and this inclination shows no signs of waning.


Shoplazza's Middle East COD one-stop solution: Lighting the path for global brands

Shoplazza introduces its Middle East COD One-Stop Solution, a game-changer for global brands aiming to penetrate the Middle Eastern market. This innovative platform streamlines the Cash on Delivery (COD) process, a predominant payment method in the region. Shoplazza is setting the gold standard for e-commerce in the Middle East by bridging the gap between consumer preferences and seamless transactions.


Image shows Shoplazza's solutions for ecommerce in the Middle East: 1. Easily and swiftly launch an ecommerce site to capture the Middle East market. 2. Engage with the Middle Eastern audience across multiple platforms. 3. Enhance brand loyalty through personalized marketing. 4. Cater to the unique needs of Middle Eastern consumers. 5. Elevate brand reputation through efficient fulfillment tools.


The Middle Eastern e-commerce landscape is more than just a fleeting trend; it's a burgeoning market with immense potential. This represents a golden opportunity for global brands to expand their reach and tap into a new, affluent consumer base. The challenges, while real, are surmountable with the right tools and strategies. Shoplazza, with its comprehensive suite of solutions, is poised to be the guiding light for brands venturing into this territory. 

By leveraging Shoplazza's expertise, brands can navigate the complexities of the Middle Eastern market, establish a robust online presence, and foster lasting relationships with local consumers. The future is bright for those willing to embrace the Middle Eastern e-commerce boom, and with partners like Shoplazza, brands are set to shine even brighter.


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Alireza Naraghi

Written By: Alireza Naraghi

Alireza Naraghi is a highly-skilled Public Relations Specialist at Shoplazza, with over 8 years of diverse experience including feature writing for HuffPost and Macleans Magazine.