The Gulf region witnessed a 214% year-on-year increase in cross-border online sales by mid-year 2020.
The value of the e-commerce market will grow to $148.5 billion in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) by 2022, according to Amna Lootah, Assistant Director General, DAFZA, and a Board Member at Dubai CommerCity.
This announcement comes with the launch of the second edition of the ‘MEASA E-Commerce Landscape: B2C Products Edition’ report, prepared by Dubai CommerCity (DCC).
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the e-commerce sector in the MEASA region with a focus on its activities and growth. It also analyses trends in 29 countries within the MEASA region and its expected developments within the next three years. The report offers regional and international businesses and entrepreneurs guidance on how to better benefit from the B2C MEASA market.
The study shows that e-commerce has experienced a significant leap during the COVID-19 pandemic with the Gulf region witnessing a 214% year-on-year increase in cross-border online sales by mid-year 2020. Findings of the report indicate that the MEASA B2C products e-commerce market equates to 2.5% of the global B2C e-commerce market.
South Asia represents the largest sub-regional e-commerce market size;
India is the largest country by e-commerce sales in the MEASA region, valued at $45.7 billion sales in 2019;
GCC is the fastest growing sub-regional e-commerce market over the forecasted period 2019-22, where Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates take the lead at 39% and 38% CAGR respectively;
African markets are showing strong potential, covering at least 19% of the regional sales within the MEASA e-commerce market share in 2019;
Nigeria is the second largest e-commerce market in the region at $7.7 billion sales;
South Africa and Morocco also make it to the top 10 markets;
Kenya is the 4th fastest growing economy at 36.6% CAGR.
Amna Lootah, Assistant Director General, DAFZA, and a Board Member at Dubai CommerCity said: “The e-commerce sector in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia is witnessing significant growth, which is driven by the confidence of its business community and ecosystem. This has also been led by the continuously changing consumer behavior and the adaptation of advanced technologies that played a key role in easing the overall consumer shopping experience. The MEASA region’s e-commerce market is experiencing a staggering CAGR at 18.4%, higher than the global 16.6% growth over the 2019-22 forecasted period, which represents a big opportunity for the region to benefit from the growing e-commerce activity. The report highlights regional growth, future opportunities and latest trends, which can guide SME’s and multinational companies on the right direction to benefit from and to expand their regional and global operations,”
Growth drivers and market opportunities
The findings of the report suggest that the affluent, young population and cross-border e-commerce are the two strongest e-commerce growth drivers for the MEASA region. Other growth drivers include internet penetration, smartphone and social media adoption, government policy and ease of doing business. The evolving consumer demands and habits represent an important opportunity for the region to advance the e-commerce industry to reach international standards. This opportunity is further reflected with the United Arab Emirates leading many e-commerce related rankings regionally and globally including the highest global internet penetration at 99% and securing the 13th position out of 99 countries for ease of starting an online business ranking.
For the MEASA region to become an increasingly competitive global player, the report suggests that there are key structural barriers that must be addressed at a government and industrial support level. The report devises five broad strategic considerations around key e-commerce barriers. These strategies include robust policy framework, consumer awareness and trust-building, logistics and postal services, digital infrastructure, and global collaboration.