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E-commerce market in Saudi Arabia - statistics & facts

 E-commerce has drastically transformed the dynamics of consumer behavior in business models in retail, alongside other sectors globally. This megatrend, however, still offers huge potential for industry players in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), several driving agents contribute to the region’s attractiveness as a destination for e-commerce investment such as high per capita income, developed logistics networks, and high internet penetration levels. A large social media penetration has also driven the rise of e-commerce in the region. In the UAE, almost all of the population was active on social media.  

 The e-commerce market in Saudi Arabia 

  Saudi Arabia has the largest population in the GCC, with a tech-savvy and growing young population, which makes it a key market player in MENA. In 2020, around 90 percent of the population had internet access. These factors eased e-commerce adoption among the population, with around 80 percent of active internet users in Saudi Arabia engaging in online shopping, which is the same share as in China. Thus, the e-commerce market is one of the largest across the MENA region and is expected to continue growing.     

COVID-19 impact 

   While the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken businesses around the world, e-commerce witnessed immense growth. Saudi Arabia was no exception to this general trend, where e-commerce sales are expected to rise It is no surprise that the pandemic has impacted consumer behavior among Saudis. Looking in-depth on a category-level, more consumers are shifting towards increased online shopping in categories such as grocery, food, and beverages, while products such as shoes, apparel, and accessories witnessed a decrease. The current climate presents an opportunity for brands to grow new customer relationships and add value to existing ones.

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