28 Jun

Latest E-Commerce Trends in the UAE That You Should Know

When you hear the word ‘pandemic’, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

‘Opportunity’ might be the last thing you will think of, but with today’s current developments, you will be surprised that certain opportunities are actually emerging especially in the UAE business landscape.

Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at the e-commerce world, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UAE that have been further pushed to the limelight by the current situation.


Social distancing spurred e-commerce growth

With left and right campaigns urging everyone to practice social distancing to fight the spread of the virus, an increased number of consumers now prefer to shop online rather than visiting physical stores.

According to a recent study conducted by Dubai Police, Dubai Economy and Visa in the UAE, 68% of people who participated said that they have reduced shopping at physical stores since the start of the outbreak while 49% are shopping online more. These figures surely say a lot about the future of retail.


Growing confidence in digital transactions

Holding cash that are passed from one person to another is not ideal amid a pandemic. This is another reason why more people started shopping online – to make use of digital payments, including those who were initially sceptical about doing transactions over the Internet.

In the same study, 61% of those shopping more online are using cards and digital wallets instead of cash-on-delivery. From here, we can see the big shift in the UAE e-commerce when it comes to payment preference as the research conducted by ResearchAndMarkets.com in 2019 showed that cash-on-delivery as the leading payment method of online shoppers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.


Current e-commerce trends expected to continue

Yes, there is no turning back. Even post COVID-19, consumers will not return to their previous consumption behaviour. This is backed by the research by Kearney Middle East where 48% of respondents from the UAE and 69% in Saudi Arabia said that they will continue to depend on online stores for their purchases even when the outbreak is over. Welcome to the new way of life!


Taking the digital revolution to your advantage

The World Economic Forum estimates the UAE’s 2020 e-commerce market to hit a whopping USD 27.2bn, with similar growth across MENA. Hence, the e-commerce is without a doubt one of the most lucrative sectors, now and in the future.

The good news is that becoming part of the digital revolution is easy! You can trade almost anything online, be it products or services, and most likely, you only need minimal investment. There are different ways to set up an e-commerce business in UAE and so many packages to choose from, depending on your requirements.

Even when you only wish to test the market first, there is the safer option of drop shipping, which basically means that your only part is to post and sell in-demand products online and someone else will fulfil it for you. You can easily operate from a co-working space in UAE and then, later on, acquire your own storage and fulfilment facility as your business grows. It is that easy!

Whatever you decide, one thing is for sure: the e-commerce sector will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate during and after the current global health crisis. It is definitely the segment you want to be joining! And who knows? Consumers might already be online, searching for something that only you can offer.

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