The e-commerce “gold rush” in the Middle East and North Africa


Fueled by a new shopping culture and the expanding number of mobile and internet subscribers, the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is becoming one of the fastest growing commerce markets in the world.

Online sales in the Middle East amounted to $11 billion in 2013, with a predicted increase of up to $15 billion by 2015. That speaks of a huge shopping flow among MENA consumers and it comes as no surprise as there are reportedly one billion internet users across the region, one-third of which are shopping online.

By putting these facts together it’s fairly obvious to show that MENA has great potential regarding the development of the commerce landscape, especially for telecom companies—which are natively connected to mobile and the customer’s digital experience.

The dynamics of the industry and its regulations require agile approaches for the improvement of mobile packages, customer service, customer engagement and data management.

Shifting the shopping experience to the online environment by developing a commerce platform gives telecom operators the perfect tool to acquire a big portion of that tech-savvy population. Businesses are also big telecommunication service consumers.

Over the past two years, the B2B commerce market has gone through complex changes in its pursuit of a strong presence on the online landscape. The B2B market is swiftly catching up and this should stand as a strong indicator that a wide variety of opportunities are waiting to be captured by companies that have neglected the importance of a digital shopping experience until now.

This eagerness to make the “e” part of the commerce experience is rooted in the customer’s behavior. The fast pace at which users adopt new technologies raises the bar and encourages telecom companies to enhance communication services by investing in IT innovation projects.

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Cristian Mesaros
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July 2, 2014
Cristian Mesaros

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