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Saudi Arabia’s ecommerce sector expected to expand gradually

Despite its nascent stage, the ecommerce business has tremendous potential for rapid expansion in the kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s ecommerce sector expected to expand gradually
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

With a new generation of previously in-store shoppers shifting to online shopping, a global trend of ecommerce has emerged, which has become quite evident across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The B2C ecommerce sector’s medium to long-term growth story in Saudi Arabia seems promising, expected to grow by 23.85% annually to reach $17.5 billion in 2022, the latest market research report has revealed.

Over the projected period, B2C ecommerce is anticipated to expand gradually, with a CAGR of 16.07% between 2022 and 2026. By 2026, the country’s B2C ecommerce Gross Merchandise Value, which was $14.1 billion in 2021, will be worth $31.7 billion.

The conventional retail industry has seen a dramatic transformation with the emergence of the ecommerce era. This change has been driven further by the global pandemic, which resulted in mobility restrictions, lockdowns, store closures, and curtailed retail activities, particularly those deemed non-essential. As a result, customers who would have previously stuck with offline retailers chose a safer and more practical shopping medium.

From an economic perspective, increasing retail spending throughout the country is expected to rank among the most significant trends, a development almost guaranteed as many products become increasingly available to a larger audience and foreign retail expenditure is absorbed. 

Adding to the mix, with the rise of cashless payment and ‘buy now, pay later’ options increasing in Saudi Arabia, the percentage of youth willing to experiment with new methods (of payments) is about 69%. It won’t be long before Saudi Arabia’s commitment to testing autonomous delivery vehicles would meet the growing demands for same-day deliveries.

Over the next three to four years, these variables will benefit Saudi Arabia’s ecommerce sector in several ways. Despite its nascent stage, the ecommerce business has the potential for rapid expansion in the kingdom.

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