The Corona-related lockdown has accelerated the adoption of digital tools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There is a significant increase in demand for new e-commerce platforms. This has created demand for advanced e-commerce technology and solutions.
Market consensus is that during 2020 e-commerce growth in UAE will significantly exceed that of 2019. Evidence suggests that some e-commerce platforms have seen a higher adoption rate in the single month of March 2020 than during the whole of 2019. According to the 2019 Visa-DED report, UAE is a clear leader in the growth of e-commerce growth in the region; the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region leads e-commerce growth globally.
The total market size of e-commerce in UAE (including all categories) is estimated to be worth USD 48.6 billion in 2022; up from USD 26.9 billion in 2018 (Visa report 2019).
The following factors were identified as the main driving forces prior to the pandemic:
- Excellent infrastructure
- High internet penetration
- World-class logistics (Jebel Ali Port, Dubai International Airport)
- Young population (ca.30% are digital natives)
- Rising penetration of mobile payments and the increased trend of cashless payments (Increased security has resulted in 70% trust in online payments)
- Government digital initiatives and smart platforms
- High online spend (annual per online shopper @ USD 1.600)
- Growing digital shopping opportunities (Amazon entered the market via an acquisition; traditional retailers are eagerly embracing omni-channel)
- High VC investments for startups
The demand for technical solutions for multi-tenant e-commerce platforms include:
- Artificial intelligence
- Big data / analytics
- Digital marketing tools
- Digital payment tools
- Omni-channel customer experience (UI/UX)
- Optimization tools
- White label multi-tenant e-commerce platforms