The Middle East is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the entire world. While it is still nowhere near as developed or complex as the markets in the United States or many countries in Europe, the region is experiencing an undeniable boom. It is estimated that online sales in the Middle East currently equal only a meager 2% of total retail revenue, as opposed to 15% in more developed regions. E-commerce in the Gulf States alone was estimated to quadruple from the $5 billion in profits seen in 2015 to $20 billion before 2020. There are some analysts that are even reporting estimated profits of $48.8 billion in 2021. Currently, almost 90% of online goods bought in the Middle East are still shipped from outside countries, but this is changing rapidly. As a result, there is huge potential for e-commerce profit during this modern age in the Middle East. (more…)
The Arab consumer is unique and needs to be treated differently than consumers in other parts of the world. Below we will examine some of the consumer behavior, traits, characteristics and demographics of a Middle Eastern Arab consumer that set them apart from consumers in other parts of the world. It should be noted that many of these points are broad generalizations with the intent to help inform businesses looking to operate in the region on how they can better reach their target audience. Since these are broad generalizations about Arab consumers there will always be exceptions to these traits that defy the norm.
When seeking to target any region of the world online it is a good idea to have an understanding of which regional search engines you need to target. This is no different when targeting countries in the Middle East. Unlike many other regions in the world the Middle East does not have an alternative to Google that dominates the region. Despite this there are some important observations to make about Middle East Search Engines that we will go into more detail about here.
Arab Americans and other multicultural consumers compose a disproportionate share in the United States market. Arab Americans move across the world, carrying parts of their cultural identity with them while assimilating to the host country’s culture. Molding marketing messages to tackle multicultural or bicultural groups in society allows companies to tap into this lucrative market niche. Knowledge of the Arab American culture and ethnic backgrounds is essential to understand how to craft marketing messages to them as an audience, whilst avoiding points of conflict.