According to the Northwest University Qatar estimates in their Media Industries in the Middle East 2016, the total ad market in the Middle East was valued at 5.5 billion USD in 2015. While it only accounts for a small percentage of global ad spend in 2015, the market in the Middle East is ripe with opportunities for marketers to expand their advertising. Though the current market structure differs greatly from that of the global market, or even other underdeveloped markets, the MENA region is seeing a gradual shift into the modern era of digital marketing, an area especially pertinent to the region’s 141 million internet users.
If you’re looking to take your marketing in the Arab world to the next level this post will provide and in-depth look into seasonal marketing opportunities in the Arab world. Feel free to use this post to help you plan out your seasonal promotions to Arab consumers in countries across the in Middle East.
Despite the opulent wealth in many of the Gulf countries, payment methods in the Arab world are still catching up to what they are in many western countries. Many Middle Eastern countries have typically been cash-based societies and the use of credit cards has been a relatively new thing in the region. To add to this laws about interest in the Quran and the Hadith have made it hard for many interest-based payment methods to take hold in the region because they are considered to be against the practices of Islam. In this article I will outline some of the payment methods that are available in the region.
Cash On Delivery
Cash on delivery is probably the most popular payment method in the region. Because of the lack of credit cards in the region cash on delivery has gained popularity as an online payment method among locals. Not only is cash on delivery the payment method with the smallest barrier to entry. Cash on delivery is also a payment method that allows consumers to see the products they buy online before they actually pay for them. Due to this fact many online retailers in the region say that cash on delivery has a return rate much much higher than any other payment methods. We have seen statistics that say anywhere from 12 to 13 times the number of returns happen with cash on delivery when compared to credit cards. Consumers receive the package open it and often times say they don’t want it and return it immediately. As you can imagine this can be very costly for the e-commerce merchant as they have to pay the delivery cost without receiving any type of reimbursement. This issue has made it so some retailers in the region have chosen not to use cash on delivery, especially when the e-commerce merchant is just getting started.
Any market entry plan should include strategy and tactics for reaching your target audience effectively within that region. How a product is marketed in some regions of the world may be very different from how it should be marketed in the Middle East. In this post we will examine some of the unique ways you should be marketing and selling your products to Arabs.
1. Think Tribe & Family with Arabs
Arabs are considered to be collectivists. Collectivists show a high degree of loyalty commitment to their group, family, and tribes. They are committed to their extended family unit and they feel a strong responsibility as a representative of their group. The group as a whole and individually takes responsibility for each member of the tribe.
When optimizing and designing your website to target collectivist cultures like Arabs you should apply these tactics
- Focus on the community or family in the imagery of the website.
- Honor and respect tradition, status, and cultural maxims.
- Honor those in authority and the elderly
Below are some examples of these principles.