The E-commerce industry is revitalized during 2019-2021 as the demand for digital commerce have been accelerated due to pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought lot of significant changes to the retail industry worldwide, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As people followed social distancing, they turned to online shopping more than ever before, and the digital economy boomed. E-commerce has revolutionized the retail industry in the UAE, and it’s changing the way people shop.
Retailers in the UAE have stepped up to the challenge, not just by supporting more online sales, but by embracing emerging technologies that create connections with shoppers or make their customer experience more convenient. In this blog, we will take a look at how e-commerce is revolutionizing the retail industry in the UAE.
The Emergence of E-Commerce during the Pandemic
During the COVID-19 outbreak, e-commerce has become predominant in the UAE. Many retailers have put much effort into building, improving, and promoting their online shops. Several small retailers that did not manage online stores before the shutdown developed temporary solutions to sell their products online, for instance, by posting their products on Amazon or social media and providing pick-up or delivery services.
Companies that were selling high-demand products, such as food and computers, increased their share in the UAE’s e-commerce market during the pandemic. Many big retailers developed and enhanced mobile apps to increase online sales and improve customers’ access to the products. According to the latest data from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of UAE, there are in total of 52 purchasing apps in the UAE that specialize in food, beverage and pharmaceutical products.
The Future of E-Commerce in the UAE
A forecast showed that the digital economy or e-commerce industry of UAE would grow to a staggering $63 billion by 2023. The pandemic did nothing but speed up the progress of e-commerce in the UAE. E-commerce platforms have become a mega-trend among UAE business people. E-commerce became popular due to the need to do transactions during lockdown.
The Highest-Growing E-Commerce Categories in the UAE
Food and drink were the third largest category (11% or $400 million) in the UAE retail e-commerce market in 2020. The online demand in this category was especially high for staple food, ready-to-eat food, and healthy food products.
Growth rates of UAE’s retail e-commerce product categories sales in value in different periods. The expectations are that the highest-growing product in the UAE e-commerce market will be personal accessories and eyewear with a CAGR of 20% from 2020 to 2025, followed by media products, pet care, and home care products.
E-commerce has revolutionized the retail industry in the UAE, and the trend is expected to continue. Retailers in the UAE have embraced the challenge of the pandemic, supporting online sales and embracing emerging technologies. As people continue to prioritize convenience and safety in their shopping experience, e-commerce will continue to grow and shape the retail industry in the UAE.