E-commerce Growth in KSA

E-commerce Growth in KSA
Table of content

Incredibly quick changes are happening in KSA

  • Fast-growing commerce penetration: 4% only in 2017, reached 12% in 2020. Drastically increasing the consumption possibilities: marketplaces, local brands, global brands, offline options.
  • KSA population is very inclined to online purchases: When we ask the population where they do their last purchase: online or offline? 42% of them in Saudi would say online (against 44% in the UK, all industries included).
  • Rise of the DOPO effect: Discover offline, Purchase online, as consumers like to compare deals & prices online before buying.

Business checklist for Ecommerce success in KSA

  • Arabic website with a n Arabic UX experience is primordial: 70% of the search queries in KSA are made in arabic.
  • An Arabic customer support team is also key, KSA has high return rates (benchmark of 25% to 30% or orders) so a good post-purchase service will drastically impact your business.
  • Localize your message: address each region with respect to their consumption habits, dialects & communication style.
  • Mobile first &fast website: 50% of your traffic will drop if your website takes more than 3 seconds.
  • Have multiple payment methods: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Split in 4, Cash on delivery, Buy now pay later (in some cases to represent over 70% of the online orders).
  • Legitimize your business:
    • Have a local address, a contact number or chatbox.
    • Add reviews on your website & social proofs.
    • Reassure them that it is safe to pay by card on your website, and that there are return options.
  • Be convenient: delivery speed is a huge purchasing factor in KSA, the faster the better.

Mistakes to avoid

  • We shouldn’t project what we see in the UAE on KSA.
  • KSA is a vast, but homogenous country. Small middle class, with high pressure on disposable income (entertainment activities are expensive).
  • However the retail landscape is very different from one region to another: presence or not of malls, rural regions with limited access to modern retail experiences.
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