E-commerce across the UAE took a huge jump this year, with online retail sales from mobile devices jumping 170% compared with last year, says Euromonitor International attributing the increase down to a need for convenience and UAE consumers realising the purchasing power of their phones.
“Internet retailing saw a boom growing by 41% on an annual basis,” says Nikola Kosutic, the research manager for Euromonitor International. According to her, retail sales through mobile devices reached Dh400 million as more international brands focused on the UAE, offering easier checkout and shipping options. Kosutic also noted that Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba hoped to build a hub in the Emirates.
The interest of global players has not been lost on local retailers. Jumbo Electronics recently invested $1 million into its e-retail business. The growing popularity of internet retail was also highlighted last month by Souq.com’s ‘White Friday’ event, an equivalent of Black Friday sales in the US. However, the online shift doesn’t imply that local retailers will cut back on brick-and-mortar operations.