Online buyers in the region will spend just over $20 billion this year
Business-to-consumer ecommerce sales in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), including sales of travel, digital downloads and event tickets, are growing faster than in any other region in the world by a margin of nearly 10 percentage points, eMarketer estimates. But that growth is coming on top of a very low base of spending.
eMarketer estimates online buyers in the region will spend just $20.61 billion this year, making MEA the most underdeveloped regional ecommerce market in the world. In Latin America, the second-smallest ecommerce market, online buyers will spend $36.82 billion—nearly twice as much. Spending in MEA is comparable to that in South Korea alone.
The underdeveloped market in MEA is primarily due to a small number of internet users, low penetration and high cost of broadband internet, and a lack of familiarity with online shopping. Online goods available to users in this region are extremely limited. At the same time, there is a lack of stable online payment systems and very low credit card use among consumers.
eMarketer forms its estimates of B2C ecommerce sales worldwide based on the analysis of estimates from other research firms, historical trends, consumer online buying trends and macro-level economic conditions.
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