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Internet Commerce Summit

UAE’s online shopping population touch 6.5m in 2023

DUBAI, March 6, 2024

Around two million, or 20% of the UAE population have shifted to online shopping during the last few years – raising the online shopping population from 4.5 million in 2019 to 6.5 million in 2023. This is accelerating the growth of the UAE’s $83.5 billion (AED306.6 billion) retail sale, according to experts.
 
“A massive shift towards online is accelerating growth of the e-commerce sector in the UAE as we witness a period of transition towards a golden era of e-commerce,” Akshay Jayaprakasan, Associate Partner of Redseer, told delegates at the Internet Commerce Summit 2024.
 
“There has been an unprecedented 87% jump in online travel while we have seen a 46% growth in food technology, that is accelerating the growth. However, as much as 70% of the consumers in the UAE are willing to try out new brands.”
 
Retail market size
The overall UAE retail market size was AED306.6 billion ($83.54 billion) in 2022, according to Global Data. The market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 5% during 2022-2027.
 
Sebastian Shi, CEO, Huawei Cloud UAE, said, his company has spent more than RMB1 trillion Chinese Yuan ($160 billion) in developing cloud technology over the last ten years to help the businesses migrate towards the digital space to grow by acquiring more customers.
 
“Building trust with technology, service excellence and customer convenience is crucial for success in the e-commerce space. We guarantee that your data will remain completely safe even if you have a disaster in your data centre. We protect customer data with utmost security as data security is crucial for our customers.”
 
Organised by IMAGES RetailME, the 2nd edition of the Internet Commerce Summit (ICS) 2024, has emerged as a pivotal platform for industry leaders and experts in the e-commerce sector. The summit provided a dynamic forum for networking, collaboration, and learning, fostering meaningful discussions on the challenges and opportunities facing the retail and e-commerce sectors. 
 
Engaging panels
Through engaging panels, keynote speeches and interactive sessions, participants explored strategies to navigate the rapidly evolving digital landscape and drive growth in an increasingly competitive market.
 
The summit brought together prominent voices from the retail and e-commerce landscape to share their insights on technology transformation, innovation, and disruption. Attendees had the unique opportunity to delve into the experiences and expertise of these leaders, gaining valuable knowledge about the current state of the industry and future opportunities for stakeholders.
 
Rajat Asthana, CEO of Eros Group, said offline retail gives only 1% return on investment (RoI), whereas online sale offers 7% RoI.
 
“Growth in the e-commerce sector in the UAE is 18% year-on-year, compared to 36% worldwide, so we have a lot of catching up to do. However, we have seen a 39% growth in online sale of electronics, compared to only 0.4% offline store sale growth – that tells you the market dynamics.
 
Offline retail
“Offline retail is becoming experiential centres. There are lots of rationalisation and consolidation happening in the offline electronics retail while lots of investment in online segment and we will see more happening in the coming years as online sales accelerates.”
 
In the Digital Commerce Megaverse panel discussion, industry leaders spoke on their experiences and shared advice in managing the exponential growth of their e-commerce business. In the ever-evolving realm of digital commerce, the path to success is both intricate and dynamic. To navigate this landscape effectively, one can draw invaluable insights from those who have not only trodden the path but have also excelled in it. 
 
From captivating customer experiences to leveraging emerging technologies, from innovative marketing approaches to supply chain optimisations, these brand leaders have decoded the intricate nuances of digital commerce.
 
Transaction value in the UAE’s Digital Commerce market is projected to reach $18.44 billion in 2024, according to a report by Statista.com, a global market intelligence provider. Transaction value is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 6.53% resulting in a projected total amount of $23.75 billion by 2028.
 
Digital commerce
In the Digital Commerce market, the number of users is expected to amount to 7.82 million users by 2028. The average transaction value per user in the Digital Commerce market is expected to amount to $283,000 in 2024. From a global comparison perspective, it is shown that the highest transaction value is reached in the US which is expected to reach $2.25 trillion in 2024.
 
Anuvrat Gaurav, Regional Country Director, SellAnyCar.com, said: “We have transformed the used car business which used to take around 30 days to process the sale and purchase transaction of a used car to a 30-minute experience!
 
“This year, we are celebrating 10 years of success in business, so we have ten years of customer data with us. More than 60% of all the cars that were sold in the used car market have been processed by us. So, we have 2.5 million data points. What do we do with the data? We now know the customers’ choice of car model, brand, etc. So, these data help us to understand our customers better, their behaviour and approach.
 
“So, we have launched a new business – to sell brand new cars – as we know the customers. The 10-year data set is helping us venture into other businesses. Our customers trust us with the information that we share online about cars. That’s why, when we upload information on a used vehicle with its full data backed up with scores of images, we get bids from vendors from across the Middle East - who book from as far places as Iraq and other countries. That’s the power of Internet Commerce!”
 
100 expert speakers
More than 100 experts speakers and industry leaders spoke at the day-long Internet Commerce Summit that include, Ronny Froehlich, Co-Founder, Golden Scent; Halima Jumani, CEO, Kibsons e-commerce; Saeed Alsuwaidi, CEO, Memoire Jewellery; Mahmoud Elfeky, Associate Vice President Retail - The Middle East, LENSKART; Rajat Asthana, COO, EROS Group; Mukta Purain, Founder, MissPalettable; Deborah Henning, Founder & Creative Director, Deborah Henning; Anuvrat Gaurav, Regional Country Director, SellAnyCar.com; Sebastian Shi, CEO, Huawei Cloud UAE; Leena Khalil, CEO, Mumzworld; Vikram Manjeshwar, CEO of e-commerce platforms, Ghassan Aboud Group and Sanele Simmons II, Co-Founder & CEO, Mall For Women.
 
Key themes addressed at the summit included the fusion of physical and digital retail experiences, the role of AI and data analytics in enhancing customer engagement, Omnichannel strategies for a modern consumer and the emergence of new business models in response to shifting consumer behaviours.
 
Welcoming the delegates, speakers, panelists and industry experts, Kiran Shetty, Business Head for Internet Commerce Summit, said: “As we embark of the transformational journey in the retail sector, we bring some of the brightest minds and industry leaders to speak in this Summit which has a lot for all of us to take away from. While the industry transforms itself, we at IMAGES RetailME would continue to support the industry by chronicling the developments and spread your message to all the stakeholders.”
 
Renowned business leaders
The Internet Commerce Summit 2024 speakers list included renowned business leaders and changemakers like Rami Zahran, Group Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Saudi German Health; Miche Whitehouse, Head of Brand and Digital, LUSH cosmetics; Nisham Chhabra, Vice President - Middle East & Africa, Netcore Cloud; Wasim Ben Khadra, Executive Director, Regional Head of Communications, Africa and Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank; Javed Akberali, Co-founder & MD, WELLX; Rahul Matiwadekar, Chief Product Officer, Insurancemarket.ae; Brad Whittfield, Co-Founder and Chairman of Cashee; Lito German, CEO, BayaDIRECT Payments; Kartik Bhatt, Chief Digital Officer, Sony (MECL); Ajay Prakash, Head of Online and Product, Lenskart Middle East; Daria Prodaevich, Managing Director, Dubai's Theatre of Digital Art (Toda); Pamela Opie, CEO & Founder, Linen Obsession; Ekaterina Borodich, CEO, Drinkit Dubai; Karan Shah, Co-founder, Hypeselection; Vishal Kapil, Group CIO, GMG; Sunil Nair, CTIO, Cenomi Retail; Mazen Kanaan, Co-Founder and CEO, House of Pops; Vidisha Bathwal, Founder, Paprika Gourmet; Tushar Fotedar, Director, Mister Baker; Ketaki Shah, Head of Marketing, Citymax Hotels & Foodmark; Marcus Sutton, General Manager, Zabeel House by Jumeirah at The Greens, companies and many more.
 
One of the key highlights of the event was the IMAGES ME E-Commerce Awards 2024, Mena’s most authoritative recognition for excellence in e-commerce. This award celebrated excellence in e-Commerce Innovation with some of the notable e-commerce journeys for brands across categories, tracing their growth across the digital runway.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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