In MENA, online shopping is rising, and COVID-19 is its biggest accelerator. A survey by Statista on increased activity in the region since the outbreak shows that most consumers prefer to spend more time at home (88% Lebanon, 71% Jordan, 70% Morocco, 68% UAE, 68% Egypt, 68% KSA).
Moreover, 48% in KSA do online shopping more frequently, next to 47% in Egypt, 35% in Morocco, 35% in Jordan, 34% in UAE, and 33% in Lebanon.
As consumers spend more time in isolation, there will be heightened interest in:
- Buying on the move and in-car shopping: development depends on cashless payments, deployment of 5G, and voice technology. Several MENA countries, excluding GCC, may launch 5G mobile devices in 2025. By that time, the number of connections will be around a quarter of those in North America and Europe – hopefully, COVID-19 will accelerate the process.
- Buying more durables, small smart devices, computer accessories for homeschooling – and less large home appliances
- High demand for online products such as ebooks, music, movies, games, in-home entertainment, media, and subscriptions to digital content. The below chart shows the percentage of consumers who paid to access different types of online content in 2018, which is assumably higher during COVID-19: