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Ecommerce

Hootsuite, We are Social: 39 percent people from Saudi Arabia buy online

Monday 13 February 2017 | 12:08 PM CET

According to a study from Hootsuite and We Are Social, 39% people from Saudi Arabia have bought items online (57% increase from 2015) and 33% used their mobiles to make online purchases in January 2017.

Of the 246 million people living in the Middle East, 60 percent (147 million) have access to the Internet – up 15% from 2016 – 34% (93 million) are active on social media, representing a 47% year-on-year rise, and the mobile subscriptions in the region have reached 312 million.

Consumers in the region now demand online solutions they can access through their mobile phones on social media platforms – and the financial sector in particular needs to invest in the appropriate technology or risk being left behind.

Globally the amount of web traffic on mobile devices has soared in recent years, with just over half (50.3 percent) now being accessed this way, a significant rise from 2013 (35%) and from the first figure recorded in 2009 of 0.7%.

The research also revealed that 1.61 billion people bought stuff online in 2016 (22% of the global population). This equated to a total business to consumer market of USD 1.915 trillion in 2016, USD 1,189 on average per person.

The number of people using online shopping portals is also increasing in the region. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 62% of people have bought something online in January, a 25% year-on-year rise and 47% made a purchase using their mobile phones during the same period.

The report also revealed interesting figures from the more affluent nations in the GCC, with 99% of people in the UAE using the Internet, 70% in Saudi Arabia and 93% in Bahrain. Qatar and the UAE have the highest social media penetration in the world (both 99%), while Saudi Arabia has seen the highest growth in penetration with a 73% rise resulting in 59% of the Saudi population using social media platforms.

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