The original source of this infographic is located on the Go-Gulf blog.
Tap Into The Growing Middle Eastern Internet Market
News media coverage, government, prejudice, or lack of information may be causing you to lose a fortune through internet marketing and sales to countries in the Middle East. The reality of life in the Middle East is much different from what you may expect if you have no real world experience in the Middle East.
There are 90 million internet users in the Middle East. Direct sales to individuals through the internet are projected to reach over $15 billion by 2015. This is a growth rate of over $2 billion per year. The profit from e-commerce in the Middle East is projected to be $5 billion in 2015.
In business you need to know your competition, the demographics you need to target, what is selling now, and what is projected to sell in the future. A complete understanding of payment preferences in a given region or in a particular country can increase your sales by a simple matter of catering to customer preference.
Only 15 percent of Middle East owned businesses have a web presence but almost 50 percent of the people that live in the Middle East make at least one on line purchase every month. The market is huge and relatively underutilized. There are 72.5 million internet users in MENA. Roughly 33% of MENA consumers make online purchases.
How They Use the Internet
People in the Middle East use the internet for purchases for the same reasons that everyone else in the world does. Convenience, lower prices, comparison shopping, a larger range of products, the ability to read the reviews and opinions of other locals that have bought a particular product, and a range of payment options are the major reason people in the Middle East use the internet to buy.
Two thirds of the people in the Middle East are reported to use the internet to research products and 50 percent of those that research buy.
Twice as many men in the Middle East make on line purchases as women. This may be cultural phenomena at work but you should temper any judgment or positioning of your ad campaign in the direction of mostly men with the knowledge that the majority of internet purchasers in the Middle East are aged 35 and under and have a growing sense of liberation of women in some areas of life.
Half of the internet purchasers in the Middle East use a payment card. Prepaid cards, credit cards, C.O.D., bank transfers and PayPal are the preferred methods of payment by internet shoppers in the Middle East. People in the Middle East prefer to pay for physical goods by cash on delivery twice as often as paying on line.
The major purchases through the internet from Middle Eastern consumers are on line games, computer software, electronics, clothing, entertainment, accessories, books and magazines, home appliances, health and beauty, and food. Games and computer software make up 72 percent of the market.
The Middle East is one of the largest, fastest growing, and most profitable internet sales markets today. The future growth of internet traffic in the Middle East behooves you to invest in a Middle East web site presentation (you may need a translator), adapt your presentation to Middle Eastern tastes and demographics, and above all take advantage of a $5 billion a year growth rate.