SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 8 December 2021, Wednesday |

UAE expected to surpass UK in e-commerce penetration as more businesses go online

As more companies in the UAE expand their online presence and digital assets become an important part of consumers’ perceptions of brands, the UAE is poised to overtake the UK in e-commerce penetration.

When it comes to online activity, consumers outnumber businesses, presenting an opportunity for companies to gain market share in the ultra-competitive e-commerce space, according to Ziad Chehade, Google’s head of business marketing for the Middle East and North Africa.

Businesses are also dealing with an abundance of data that they are unsure how to use. He believes that business chambers can help fill this void.

“Data is all around us. Businesses, on the other hand, have no idea how to use this data. There is a significant gap in internal capabilities, which has grown even wider since the pandemic. To truly make a difference, chambers must position themselves as educational enablers and knowledge hubs. People want data and to be able to use it in an accessible manner. “This builds on what chambers have done historically, but tweaks it,” Mr Chehade said on Tuesday at the 12th World Chambers Conference in Dubai.

Following the pandemic, the UAE’s e-commerce market expanded significantly as more consumers turned to online channels for their shopping needs. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the sector grew 53% to a record $3.9 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow further.

Companies, both established and emerging, are constantly expanding their capabilities. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, announced in September that it will create 1,500 jobs in the UAE this year to increase its storage capacity by 60% and the area of its delivery stations by 70%.

China’s Wenchao Group announced on Tuesday that it will invest Dh735 million ($200 million) to build a factory in Dubai to serve the growing e-commerce and food and beverage sectors.

According to Global Media Insight data, the UAE has one of the highest rates of smart device penetration in the world, with 99 percent of its nearly 10 million population using the internet. According to Statista data, the UK, on the other hand, has a penetration rate of nearly 95%.

Google was one of the most well-known technology companies to sign up for the UAE’s 100,000-youth computer programming training program.

In addition, in July, the world’s largest internet company collaborated with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to launch the Business Online Presence platform, which assists businesses in managing their online assets. Google’s long-standing partnership with the Dubai Chamber has benefited over 100,000 UAE businesses.

Businesses in the UAE have been increasing their spending to increase their online presence. However, while Google estimates that 64% of businesses have increased their spending on digital upgrades, Mr Chehade claims that this is mostly due to a fear of missing out or because they believe it is the right thing to do.

The importance of data privacy and companies’ efforts to protect it is one of the factors that consumers consider, and it has a significant impact on their perception of brands, particularly online.

Companies must “ensure that they have unique passwords for both personal and business accounts, that their admins always follow safety protocols, that they enable backups and do so ahead of time, that they enable updates for all apps and software, and that they have an assistant to verify the email to avoid spam and all forms of fraud,” he said.

Furthermore, according to Google estimates, 68% of people do not trust a business if they cannot find it online – and the first thing consumers do to learn more about a brand is to conduct a Google search on it, according to Mr Chehade.

“Before working on engagement, you should be found and active.” It makes the journey easier.”

Global business leaders gathered in Dubai for the 12th World Chambers Congress to address some of the most pressing issues affecting commerce following the coronavirus pandemic.