51% of UAE retailers want to increase their global reach and sell cross-border.
Online retail management company Uplo has released its latest annual report revealing that 88 percent of retailers think the UAE is a great place to operate a retail business. The in-depth survey of more than 100 retail leaders was commissioned through YouGov and is part of Uplo’s MENA Online Retail Report 2023. The research paper also includes leading insight from experts at Checkout.com and SAP.
There was also strong optimism amongst 73 percent of the retail leaders interviewed that they would grow revenue and profits this year. Nearly half suggested that their online retail operations are growing at a staggering rate of 20 percent or more per year. Estimates from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce indicate that e-commerce will grow from 4.8 billion (in 2021) to $ 9.2 billion dollars in the UAE by 2026, supporting the buoyant attitude of the retail poll.
Nicolas Bruylants, CVO and Co-Founder of Uplo said, “2023 looks set to be a record year for online retail across the region, with this survey indicating retailers are seeing rapid growth that is far outstripping many global markets. E-commerce across MENA is bucking the global trends of inflation and supply chain disruptions, instead showing remarkable resilience.
Nations like the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are developing world-class e-commerce processes. Through investment in technology, infrastructure, and talent, we are at the point where the region is starting to leapfrog other countries around the world in terms of the speed, convenience, and efficiency of the e-commerce offering.”
The report does highlight some challenges that retailers are facing. 61 percent said competition from online rivals is fierce, while more than half found it challenging to manage profitability with the fine margins required for success. Uplo also found that retail is at a tipping point for using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), with a 50-50 split for those businesses that are using such tools and those that aren’t.
Other key findings from the report include:
Uplo’s research also highlights MENA is the fastest-growing e-commerce market in the world (double-digit year-on-year growth in all regional countries), with average household spending on e-commerce topping more than $2,500 per year in the UAE alone.
To read the full report, visit uplo.io.