With the recent acquisition of Souq.com by online giant Amazon and the anticipated launch of the new local e-commerce site Noon.com, the shift to online shopping in the GCC has become more apparent than ever.
A recent study from YouGov has found that 83 percent of local GCC millennials have shopped online in the past six months, with 42 percent shopping on local websites and 41 percent on international sites.
The research found that the most likely items to be purchased online by GCC millennials are mobile phones (20 percent) and computer software/hardware (20 percent), followed by electronic equipment (19 percent), games (17 percent) and e-books (13 percent). The least likely items to be purchased online are flowers (3 percent), pet related products (3 percent), music (4 percent), sporting goods (6 percent), hardcopy books (6 percent) and health products (7 percent).
YouGov found that the most common barriers to online shopping were related to not being comfortable with making online payments (41 percent), high shipping charges (37 percent) and long delivery times (34 percent). Among female GCC millennials barriers also included a lack of cash on delivery options (33 percent), uncertainty of authenticity of products found online (30 percent) and a lack of information about the return process (20 percent).