Egyptian e-commerce is on the rise, with some projecting the market will reach a valuation of $2.7 billion USD by as early as 2020. Much of this unprecedented growth stems from the Egyptian government’s continued interest in building e-commerce with the country.
Last year, the Egyptian government partnered with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) to “double the footprint of businesses selling products and services online in Egypt.”
“E-commerce offers developing countries like Egypt opportunities for inclusive growth and enhanced market access,” explained Yasser El-Kady, Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
“Egypt hopes to be among the top 30 knowledge economies by 2030. We have been investing big time in information and communication technology infrastructure over the last three years, including, for example, in 5G networks.”
With 48 million Internet users — the most in the Arab world — and a digitally-inclined population, Egypt’s potential as a booming e-commerce giant is impossible to ignore for businesses around the world.
Here are 4 Egypt e-commerce trends that businesses need to take notice of.
With Egypt’s young population — 50% of citizens under the age of 30 — and a growing technological infrastructure, it should come as no surprise that smartphones are a major point of interaction between businesses and consumers in Egypt.
High smartphone penetration provides Egyptian consumers with the convenience and flexibility of a mobile computer, while also encouraging businesses across multiple industries to engage in omnichannel marketing in an effort to capture the attention of the mobile market.
Social media platforms like Instagram have integrated shopping features, allowing consumers to purchase goods without having to leave the app. While this isn’t a necessity for most businesses, doing business with mobile interaction in mind can pay dividends.
With e-commerce in Egypt projecting to be largely mobile-centric, it’s crucial that businesses entering the market strategies are aligned with where their audience can be found.
Supported by continued smartphone adoption, service apps have experienced incredible growth in Egypt over the past five years — especially amongst the younger generation.
In fact, Egypt is one of the largest markets in the Middle East for Uber — the world’s most iconic ride-sharing service app. Plus, Egypt has become one of the region’s largest online supermarkets, supplying and delivering groceries and other household goods to Cairo citizens in under 60 minutes.
The prevalence of service apps and the heightened interest by Egyptian consumers can provide clear benefits to businesses that are involved in the services market, while also profiting others as well.
Understanding where to interact with consumers gives you a leg-up on the competition, allowing you to share your products and services in a way that will resonate with the Egyptian market before competitors catch on.
With Egypt’s e-commerce market still in its infancy, many Egyptian businesses have yet to establish an online identity for consumers to interact with. As a result, cross-border e-commerce currently represents around 20% of the total Egyptian e-commerce sales.
Further developing the Egyptian e-commerce market relies on the continued online emergence of new products and services, which will provide Egyptian consumers with the goods that they need closer to home. This cuts the cost of shipping promotes buying local, reduces fear associated with making international purchases, and provides Egyptian consumers with more choices.
By building an online presence early, businesses entering the Egyptian e-commerce market can ensure that they establish a relationship with their target audience early.
Although payment technology has grown exponentially over the past few decades, cash-based payment methods are still the vast majority in Egypt. Around 80% of Egyptian e-commerce relies on cash on delivery, with only 10 million citizens — a quarter of the country’s Internet users — owning a credit or debit card.
In most cases, the likelihood of a consumer purchasing a good or service hinges on the trust that is developed with the seller. This is especially the case when it comes to trusting the payment method in question.
Although these national payment figures are slowly decreasing as credit cards become more prevalent, businesses looking to expand their operations to Egypt should consider it a cash-based economy and plan accordingly.
The Secret to Egyptian E-Commerce Success
Egyptian e-commerce offers plenty of untapped potential for the savvy business to tap into. However, like any market, there are nuances that need to be understood before venturing into unknown territory.
One of the best ways to develop a strong e-commerce presence in Egypt — and most other countries — is to find the perfect payment method. That’s because, above all, consumers want to feel comfortable with how they are purchasing goods and services.
Emergent Payments understands local payments in emerging markets like no other. After all, we’re the only solution that can deliver payment methods in a single integration.
We specialize in providing businesses entering high-growth markets like Egypt, India, Brazil and more with the payment solutions they need. Plus, we take care of all of the risks associated with taxes, regulations, fraud and compliance, protecting your money and saving you time.
Our innovative payment solution can support as many transactions as your business requires, and features the latest in multi-layered payment security, with client-side encryption, HMAC authentication and more.