According to a report, The Middle East and North Africa’s one trillion-dollar retail market is passing through a revolution as eCommerce, and connected commerce (cCommerce), gained popularity and may comprise up to 40 percent of the retail occupancy and serve more than 20 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the region.
Mena’s cCommerce platform, Zbooni has launched the region’s first white paper on the growing sector and said businesses can register more sales by bringing the check-out experience to the networks that customers prefer to use every day.
The research said, cCommerce takes place by social, chat and messaging apps like WhatsApp, providing physical stores and online brands with a way of turning real-time conversations into converted sales by sharing insights from leading brands such as TikTok, Chalhoub Group and checkout.com.
The eCommerce benefit for MENA
Zbooni co-founder and CEO, Ramy Assaf stated that although the region had missed the initial wave of ecommerce, the region was fully geared to take complete advantage of the advancing cCommerce, or connected commerce wave in MENA.
Assaf also said that the MENA region was at the tip of a revolutionary retail transformation centred around a personalised selling experience. Whether the businesses are brick and mortar, online only or omnichannel, cCommerce has the potential to serve them across a wide variety of industries.
He said that cCommerce is a natural evolution towards shopping in the same way we chat with friends, and on a daily basis most people in Mena use chat and social apps.
It opens a whole new avenue for engaging customers and maximising sales for businesses. Thus, cCommerce could quickly surpass eCommerce as the region’s preferred way of retailing, Ramy Assaf said.
The report emphasizes on the opportunity for cCommerce to connect businesses with customers, both offline and online. Zbooni gathered proprietary data which indicates that cCommerce has a sales conversion rate of more than 80 per cent, which is significantly higher than ecommerce marketplaces which have the tendency to convert prospective sales at under three percent.
Digital media promoting sales
Group director and partner of Al Maya Group, Kamal Vachani said that digital media is one of the greatest tools to boost retail businesses in the region.
He added saying, cCommerce has gained tremendous popularity during the pandemic and similar trends would continue in future. He said that the world has now entered the digital era and people feel more comfortable while placing online orders.
He said in the digital world people are using cCommerce and different online platforms to get maximum benefits on their purchase.
In the first quarter of 2022, Network International said that the eCommerce costs in the UAE increased twice the rate of point of sale (POS) transactions as compared to the same quarter the previous year.
In its recent report across the Middle East and Africa, the leading enabler of digital commerce said that the rise in online spending which includes both debit and credit card transactions was led by digital payments in the government sector followed by supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores.
Ian Jiggens, group head, Advisory and Information Services, Network International said that it is evident as e-commerce continue to rise in revenue and buyers are not just shifting from physical outlets to online shopping, but are shifting more from spending cash to digital.
What is cCommerce?
cCommerce connects a merchant directly with a customer, and through human-to-human conversation an enhanced sales experience can be delivered and customer expectations are met. Whilst reducing potential returns and refunds, this in turn helps to reduce sales friction, increase conversion and customer lifetime value.