Saudi e-Commerce in Saudi Arabia is expected to increase in the next two years to SR 50 billion ($ 13 billion), bearing in mind that the Kingdom monopolizes 45 percent of the volume of e-Commerce in the Middle East.
E-Commerce is relatively new in the area in comparison with neighboring countries, and its growth has been helped by the Internet and all those related to it. Also the legal environment helps, coupled with limited regulations for this kind of activity.
In this respect Riyadh witnessed last Tuesday the first business women forum in the field of e-Commerce.
Duna Al-Sayari, owner of the qartasiya website, said the men and women in business were still far away from this field and called for the workers to discuss all aspects, including the difficulties and possible solutions to create new experiences, especially for those who want to pursue e-Commerce. Alabd Al-Karim, executive director of the Center for the Encouragement and Development of Business at Princess Nora University, spoke of the business environment in e-Commerce.
She said the stress was on the technical side but most of the problems were related to start-up projects forecasting that e-Commerce in Saudi Arabia would increase to SR 50 billion by 2015. He added that 60 percent of those who own e-Commerce websites are women and the Alam Hawa platform serves 250 women traders.
Al-Karim said that one of the main problems was to find an accredited payment mechanism or a system for e-Commerce in the Kingdom.
Al-Sayari said the visitors to these sites required more awareness, in the administration of their projects and experience to deal with investors. “We need to make the owners of these projects more aware to make their websites more successful and I think the first stage is very important.” Shrouq Al-Oufi, another business woman said the biggest challenge she faced was the acceptance of people to buy direct from the site.
Jawaher Al-Mudbil, who sells fashion retail, says she encourages the opening up of more channels with customers, either paying on delivery or through the social marketing websites.