The digital transformation of the region’s retail sector will see eCommerce sales jump to $48.6 billion in 2022, up from $26.9 billion in 2018, said organisers of the upcoming Middle East Retail Forum in Dubai, UAE, citing recent research.
The 9th edition of event will take place at the Conrad Dubai Hotel on November 25.
Global retail sales were projected to reach $25.04 trillion in 2021 and $26.7 trillion in 2022, up from $23.6 trillion in 2018, according to Statista, an online tracker of global economy and retail sector. In 2019, e-retail sales accounted for 14.1 percent of all retail sales worldwide. This figure is expected to reach 22 percent in 2023.
Running concurrently at the same venue, the 10th RetailME Awards will honour the region's best performing retailers across 21 categories. This will be one of the first such physical events taking place in the UAE after the Covid-19 pandemic stopped events since March this year.
Titled “The Masterplan of Retail Transformation”, the Middle East Retail Forum will host more than 200 delegates – restricted to 40 percent of the ballroom capacity – to ensure social distancing. This will be the first such event to take place maintaining social distance protocol and all health and safety regulations stipulated by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
In the GCC, mass internet adoption has resulted from a combination of digital infrastructure and eager consumer adoption of technology-driven solutions, such as social media and smartphones. The wider Mena region has taken its own route to digital adoption, leap-frogging traditional channels of evolution, according to a research by Visa International.
“Today, Middle East nations are ahead of more mature eCommerce markets such as the US and China in terms of internet penetration, which stood at 64.5 percent, above the global average of 54.5 percent,” it said.
“Delayed adoption, followed by high digital and social penetration, has meant that GCC consumers have jumped straight to mobile commerce, or mCommerce, and operate across digital platforms with ease. The total market size, including all categories, has been estimated to be worth $48.6 billion in 2022, up from $26.9 billion in 2018.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the retail sector and transformed consumers as it is rapidly changing the $25 trillion global retail landscape, so much so that the global eCommerce sales are set to grow from $4.13 trillion in 2020 to $4.8 trillion in 2021.
Justina Eitzinger, Chief Operating Officer of Images Group Middle East, organiser of the Middle East Retail Forum and RetailME Awards, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has defined and accelerated transformation of the retail landscape, bringing with it, several new opportunities!"
“Organising the 9th Middle East Retail Forum and the 10th RetailME Awards under this extremely challenging environment reflects our resolve, conviction and commitment to our industry that is so resilient. The pandemic has reminded us that only change is constant, and we must be agile, responsive and future fit to perform and thrive in the constantly changing environment.
“As the retail sector faces challenges and embraces change we expect a number of developments taking place in the retail industry in the next years. The region’s retailers will benefit from the insights and best practices that will be shared through the keynote addresses, presentations and panel discussions. We urge both retailers and the enablers and solution providers to the retail industry to join this knowledge sharing initiative,” Eitzinger added.
The 9th Middle East Retail Forum, the region’s most prestigious and the only such event for the retail sector, will host a number of keynote speakers, presentations and five panel discussions in which 35+ speakers will share their insights on the changing retail landscape.
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