Saudi Arabia’s Internet users spent around US$ 3 billion in 2010 on products and services online

Press release
Published February 22nd, 2011 - 10:17 GMT
E-commerce appeals to Saudis
E-commerce appeals to Saudis

A new Arab Advisors Group survey of Saudi Arabia’s Internet users revealed that around 39% of the adult Internet users in the country buy products and pay for services online through e-commerce services. Electronics are the most popular products bought online, followed by software, while airline tickets booking and hotel reservations are the top services paid for online. 

A new major survey of the Internet users in Saudi Arabia was concluded by the Arab Advisors Group in January 2011. The survey revealed that around 39% of adult Internet users in Saudi Arabia buy products and pay for services online. The Arab Advisors Group conservatively estimates the number of these users to be around 3.1 million which is around 12% of the total population in Saudi Arabia. These e-commerce users have spent an estimated US$ 3 billion on buying products and paying for services through e-commerce transactions in 2010. 

The survey also showed that out of the respondents who have a fixed broadband connection (WiMAX or ADSL) at home, 18.6% share it with their neighbors. Moreover, the survey revealed that WiMAX operators had a 9.3% share of residential broadband Internet accounts in the country. 

The survey report, "Saudi Arabia Internet Users and e-commerce Survey 2011" was released on January 30, 2011 and provides the results of a major comprehensive online survey of Internet users in Saudi Arabia. The survey probed the patterns and trends of Internet use in Saudi Arabia including online and video gaming, mobile Internet, e-commerce, online banking (e-banking) and e-government. The report has 84 pages and 97 exhibits

Respondents were randomly targeted by receiving an email shot in their inbox utilizing multiple reputable mailing-list operators in Saudi Arabia. The survey results encompass answers from 1,154 respondents that passed rigorous quality control checks. Quality control was conducted by Arab Advisors Group’s team and included checking email addresses for authenticity and built-in question redundancy to filter out non-serious respondents. The survey was conducted on the general Internet population, including both genders and all age groups across Saudi Arabia. The online survey yields a confidence level of 99% with a margin of error of less than 4%.

“Due to the practice of broadband account sharing by households, the Arab Advisors Group estimates the number of households with broadband connections in Saudi Arabia to be around 1.97 million households by the end of 2010. This yields an effective broadband penetration rate of 7.68% and an effective households’ broadband penetration rate of 43.76%” Mr. Mohammed Al Shawwa, Arab Advisors Group Research Analyst, noted. 

“Electronics are the most popular products bought online, followed by software, with around 58% and 50% of customers who buy products online buying them, respectively. Around 84% of e-commerce users who pay for services online pay for airline tickets booking, while about 49% pay for hotel reservations.” Ms. Dalia Ayoub, Arab Advisors Group Research Analyst, added. 

The Arab Advisors Group survey questionnaire provides a focus on the following areas: 

Cellular Services

- Cellular subscriptions 

Internet Usage

- ADSL and WiMAX usage trends

- An analysis of Saudi Arabia’s broadband penetration and effective broadband penetration  

- Internet usage through cellular handsets

- Internet usage

- Phone calls through the Internet  

- Games 


- e-commerce trends    

- Local and International e-commerce   

Online Banking (e-banking) services     

e-government services 

This survey report can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group for only US$ 1,750 for subscribers to Arab Advisors Strategic Research Services. Non-Subscribers to Arab Advisors Groups Strategic Research Services can order the report for US$ 2,250. 

Please contact the Arab Advisors Group to get a copy of the report’s Table of Contents. 

The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced close to 2,275 reports on the Arab World’s communications and media markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom). 

To date, Arab Advisors Group has served over 610 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients. Some of our clients can be viewed on:

Background Information

Arab Advisors Group

Arab Advisors Group was established in 2001 in Amman, Jordan. Arab Advisors Group is a specialized research, analysis and consulting company focused on telecommunications, media and technology throughout the Arab World (MENA) region.

Arab Advisors Group scope of services include providing primary research based analysis, market sizing forecasting, the competitive landscape, the regulatory landscape, technology developments, market opportunity and risk assessments.

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