In a post-pandemic world, online shopping has become a way of life. If the world readily embraced online shopping in the time of COVID due to safety concerns, a post-pandemic world is now accepting it out of trust and ease. With COVID shifting shopping patterns and dictating rules for nearly every industry, the ecommerce trends in the UAE are seeing massive changes.

Ecommerce in the UAE: An Overview

Online shopping in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is growing at a lightning pace and is estimated to surpass $18 billion by 2025, according to a report by EZDubai. Despite being cash-based economies, the UAE and MENA countries have rapidly moved to credit and debit cards and digital wallets over the last couple of years. 75% of buyers in the region use debit/credit cards on ecommerce sites while 21% prefer wallets.

A majority of consumers use smartphones and social media and they are demanding faster and more seamless services from brands and businesses.

Whether you are an established ecommerce player or a new entrant in the market, you need to be aware of the technologies that can help you survive and succeed amidst intense competition. Here are five tech trends you cannot ignore in this digital era.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Enhancing Customer Experience

A 2018 research by Epsilon established that 80% of customers prefer to buy from brands that deliver a personalized experience. Since then, personalization has become the cornerstone of successful marketing and sales online.

AI is making personalization possible by providing insights into customer behavior and needs. This helps businesses serve their customers in ways that feel relevant and tailored to them.

Artificial Intelligence when used to enhance customer experience can be a game changer for brands. An Accenture report estimates corporate profitability to shoot up to 38% with the use of AI.

From voice searches, virtual shopping assistants to AI-based chatbots and auto-generated product descriptions, AI has many applications for the ecommerce industry.

    2. Big Data Analytics To Fuel Customer Intelligence

    Big data analytics has enabled businesses to make accurate business decisions and predictions based on customer behavior, buying patterns, and other customer data. This has resulted in brands anticipating shifts in demands, shorter sales cycles, and increased loyalty among consumers for brands that offer tailor-made shopping experiences.

    As we move forward, evolving frameworks like edge computing are likely to boost the speed of analysis, making the potential of big data that much more lucrative for ecommerce brands and businesses.

    3. Secure Transaction With Blockchain

    Where a cash-based economy is turning to online payments, Blockchain offers the ideal high-grade security for online transactions and a future for cryptocurrencies.

    Blockchain offers tamper-proof online transactions and speed. It also offers transparency and traceability, which are ideal against the security challenges of modern technology.

    4. Payment Gateways, Platforms, and Mobile Wallets

    Consumers in the UAE are increasingly warming up to cashless payment methods and digital wallets through their smartphones. One of the driving factors of this trend is a young and tech-savvy group of consumers becoming a key spending demographic in the region. These buyers value speed and convenience in their transactions and mobile wallets offer just that.

    Keeping up with the changes, vendors are integrating leading payment gateways such as CyberSource, PayPal and MasterCard Internet Gateway Service to improve customer experience and sales volume.

    However, smart business owners can’t – and won’t – alienate consumers who are still in favor of cash-based transactions. This is reflected in the strategy of UAE’s ecommerge giant (formerly Souq) who has integrated the history of the cash-based transaction into their platform.

    5. Combining Physical and Digital Shopping Experience With Beacons

    Beacons have been used by offline stores for a long time to interact with customers based on their location However, integrating them into the digital shopping experience is a whole new game. Integrating beacon into digital shopping, stores that have offline and online presence use the information gathered about the customer based on their preferences to upsell/cross-sell products. It also encourages them to complete a purchase, nudging them to make a move – online or offline. This hybrid shopping experience builds trust and loyalty.

    Summing It Up

    UAE and MENA countries are fast becoming some of the world’s leading adopters of online shopping. With consumers in the region more open to digital transactions, ecommerce is seeing promising new growth. Brands need to suit up and be ready to meet customer expectations and enable effective operations by using the latest technology.

    Are you a business looking to build or grow your ecommerce presence with ecommerce website development? Or, maybe you wish to take advantage of the latest technologies like AI, blockchain, data analytics or business intelligence to keep your ecommerce brand ahead of the race. Silwana Infotech is your partner in transforming your ecommerce business. Get in touch with us today to discuss your business needs.

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