Why is e-commerce retail the biggest bet in the Middle Eastern fashion market today?
First and foremost, the retail market in the Middle East is now among the fastest growing in the world. Why is this a great time to get involved in the fashion business? There are three key answers to that question and they’re all intertwined. Digital consumers that are on the rise an increased access to consumer data and a fast-moving fashion e-commerce landscape.
Over the last few years, the Middle East has witnessed a retail boom. Fueled by a young and digital savvy population, its retail sector is now amongst the highest in the world and consumer spending grows YoY at an astonishing average of 18%. E-commerce retail sales are expected to reach $70 billion by 2025 with international brands landing on the Middle Eastern market one after the other. Namshi, ASOS and Souq are just a few examples of international and regional e-commerce players who have been battling for a piece of the Saudi fashion pie since 2017. (AT Kearney Global Retail Index)
Internet and mobile phone penetration have increased massively over the years, i.e everybody’s online. Consumers shop on-the-go, they coordinate their outfits online, and shoppers today are simply more connected to the brand than ever before. Digital platforms like Kingpin for example, offer retailers a wealth of data and insight to trends that educates retailers on their business and provides a solid foundation for expanding their marketing.
The days when winning as a fashion retailer depended on making brands available to consumers and pushing them accordingly are gone. In addition to good pricing, shoppers today expect a personalized, easy and fast shopping experience. They want recommendations, they want to look at their past purchases and assess, and they want to have options. E-commerce retail can make that happen by providing seamless, omni-channel experiences.
Moreover, a paradoxical shift has also been clouding the fashion world of the Middle East. Everyone has started noticing the Western influence on Arab fashion. Either that be Instagram, influencers, Western celebrities, bloggers or real people, the most researched items in Saudi today are dresses, jackets and shirts. Fast fashion has finally started being incorporated in the Middle East and this is just the beginning.
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