GCC Conglomerates

GCC online retail sector has witnessed a rampant expansion, leapfrogging from 10 Bn USD in 2019 to 30 Bn USD in 2022. A strong digital enabler ecosystem, proactive policymaking coupled with a digital-ready population of 54 Mn, GCC ecommerce boom is unravelling. 1. GCC Online retail is sizable: ~$30bn in GMV and has been growing […]

Tech to Drive MENA IPO Boom

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen a surge in IPO activity in recent years, with several high-profile companies going public and raising significant capital. To sustain this momentum, the region will need to continue embracing new technologies and innovative solutions to drive further growth. Here we deep dive into the thriving […]

CBT Taxation – Supporting a sustainable local retail ecosystem

Recently, the custom duty ceiling for international cross-border trade was reduced. The policy change is expected to support creating a sustainable local retail ecosystem and further accelerate the trend of partnerships between local and international retail players in the UAE. Here’s an insight into the impact of the policy update on local retail players and […]

Digital Economy in Motion

Happy New Year! We hope this year brings you joy, health, and prosperity. Thank you for being a part of our community. Here’s to a fantastic year ahead! In the first edition of this year’s newsletter, we look back at what was a landmark year for MENA. Sectors across the digital economy saw rapid adoption […]

BNPL Wave is Now a $1.5 Bn Reality

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market is expected to grow in the Middle East region as this payment mode has a fast approval method. This is the most convenient payment method, spread over a period of time with smaller amounts of EMI. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the economic conditions in the Middle East […]

MENA Insurtech: Ripe for the Taking

In this edition of our weekly newsletter, we deep-dive into MENA’s booming Fintech landscape and highlight a rapidly evolving segment within it – Insurtech. Insurtech has all the makings of the long-awaited fulcrum that pioneers MENA’s insurance market level with that of developed economies, starting with the GCC. Read on as Akshay Jayaprakasan and his […]

eB2B: Real Winners To Emerge Now

Pandemic driven eCommerce boom led to emergence of eB2B players, who were quick to pick on the shift in consumer purchase and attract investors, helping scale eB2B market to ~$1.2 Bn in MENAP. eB2B sector is witnessing consolidation as players look to balance focus on scale, profitability and enhance capabilities. It is important that players […]

Black Friday Sales To Cross ~ $350 Bn This Year

Black Friday, the biggest shopping extravaganza, presents a ~$350 Bn global opportunity through online sales. This year Black Friday will coincide with FIFA World Cup, impacting customers’ purchase behaviour and shopping patterns. Driven by deals and discounts, the Black Friday season is filled with excitement for shoppers, and financial sharing applications are providing an additional […]

The Game That Goes Beyond 90 Mins!

Digital Media has revolutionized how we experience sports events; its impact on World Cups has historically been massive and is expected to increase with the current edition of the Qatar World Cup. World Cup will drive audience engagement whose interest is directed not only to the 90 minutes of the game but also to behind-the-scenes […]

A Cup Full Of Food

Food delivery market is poised to benefit from the celebratory atmosphere that has been a feature of Mega sports events. High consumption enthusiasm will drive consumer spending and acts as a springboard to boost sales. “The Qatar cloud kitchen culture is rapidly evolving and will naturally get a major boost from the celebratory atmosphere” Ramez […]

The Most Inclusive Football Tournament

It is our pleasure to release our report “The Most Inclusive Football Tournament” covering key themes that will play out during the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. The championship in Qatar is one of the largest sporting events in a post-pandemic world. This report covers the impact, market outlook, and evolving consumer and supplier trends […]

The Most Inclusive Football Tournament

Football world championship in Qatar is one of the largest sporting events in a post-pandemic world. Enabled by the proliferation of digital media channels and internet/smartphone penetration, an unprecedented 5 billion consumers are expected to engage with the event. Consumption is expected to spike during the tournament which overlaps with the retail festive season. The […]

How can restaurants sustain in the evolving food service industry?

MENA Food Delivery Ecosystem is rapidly evolving. While food aggregators helped restaurants weather the pandemic, their impact on the profit margins has been reduced. Restaurants are creating own unique propositions to attract consumers and consecutively restaurant own apps are now the fastest growing segment. Evolving stakeholder economics is poised to reshape the food delivery market in […]

OTT Plays Finale After the World Cup

OTT is the future of entertainment, and sports tournaments have emerged to springboard user engagement. FIFA World Cup 2022 is expecting ~5bn viewership, out of which ~1bn viewership is projected through OTT platforms. A steep spike in OTT subscriptions is seen during a major sports event, which experiences a dramatic fall post event. Thus, OTT […]

Is direct the way to go for Beauty?

The BPC market in the MENA region is going through a transformational period driven by evolving consumer needs and shopper persona. While legacy brands have undertaken various initiatives to fulfill emerging trends, consumers aren’t fully satisfied. This has led to the emergence of D2C brands who have been able to develop meaningful relationships with customers […]

Black Friday Alert!

Black Friday has emerged as one of the most important events in retail in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), owing to the wide array of deals and discounts, spread out over the 5–6 week festive period. As retail traffic is set to be high; retailers in the region need to be cognizant of […]

Black Friday Shopping Season Is Here

Black Friday is the most anticipated online shopping event of the year, owing to the wide array of deals and discounts spread out over the 5–6-week festive period. This year promises to be no different, with consumer purchase intent peaking in anticipation of this sales extravaganza. With interesting price drops and high consumer purchase intent, […]

Realising Potential Through Consolidation

The digital economy went through a disruption and high growth phase over the last few years, aided by the pandemic. While most sectors are still in nascency in terms of online penetration, a few sectors, like FoodTech, are more evolved in the region, with penetration levels higher than most other global benchmarks. And in such […]

The biggest ever World Cup

1. Online viewership expected to reach 5 Bn during FIFA World Cup 2022 5 Bn eyes are expected to be glued to FIFA World Cup in Qatar, expecting a growth of over 43% than the viewership witnessed during FIFA World Cup in Russia. Covid fueled digital penetration which has given fans multiple ways for football […]

What the 2025 runway looks like for UAE Fashion

1. UAE Fashion E-tail market poised to near 20% penetration by 2025 on the back of soaring purchase frequency rates An instrumental change to the UAE fashion scene in the coming years is that increase in frequency and average order value which will drive higher wallet share for online channel, will drive a lot more […]

Travel has arrived

1. UAE Travel market has recovered swiftly, closing in on pre-pandemic levels in 2H2021… In 2020, The travel market fell by over 65% owing to mobility and travel restrictions. However, Expo 2020, Global events like Dubai Shopping festival, Sport and Music concerts coupled with practical and responsive government policies, drove tourists to UAE and proved […]

Online Fundamentally Altered Grocery Buying Behavior

1. Grocery was the most underpenetrated online sector pre pandemic… The Grocery sector has been a predominantly offline shopped sector before the covid 19 pandemic, due to its essential nature. Consumers have always preferred to personally check the products before shopping for grocery as it directly impacts their health and wellbeing. Grocery shopping was a […]

MENA Economy: On the cusp of a digital revolution

MENA’s is riding the digital revolution. The digitally evolved population of Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X is a fertile ground for digital solutions. Riding in the wake of the pandemic, its digital economy has experienced a manifold growth. It is estimated that 100 million plus consumers will shift to online services in next 5-6 […]

Unwrapping Ramadan 2022

Ramadan is a $6.2 Bn online sales event in MENA. Festive periods account for ~40% of annual e-tail in MENA.

MENAT Gaming: Doubling XP

The supply side is gearing up to tap into the massive opportunity which is unfolding, through localization, technology investments and eSports events

Quick Commerce: MENA’s Hidden Gems

Q-commerce with sectors that already have the necessary digital infrastructure and consumer awareness in the MENA region expands the market potential for quick commerce to encompass a $100 Bn opportunity .

Black Friday – $6Bn Online Shopping Event

Black Friday is a critical event in the retail calendar in MENA. This event which was first launched by Souq (now Amazon) as a 3-day online only event has now expanded to over six weeks of Q4. The event has been so popular that ~20% of annual online retail sales happen during the Black Friday sale period.

Key Black Friday Trends:

a. The Market is Stabilizing:
Last year BF season achieved +90% YoY growth; this year YoY growth is expected to stabilize at ~30%; Sales to reach ~$6 bn during BF period.
b. Differentiated Strategies are going to be at play
In terms of strategy, higher focus on private labels, Inventory led fulfilment and fast delivery speed are expected.
c. Consumer is moving beyond discounts
Discounts will become a right-to-play during BF. For right-to-win, other factors such as offer variety and exclusivity and experience will be key.

MENA Q-commerce: Unlocking $20bn

MENA Q-commerce market is expected to grow by 24% to reach $20bn as consumers continue looking for convenience and immediate gratification.

QSR Market: Always Adapting to Change

QSR’s are usually met with the trade-off between focusing on their own app vs a marketplace app. Each have their own pros and cons. Broadly, having one’s own app creates better control of the brand, greater engagement with the customer but it is a high cost and effort activity in terms of building a userbase and capabilities.

Keeping up with the consumer

Q-commerce has enabled consumers to try new online categories because of its convenience thus increasing the share of wallet.

How MENA is shopping post COVID-19?

Lockdown measures have led to growth for e-tail. The growth rate during the lockdown has been ~20% by order volume and ~40% by value resulting in annualized GMV of $11 Bn.

Ramadan and Covid-19 Pandemic; an ordeal for retail

E-tailers generate ~25% of their annual GMV during Ramadan time, which when compared with White/Yellow Friday sale, stands at ~5%. Brands also realize the importance of Ramadan where many engage in activities such as launch of new products, new services, bundling of offers. A third of their annual marketing budget is spend in promotion of the same.

MENA gearing up for Ramadan – Fashion insights

1. Fashion shopping in Ramadan peaks during Eid week Fashion is the most exciting retail category, when it comes to Ramadan shopping in MENA. Excitement levels for clothing are high throughout the festival season, however it peaks during the Eid week. When this trend was studied at country level, UAE and KSA followed the same […]

Middle East Online Retail comes of age (Part 2)

1: Niche models gain traction Noon and Amazon have emerged as the key players in the online marketplace in the region. However, niche players have also emerged who either have a specific focus on customer segment, category or business model. Some niche marketplace examples are around grocery, value focussed, pre-loved fashion and gifting: 2: Electronics continues to […]

Middle East Online Retail comes of age in 2019

Insight 1: Fast-paced etailing market growth in 2019 Online retail market grew at a fast pace this year compared to last few years – greater than 35% this year compared to ~25% annually over the last few years.

Home Services Market Updates

‘Convenience’ ranks much ahead of ‘price’ as the main reason to avail on-demand home services Published on: Dec 2019 Compared to many sectors, on-demand home services has a high share of ‘convenience seeking users’ Which is likely to enable players to rationalize pricing and driving better unit economics in the long run Home services consumers […]

Retail 3.0 : The emergence of the omnichannel

1. Organized B&M is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% while online retail is expected to grow at a CAGR of 35% till 2022 Published on: Nov 2019 Organized retailers have gradually expanded into several categories and no longer stick to just one format or product offering. They have been leveraging their brand […]

Food-tech Market Updates

Subscription users of cloud kitchen apps show stronger platform loyalty (vs on-demand users) even when preferred dishes are unavailable Published on: Oct 2019 When preferred dishes are unavailable, subscribers of on-demand cloud kitchen apps are much more likely to still buy something else on the platform In comparison, non-subscribers/on-demand users are highly likely to switch […]

Online Used Car Market Updates

  Structural shift happening in used car market from classifieds model to transactions driven model  Published on: Sep 2019 Together with value added services, revenue from B2C+C2B play within the online used car market expected to grow the fastest out of all revenue streams The Online Used Car Market is shifting to transaction-based models Published […]

E-Tailing’s changing category mix and future of lodging

Despite slowing growth of mobiles category, e-tailing firmly on track to grow 32% in 2019 and reach USD ~82 Bn by 2022 Published on: Sep 2019 2019 to see the slowest growth in online mobiles sales in the last five years Despite the slowdown in mobiles, e-tailing to continue its rapid growth trajectory owing to […]

GCC – World’s first omni-channel superapp?

GCC – a unique market showing characteristics of both developed and developing markets GCC countries have most of their population concentrated in urban centres. This helps the organized retail players to make a deeper reach out to the population, resulting in a high representation of organized players in retail. This characteristic of the high share […]

Can MENA Have A Superapp?

Globally, apps are taking superapp journey by adding services to its offering and increasing per-customer revenue Published on: Jul 2019 A country/region becomes superapp ready when its large base of the population is smartphone first instead of desktop and the ecosystem of apps customized to local needs is not evolved. WeChat in China leveraged this […]

Decoding The Indonesian Online Seller

Sellers prefer an online retail platform majorly for their consumer reach followed by their UX/UI experience and word of mouth Published on: Jul 2019 Our research shows that Top 4 platforms are especially preferred for their reach, while sellers sell on social media primarily due to its zero commissions and easy to use UX/UI (and […]

MENA Marketing Taking Social Media Journey

Business in MENA are taking digital journey led by social media, for marketing its products and services to customers Published on: Jul 2019 MENA region comprising of GCC, Levant and North Africa is home to 40+mn businesses represented by corporates, government, SMEs and self-employed. These businesses in the MENA region are increasingly using digital platforms […]

Online Retail Insights | Middle-East

Buy Full Report With technology driving businesses across the region, Retail technology enabler market is a picking up trend in Middle-east, driven by marketing solutions, analytics, and other retail support Published on: Jun 2019 Technology is playing a key role in driving the retail business in Middle-East. With Amazon-Souq and Jumia already crossing USD 1 […]

Online Interior Design Market Updates

Buy Full Report Customization and Lead qualification key to scalability in the Online Interior Design market Published on: Apr 2019 Online Interior Design market is a large and fledgling opportunity in India (RSC estimates the market to be ~$ 100 mn in FY19, with online penetration of <1%). Despite the large addressable opportunity, leading Online […]

Online Grocery Market Updates | Middle-East

Buy Full Report Share of organized grocery retail in UAE+KSA is expected to increase to 80% by 2022, from current 60%; Unorganized grocery retail to shrink Published on: Jan 2019 RedSeer estimates grocery retail to grow at CAGR of ~5% to reach size of USD 73 Bn by 2022, from current USD 60 Bn for […]

Fintech Insights | Middle-East

1. Fintech: Funding in MENA fintech is led by lending and payment focused start-ups Published on: Oct 2018 Fintech based start-ups in the MENA region are seeing a lot of traction recently with a funding of ~USD115mn till date, of which ~75mn is received within last two years. UAE is the most popular geography among […]

Cab Aggregation Insights | Middle-East

1. Cab: After a first wave of rapid growth, MENA’s cab hailing market is ready for the next wave of expansion into smaller cities and realize its huge potential Published on: Sep 2018 MENA region’s online cabs market has grown rapidly to reach similar scale as its better funded regional peers in India and SE Asia in […]