Just six percent of Internet users in the Middle East regularly shop online, according to new research released by Dubai-based market research firm Real Opinions, due to a lack of trust in online payments.
Nearly half (43%) of Internet users in the Middle East have been put off buying products online because they don't trust online payment systems. Not even the launches of big daily deal sites in the region, such as Groupon or its local and more popular competitor Cobone, have swayed consumers to part with their money online.
Other reasons for avoiding Internet commerce were:
- Unsuitable payment options (36%)
- Lack of local online retailers (27%)
- Unreliable delivery (23%)
- Inability to process order or deliver (17%)
- Poor website design (9%)
- Bad Internet connection (7%)
- Items not in stock (6%)
"There is a tremendous opportunity in the Middle East for e-commerce to grow, particularly for UAE businesses to expand their marketplace from 3.5 million in the UAE to over 70 million in the region," said Dan Healy, the CEO of Real Opinions.
"There is a demand for more local business to give Internet users the convenience of transacting online and 27% claim they haven't done so as they haven't been able to find them online."