Egypt the fastest growing online shopper in the world

Jonathan Spollen
3 Min Read

Cairo: A report released by the Nielsen Company Monday has found that 33 percent of Egyptian internet users shop online, making it the fastest growing internet shopping nation in the world.

However, that figure is still well below the global average of over 50 percent, and far below a number of wealthy countries in the West and South East Asia.

In South Korea, for instance, 99 percent of those with internet access have used it to shop, closely followed by the UK, Germany and Japan all on 97 percent. The US came in eighth with 94 percent.

Most impressive perhaps is the total global growth in online shopping, which has increased by 40 percent in the past two years, from 627 million of the world’s population to 875 million now purchasing goods online.

In Egypt 49 percent of those surveyed said they had bought books online in the past three months (compared to 41 percent globally), 35 percent had purchased music, videos and/or DVDs (compared to 24% globally), and 22 percent had bought clothes, accessories, and/or shoes (compared to 36 percent globally).

Egypt was above the global average (24 percent) for airline ticket reservations and purchases with 30 percent saying they had bought or reserved tickets online in the last three months. Among the highest was India on 70 percent and Ireland on 60 percent.

Some 37 percent of Egyptians said they had used the internet to buy computer software items compared to only 23 percent globally.

“As our lives become more fractured and cluttered, it isn’t surprising that consumers turn to the unrivalled convenience of the Internet when it comes to researching and buying products, said Jonathan Carson, President of Nielsen Online.

The favored form of payment in Egypt is the credit card, with 76 percent of Egyptians saying they used this method. Payment on delivery came second, with 34 percent.

According to Nielsen’s General Manager in Egypt, Hany Mwafy, credit card payment in emerging economies is generally higher than the global average of 60 percent, where payment on delivery and Paypal are also popular choices.

Credit cards are also favored by Turkey (91 percent), Ireland (86 percent), India and the UAE (84 percent).

“Shopping on the Internet with the ease of a credit card is especially appealing to consumers in emerging markets who simply cannot find or buy items they want in their retail trade, Mwafy said. “The Internet has opened up a whole new world of shopping for these consumers.

Globally, the most popular shopping sites were eBay with 121.1 million shoppers (36 percent), Amazon with 99.86 million (29.1 percent), and Target with 37.7 million (11 percent).

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