It wasn’t long ago that retailers across the MENA region were hesitant to launch their e-commerce efforts. Inconsistent address systems, consumer inexperience with online shopping, and a strong attachment to cash-based transactions meant that for many businesses, introducing ecommerce was simply too much of a logistical challenge to be worthwhile.
In the past five years however, this trend has changed dramatically. Thanks to business partners like DHL Express, many of the obstacles that made entering the world of ecommerce so challenging have been simplified or erased completely. In particular, there has been a strong push from fulfillment companies to offer a wider range of shipping options, expand delivery to more countries, and build support for local payment options across the region.
Today, consumers (and businesses) are starting to realize that the future of shopping is digital and global. With that sentiment in mind, this week we’re partnering with DHL Express to get their views on the state of ecommerce, the importance of supporting local payment options, and the new services that are powering the future of ecommerce.
DHL Express shares their insights on ecommerce in the region
As one of the region’s leading logistics companies, DHL Express is in a unique position to comment on the trends that are driving global ecommerce. We reached out to Ali Thabet, the Regional eCommerce Director of DHL Express MENA to see why international shipping should be a key focus for MENA ecommerce in 2020.
- Our e-commerce customers sold to over 180 different countries last year
- Cross-border e-commerce is growing by 25% each year
- When you sell international an average shopping cart value increase of 70% is not unusual
- Cross-border e-commerce shows half the returns rate compared to domestic sales
- Retailers who offer premium shipping grow 60% times faster than those that don’t
Expanding digital payment options with local cards
In October of 2019, PAYFORT announced a new partnership with DHL in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that is focused on bringing local payment solutions to DHL customers. The solution enables DHL to accept local payments and make settlements in local currencies by integrating with PAYFORT’s well established payment technologies. For DHL customers, this partnership means they will now be able to pay using local payment methods such as mada card or SADAD in Saudi Arabia, KNET in Kuwait and via Meeza card in Egypt, along with Apple pay in the UAE.
The PAYFORT and DHL partnership will cover eight countries in the region including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The new online payment feature has started rolling out in Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, with the rest of the countries to follow soon.
With this new effort, DHL has put a clear focus on making local payments a bigger part of the region’s ecommerce industry. Moving into the new decade, expect to see more shipment payments completed online in local currencies via debit and credit cards.
With industry partners like DHL pushing for the speed, convenience, and security that come with digital payments, it’s only a matter of time before local payments become the new normal for consumers in the region. As the new era of ecommerce begins, we expect to see the Middle East establish itself as a key player in the global e-commerce market.
Click here to learn more about the partnership between PAYFORT and DHL Express