Saudi Arabia to enact new e-commerce legislation to boost SMEs

The study indicated that 75 percent of the respondents have permanently changed their shopping habits as a result of the pandemic

  
Man on laptop internet buying something with credit card. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Man on laptop internet buying something with credit card. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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RIYADH: The E-Commerce Council is working on the so-called ‘e-commerce journey’ to create infrastructure and issue legislation covering the import of consumer products.

The council is working on measures to develop e-commerce infrastructure, enabling payment systems, postal and logistic services, and providing a package of services to medium and small enterprises.

Abdul Malik Al-Tuwaijri, director general of product safety at the Standards and Metrology Authority, pointed out that objectives have been set to control products received through e-commerce, according to Al-Eqtisadiah.

The council regulates the relationship between shoppers and online stores, and enables people who do not have a commercial license to practice the activity according to specific regulations.

According to a recent study conducted by analytics company SAS, almost half (48 percent) of consumers in Saudi Arabia will continue to use online shopping and banking more than they did before COVID-19, even as the pandemic abates.

The study indicated that 75 percent of the respondents have permanently changed their shopping habits as a result of the pandemic, while only 17 percent of consumers in the Kingdom expect to return completely to how things were before.

New digital consumers increased 27 percent in the MENA region since the pandemic, the highest of any region surveyed, SAS said.

More than half of the respondents (56 percent) are digital channel users, which is also the highest rate in any region.

Revenue in the Saudi e-commerce market is projected to reach $7.05 billion in 2021, according to data firm Statista.

The numbers are expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.38 percent in the coming years, resulting in a projected market volume of $8.69 billion by 2025.

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