The Gulf Cooperation Council is a regional, intergovernmental political and economic union in the Middle East. Member countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Ecommerce in the GCC is growing rapidly.
In 2015, ecommerce revenue in the GCC was $5.3 billion, or just 0.4% of gross domestic product. By 2020, revenue had quadrupled to $21.6 billion. That’s according to Kearney, a U.S.-based management consulting firm operating in more than 40 countries.
Moreover, Kearney projects GCC ecommerce sales to accelerate, reaching $52 billion per year by 2025. Kearney attributes the anticipated growth to the Covid-driven shift to online buying and the rise generally in digitally-savvy consumers, mainly millennials (ages 25 to 40, roughly), who account for approximately 45% of the population. Sixty percent of GCC millennials shop online, according, again, to Kearney.
Kearney projects the growth in GCC ecommerce to vary by segment.
Despite its growth, GCC ecommerce is small compared to leading countries. eMarketer projects global ecommerce sales to reach $4.9 trillion in 2021. China remains the dominant ecommerce economy, accounting for roughly 57% of the total. The GCC’s projected 2021 total, $29 billion, accounts for less than 1%.