Egypt’s great e-commerce potential

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Egypt has the potential to become a leading e-commerce market – a recent industry meeting in Cairo was told.

The number of internet users in Egypt reached 39.6 million in April, compared with 39.1 million users in March 2018, the organisers, robusta studio, said in a statement. The country has 100 per cent penetration of mobile phone lines.

However the UN’s trade development body UNCTAD who are working with Cairo to create a National E-Commerce Strategy for Egypt noted earlier in the year few Egyptian firms sell, and very few consumers buy, on line

Less than a fifth of Egypt’s large firms and only three per cent of its small firms have online sales which creates a situation where only about one in twenty of the country’s 95 million people buy on line. Part of the solution, according to UNCTAD, is faster broadband.

This looks likely to change in future given Egypt’s young and growing population

Research shows 42 per cent of B2B digital customers are millennials. This has seen the retail industry focusing more efforts on this generation with online transactions as the main selling point, robusta said.

What is helping the sector develop in Egypt is strong government support in the form of legislative changes like the Consumer Protection Acts, Cyber-Crime Law, as well as Data Protection Law.

H.E. Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology speaking at the Forum outlined the current direction of the government towards which includes utilization of Data Science, Machine Learning, Egyptian Post’s e-payment project and AI.

On the private sector side companies who have taken up digital transformation as means to develop their operations reported a 26 per cent increase in profit. Additionally, 58 per cent of companies with digital transformation and e-commerce strategies have a better focus on customer preferences, which constantly assists them upgrade their products and services.