E-commerce enters high-growth stage in Saudi Arabia’s thriving digital economy

0 min read

  • Checkout.com’s third Digital Transformation Report in MENA reveals that 91 percent of Saudi shoppers regularly shop ecommerce
  • 14 percent of Saudis spend money online at least once a day 
  • Digital payments steadily gain favor among Saudi consumers
  • Enthusiasm for crypto is growing among Saudis 
  • Read full report here 

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 06, 2022: E-commerce in Saudi Arabia has settled into a stable, high-growth era, with increased opportunities for e-commerce players. Data from leading global payment solutions provider Checkout.com’s report: Digital Transformation in MENA 2022, proves that the e-commerce trends accelerated by the pandemic are here to stay. 

Ecommerce penetration continues to mature and deepen

Year-over-year data from Checkout.com’s third annual report on digital transformation in the region suggests that consumers in Saudi Arabia are increasingly turning to their digital devices and spending more time and money online. According to the report, 91% of Saudi consumers now shop ecommerce. Perhaps even more striking is that a staggering 14% of them say they shop online at least once per day as the ability to purchase an ever-wider range of goods and services becomes increasingly central to their daily lives. 

The future looks even brighter with 78% of consumers in Saudi saying they will maintain or increase their current level of ecommerce spending into 2023. 

Digital payments steadily gain favor among Saudi consumers

As Saudi consumers spend more time and money online, their appetite for ecommerce continues to grow, with that, we see continued incline in consumer preference for innovative new payment methods ranging from Buy Now, Pay Later to crypto and digital wallets. 

In line with this, 26% of consumers in Saudi now say that digital wallets are their number one most preferred payment method for ecommerce, a near doubling in the popularity of digital wallets compared to figures from 2021. 

Moreover, 10% say that BNPL is their number one most preferred payment method for ecommerce. Meanwhile, we see a significant drop in preference for cash, from 27% to 20%, and indeed we see consumers between the ages of 25 and 45 have significantly less attachment to Cash on Delivery, CoD,  and it is predominantly the very youngest and oldest shoppers who express a continued preference for cash payments. 

Growing enthusiasm for crypto

With the recent appointment of Mohsen AlZahrani as crypto chief to lead the kingdom’s virtual assets and central bank digital currency program, Saudis have shown a great interest in crypto currencies. The report reveals that 44% of 18-40 year olds have held digital assets such as crypto, stablecoins and NFTs, while 54% of 18-40 year olds would like to be able to pay for goods and services in crypto or stablecoins in the next 12 months.

Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, Senior Vice President for MENA at Checkout.com, said: "The report validates our conclusions from last year – that Saudi Arabia’s eCommerce and digital payment ecosystem is growing rapidly. The kingdom is the largest economy in the Middle East, with a mature retail sector and a relatively affluent, digitally savvy population that is moving in the direction of digital payments steadily. This, in combination with Saudi's ambitious target to achieve 70% of non-cash transactions by 2030 will ensure the growth we see today is sustained in the long run.” 

“Additionally, the growing trust in online payments by shoppers means the digital transformation of the region's retail sector is well underway. This is underlined by the emergence of Web3 as a key component of the online experience, with shoppers showing a significant appetite for transacting on-chain, and a desire both to be paid and to pay in digital currencies," he added

As seen in the report, fintech and digital payments adoption continues to soar across the region. Merchants are racing to keep up and as they do so, they continue to innovate and diversify the consumer offering. Consumers, of course, are quick to respond and the competitive landscape sharpens as the benchmark for consumer expectations continues to climb. To read the report in detail and know more about Checkout.com, please visit this link


PR contact: checkout.mena@bcw-global.com

Report Methodology

The Digital Transformation in MENA 2022 report draws insights from a regional survey, which polled more than 15,500 consumers in August 2022 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Pakistan. 

About Checkout.com

Checkout.com is a global payments solution provider that helps businesses and their communities thrive in the digital economy. Purpose-built with performance, scalability and speed in mind, our modular payments platform is ideal for enterprise businesses looking to seamlessly integrate better payment solutions. With a global team spread across 19 offices worldwide, we offer innovative solutions that flex to your needs, valuable insights that help you get smart about your payments’ performance, and expertise you can count on as you navigate the complexities of an ever-shifting world. Find out more at www.checkout.com