Driven by the proliferation of smartphones and the expansion of internet connectivity in recent years, people are increasingly buying a growing range of products and services from online stores. This relentless shift from offline to online purchasing — and now mobile purchasing — is driving the rapid growth of online spending. The global ecommerce industry is continually evolving, disrupting the retail industry as well as numerous traditional services and businesses. At the same time, ecommerce advancements are supporting the growth of many other industries (such as the payment and logistics industries).
In Saudi Arabia, the use of ecommerce has been gaining traction over the past few years. More and more individuals and businesses using local, regional, and international ecommerce platforms (including social media, sharing economy applications, and listing websites) to buy and sell products and services. Correspondingly, there are increasing investments in the ecommerce ecosystem within Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. Saudi Arabia's National Transformation Program (NTP) also aims to support ecommerce growth within the country. CITC research shows that about 60% of the country's middle and upper classes are already online buyers. These individuals mostly purchase travel-related services and digital content from local and international ecommerce sites, and spend about SAR 3,900 on average per year.
The ICT Forum 2017 will bring together ecommerce professionals, thought leaders, and different players in the ecommerce ecosystem (including pure-play ecommerce sellers, government bodies and regulators, payment providers, logistics providers, ICT providers, and start-up ecosystem enablers). The event will help participants gain a better understanding of the local, regional, and global state of ecommerce and appreciate the benefits that online transactions can bring to Saudi Arabia.