A reputable Middle East CEO said recently that lower oil prices could translate into a 5 to 10% drop in their operating costs and that if well coupled with Middle East’s ecommerce sector, it could underpin regional growth in 2015.
Meanwhile, lower oil prices have seen governments in the region increase their public spending so as bring in to their respective populations a certain atmosphere of serenity and calm in the context of regional turbulence. This initiative according to most could perhaps result in an increase in regional trade that in turn would generally push up business.
In the Middle East however where ecommerce surprisingly enough is not far from progressively outpacing consumer business in the same way it did world-wide.
In China for instance, the country presents an increasingly tantalising market for brands looking to expand their ecommerce presence internationally. And conversely Chinese products makers have engaged in this exercise with lots of success during the last decades.
The internationalisation of ecommerce is almost a priority for all established brands; China provides significant opportunities for growth as does the Middle East. The size however of these two markets are obviously different.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, China’s 302 million online shoppers spent $296bn in 2013 and McKinsey forecast that the country’s online retail market will be as large as the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK put together.
Just as important is the fact that this is a market that is receptive to digital advertising, meaning the public is more inclined to interact more frequently with marketing messages on their mobile and tablet devices.
For the Chinese market as well as that of the Middle East, showrooming is increasingly prevalent. In fact, IBM research found Chinese shoppers were more likely to showroom than consumers anywhere else in the world.
Also, the Chinese unlike their counterparts in the Middle East do have preferences for local and / or localised content. Localising content is vital for inspiring trust and reflecting local and regional values.