COVID-19 prompted the Saudi government to implement lockdown measures to contain its spread. These measures depressed economic activity, which had a negative effect on consumer spending.
In June 2020, Souq became Amazon.sa – almost three years after the US giant's acquisition of the Saudi e-commerce provider.
The second half of the review period saw the transformation of Saudi Arabia’s media industry, as digital streaming overtook traditional broadcasting in terms of its importance to viewers. One of the major drivers of this was the launch of video streaming services.
E-commerce (goods and services) will continue to exhibit strong growth in total value sales during the forecast period. Consumers will shop online more and in physical stores less.
Social media will play an increasingly important role in e-commerce in the Kingdom during the forecast period. For example, Instagram launched shopping tags in Saudi Arabia during the latter part of the review period.
70% of the Saudi population is under the age of 35, and this youthful demographic profile will continue to be a major driver of growth in e-commerce during the forecast period, as young people tend to be more interested in online shopping than older consumers. While PCs are currently the device of choice for e-commerce, mobile devices, particularly smartphones, are growing in popularity, and this trend is likely to deepen during the forecast period – particularly as 5G networks lead to an acceleration in mobile internet speeds.
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