Lebanon Businessnews News

Online shopping
gains local ground
Consumers spend the most on
airlines, followed by hotels and food outlets
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More than half of Lebanese (59 percent) accessed the Internet for online shopping in 2014, representing an annual increase of 45 percent, according to the recent MasterCard Online Shopping Behavior Survey.

“The use of electronic payment channels, including online shopping, is growing significantly,” said Michael Miebach, President, MasterCard Middle East and Africa. “Merchants and banks are setting a well-developed infrastructure, which will help grow the appetite of clients further,” he said.

The survey found that 92 percent of respondents who made an online purchase were satisfied with their shopping experience. The increase witnessed in online shopping among respondents in Lebanon was the highest compared to the rest of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Websites such as Shtrina, Shopinleb followed by Amazon and Getforless were found to be the most commonly visited sites for online shopping in Lebanon. Airlines enjoyed the highest level of absolute online spending, followed by hotels, supermarkets, hypermarkets, restaurants and food delivery services.

“The number of local e-commerce gates is still limited compared to international ones,” said Jocelyne Chahwan, Head of Retail Banking at Blom Bank. “E-commerce has a big potential for growth. Banks should focus on ensuring security for clients who use their tools for online shopping and how to avoid risks,” she said. According to her, the education of merchants and investment in online shopping platforms is essential.

Forty percent of respondents said they made purchases via their phones during the three months prior to the study, up from six percent in 2013. The leading product categories that were purchased through mobile phones included clothing and accessories, phone apps and computer software.

“The use of mobiles as payment tools, in addition to other electronic products, is a move toward a cashless society, which will reflect positively on the entire economy,” said Miebach.

The survey, which measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted at the end of last year and was based on interviews with 4,000 respondents across eight markets in the MENA region, including Lebanon.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: May 29, 2015
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