Bahrain’s e-commerce industry will value BHD400 million in the second half of this year, according to Sadiq Abdul Rasool, chief digital officer at online retailer Homiez.
The projection follows the Central Bank of Bahrain’s report that the point-of-sale and e-commerce transactions in the kingdom topped BHD309 million in July, marking a 13.6 per cent increase from June and a 10.9 per cent increase from July 2021.
“This rise is due to many factors, including the back-to-school season, sale season and the return of large numbers of citizens and residents from their vacations,” said Mr Rasool.
“In addition, the expansion of buy-now-pay-later services in the kingdom of Bahrain is contributing to the recovery of both e-commerce and digital payments.”
Bahrain’s fast-growing youth population and 98 per cent internet penetration drive the kingdom’s online shopping habits, according to the International Trade Administration.
Most purchased are grocery items, followed by apparel, beauty products, electronics, computer items and home appliances.
Ease of chatbot functions and augmented-reality technology also attract consumers in the kingdom to e-commerce, said Mr Rasool.
“This development will further upgrade Bahrain’s e-commerce platforms and enhance its local and regional competitiveness.”
Also supporting e-commerce retailers is the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, through its virtual mall, www.mall.bh.
Retailers can register their business in the virtual mall, with visitors redirected to their e-commerce sites to purchase products.
The mall accommodates clothing and accessory, beauty and personal care, electronics and home appliances, food, flowers, gifts, jewellery and department stores.
While local e-commerce is growing, consumers in the kingdom continue to shop at regional and international online retailers, such as Souq, Amazon and eBay, for electronics, clothes, beauty products, jewellery and watches, said the administration.