More than half of online shoppers in Egypt use the internet to buy airline tickets, book hotels, shop for home appliances and clothing

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Cairo, Egypt: Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Egypt, according to the 2014 Online Shopping Behaviour Study conducted by MasterCard. 44 per cent of those surveyed indicated they access the internet for online shopping of which more than 80 per cent said they were highly satisfied with their online shopping experience.

The Online Shopping Behavior Survey, which measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted at the end of last year and was based on interviews with 4000 respondents from 8 markets across the Middle East and North Africa[1]. Consumers said they spend the most amount of money on airlines, travel and hotels, followed by shopping for home appliances and clothing.

Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments – Middle East and Africa, MasterCard said: “Well-developed internet infrastructure and the availability of secure online payment options means companies can expand their online presence to grow their business and diversify their customer base. For consumers, online shopping is convenient, fast and safe. When you consider the benefits, it is not surprising that more people are going online to make purchases.”

“The steady growth of online shopping trends in Egypt sheds light on the priorities of the technology-savvy new age consumer, who now enjoys the convenience, speed, value for money and safety of their transactions while shopping online,” added Oliver.

According to the study, more than half of the respondents made at least one online purchase last year, a noteworthy increase from 40 per cent in 2011. Nearly half of the respondents identified Souq, the largest e-commerce site in the Arab world as the most commonly visited website for online shopping. At nearly 15 per cent, Jumia, Amazon and Facebook have emerged as the next three most popular websites for online shopping in Egypt. 

That said, whereas websites for home appliances, apps stores and computer software have seen a gradual but steady increase in visitors since 2011, sites offering financial advisory, coupons and deals, personal and beauty-care, as well as paid-for local and international news websites have witnessed a downward trajectory compared to previous years.

Egyptian consumers were clear about what factors sway their online purchasing decision, citing the reputation of website, security of payment facility and speed of transaction as the most important considerations when making an online purchase.

When asked how online shopping could be improved in future, 60 per cent of shoppers stated this could be done through free or minimal delivery charges. Elimination of additional service charges and complete assurance of security of online transactions also emerged as popular suggestions.

Mobile Shopping

Smartphone penetration rate in Egypt is rapidly on the rise and as per the findings, 21 per cent of individuals surveyed made purchases using their mobile phones in recent months and an additional 35 per cent intended to use their phones to make a purchase in the six months following the study.

This points to the expanding role of the mobile phone as an e-commerce and payment tool.

“Mobile shopping in Egypt is progressing alongside the astounding growth in smartphone penetration.  This progression is likely to continue as consumers become more aware of the safety and security features and begin getting more familiar with the mobile shopping experience. It is also becoming increasingly important for companies to provide convenient online shopping solutions that enhance the user experience,” stated Oliver.

In fact, the availability of an increasing number of mobile apps and being able to do shopping on the go have been voted as the top two reasons why shoppers make purchases using their phone.

The top three items purchased through mobile phones are mobile apps, toys & gifts and computer software.

Other notable results include:

  • More than 40  per cent online shoppers believe in ‘ethical spending’ and are more likely to buy from merchants who are environmentally responsible, who partner with or donate to charities, and who are socially responsible. 
  • Shoppers are increasingly turning to local websites to make online purchases, but almost 33 per cent of online shoppers purchase products from foreign websites.
  • Cost and safety of transactions have been cited as some of the top reasons for shopping from local websites.

NOTE TO EDITORS: More information and previously released MasterCard survey results can be found at

MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties

The MasterCard Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence , as well as the MasterCard Index of Women’s AdvancementMasterCard Survey on Online Shopping, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering TravelDining & EntertainmentEducationMoney Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and published by John Wiley & Sons.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNewsjoin the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

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Marwa Sabry,, +20 100 4616027

[1] UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco