In the Middle East and North Africa, shopping is evolving.

In the Middle East and North Africa, shopping is evolving from a traditional in-store interaction into a value exchange that can take place on multiple platforms in novel ways. As JWT MENA details in its first trend report, one channel that will play a key role in this trend is e-commerce.

A study JWT conducted in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon in October and November 2012 showed that many consumers in this region are using e-commerce sites. But the survey, which polled 1,100 adults aged 18-plus using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, also found that nearly 4 in 10 consumers refrain from purchasing products online because they prefer to interact with a person and a similar number are concerned about website security.

To capture this group of cautious online shoppers, brands can fuse the digital and the physical by combining the convenience of e-commerce with the advantages of in-store shopping. Click-and-collect solutions, for instance, which allow shoppers to buy online and collect in-store will satisfy people’s need for speed. Brands can also appeal to customers’ desire for things that are “Authentically Arab,” which we wrote about last week.