A senior Saudi Post (SP) official said that the volume of electronic commercial dealings in the Kingdom would reach SR50 billion ($13.3 billion) per annum in the next few years, with the Internet emerging as one of the most important marketing channels for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Majed Bin-Anzan, director of SP's Electronic Mall, said channels delivering commodities purchasable online would play a crucial role in electronic commerce in the days to come.
Bin-Anzan made this statement while delivering a lecture on small- and medium-sized enterprises in Riyadh.
He said that about 45 percent of the population was using smart communication means and that elements of electronic commerce lie in the product's corporate identity and the availability of technical and personnel capabilities, in addition to a site's trustworthiness and product delivery channels.
Bin-Anzan advised entrepreneurs to pay attention to methods and channels of promoting a product and use attractive presentations and advertisements in social media networks.
He considered the e-mall as "the best direct marketing source online."
Bin-Anzan said countries have begun looking for a safe means for product delivery and that postal packages seem to be the safest bet. "In Saudi Arabia, however, traders began using postal packages in 2005."
More than 4,000 books were delivered in the Kingdom during the last Saudi Book Fair, he said, adding that the SP's online marketing service was now working on reaching Chinese and US markets.
"Common perception on online purchase is improving, though many are still reluctant to make purchases on the web," he said. "Not everyone who is reluctant to buy online is in the older age bracket. Younger people do not trust electronic channels," Bin-Anzan said.
"Free tickets for a football match were available online, but many people preferred to buy the tickets from traditional outlets, which is a sign of the lack of trust in electronic dealings," he said.