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Abu Dhabi: E-commerce became an integral part of the consumer experience across the country in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the volume of transactions in the sector reaching about $5.7 billion last year.

A report issued by the Riyadh Chamber on the reality of e-commerce in Saudi Arabia said it emerged in the Kingdom in 2001 and expanded in every direction. integral

The report showed e-commerce contributed $10.482 billion to the national accounts, with the clothing and footwear sector ranking firstst with 3.209 billion dollars, then electronics with 2.998 billion dollars, furniture and household appliances with 1.477 billion dollars, while the lowest revenue or $776 million was produced by the food and drug sector.

The data indicated e-commerce is remarkably growing in retail trade, while the sector least affected by e-commerce was vehicle repair.

The report said the global e-commerce index last year showed that the Kingdom ranked second in the Arab world and 49th globally among the 152 countries included in the index recently issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The report indicated that the rate of internet use increased by 34 per cent in the past year during the pandemic, compared to 2019, according to data released by the Communications and Information Technology Commission.

Nearly 83 per cent of the total population used the internet in 2020, an increase of 7 per cent, compared to the previous year, due to the natural growth in population and the pandemic, the report said.

The data of the Ministry of Commerce showed the number of licensed electronic stores increased to 28,676, up 14 per cent compared to 2019, the report said.