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RIYADH: E-commerce firms must give easier access to refunds, greater delivery choices, and more payment options under a range of initiatives announced by Saudi Arabia in a bid to improve the sector. 

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce has launched 10 areas of reform following a survey of 6,000 customers in the Kingdom, according to Argaam.

The research revealed that the sector faces four major challenges, including unclear warranty and maintenance policies, a lack of delivery service in some areas, a delay in processing complaints, and a failure to refund money on time to consumers.

The ministry’s first of the 10 initiatives is to require online stores to include all warranty information and to communicate with the product agent at the time of purchase.

The ministry also asked ecommerce outlets to gradually expand the geographical coverage of delivery to all regions in Saudi Arabia, instead of just the main cities.

Businesses must increase the variety of shipping options so that shipments are delivered without delay. Also, the stores must accept a variety of payment methods, including Mada, credit cards, etc.

E-stores are required to offer technical systems for managing and following up on refunds as part of the ministry’s initiative.

Consumers should also be guided on how to cancel orders, and the procedure should not cause confusion in their minds.

E-stores are mandated to submit periodic reports containing performance measurement indicators to the Ministry of Commerce, as well as awareness campaigns to educate consumers.

The ministry urged that the online stores produce videos explaining the features and how to use its products.

The e-stores have also been instructed to develop systems for retrieving and replacing items with the help of technology.

The ministry is working to ensure the quality of services provided by the sector, boost consumer confidence and satisfaction, and improve regular communication and follow-up on the stores’ performance.

Saudi Arabia ranks 27th in e-commerce revenue with $7.7 billion in 2021, ahead of Belgium and behind Norway.

The Saudi Arabian e-commerce market contributed 17 percent to the worldwide growth rate of 15 percent in 2021.

Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce market value is forecast to exceed SR50 billion by 2025, according to analysis.

 



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