A gradual economic recovery is expected in 2021, combating the pandemic and its effects on the economy; priorities have shifted to ensure its financial health. Economic opportunities have been redirected to E-commerce, as the industry in Oman was worth USD 2.19 billion in 2020 and predicted to grow to USD 6.52 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of more than 20% over the forecast period (2021-2026).
The World Bank predicted that Oman's economy would decrease by 3.5 percent in 2020. The reduced oil prices and the global spread of COVID-19 were the key drivers of this contract. Oman's e-commerce business is still in its development, with plenty of room for expansion in the future. Despite having one of the highest smartphone usage rates in the Middle East, only 8% of the populace used their phones for shopping. Groceries and music are the most popular internet purchases in Oman. However, more than a quarter of Oman's population still shops on international websites.
Currently, the private sector in the country has minimal e-commerce activity, whereas the government, through the Information Technology Authority, is actively promoting "digital society" and "e-government" services (ITA). Clothing, airline tickets, beauty care goods, and hotel services are the most common items purchased by Omani e-shoppers. When it comes to cross-border e-shopping, China continues to be the most popular destination for orders of furniture, machinery, and building materials. Businesses, particularly Omani-owned SMEs and entrepreneurs, increasingly use social media to market and sell their products. The most significant challenge in the e-commerce business is people's changing mindsets.
Consumer spending in this country climbed by 0.02 percent in 2019, according to World Bank data. Furthermore, many government programs and regulations are assisting the market's expansion. For example, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry always attempts to persuade people to use e-commerce for shopping, import, and other purposes.
Furthermore, the government is encouraging home business owners and small and medium businesses to advertise their products abroad and employ current ways and technologies. Some new firms are also joining the market to capitalize on the region's market prospects. For example, Omarto.com was created in 2020 to leverage Oman's expanding e-commerce market. Customers in Oman will save money on switching fees and have more bargaining power due to this inclusion.