The lead up to the holiday season is characteristically one of the busiest times of the year for retailers and consumers alike.
Shoppers are rushing to purchase Christmas and New Year gifts for their loved ones, and treating themselves to new outfits and gadgets, as well as decorations and supplies for various holiday festivities.
By Taarek Hinedi, Vice President Operations, FedEx Express Middle East and Northern Africa
There is a consensus among experts that e-commerce is a fundamental part of retail today, and an essential driving force for holiday retail-sales growth.
The potential value of online spending in the Middle East is quickly emerging as one of the highest in the world, owing to a vibrant young population, and one of the highest global per capita internet penetration levels.
Shopping applications, wish lists, online gift registries, social media, and blogs have all gradually grown over the recent years. By contrast, traditional sources such as circulars, catalogs, direct mail, magazines, television, and radio have all declined over the same period.
According to Alpen Capital’s report on the GCC retail environment, online shopping across the region is expected to grow to $41.5 billion by 2020.
With this kind of continuing e-commerce growth, together with a seasonal jump in online holiday shopping, it is no surprise that customers in the Middle East place an importance on the timely delivery of packages.
With opportunities to shop and ship almost any product from around the world, today’s consumers have higher expectations about the speed of delivery of their goods, especially when it comes to last-minute gifts and presents.
In anticipation of the rising demand, the holiday season rings in slightly early for FedEx, whose networks help drive the entire e-commerce value chain. Thanks to strong consumer confidence, FedEx believes that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth they have seen over the past years.
FedEx has geared up for a record number of packages to be shipped through its networks by running expanded operations, based on customer needs.
With more than 450,000 FedEx team members across the globe busy preparing to ensure customers get their gifts on time, the company has taken several measures to prepare for and deliver a successful 2018 holiday season.
This includes offering customers more options for convenient delivery. For example, the FedEx Mobile App helps customers coordinate their deliveries during the busy holiday season.
Customers can track their package, receive shipment cost estimation, contact customer service and view FedEx locations nearby conveniently from their mobile phones. Through such tools, FedEx empowers the end customer.
Ongoing investments in network capacity, automation and technology have helped FedEx build flexible and responsive networks.
FedEx networks reach more than 220 countries and territories, linking 99 percent of the world’s GDP. Customers count on FedEx for a diverse portfolio of transportation, e-commerce, and business services to connect their customers every day.