Facebook pages, WhatsApp groups dominate Egypt’s e-commerce: Communications ministry

Zeinab El-Gundy , Thursday 14 Mar 2024

Meta's Facebook pages dominate Egypt's e-commerce, commanding 61.7 percent, followed by WhatsApp groups at 31.8 percent, according to the March quarterly report of the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).



The ministry added that ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem secured third place, at 28.3 percent, according to its “E-commerce usage in individuals” survey, in cooperation with the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), for 2021/2022.

Online purchase applications like OLX, Jumia, Amazon, and other mobile apps recorded 15.9 percent, 13.1 percent, 11.3 percent, and 12.2 percent, respectively

In 2023, online direct purchases from company websites accounted for 3.7 percent.

Egypt has recently experienced a significant rise in e-commerce usage, especially social media networks, which experts attributed to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent implementation of social distancing measures.  

The percentage of e-commerce male users was 57.1 percent, while that of females was around 42.9 percent, according to the report.

Usage among different generations was as follows: 42.5 percent for the 15-29 age group, 34.7 percent for 30-44, 17.1 percent for 45-59, and 5.7 percent for 60 or more.

In 2023, rural areas recorded 40.2 percent, while urban areas amounted to 59.8 percent, it added.

Individuals with upper or post-secondary non-tertiary education levels recorded 47.9 percent, tertiary education level 37.6 percent, lower secondary education level 8.6 percent, and primary education level 5.9 percent.

Meanwhile, classification according to work status was as follows: "not in the labor force" at 41.9 percent, “paid employees” at 39.1 percent, “self-employed” at 9.8 percent, and “unemployed” and “not classifiable” at 6.6 and 2.7 percent, respectively.

Growing e-commerce field

The percentage of Egyptians searching the Internet for online goods and services increased, reaching 72.7 percent in 2021/2022, compared to 63.3 percent in 2019/2020, according to the ministry.

However, the percentage of individuals purchasing goods and services through the Internet jumped from 17.8 percent in 2019/2020 to 50.1 percent in 2021/2022.


Clothes and shoes topped the online purchases in 2021/2022, according to the survey.

Individuals who buy clothes, shoes, and similar items through the Internet reached approximately 48.8 percent of total online purchasers in 2021/2022.

Food products occupied 29.7 percent, Uber and Cream services 28.3 percent, cosmetics 18 percent, and medicines 13.8 percent.

Despite e-commerce growth, still cash dominates payments in Egypt.

According to the MCIT, 98.4 percent of online purchasers preferred cash payment, 7.2 percent preferred mobile phone payment, and 3.3 percent used e-networks such as Fawry.

Those who used credit cards, prepaid cards, and prepaid gift cards were two percent, one percent, and 0.2 percent, respectively.

In October 2023, the Central Bank of Egypt stated that the number of cards issued by 36 banks in Egypt has risen to approximately 57 million.

This included around five million credit cards, 23.8 million debit cards, and 28.6 million prepaid cards.

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