The online retailer JadoPado is looking to double its UAE sales to US$10 million (Dh36.7m) this year as more shoppers choose the web over the mall.
The Dubai company, which sells gadgets and electronic goods online, was launched two years ago and has since grown to a Dh15.8m business and now has its sights set on expansion. "We have ambitious targets for 2013 and are optimistic that the recovering global economy as well as the increasing consumer appetite for e-commerce will drive JadoPado's expansion to the next level," said Omar Kassim, the founder of JadoPado.
While the region's offline retail market is worth an estimated $425 billion, the e-commerce market is still comparatively small at $9bn - a marginal figure when compared with some European countries.
The region's e-commerce is, however, set to grow to $15bn by 2015 as more go online and trust in online payment methods increase.
Most recently the Landmark Group, which owns Home Centre, Iconic and Centrepoint, announced its intentions to introduce an e-retail presence for its stores.
Last month JadoPado expanded outside the UAE, targeting 10 markets across the GCC, Asia and the subcontinent as part of a $3m investment plan. Currently all the goods bought abroad are shipped out from Dubai, but JadoPado is looking to set up local warehouses and inventory on the ground.
It has doubled its warehousing space to 10,000 square feet since it was founded two years ago.
Its growth is funded by its parent company, Al Bogari Holdings, but Mr Kassim is also looking to raise fresh capital.
"We are looking to fund-raise in the future. We have mapped out our business with the money we have, but if something does come off, it will allow us to scale up our plans faster," said Mr Kassim.
JadoPado's revenues increased by more than 200 per cent last year with monthly visitors to the site rising 273 per cent. Despite the growth, it is unclear what share of the local e-commerce market the company enjoys.
"It is very hard to get a number of the market size," said Mr Kassim. "Part of the problem is defining what e-commerce is. The way we define it is purchasing physical goods, but some include bill payments and ticket sales. E-commerce as part of retail is less than 1 per cent and how much we make up of that is hard to tell."