Zbooni Reveals Results of Nationwide UAE SME Survey Report

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  • 9 out of 10 SMEs say UAE is a great place to start a business
  • UAE’s leading mobile commerce platform for businesses surveyed more than 200 small to medium size businesses
Ramy Assaf, CEO and co-founder of Zbooni

United Arab Emirates: Zbooni has unveiled the results of the 2021 UAE SME Survey Report, which highlights confidence in starting a business in the Emirates. The survey which polled more than 200 businesses across a variety of sectors, showed that 9 out of 10 (89.3 per cent) SMEs think the UAE is a good location to start up a business. 

Zbooni, MENA’s leading mobile commerce platform for businesses, also found that there is significant optimism amongst the SME community for 2021. 83.7 per cent of business owners said they were optimistic or very optimistic about the future of their company, while 91 per cent of SMEs expect to grow in 2021. Surprisingly given the market context of the Covid-19 pandemic, 89.5 per cent of the businesses surveyed suggested that they had grown their business in the past 12 months. 

On launching the report, Ramy Assaf, CEO and co-founder of Zbooni said, “We conducted this research to understand how SMEs are faring after a turbulent year. Whilst we have seen strong growth on our digital platform, it is encouraging to see that the SME community has also accelerated over the past 12 months, despite the difficulties of Covid-19. Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy, so to see such confidence and optimism in light of the circumstances is tremendously positive for the UAE and its future.”  

Zbooni surveyed a 50-50 split of physical retailers and online-only businesses, representing a broad cross-section of the SME community. The platform is home to thousands of online and offline businesses who transact millions of dollars per month via its payment facility and conduct day-to-day operations with Zbooni’s varied business commerce solutions. 

Elsewhere in the report, SMEs indicated that Instagram was the top ranked channel for growing online sales, followed by WhatsApp, own branded websites, then Facebook. Only 18% of SME businesses ranked online marketplaces as an important driver for their online sales.

Assaf continued, “It would probably come as a surprise to the likes of Noon and Amazon, but they appear out of touch with more than 80% of the SME community. Many products and services just can’t be serviced with traditional ecommerce marketplaces. At Zbooni, we are pioneering an exciting path of conversational commerce. It allows businesses to speak in a straightforward manner with their customers via popular chat options like WhatsApp. Rather than offer the cookie-cutter, copy and paste approach as seen on marketplaces, we allow businesses to customize their products and services to suit the needs of their customers. It’s very clear that there is more to ecommerce than marketplaces.” 

  • The Zbooni SME businesses were surveyed between June and July 2021
  • More than 200 businesses were asked to fill in a variety of questions about their business and the overall market sentiment
  • The survey was conducted by strategic advisory firm duke+mir

About Zbooni:

Zbooni is a technology company that was founded in Dubai in 2017. Its name means ‘My Customer’ in Arabic, as it enables merchants to easily start, run and grow their businesses online, providing their customers with enhanced experiences. Zbooni provides a range of useful business-focused services, such as mobile payment solutions, digital storefronts, data insights, automated sales tracking and invoicing.

The company was incubated at Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, and is backed by regional and international organisations, including Chalhoub Group, Middle East Venture Partners and B&Y Venture Capital.