(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Rabat - Moroccans are slowly changing their shopping habits. With the exponential development of electronic payment in Morocco and the proliferation of attractive offers, Moroccan consumers developed quite the healthy appetite for online shopping in 2017. E-commerce is all the rage at the moment. This booming sector spares no product, presenting the Moroccan consumer with a new shopping trend that offers several advantages. Convenience, more variety, better prices, and most importantly an access to reviews on products, the World Wide Web is the must go to shop nowadays. With a global access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as an easier access to new markets, companies that have chosen to invest in this sector can increase their turnover but also reduce their costs. According to the Moroccan Electronic Interbanking Center (CMI), retail websites affiliated to the center registered a MAD 2 billion income in the first nine month of 2017, an increase of 51.4 percent from 2016. This income was achieved through 4.8 million online payment transactions via Moroccan and foreign credit cards, marking an increase of 86.1 percent compared to the same period in 2016. The largest contributors according to the CMI are billing websites, with a share of 49.9 percent of the overall volume and an increase of 67.9 percent compared to 2016. Airlines' websites came in second place with a share of 22.8 percent and an increase of 18.9 percent, followed by e-Gov sites with a share of 15.8 percent and an increase of 96.8 percent. According to the center, Moroccan credit card activity reached 4.7 million transactions, up by 88.9 percent from 2016, with an overall increase of 54.1 percent to MAD 1.8 billion at the end of September 2017 . Meanwhile, foreign credit cards activity recorded a 1.5 percent increase in terms of transactions, and 24.8 percent in volume to MAD 147.5 million during the first nine months of 2017 . Overall, the e-commerce sector remains heavily dominated by Moroccan credit cards up to 98.2 percent in number of transactions and 92.6 percent in terms of volume. According to the CMI, this development was only possible by the generalization of Internet access, as well as the expansion of mobile internet access throughout Morocco. In fact, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) indicated that mobile Internet access has recorded an annual increase of 35.1 percent at the end of September 2017, amounting to 21.24 million subscribers. The Internet subscriber base, for its part, stood at 22.56 million at the end of the third quarter of 2017, posting an annual growth rate of 33.34 percent and a penetration rate of 64.74 percent. As for the 4G network, it reached nearly 6.46 million subscribers, an increase of 38 percent over one quarter, said the ANRT, adding that the ADSL network also records a quarterly growth of nearly 0.45 percent. Overall, the development of e-commerce in Morocco remains linked to the evolution of the digital economy, and information and communication technologies that are now a lever for economic growth and a necessary tool to improve the public and private sectors' competitiveness. Morocco is now engaged in the implementation of policies and strategies, in particular the 2020 Morocco Digital Plan which aims to accelerate the digital transformation of the country and is articulated around three pillars: the promotion of 'e-Gov,' the bridging of the digital divide and the transformation of the most important sectors of the national economy. This plan also aims to make Morocco a regional digital hub, notably through the strengthening of the digital export offer, the strategic repositioning towards the Business Process Outsourcing (BOP) of Europe, as well as the stimulation of the digital hub activities in"