There is an increase in monthly online customers – from 23% in 2013 to 29% in 2016. It seems that 2017 seeing game-changing developments not only in the sector but also with the industry players coming into the Middle Eastern retail market which is a ripe market full of opportunities.
Take a deep look at the online shoppers’ behaviors and expectations in UAE, Egypt and KSA:
An Overview of Online Shoppers’ Behaviors:
- Younger shoppers (aged 18-24 years) in the Middle East – across the selected countries surveyed – are more likely to shop online monthly than elder ones (aged 55+) – 36% vs. 13%.
- Lower pricing, product selection and online buying convenience are the top 3 motivations for buying online with rates 40%, 31% & 17% respectively.
- The vast majority of online shoppers in UAE, Egypt and KSA (82%) reported that they prefer to shop from a multi-branded website (EX: Souq.com) to get the best price, while three-quarters prefer to do so from a single-branded website (EX: Nike) to get the best customer service.
The 5 Key Investment Areas for Retailers:
– 41% of online shoppers said that they’ve used their smartphone to pay for purchases, while 56% cited that smartphones will become their main tool to purchase items online.
– 43% said they like to use it to compare product prices with competitors, while 33% do so to read product reviews.
– Online shoppers in UAE are more likely to use their smartphones to pay for purchases with a rate of 44%, while most of the online shoppers in Egypt use it to compare prices with competitors with also a rate of 44%.
- Social Customer Engagement
– 48% of all shoppers in the 3 countries surveyed said they use the promotional offers they receive on social media.
– The majority of shoppers in Egypt (77%) are finding inspiration for purchases on Facebook and Twitter, compared with 60% in UAE and 56% in KSA.
- Secure platforms
– 62% of shoppers are concerned about having their personal information hacked when shopping online via their smartphones.
– 60% of them use only companies that they trust to reduce the risk of online security issues/fraud.
– Providing good prices is the key driver of preference specific retailer than other ones with rates 50% in UAE, 48% in Egypt and 47% in KSA.
- Showroom experience
– 76% prefer to find sales associates with a deep knowledge of the in-store products. 73% like to have the ability to check other stores or online stock quickly and 67% like finding WiFi services that have quick and simple login features in-stores.
Graph Shows the Top Drives Used for Purchasing From Single or Multi-Branded Websites in the Middle East, 2017
Data were driven from 1,007 online shoppers who were geographically spread across the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia with rates of 34%, 33% & 33% respectively. 59% of the surveyed sample were males and 41% were females.