Local Business

Retail traffic and sales in UAE set to soar during White Friday

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on November 17, 2020

Four out of ten UAE shoppers plan to buy more products online this year

Dubai — Retail traffic and sales in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are set to peak once again during the upcoming White Friday sales, new data by Criteo has shown.

According to Criteo, White Friday last year saw an average of 336 per cent increase in sales and a 170 per cent increase in traffic. Similar trends are expected this year, with e-commerce expected to perform stronger as consumers move to online shopping, in the wake of Covid-19.

A new Criteo study of 800 consumers in the UAE revealed that four out of ten shoppers plan to buy more products online this year, including toys and gaming items, cultural goods, and beauty products. In addition, three out of ten UAE shoppers plan to buy more luxury brands, home goods, groceries, apparel/accessories, household products and consumer electronics online. In fact, September 2020 saw a 42 per cent higher online sales year-on-year.

Alistair Burton, country manager MEA at Criteo, said: “The events of 2020 made it an extraordinary year for e-commerce. Our research shows that this year consumers will swap door-buster deals for online discounts that start sooner and span a longer period of time. Retailers who want to maximise their gains during White Friday should provide seamless customer journeys — from easy-to-use websites and apps, to free delivery and easy returns, giving their customers a safe and joyful festive season.”

Criteo’s research also revealed that while over 37 per cent of UAE shoppers say they feel more comfortable shopping in-store now than they did a few months ago, 65 per cent of them also said that they feel more comfortable shopping online this year than in-store. While UAE consumers are shopping online across most product categories in the next few months, offline purchases will be primarily groceries, home goods and luxury brands.

UAE shoppers are more driven by value than ever. Promotions will drive shopping this year – with 43 per cent of UAE shoppers confirming that they will have a significant influence on their gift purchases. In fact, nearly half of UAE shoppers said that they would not wait until White Friday to buy presents if they get early discounts from their favorite retailers.

When buying online, most shoppers expect free and fast delivery and low prices. Close to half of UAE shoppers mentioned shipping as one of the most important factors when buying online. Shipping cost is also one of the top reason influencing UAE shoppers to buy at a specific online retailer this year.

“As competition heats up and browsing starts to pick up in November, it’s important that retailers boost their online presence, in order to influence customer consideration prior to peak conversion dates and attract shoppers in the countdown to White Friday,” Burton said.


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