UAE retailers adapt to changing consumer behaviour patterns


UAE retailers adapt to changing consumer behaviour patterns
Shopper attention spans have become shorter, with 50 per cent of consumers jumping from one retailer site to another, before making a final purchase. - AFP

Published: Thu 18 Jan 2018, 8:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:07 PM

In an increasingly digital world, managing the expectations of customers is not always an easy task, and retailers are often hard pressed to keep up with what is expected of them.
Many are also under pressure to find ways to bring an offline in-store experience to the online sphere to better engage with their customers. Experts at Criteo have noted that power is truly in the hands of consumers, and that their ever changing behaviours are forcing retailers to adapt. 
According to Criteo's 'Commerce and Digital Marketing Outlook 2018' report, as shoppers become more empowered, their expectations from retailers is creating a rapid shift in their behaviour with an emphasis on speed and convenience. Shopper attention spans has become shorter, with 50 per cent of consumers jumping from one retailer site to another, before making a final purchase. In addition, more than 80 per cent of shoppers are taking their shopping journey online and offline.
A retailer's website is one of the key places where consumers go to search for product information and pricing. The demand for fast delivery of products purchased and convenient services, such as click online and collect in store, as well as seamless returns has led to companies creating easy, no-fuss payment options. Research shows that major retailers will continue to offer better ways to collect products purchased online from their stores, as a way of appealing to customers and offering greater convenience. 
Shoppers are also increasingly turning to their smart devices when it comes to shopping online. Criteo's data showed that consumers are researching and shopping for retail and travel services across a variety of devices, with 80 per cent of all transactions in the GCC involving a mobile device on the path to purchase - this has doubled since 2016. Customisation of products and services are now available for the masses, where it was once a premium purchase; and smart stores are incorporating AR and VR technologies to engage shoppers in new ways within stores.
Dirk Henke, managing director of EMEA at Criteo, noted that many retailers and brands will look for strategic acquisitions and partnerships to stay competitive, as well as to expand and strengthen their operations. 
"The rate of change that many retailers are being forced to take into account in their daily operations has been amazing," he said. "These days it is all about convenience and making sure that the customer gets what they want, quickly and in a manner that suits them. Same day deliveries are not just a nice to have option anymore; they are a requirement. Many shoppers see options that are available at certain vendors in the market internationally, and begin to question why more retailers don't have them."   
He added: "Data collaboration initiatives and offline-online integrations have led to the need to develop innovations at a rapid pace, providing a big opportunity and growing necessity for retailers and brands to pool data. As members of an experience-based economy, businesses need to create innovative customer experiences across both online and offline platforms to stand out and build brand loyalty through optimising their data strategy."


Rohma Sadaqat

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