UAE consumers will switch retailers over delays in completing online transactions

If faced with delays in completing their online purchases, 37 per cent of UAE consumers would switch retailers rather than wait
If faced with delays in completing their online purchases, 37 per cent of UAE consumers would switch retailers rather than wait

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Thu 19 Aug 2021, 1:55 AM

A significant number of shoppers across the UAE have said that they are perfectly willing to switch to another shopping website if there is a delay in completing their online purchase, new research has shown.

According to the ‘2021 Stay Secure’ consumer survey released by Visa, Dubai Police, and Dubai Economy (DED), 37 per cent of UAE consumers would rather switch retailers if there were delays in completing their online purchase; 35 per cent said that they would shop on another site rather than wait.

The findings of the survey indicate that UAE consumers have become increasingly savvy about paying digitally, and that their expectations for both in-store and e-commerce payment experiences has skyrocketed. When shopping online, nearly one in two consumers abandon their shopping cart if they experience a delay or authentication error. In addition, it was found that e-commerce sites that offer customer reviews, seamless refunds, and a variety of payment options performed better in building high levels of consumer trust.

Shahebaz Khan, GM for the UAE at Visa, said that consumers in UAE are very savvy and will not settle for a shopping experience that does not match their expectations. Merchants, he said, need to recognise this trend. “We are pleased to be able to share the results of this survey as part of our ongoing education efforts with Dubai Police and Dubai Economy and to help support local merchants’ recovery needs and their digital transformation,” he added.

As consumer awareness of the underlying security technology protecting digital payments has increased, 57 per cent of UAE consumers said that they are more open to store their card information on merchant sites if it helps to improve or speed up their shopping experience. The survey also showed that 52 per cent of consumers surveyed continue to shop online with no signs of slowing down, while 43 per cent said they are shopping less in stores despite the easing of restrictions.

Ahmad Al Zaabi, director of Consumer Protection in Dubai Economy, noted that the online behaviour of consumers reflects their expectations of the overall shopping experience in Dubai.

“Consumers in Dubai are eager to explore and experiment, and they have access to the best and the foremost as they live in one of the most connected cities in the world,” he said. “Dubai Economy has progressively ensured a safe, secure and pleasant shopping across Dubai in association with the private sector, and the insights gathered in the Stay Secure survey are valuable in extending the experience online. The advantages Dubai has as a business hub, shopping destination and a smart city, when combined, can provide a unique digital retailing experience for consumers.”

Consumers surveyed said that they feel safe shopping on merchant sites that provide customer reviews, a seamless refund experience and offer a variety of payment options. Logos of payment providers and visible security features like the ‘lock’ icon and SSL certificate also helped consumers know a merchant site was secure.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, director of Criminal Investigation Department in Dubai Police, said that the findings of the study are in line with the ongoing efforts of Dubai Police, Dubai Economy and Visa in promoting the ‘Stay Secure’ campaign to spread consumer awareness on safe digital payments and e-commerce practices. The campaign reinforces safe digital payment practices, and reminds consumers on how they can protect personal data even as they enjoy the benefits and convenience of e-commerce and contactless payments. The UAE Stay Secure webpage also includes fraud prevention tips for consumers and information on security features of digital payments.

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