UAE sees surge in online shoppers, super sales driving sector

Groceries, clothing, and healthcare top the virtual shopping list in the UAE
Groceries, clothing, and healthcare top the virtual shopping list in the UAE

Dubai - As e-commerce increasingly becomes a part of everyday life, consumers are moving other aspects of lives, such as banking, to digital


Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Tue 24 Nov 2020, 6:16 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Nov 2020, 6:18 PM

The Covid-19 pandemic has played a large role in how comfortable residents are with shopping online today, and super sale events such as White Friday and the Dubai Shopping Festival are playing a large role in accelerating the growth of e-commerce in the region, experts said.

A recent Mastercard Study found that 73 per cent of UAE consumers are shopping more online than they did before the pandemic.

“With the and online super sales season ahead of us, both consumers and businesses can make the most of this shopping season,” said Girish Nanda, country manager - UAE & Oman, Mastercard.

“Great price points, better deals, more choice and seamless convenience are the top things that encourage people to shop online,” he told Khaleej Times. “According to Mastercard’s E-Commerce Consumer Spend study, 71 per cent of UAE consumers spend considerable time and effort searching different sites to get the best deal. Three in four consumers said that speed is the most important aspect when shopping online. It is great to see the UAE retail sector taking advantage of the available payments technology solutions to create a fast, frictionless transaction experience for consumers that also drives growth for businesses and the wider economy. Mastercard continues to work tirelessly to ensure that digital payments are safe and secure so the comfort of shopping from home, can also be complemented with greater peace of mind.”

According to Mastercard’s survey, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), healthcare, apparel, and banking have seen the highest surge of online activity. More than 73 per cent of UAE consumers said that they had shopped more online for groceries, 66 per cent for clothing, and over 60 per cent said that they had purchased medicine online. As e-commerce increasingly becomes a part of everyday life, consumers are moving other aspects of their financial management to digital, with 70 per cent of respondents having started banking online. The research also reveals the rising impact of social media on consumer spending habits, with 72 per cent and 56 per cent of respondents saying they had discovered new sellers through Facebook and Instagram respectively.

“There’s no doubt that the way we live and shop has changed drastically as a result of the pandemic,” added Nanda. “With constraints imposed on our daily lives due to Covid-19, consumers are adopting new shopping and payment habits at an accelerated pace. Mastercard is working closely with its partners and businesses across the UAE to help them cater to consumer needs by offering fast, secure and efficient ways to transact. As this trend continues to evolve, Mastercard will continue to leverage its insights and technology, forging critical partnerships and driving innovation to ensure a solid foundation to deliver the future of payments in the UAE.”

The research also showed that while adapting to the ‘next normal’, people have been changing the way they consume entertainment and learn new skills. In fact, 73 per cent of UAE consumers said they were using the downtime as a positive learning experience. At 51 per cent, more than half of the respondents said that they had taken a virtual cooking class, 34 per cent have been mastering a new language, and 26 per cent have been learning to dance online. In addition, 44 per cent of respondents have been educating themselves on Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, and 38 per cent said they have been learning how to film online. As people spend more time at home, the demand for online entertainment has also surged with 78 per cent of respondents having invested in entertainment subscriptions and 56 per cent in online gaming.

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