E-commerce has emerged as a popular trend in the United Arab Emirates, with 73 percent of consumers relying on online shopping more than before the outbreak of Covid-19 virus, a MasterCard study finds. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram also have become influential in attracting consumers to online businesses. As the study suggests, 72% of the surveyed respondents came upon new sellers through Facebook and 56% of the respondents through Instagram.
Grocery is seen to have more success amongst the online shoppers followed by apparel and medicine in UAE. The survey reveals that more than 73% of the shoppers purchased more groceries, 66% and 60% of the shoppers purchased more clothes and medicines respectively.
E-banking was also seen to have grown during the pandemic. 70% of the surveyed population said that they started banking online during this period.
Girish Nanda, Country Manager – UAE and Oman, MasterCard, said that the pandemic has drastically changed the shopping habits prompting consumers to adopt new shopping and payment habits at an accelerated pace. It is definitely true that people would rather try new approaches like shopping online rather than risk their health going to a physical store at these complicated times. Furthermore, there are other various advantages of online shopping too.
Why Online Shopping
- Time saving
- Wide range of variety
- Higher availability of goods
- To get rid of busy traffic and parking inconvenience
- Busy life
- Discreet shopping
There are considerable benefits of online shopping over in-store shopping. According to a research, the consumers in UAE tend to have the opinion that online shopping offers the products at a cheaper price. It has made online shopping attractive. Besides, the process saves lots of time.With a click or tap, the products get delivered to the buyer. Thus, a buyer does not have to bother driving into busy traffic or worry about parking his/her vehicle.
More to it, the consumers also say that the online stores have the edge over the physical stores in terms of variety and availability of an article. People are living a busy life so they would prefer to have a short visit to shopping sites and make their purchase. And online purchasing can be done discreetly too.
Future of online shopping in UAE
Covid-19 pandemic has brought a significant impact on shopping behaviour and trend in UAE and the trend is expected to grow even more. As per a survey conducted by MasterCard, fifty-four percent of the consumers believe that the online shopping trend will be dominant over in-store shopping, even after the pandemic.
Different surveys have suggested that people are more interested in digital payment methods. Consumers are predicted to make more use of online payment methods like cards and digital wallets in the future.
It is evident that the pandemic has introduced and encouraged people towards virtual shopping. Social media sites too have stimulated the practice. Moreover, the selling companies also have put online selling as their top priority. This all suggests that the trend of shopping online will grow even more, even after the pandemic ends.