After most of the buyers were holed up inside their homes, the physical market store, be it grocery, fashion, tech etc. went down real quick as the amount of people flooding the streets of Dubai reduced drastically. This resulted in online shopping to be the primary and the only feasible platform for buying and selling goods, barely saving the economical flow.
Marketplaces like Tech, Accessories, Hardware, Fashion and Grocery saw a better result in online sales compared to the minimal hand to hand physical sales they were making. This tempted most of the physical retailers in Dubai to go online and the ones who benefited the most were the ones inside the grocery market.
Upgrade to Online
While most retailers thought that going online would keep their sales alive and well, they were partially correct as people now were not concerned about luxury and additional needs as most of the population was living off their savings, not their earnings. Amidst such predicaments, the grocery market was unfazed as their sales and products are evergreen, people will always put food and consumables as their first priority.
Reports have suggested that this year’s total online sales in UAE will be grossing over $5 billion and grocery sales alone will be responsible for almost 50% of this sales sum as they have estimated grocery sales to be $1 billion+. This might just be the most staggering blow to other markets in UAE and the most groundbreaking milestone for grocery as 2019’s stats indicate that only $300 million out of $3.5 billion.
Aftermath of Lockdown
Above is just the sales concerning the online platform, in recent months the streets have started to stabilize as people are now less concerned about the pandemic and more concerned about their mental well being as well the economy of the country. While other physical markets are still dry as sand even after the lockdown was lifted, the grocery market in UAE is still experiencing the same volume of consumers, almost as if it’s a Sunday morning sale.
The physical retailers have also developed new relationships to other potential buyers and are promoting substantially to keep their newfound customers intact, all of this was possible because of the huge reach they had during their time online and during the time they delivered the daily items to homes, for which the buyers seemed to be genuinely grateful.
Online and Offline Dominance
You’d expect the online grocery retailers (most of whom also provide services offline) would go dry after the traffic was diverted to physical grocery markets, this would have been the perfect opportunity for other markets to capitalize but things didn’t go that way.
Grocery Market now is dominating both the online as well as the offline market by making acceptable discounts on the products they sell online and delivering it nice and wrapped into the doorsteps of buyers, all while attracting the locals near their physical market promoting the importance of buying goods first hand.