Online shopping is getting hyped up all around the world. Nations all across the globe are investing in unique digital transformation drives, characterized by the use of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Intelligence (BI), coupled with widespread E-commerce platforms.
If we talk about UAE, the country is getting quite popular and comfortable with online shopping. Consumers and shoppers have become habitual of online shopping in UAE, after the onset of Covid-19. As people slowly and gradually started becoming more and more accustomed to online shopping, the more popular brands started investing in Digital Marketing, to make online shopping experience more intriguing for shoppers in UAE.
Online Shopping in UAE has grown at an unprecedented rate. While Covid-19 was the main culprit behind the intense online shopping adaption in country, there were many other factors that favored in to make online shopping a habit for the consumers and shoppers of UAE.
The Onset of Covid-19 – Driver of Changing Consumer Attitudes
It is important to mention the main and most significant factor that resulted in permanent change of consumer attitudes in UAE, causing them to shift towards online shopping. Covid-19 fueled the adaption of online shopping in UAE. Consumers were forced to remain at their homes, while outdoor activities completely came to a halt, with almost full-fledge closure of retail marketplace. This change led towards E-commerce platforms getting more and more widespread, with consumers being forced to shop from online platforms in UAE.
Eventually, after the initial resentment to the aforementioned change, shoppers in UAE started to adapt with online shopping, especially online grocery shopping, which marked a whopping 94% increase in the year-end 2020. Today, when 2021 is in its last quarter, and Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, shoppers in UAE still prefer online mode of shopping over retail, and they claim to increase the pace at which they’re going to shop online or at the very least, maintain it from the previous year.
Rise of Digital Payments and the Fintech Sector
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 reshaped consumer attitudes towards online shopping in UAE. However, as we now live in post-covid time, where lockdown restrictions are completely lifted, with outdoor physical activities normalizing, people aren’t backing away from online shopping. Rather, they’re more inclined towards online shopping, now more then ever. Having said that, one of the biggest reason for online shopping to boom in UAE is owed to the rise in the use of digital payments and the Fintech Sector in general. The reason why shoppers in UAE found online shopping so intuitive and convenient, is due to E-commerce support for digital payments. Having able to pay within a matter of seconds, and too, in a secure and safe manner, make the online shoppers feel at ease, which is why cash less transactions are becoming more common UAE. Research from surveys indicate that every 3 out of 4 consumers in UAE prefer to pay through digital channels, instead of cash-based transactions, showing how popular the Fintech sector is becoming.
Additionally, technologies like Unified Commerce or Payments are being adopted in the UAE, in an attempt to make online shopping even more intuitive and convenient for shoppers in UAE.
Brands Promoting Mobile or App-based Shopping
Online shopping in UAE is not only restricted to web-based transactions. Online shopping also translates to Mobile or App-based Shopping, where customers may transact through app versions of online stores, through the use of smartphones. Brands are investing heavily in creating convenient and snappy applications, where shoppers can easily toggle and order away directly through apps, rather than resounding to websites alone. The reason why online shopping has flourished in UAE is due to brands encouraging app-based shopping by providing them special app-based discounts and offers, making shoppers get more attracted to online shopping and hence, marking a notable increase in online shopping transactions in UAE.
The year 2020 was quite an interesting one for UAE. A shift in consumer attitudes was observed, with more inclination towards online shopping. The year 2021 was also similar, maintaining the pace of online shopping trends from previous. The widespread acceptance and usage of digital payments, coupled with E-commerce platforms being set up in the country, online shopping has boomed, and will continue to climb up in the coming years in UAE.