Despite having one of the highest levels of mobile and tablet penetration in the world, and a sophisticated retail market where residents are forecast to spend approximately $15 billion by 2015* on shopping, the UAE’s E-Commerce market is still in its infancy.
Latest research reveals that on average, online shoppers in the UAE purchase around 5 items every 3 months. Whilst many industry commentators have stated that poor internet security and payment processing tools are holding E-Commerce back, YouGov’s E-Commerce Index shows the issue is more complex. Research reveals that consumers are complaining that prices through E-Commerce sites do not represent significant cost savings.
A substantial 43% of online shoppers have abandoned their shopping basket in the last 3 months in the UAE. Of those, 31% decide against purchasing because they find the product cheaper elsewhere and 26% blame the E-Commerce sites themselves for adding extra fees at check-out.
Commenting on insights from the E-Commerce Index, YouGov’s CEO Sundip Chahal said, "If local brands want to meet their projected growth rates and become household names in the UAE, they are going to have to be 100% transparent with customers, in addition to delivering a unique experience online - be that through free delivery, promotions or lower prices."
As for the brands that are currently getting it right, Carrefour UAE was voted number one for best value for money, followed by Cobone in second place, and Groupon in third. As for the brand best known for trust, Carrefour UAE, again, claimed the top spot, followed by Geant Online who was the second most trustworthy, and Cobone came third. When asked about the website best known for design and usability, UAE residents voted Cobone in first place, whilst Best Buy UAE took second place and JadoPado took third.
Looking at the most popular purchase channels online, interestingly, the E-Commerce Index shows that 35% of those who have shopped online in the past 3 months have used their smartphone to make a purchase, and just 23% prefer to use their tablet for E-Commerce transactions. The Index also reveals that whilst 57% of online shoppers have used their credit card to shop online in the last 3 months, cash on delivery is nearly as popular, used by 48%.
1,019 UAE residents were surveyed in February 2014 using the YouGov E-Commerce Index - designed to provide insight into the rapidly growing online shopping industry in the Middle East.
*emarketer.com - March 2013