78% of UAE shoppers research products but buy elsewhere

Majority of UAE consumers check at least 3 sources before buying
78% of UAE shoppers research products but buy elsewhere
Online shopping in the UAE

Eight out of 10 shoppers (78 percent) in the UAE have researched a product either online or offline but then chosen to buy through another retail channel, said CNNB Solutions, MENA’s eCommerce and direct-to-consumer specialist.  

The poll which was conducted by British market research company YouGov also uncovered UAE online shopping preferences, with same-day delivery, free delivery, and ease of returns and refunds the three most important eCommerce shopping considerations.

CNNB Solutions co-founder, Nicolas Bruylants said, “UAE shoppers research products in one location, but often make the purchase through a different retail channel. This represents a huge opportunity for both online and offline retailers to enhance the customer experience, differentiate themselves from the competition, and close the sale from the first moments of interest.”

The study which questioned a representative sample of 1,000 people across the UAE, highlighted that Emiratis are the most likely nationality group to research and buy through different channels, topping seven of the eight surveyed categories.

Moreover, the report showed that parents are the most likely to purchase from the first retail channel they find a product. Across all eight surveyed product categories the most popular answer was that people had researched products online but then bought in-store, demonstrating a disconnect in the effectiveness of the eCommerce buying journey that brands must solve.

There was an estimated $5 billion of online retail sales in the UAE in 2021, but 30 percent of items were returned and refunded.

CNNB Solutions estimates eCommerce businesses are processing over $1.5 billion in returns every year. 

In April, Global management consultancy firm Kearney’s Consumer Institute’s Kearney Consumer Education study revealed that 72 percent of UAE consumers spend a minimum of 15 minutes researching before making a purchasing decision. 

The analysis showed that 80 percent of UAE consumers check at least three sources before making a purchase. 

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