Nearly 90% of UAE customers are digital converts to e-commerce Nearly 90% of UAE customers are digital converts to e-commerce
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Nearly 90% of UAE customers are digital converts to e-commerce

Nearly 90% of UAE customers are digital converts to e-commerce

As e-commerce continues to grow, customers are placing greater emphasis on the customer experience

Divsha Bhat

Sitecore announced that since the pandemic, 89 per cent of customers in the UAE and 91 per cent of customers in the Middle East and North Africa have become digital converts and intend to continue buying everything online.

The research, conducted by YouGov MENA, surveyed more than 650 IT decision-makers across 12 countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Levant, and Egypt.

According to a recent research by MarketLine, the Middle East’s e-commerce industry reached $12.1bn in 2020, indicating 53.8 per cent year-over-year growth, due to the stay-at-home economy of Covid-19. Electronics and retail brought in $5.2bn, accounting for 42.5 per cent of the entire market.

Consumers are placing a greater focus on the customer experience as e-commerce continues to develop. Since the pandemic, 90 per cent of UAE IT decision-makers said their customers will navigate away from a site and choose an alternative if they can’t find what they need in just a few clicks. Furthermore, 87 per cent of UAE respondents agreed that their customers have less patience with slow or poorly functioning websites.

“With 89 per cent of UAE customers and 91 per cent of MENA customers being digital converts to e-commerce, the region is seeing a rapid transition from bricks and mortar stores to hybrid and e-commerce models,” said Mohammed Alkhotani, area vice president – Middle East and Africa, Sitecore. “Millennials and Generation Z customers have quickly shifted their significant spending power online. Pressure will continue to mount on retailers until they can deliver an experience that delights.”

Brands in the UAE are taking a variety of actions to improve the shopping experience. The majority, 60 per cent, ranked an online app or website that works well on mobile devices as among their top three choices.

Also scoring highly in the top three choices were brands remembering customers’ shopping history and preferences (33 per cent), giving preferential treatment in the form of exclusive offers and invitations (42 per cent), and knowing the name during login or customer service (35 per cent).

“Brand loyalty has evaporated and there is no margin for error from browsing through to delivery,” added Mohammed Alkhotani. “Brands in the UAE are already ahead of the curve in prioritising mobile apps and websites to personalise online experiences.”

Last month, the Cisco AppDynamics’ App Attention Index research series reported that a total of 91 per cent of UAE consumers say their expectations of digital services have increased since the start of 2020 and when the brands do not meet the expectations, 74 per cent of consumers will automatically blame the application and the brand no matter where the issue actually lives.

Read: UAE consumers claim brands have one shot to impress them

Out of 69 per cent of people surveyed in the UAE, believe it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or application works perfectly.

75 per cent of UAE consumers now state their expectations for digital services have changed forever and they will no longer tolerate poor performance. 73 per cent of consumers in the Emirates state that brands have one shot to impress them with their digital experiences before they switch to another provider.

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