Revealed: the drivers behind UAE shopping decisions

Discounts are the biggest factor driving the purchasing decisions of UAE shoppers but optimism about spending in 2019 remains far higher than in Europe
Revealed: the drivers behind UAE shopping decisions
Consumers sounded a warning to retailers ahead of the end of year shopping season by saying they are looking for discounts just as much as product quality.
By Sam Bridge
Thu 20 Dec 2018 02:14 PM

Discounts are the biggest factor driving the purchasing decisions of UAE shoppers but optimism about spending in 2019 remains far higher than in Europe, according to new research.

Consumers sounded a warning to retailers ahead of the end of year shopping season by saying they are looking for discounts just as much as product quality.

The findings come in a survey from legal business DWF and Retail Week which surveyed 10,000 consumers globally inclidng the UAE.

When asked what guides their purchasing decisions, 69 percent of UAE consumers said a discount, just ahead of the 66 percent looking for product quality.

Products offered at a low price were the next most popular option (55 percent).

In non-food shopping specifically, UAE consumers said they keep their eyes peeled for deals and promotions (65 percent) above all else, far higher than levels of enthusiasm for customer-centric concepts such as in-store service (25 percent) and manned checkouts (10 percent).

According to the survey, UAE consumers are going into the new year feeling optimistic, with 52 percent expecting the proportion of their income that is available for discretionary spend to increase, over double that of consumers in the UK (19 percent), France (22 percent) and Germany (23 percent).

Compounding these findings, consumers in the UAE said they are feeling positive when it comes to their cost of living, with 54 percent feeling more confident as they go into 2019. The sectors set to benefit are food, travel and retail (non-grocery) with 53 percent, 43 percent and 42 percent respectively planning to spend more in these areas.

Conversely, the view of the wider economic situation is more mixed with 36 percent feeling more confident about the general economy in 2019 compared to 34 percent who feel less confident.

The picture is also mixed when it comes to job security, with 34 percent feeling less confident compared to the 32 percent who feel more.

Shiraz Sethi, regional managing partner at DWF (Middle East), said: "Unlike many of their peers around the world, a good number of UAE residents are looking forward to 2019 with a healthy amount of financial confidence.

"In particular, they are feeling optimistic about the proportion of income that is available for discretionary spend and the cost of living. But retailers must not rest on their laurels, as mixed feelings around job security and the general economy mean that they must deliver on the things most highly valued by consumers: discounts and quality.”

For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.