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Digitally savvy UAE shoppers average 5 shopping apps on devices


Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, has released the third edition of its Connected Shoppers Report, which reveals that UAE shoppers are moving targets, jumping across physical and digital destinations as they browse, purchase and request service and support, with 14% of purchases occurring on emerging digital touchpoints that are completely separate from retailers’ and brands’ owned properties.

“UAE shoppers are among the most digitally-savvy and brand conscious in the EMEA region, with our Connected Shoppers Report showing that they have the world’s highest average number of shopping apps, five, on their mobile devices,” said Thierry Nicault, Regional Vice-President Enterprise Business Unit (EBU) for Middle East, Africa and Central Europe, Salesforce. “Retailers should forget about pulling shoppers only into their four walls. As winter holiday shopping approaches, brands, retailers, and online marketplaces must go wherever UAE shoppers are – in-store, mobile, social media – and become companies that consumers love.”

The Connected Shoppers Report explores these key themes for brands, retailers and online marketplaces, based on a new survey of over 10,000 global consumers — Salesforce’s broadest consumer survey to date. It captures insights from consumers across more than 20 countries, including 200 from the United Arab Emirates, as well as four generations — silents/baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers — offering insights into the vendor-shopper relationship regardless of shopper demographics.

The Salesforce Connected Shoppers Report focuses on these four emerging trends in the United Arab Emirates:

  • Retailers, Brands and Online Marketplaces Are Battling for Wallet Share: In an era of constant connectivity, hyper-personalized engagement, and new business models like direct-to-consumer for brands, shopping today looks nothing like its former self. 88% of UAE shoppers buy from a combination of retailers, brands, and online marketplaces.
  • Shopping is Evolving, as Consumers Define New Terms of Engagement: Today, retail is more than a transaction at a checkout counter. Vendor-shopper relationships are strengthened when consumers feel understood and special. In fact, 77% of UAE shoppers said they tend to shop with a specific brand in mind. The report shows that exclusive shopping experiences and promotions are a valuable way for companies to build loyalty (and lucrative) relationships.
  • Shopper Journeys Are Moving to the Edge of Vendor-owned Channels: Other research shows that the proliferation of digital touchpoints has led global consumers to use an average of 8 channels to communicate with companies. In the United Arab Emirates, 51% of shoppers use mobile wallet, 48% use social media, and 28% use messaging apps to make purchases.
  • Stores Remain Critical as Discovery, Experience and Fulfillment Hubs: Brick-and-mortar stores remain as relevant as ever, with their roles evolving into hubs of discovery, experience and fulfillment. In the United Arab Emirates, the top reasons to shop in-store are to touch and feel the merchandise, the overall in-store experience, and to get merchandise immediately. The report also shows that 56% of UAE shoppers have purchased a product online for in-store pickup.

Purchase Preferences Vary Across Generations:

Globally, the report found that generational differences reveal clues to future retail transformations as younger shoppers gain more purchasing power. Members of the silent and baby boomer generations are more likely to stick with traditional means of shopping, as expected. However, all other generations — from Gen Xers to millennials and Gen Zers — are more likely to adopt new paths to purchase like mobile wallets, messaging apps and social media. Perhaps surprisingly, Gen Z is not leading the adoption of all emerging touchpoints. Voice assistants, video chat, chatbots, visual search and live-stream videos enjoy more popularity with Gen Xers and millennials than with Gen Zers.

Looking Ahead to the 2019 Winter Shopping Season:

For the retail industry, the November and December winter shopping season is the most critical time to understand consumer motivations and buying habits.

The report reveals that while the top factors influencing UAE winter holiday purchases include: 1) sales or promo codes, 2) shopping apps, and 3) what’s available in-store; there’s an increasingly digital mindset among consumers. In the United Arab Emirates, 83% of shoppers expect to make purchases with a shopping app this winter shopping season.

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