Over 69% Of UAE Consumers Have Bought Something Online

| Jun 4, 2009 | comment 6 Comments

Google recently hosted a day for the top agencies in UAE, in an initiative to point businesses to the hotspots in online media.

In preparation for the Agency Day, Google surveyed 1,410 consumers in UAE about their purchasing behaviour, and was able to build an accurate picture of online/offline research and purchase segmentation, use of search engines and attitudes to online shopping in UAE in 2009.

The data gathered from the survey was revealed to the agencies as part of the training, aiming to stress on the importance of getting online. The results reflected the increasing sophistication of consumers in purchasing behaviors and the need for businesses to update their online presence to capture this market.

The main highlights from the UAE report are:

  • More than 69% of respondents have bought something online.
  • Amongst UAE residents, the Internet is the ‘information tool’ used most often when researching possible purchases across a range of categories including digital cameras/camcorders, mobile phones, cars as well as hotel reservations.
  • Search engines are the most used source of online research information (81% of respondents). Manufacturer websites (49%), Directories and local listings (27%), retailer websites (26%), and online auction websites (25%) are also very popular.
  • Search engines are used most for research in relation to technology (67%) and travel (48%) products.
  • Google is the preferred search engine in the UAE with (58% preferring google.com and 38% preferring google.ae)
  • In general, as a mean average across the 20 products listed in the survey, 11% of all product purchases were researched and purchased online; 28% were researched online but purchased offline; 5% were researched offline but purchased online; and 56% were researched and purchased offline.
  • Credit and debit cards (64% of respondents) are the most common payment method when making online purchases
  • 74% of the UAE online users notice sponsored links, and of those who do notice them 7% almost always, 6% regularly, 45% sometimes and 22% seldomly click on them.
  • While one third of UAE respondents say the current economic crisis has not changed their shopping habits, an almost equal proportion say the recent financial turmoil has led to less of their shopping being done online. This may be related to the fact that many of their online purchases may have fallen more into the ‘non-essential/leisure’ categories (i.e. travel and event tickets) which people choose to cut out during difficult economic times.
  • In the UAE, English (76% of respondents) is by far the most popular ‘search’ language (likely to be related to the highly multinational nature of UAE society) vs. 23% preferring to search in Arabic.
  • http://emapia.com/ murshed

    interesting survey .. but i truly believe that 69% is not a representing number .. its just to high for an average .. it might be true if the survey was only done in the Marina area in Dubai! but if the samples were distributed evenly in different cities and nationalities, then the number would be much much lower, especially between Arabs. i agree that many people do search online to buy offline ..

    Thanks for sharing it MMM:)

  • Rasha Fayad

    69% does seem as an inflated figure for e-commerce in the UAE, however it can be possilbe if most of the utility payments and other e-services billings are included…

  • husdson

    its a inflated data , 69% is unbelivable

  • http://www.startuparabia.com Mohamed Marwen Meddah

    Well as Rasha said, studies like this are usually a bit inflated by including all sorts of payments online like utility bills and government services online and stuff like that.

    It's also probable as Murshed said that it doesn't represent the whole population. It's a small survey that Google did, which I guess was mainly targeted at online users, and not necessarily in a very detailed and structured manner.

    Still, taking all that into consideration, it's interesting to know that there is a good percentage of internet users out there who are a bit more comfortable paying online, and who could be lured to e-commerce sites.

  • husdson

    its a inflated data , 69% is unbelivable

  • http://www.startuparabia.com Mohamed Marwen Meddah

    Well as Rasha said, studies like this are usually a bit inflated by including all sorts of payments online like utility bills and government services online and stuff like that.

    It's also probable as Murshed said that it doesn't represent the whole population. It's a small survey that Google did, which I guess was mainly targeted at online users, and not necessarily in a very detailed and structured manner.

    Still, taking all that into consideration, it's interesting to know that there is a good percentage of internet users out there who are a bit more comfortable paying online, and who could be lured to e-commerce sites.

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