Saudi Focus: Back for the holidays, by Mohammed Alkhotani

A Sitecore survey has found young Saudi consumers are starting to spend again, with 88 per cent ready to re-embrace pre-pandemic shopping, travel and holiday experiences.

Mohammed Alkhotani

Sitecore, a digital experience management software company, has released its Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report exploring how consumers in Saudi Arabia intend to celebrate, indulge, and recuperate this holiday season.

Saudi Arabia’s residents are eager to resume their normal lives and make up for last year’s Covid-controlled holiday season, with 88 per cent of those aged 25-34 saying they are ready to embrace pre-pandemic shopping, travel and holiday experiences.

About four-fifths (79 per cent) of Saudi Arabia’s consumers surveyed plan to make bigger and more mindful holiday purchases this year, fueled in part by the fact that 76 per cent of Saudi consumers say they have more savings set aside for the holidays this year compared with last year.

Sitecore’s Holiday Shopping Trends 2021 report shows insights from consumers around holiday shopping, gift-giving, spending, and sentiment. The data arms marketers in categories such as retail, travel, automotive, and others with the intelligence they need to deliver winning experiences that satisfy the evolving tastes and demands of consumers, said Sitecore.

“As 88 per cent of consumers in Saudi Arabia are very clearly ready to move on from the pandemic, they are looking at Holiday 2021 as the beginning of the rest of their lives,” said Mohammed Alkhotani, area vice-president for the Middle East and Africa at Sitecore. “Our research shows pent-up demand and more savings than usual will result in younger consumers splurging on self-care and big-ticket items at the register, which is great news for those in retail, travel and hospitality. It’s also heartening to see that 69 per cent of Saudi Arabia consumers want to support their local community, including locally owned businesses. The industry will need to respond with more offerings from these businesses.”

Saudi Arabia’s shift in perspective

73 per cent of consumers would prefer experience gifts to “more stuff”.

85 per cent of consumers are now planning “the trip of a lifetime”.

73 per cent of consumers under the age of 44 said they are now more spontaneous, more social and enjoying life more.

Young Saudi Arabia consumers bringing spending back

87 per cent of those under the age of 44 stated that following their experiences during the pandemic they now “value travel and appreciate other cultures more”.

Saudi retailers could support more locally-owned businesses

95 per cent of consumers believe it is essential that retailers offer more products from locally owned businesses, but only 66 per cent report seeing more locally owned products when shopping.

Buying local and being mindful with purchases is a priority for Saudi Arabia

69 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more for locally made gifts.

59 per cent of consumers are annoyed when they find a purchase was made in China after they thought it was a local purchase.

93 per cent of consumers stated that the pandemic has made them think more carefully about how they spend their money.

In Saudi Arabia, self-care now includes self-gifting

46 per cent of those buying a gift for themselves cite therapy as the main reason.