UAE consumers have become more price conscious

Cropped image of woman inputting card information and key on phone or laptop while shopping online.
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Consumers appear to be more on the lookout for cost-saving features than they have been in the past, a survey conducted by PYMNTS and Visa Cybersource has found.

It found that fifty-one per cent more UAE consumers were aware of coupons, promo codes or rewards in 2022 than in 2021. It also discovered that UAE consumers preferred online shopping because of free shipping and better prices.

While UAE shoppers are increasingly opting for cost-saving features, they, however, give ‘choice of payment methods’ higher importance when selecting a retailer.

The survey was conducted as apart of a study, titled The 2023 Global Shopping Index: UAE Edition. It focused on understanding consumers‘ behaviour and their preferred payment methods.

The survey involved a sample of 13,349 consumers and 3,124 merchants across six countries: Brazil, India, Mexico, UAE, United Kingdom, and United States.

Online vs. physical retail

The survey also looked at consumer buying behaviours and preferences online and shopping in-store.

50 per cent of the UAE survey respondents said that they prefer online shopping because of free shipping, followed by 44 per cent quoting better prices as an incentive. A 43 per cent said that they preferred online shopping due to an easy checkout process.

It also discovered that in contrast while shopping in-store, consumers gave more importance to the ability to obtain products immediately and find them quickly. Though this is less important for UAE consumers than it it is in other countries.

Only 40 per cent of consumers who prefer physical stores in the UAE consider this to be important as compared to 54 per cent and 53 per cent in the U.S. and U.K, respectively.

The omnichannel shift

The study also highlights the country consumers’ move to a more digital and omni-channel approach.

28 per cent of UAE consumers said that they maid their most recent retail purchase on their smartphones, with 33 per cent of women and 27 per cent of men making purchases exclusively from their phone.

Apart from online shopping on the phone, UAE consumers also use their smartphones while shopping in stores to improve their purchase experience.

The study also found that men are more likely than women to use their smartphones to enhance their in-store shopping journeys.