Top Tips for Converting the UAE Consumer

Shoppers in the UAE like to take their time making decisions when making a purchase, and they are more likely than the average global shopper to use kiosks in a store, according to our latest in-depth research.

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Only South African consumers at 74% are more likely than UAE shoppers (72%) to use kiosks during their store visit – but both nations are well ahead of the 62% global average. Our study, which sought the view of 2,250 people across nine countries, also indicated that shoppers in UAE cited the ability to look up inventory as the top reason to seek out a sales associate with a tablet in a store.

It’s been great looking at how different countries’ consumers behave during the shopping journey, and we at iVend Retail are confident it gives organisations much food for thought as they plan their omnichannel retail strategies in the year ahead. No nation is the same, and retailers need to set up their businesses accordingly depending on where they are operating.

Consumers taking time over purchases

Picking through the statistics, it was interesting to see that UAE shoppers tend to make very considered purchases, and take an omnichannel approach during the research process.

When we asked consumers in the region the reasons they browse online with the intention buying a product in store is, the most popular response was because they can take their time on making their decision.

Supporting this portrait of the UAE shopper was the fact that when queried why they browse in store before making a purchase online, the majority responded by saying they like to see the items before parting with their money. It’s indicative of the global shopper, who now typically accesses multiple channels from a retailer before spending money – and it highlights the need for seamless integration between store and eCommerce platforms.

Global outlook

We discovered some real gems in the study which truly reaffirm why retailers should be embarking on omnichannel strategies and implementing retail management systems that give their staff a single view of stock across all channels. Total transparency is needed in this day and age of retail.

Among the findings that really hammer home that particular message 91% of the shoppers conduct research online before making purchases in a brick-and-mortar store, and around 50% of shoppers around the world take advantage of click & collectbuy online pickup in store.

Some 60% of shoppers use their smartphones in physical stores, with most saying that their motivation for doing so is to research the best price. This statistic alone highlights why retailers need to give their staff suitable ammunition such as mobile point of sale technology to approach consumers on the shop floor, engage them and aid them through the purchase process so they don’t feel the urge to take their business elsewhere.

Probably following the lead taken by the likes of Apple and Burberry over the years, where store staff have been emboldened to engage with their shoppers using digital technology, the wider industry is moving towards this approach. And as our research shows, consumers around the world – not just the UAE – are starting to expect it.

What further motivation do retailers need to invest in the latest omnichannel solutions?

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CEO of CitiXsys Kamal Karmakar is widely respected as an innovator and expert strategist within the retail sector. Under his guidance, CitiXsys has established itself as a market leader in retail technology with a reputation for delivering integrated retail management solutions (iVend Retail) for the way retailers work today.

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