UAE attitudes to shopping and service have changed permanently post pandemic – Middle East & Gulf News


Three-quarters of UAE consumers report that their shopping habits have changed permanently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research by SAS, a leader in analytics.

More than four in ten (44%) say they will continue to use more digital apps for tasks like shopping and banking than they did before the outbreak. Only 19% expect to revert to the same balance of online and offline retail activity as before.

“Customer-facing organizations in the UAE need to identify the customers who plan to continue using digital platforms, who will move to a more offline experience, and who are the ones keen to return to the same balance as before the pandemic. They then need to plan marketing campaigns tailored to each group. To achieve this, organizations of all sizes can use cloud-based technologies such as analytics and AI to analyze the customer data they have and create actionable insights for each individual customer,” said Radoslaw Grabiec, Customer Intelligence Practice Head for CEMEA at SAS.

The findings of the survey show the extent to which consumer commerce has moved online in the past 18 months. The percentage of new digital users since the pandemic started stood at 27% in the Middle East & Africa (MEA), the highest of any region surveyed. More than half (56%) are now considered digital users, which is also the highest of any region.

These digitally savvy consumers are intolerant of poor levels of service. The proportion of UAE consumers that would ditch a brand after just one or two poor experiences was 45%, while 46% say they would change provider or brand after 3-5 poor experiences.  Effectively, 91% of UAE consumers will shift brand loyalty after one to five poor experiences.

For those brands and service providers that succeed in delighting customers, there are rewards to be reaped. Across the MEA region, 39% of respondents say they expect to spend more once vaccines are rolled out. In fact, only 10% say they will spend less.

To help businesses provide a more tailored customer experience, customers are now more willing to provide personal data to companies. A third (33%) of all those surveyed said they are more likely to share personal data with businesses now than they were before the pandemic, compared to 20% who are less likely to. A third of those people more likely to share their data specified that they would do this in return for an improved customer experience.

To find out more read the full report here.

Source: Press Release