A retail report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Middle East shows that regionally, 25 per cent more people use Facebook and Twitter to find inspiration for purchases compared to globally.
Approximately 64 per cent of residents in the Middle East use the social platforms for inspiration, compared to 39 per cent globally, according to the new report by the professional services firm.
The latest edition of PwC’s Middle East Total Retail Survey for 2017 also showed that 51 per cent of shoppers surveyed have never used Amazon, ahead of the platform’s arrival in the UAE this year.
PwC’s latest report, released on Monday, suggests that the retail sector is witnessing seismic developments with new industry players entering the Middle East’s market.
Of the more than 1,000 online shoppers polled by PwC, nearly 37 per cent said they pay for purchases online using their smartphone, the study found.
The GCC has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world, with Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE all having over 90 per cent subscriber penetration, according to a 2016 report by London-based GSMA, a body representing mobile operators worldwide.
In perhaps the least surprising statistic unearthed by the report, 67 per cent of respondents consider a wireless internet connection with a simple login to be an important part of any in-store shopping experience.
Online shoppers from the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were surveyed about their shopping behaviours and expectations for the study.
Norma Taki, Retail and Consumer Partner at PwC Middle East, said in a statement: “Our findings tell us that the face of Middle Eastern retail is indeed changing and it is a ripe market full of opportunities. The appetite for investing in online retail continues to grow with high profile acquisitions. We are seeing an increase from 23 per cent (2013) to 29 per cent (2016) of consumers shopping online on a monthly basis.”