Dubai: Shoppers in the UAE are ready to get cracking on the ‘choose-your-colour’ Friday promotions that signal the start of the holiday buying season. Those spending on fashion and accessories will have no issues picking up the latest trendy wear or must-haves – but can the same be said for someone wanting a smartphone or another gadget?
Apart from a yet-to-stabilize global supply chain, tech and electronic manufacturers have had to struggle with shortages of chips that are an integral part of whatever they make. For gadget buyers that potentially means a slightly longer delay in getting their order delivered.
As one of the region’s biggest e-tailers and with a bumper year-end beckoning, how is noon dealing with the situation? Tanweer Anwar, noon’s Vice-President of Commercial Planning, talks to Gulf News how noon will get it done.
There is this constant chatter about logistics difficulties and chip shortages impacting deliveries. What’s your take?
A key focus in terms of getting ahead of our Yellow Friday Sale period is ensuring that we have a supply advantage. We’re working hand-in-hand with over 50,000 brands and more than 5,000 sellers on noon, and providing our seller ecosystem with an incentive structure in order to maintain a supply advantage.
It is important for our team to efficiently locate alternate sourcing options and substitutes to tackle these issues head-on.
Do you think that fashion will emerge as the strongest category this year? Followed by gadgets?
During the pandemic, many consumers across the region experienced reductions in income, causing their spending habits to shift towards essentials and ‘at home’ categories. However, with the post-pandemic ease in restrictions and travel, and economic trends on a positive rise, we’re seeing an increase in discretionary spending - most prominently throughout the GCC, and North Africa as well.
Categories such as fashion, beauty and electronics are on a definite rebound.
Most of the leading traditional retailers now have zero-interest BNPL (buy now pay later) programmes. Do you intend to offer interest-free payment options as well?
We have seen a significant increase in shoppers opting for BNPL options. To cater to this, we have forged strong partnerships with leading banks across Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt with attractive processing fees and zero interest rates. We have also reduced our BNPL cart threshold significantly to cater to a broader range of consumers, and have invested strongly in redesigning the entire user experience to make BNPL options - along with adding multiple discounts at checkout - more accessible.
Do you see any emerging trends in consumer preferences?
Digital adoption is skyrocketing, with a shift to digital payments on the rise. Consumers are also more value-centric compared to last year, moving from premium brands to mid-mass and generic brands with lower price points.
Another interesting trend is the variety within our shoppers’ carts. While e-commerce might have been a go-to option for select categories like electronics or fashion in the past, shoppers are now filling their carts with a much more diverse assortment. As for deliveries, our shoppers are increasingly opting for the more sustainable ‘Get it Together’ delivery option where all the items in their cart can be delivered at once.
What will change this year on your merchandise mix compared to last year?
Making affordability a central theme behind the entire Yellow Friday Sale period is a priority for noon. A key concept that we are pushing under the affordability umbrella are ‘value bundles’ - giving customers purchasing a TV a free soundbar, shoppers buying a laptop a free bag and a mouse, and more options across hundreds of categories.
Our main goal during this 'Yellow Friday Sale' is to make e-commerce accessible to every consumer across the region, and our teams at noon have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.