All of those must-need purchases are just a few clicks away. Online is winning over more shoppers - and they are not going back. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Brick and mortar retailers in the UAE and in the Gulf can still hope – there are still shoppers out there who intent to bring down their online purchases in 2021. In fact 15 per cent in a survey state that is indeed their plan, while 38 per cent expect to maintain their current levels of online spending.

But nearly 50 per cent of those polled do plan to buy more by way of online. “While there has been a sudden surge in e-commerce and digital payments this year due to the impact of COVID-19, our report suggests what we are seeing today is more than a temporary change in consumer behavior,” said Sebastian Reis, Executive Vice-President of Global Ecommerce at Checkout.com.

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Who’s shopping more?

The more affluent consumers are already picking up more from online – the Checkout.com poll found 55 per cent take up rates among this user base. And then there are men of 35 years and more, of whom 55 per cent prefer online.

In the majority

A majority of the region’s consumers now pay for their online purchases using digital means rather than cash-on-delivery (which is favoured by 36 per cent) or bank transfers (10 per cent). In the UAE, digital payments on online deals are preferred by 64 per cent of UAE shoppers.

The "preference for digital payments over cash-on-delivery or bank transfers rises significantly as consumers shop online more frequently," the survey finds. Among those who shop online at least once a month, 62 per cent pay by card or digital wallet, versus 44 per cent among less frequent online shoppers.

To leverage this shift in consumer behavior and succeed in what’s already a highly competitive space, businesses will need to offer not only the products and services consumers look for, but the best online experience, including payment processes that are safe, secure, and convenient

- Sebastian Reis of Global Ecommerce at Checkout.com