Shoppers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are putting a premium on 'seamless' experiences. Any delays anywhere in the choosing and buying process leaves behind a disappointed shopper - and one unlikely to return. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: These days, shoppers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia do not seem to be paying too much attention to loyalty schemes from brands and retailers.

That seems to be the case after a new survey of shopper habits found only a woeful 7.7 per cent of them confirming that being members of loyalty programs was a strong reason to return and shop with the same brand.

What matters more to Gulf shoppers can be summed up in three words – ‘good shopping experience'. A fairly high percentage of those polled, 30 per cent, agreed with that, according to Tabby, the BNPL (buy now pay later) platform that surveyed more than 7,500 shoppers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Because 82 per cent of shoppers found ‘at least one frustration’ in the online shopping process – these could take the form of website navigation, auto-payment options, and long checkout processes.

Of course, young shoppers (18-29 years) are twice as likely to get frustrated over slow ecommerce websites. “For those hoping to attract Gen-Z shoppers, a good shopping experience is non-negotiable,” the report states.

What do Saudi shoppers want?
Nearly 30% of Saudi shoppers get quite 'frustrated' when retailers do not provide for free shipping services. This compares with the 23% of UAE shoppers who felt free shipping is a key driver.

Just giving up

And 60 per cent of potential buyers have abandoned the purchase due to payment issues, with 'young shoppers more cautious about sharing their payment details'.

"Thus, retailers are responsible for showing potential customers that their website is safe," the report adds.

Shopper behaviour

  1. 78% of customers have opted to buy items online after seeing them in-store to compare prices between different sites.
  2. They also prefer shopping online but appreciate expert in-person advice and will still overall opt for a mix of shopping experiences.
  3. While 45% of buyers have purchased items through social media, 72% of shoppers find retail inspiration online and will likely know exactly what they want to buy in-store, before going in-person shopping.

More to follow…