(Study) e-commerce confidence among UAE shoppers on the rise

5 Sep, 2011

E-commerce confidence among UAE shoppers is on the rise, according to new research commissioned by Arab group buying site GoNabit, a LivingSocial company. The company partnered with independent research consultancy YouGov Siraj to measure e-commerce sentiment among its registered users in the UAE. The research also shows users prefer to shop with credit cards.

This study comes after a one in March this year, the company now plans to release itquarterly.

“Historically, UAE shoppers have bought confidently from overseas websites, but have not had compelling reasons or opportunities to buy from local or regional websites due to a lack of choice, quality and trust. Our latest research reveals a significant attitudinal shift. The majority of people not only feel confident shopping from local websites, but they are actually buying twice as much online from home-grown sites as they are internationally,” said Dan Stuart, CEO and Co-founder, GoNabit.com.

The research reveals that 75% of respondents feel confident buying online from local websites, an increase of 18% since the March 2011 pilot study. Respondents are more than twice as likely to buy from the region where they are resident (60% buy once a month or more) than from other areas of the world (25% buy once a month or more).

In addition to revealing a significant rise in local e-commerce confidence, the research also shows a 16% increase in credit and debit card usage since the March study, with 69% of those polled now indicating that they prefer this option. Card providers of choice are Visa with 52% of shoppers using this brand and Mastercard at 38%. GoNabit and Visa currently partner on “Visa Days,” which provide special discounts and rewards to GoNabit members who pay with their Visa card. Third-party payment sites, such as PayPal, are less popular with 17% of respondents electing to use this payment method.

“A well documented distrust of credit cards among shoppers in the Middle East is clearly waning – with GoNabit built on the requirement that purchasers on our website transacts via credit card. This isn’t about small numbers either; the research shows that shoppers are prepared to spend up to $1,000 or more online in a single transaction. Consumers are confident shopping with us and making large purchases and they’re confident using their credit card to do it,” said Sohrab Jahanbani, COO and Co-founder, GoNabit.com.

Local commerce continues to serve as a great entry point into e-commerce for consumers new to online transactions. In the last six months, 38% of users polled have made their first online purchase. Given that the research sample is made up of registered GoNabit users, there is a strong likelihood that a GoNabit deal has introduced these people to online shopping.

Overall, consumers are optimistic about shopping online in the future – 45% claim that they will branch out and buy different kinds of products online and 34% predict they will spend more money on future purchases. Almost 40% of respondents said they plan to purchase more from websites based in the Middle East region and 41% said they would try shopping from a wider range of websites.

GoNabit says that this optimism and increased confidence in shopping online is a positive sign for merchants, as is the purchasing power of those polled: 44% have a monthly income of $5,000 or more.

The survey was conducted by independent research firm YouGovSiraj between 24th and 31st July 2011, using the GoNabit UAE customer database. Total sample size was 2,470 respondents, 50% male 50% female 65% under 35, Asian 52%, Arab 18% and Westerners 24%.

#image credit.

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