UAE residents warming up to online shopping

RetailME Bureau

Over a third (34%) of UAE residents make online purchases between one-and-five times a week with 5% making purchases online more than five times a week, reveals a survey on purchasing behaviour conducted by payment solutions provider Network International.

While most residents prefer to use cash or cards to shop in-store for items such as groceries, clothes and household goods, 15% of respondents said they went online to purchase electronic items such as TVs or smart phones. One in ten (10%) UAE residents said they purchased ‘fast food’ or ‘takeaways’ on the move using a mobile device.

The most frequent use of online payments was for remittances to home countries (15%), followed by payment of utilities (14%) and high value items such as property or cars (12%). One in ten (10%) respondents said they use online facility to pay for children’s school fees.

The ability to pay with a single click (50%), robust security measures (46%) and the advantage of purchasing on the move (39%) were the top three reasons cited for making online purchases.

“The adoption of online shopping among UAE residents is a step in the right direction. As the study reveals, customers are increasingly seeking convenient and secure forms of payment alternatives. This is especially relevant in the UAE as the country is certainly way ahead of the rest of the region with its high mobile penetration, combined with its relentless drive to move towards being a smart economy,” says Bhairav Trivedi, Network International CEO.

The study found that adults in their 30’s are leading the online purchasing trend. Those aged between 30-and-39 happen to be the most regular users (36%) of online payments – between one-and-five times a week – followed by those aged above 40 at 33%. Younger residents in the age bracket of 18-29 were slightly lower with under a third (31%) of people making online purchases between one-and-five times a week.

Further the survey also reveals that Asian expatriates are the most regular users of online payments platform with 35% using the facility between one-and-five times a week, followed by Emiratis (32%), Arab expatriates (31%) and Western expatriates (30%).