Revealed: UAE’s retail sales set to soar during Black Friday


November 22, 2020 | By RetailME Bureau

Data from Criteo, an advertising platform for the open internet, has revealed that retail traffic and sales in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are set to peak once again during Black Friday, which falls on November 27th this year.

Black Friday 2019 saw an average of 336% increase in sales and a 170% increase in traffic. Similar trends are expected this year, with e-commerce expected to perform stronger as consumers move to online shopping, in the wake of COVID-19.

A new Criteo study of 800 consumers in the UAE revealed that four out of 10 shoppers plan to buy more products online this year, including toys and gaming items, cultural goods, and beauty products. Three out of 10 UAE shoppers plan to buy more luxury brands, home goods, groceries, apparel/accessories, household products and consumer electronics online. In fact, September 2020 saw +42% higher online sales year-on-year.

“The events of 2020 made it an extraordinary year for e-commerce. Our research shows that this year consumers will swap door-buster deals for online discounts that start sooner and span a longer period of time. Retailers who want to maximize their gains during Black Friday should provide seamless customer journeys — from easy-to-use websites and apps, to free delivery and easy returns, giving their customers a safe and joyful festive season”, said Alistair Burton, Country Manager MEA at Criteo.

The Criteo research also revealed that while over one third (37%) of UAE shoppers say they feel more comfortable shopping in-store now than they did a few months ago, and 65% of them also said that they feel more comfortable shopping online this year than in-store. While UAE consumers are shopping online across most product categories in the next few months, offline purchases will be primarily groceries, home goods and luxury brands.

UAE shoppers are more driven by value than ever. Promotions will drive shopping this year – with 43% of UAE shoppers confirming that they will have a significant influence on their gift purchases. In fact, nearly half of UAE shoppers said that they would not wait until Black Friday to buy presents if they get early discounts from their favorite retailers.

“As competition heats up and browsing starts to pick up in November, it’s important that retailers boost their online presence, in order to influence customer consideration prior to peak conversion dates and attract shoppers in the countdown to Black Friday”, added Burton.

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