Study shows 49% UAE consumers shift to online shopping

November 8, 2020 | By RetailME Bureau

A joint study by Dubai Economic Development and Visa reveals that the UAE e-commerce sector will see continued growth as more consumers demand online payment options and merchants recognise the need for an online presence during the
Covid-19 pandemic.

‘The UAE eCommerce Landscape 2020’ survey shows that 49% of UAE consumers surveyed shopped online more because of the pandemic, with three out of five (61%) now using cards or digital wallets more to make payments online instead of opting for
cash on delivery.

This shift to paying online also means e-commerce will account for a bigger share of total card payment transaction values in 2020, up from 19.7% to 21.9%. This figure is expected to continue upward, with e-commerce payments estimated to account for
28.2% of the total UAE card payment transactions value.

The findings also show that while UAE consumers still prefer to pay using credit cards, the use of debit cards to shop online has increased by more than 7% between 2018 and 2020, pointing to a higher degree of trust in the transaction process. Increased card on file tokenisation and Click to Pay capabilities have also led to repeat purchases as well as higher frequency and ease of online shopping, fuelling further growth in use of credit and debit cards as a method of payment.

“The increasing shift to digital payments is not only a strong testament to the efficiency of the infrastructure and regulatory framework in the UAE, but also an indicator of the growing confidence among consumers and businesses in the country. Dubai Economy has prioritised digital payments as a key enabler of the ease of business and smart transformation that will set Dubai apart as a competitive global business”, says Sami Al Qamzi, director general of Dubai Economy.

“We focus on offering innovative digital adoption solutions to the diverse community of businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers with whom we engage constantly. The prevailing pandemic crisis has provided us with valuable insights on their changing
preferences and requirements. Cashless payments and eCommerce are definitely on a faster trajectory than anticipated. We look to translate this unprecedented growth into an opportunity for businesses of any size to establish and enhance their presence
online”, he adds.

‘The UAE eCommerce Landscape 2020’ reflects market activity over the last 12 months and, in particular, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, highlighting key trends and insights drawn from Visa’s transaction data on how and where consumers have been spending – in addition to new challenges and opportunities that the crisis has created.

Dubai Economy (Department of Economic Development – Government of Dubai) is the government body entrusted to set and drive the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai, UAE. Visa is the world’s leader in digital payments that enables individuals,
businesses and economies to be connected through a secure payment network



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