Online Shopping Spend Increases as Lockdown Eases in the UAE


Online shopping has gradually increased and has become a behemoth in itself because of the pandemic. Specifically, online shopping of health products has seen a surge. The reason because of which many people today are opting for online shopping is to stay safe and secure at this time.

There is a sudden increase in online shopping because people who were not practicing online shopping also have to do it due to the pandemic. Quarantine has changed lives for all of us.  

And Statistics don’t lie. As per surveys conducted, in the UAE, the data reveals that 79 percent of the customers have changed their practice of shopping, due to the pandemic.

Increase in Online Grocery Shopping

There is a sudden increase in online grocery shopping. Everything is available readily, and also it saves time and money. We can pretty much get everything from vegetables to meat and from mobiles to crockery online; so convenient, isn’t it?

By expanding the range of products available to consumers, stimulating competition, and enhancing shopping and convenience, e-Commerce is changing the way people shop. Its popularity is growing rapidly.                                                                                                                                       

Increase in Online Shopping Statistics

The fastest growth in retail e-Commerce during 2018-2022 is expected to be in India and Indonesia, where most people used to shop offline, before the Coronavirus hit the world. The two economies are some of the largest markets in the world and can’t be ignored. e-Commerce retail sales are expected to account for 33.6% of total retail sales in China in 2019. As per statistics, in the UAE, the user penetration in 2020 is set to surpass 67% population base. And the UAE is the leader of online shopping in the region, its high degree of internet and digital penetration and wealth being some of the reasons for the boom.

There is a sudden increase in online shopping statistics because of the mad rush to stock up on essentials and sanitary products.

2020 is the year of the ‘retail shopping apocalypse’. It’s all thanks to e-Commerce and online shopping because staying up to date with the latest e-Commerce statistics and online shopping trends is essential for any online business. Today, e-Commerce and online shopping brands are household names. If you have a positive experience with a brand, the research says you’re unlikely to stay away from that brand.

Why this surge?

We just looked at the increase in online shopping in the UAE. But why is online business booming? The lockdown has been lifted, and stores have reopened. Besides, most offline stores are operating under strict sanitary and social distancing measures to ensure complete safety. Yet, people are buying online.

There are several reasons for it. First, although the stores have opened, the pandemic is nowhere near its end. In fact, it’s rising exponentially in the UAE. On a daily basis, 1000 people are falling prey to the novel coronavirus, in the United Arab Emirates. To maintain social distancing and avoid human contact, people are staying at home and shopping online.

The second reason for increase in online shopping statistics is, of course, convenience. Even before the pandemic changed everything, a large number of people were shopping online. Online shopping offers greater comfort and convenience.

You don’t have to drive to a nearby supermarket, spend half an hour searching for what you want to buy and then spend time, waiting, in the billing queue. e-Commerce has reduced the process that takes more than one hour to 5 minutes, or even less.

All you need to do is open an online store like Desertcart, select your favorite products, and place an order. And within a few days, the product will be delivered at your doorstep.

The third factor that’s driving this increase in online shopping is the increasing number of online sellers. Since many offline stores are on the verge of completely shutting down, retailers have started selling online, as they know, this is the medium customers prefer to use. Millions of dollars of investments are taking place in warehousing, a clear sign that online shopping demand is booming like never before.

For many firms which are engaged in online B2B or B2C models of sales online, the coronavirus has come as a shot in the arm, prompting them to go all aggressive with expansion. And the citizens of UAE have not let them down, as the surging demand for online shopping goes on unabated.This has increased competition in the online space, which has encouraged sellers to sell at lower prices.

This competition has turned out to be beneficial for customers, as they can shop for products at a lower price. The most significant effect of this trend has been on the electronics market. In the UAE, where electronics are usually priced high, sellers are selling electronic products at competitive prices.

What should retailers do?

Now comes the big question, “how should retailers cope with this turmoil?” Well, customers are in the driving seat, so the first thing you should do is understand what your customers or target customers are looking for. Here are a few tips for retailers to leverage this rising demand.

  • Be relevant: Relevancy is the cornerstone of success for retailers during this pandemic. Understand your customers’ pain points and approach them accordingly. For example, there’s an increase in grocery online shopping. If you’re in the grocery business, your customers might be struggling to get fresh vegetable supplies.
  • Be competitive: Pricing is also important. You’ll need to compromise on your profits, but don’t plunge your prices just to make more sales. Stay competitive.
  • Talk to your customers: Customers want to shop. If they’re not shopping from you, maybe they’re not aware that you’re actively selling. Send them emails and text messages telling them that you’re there for them.

Final thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled brick and mortar stores. Footfall to offline outlets was already reducing, but with the pandemic and lockdown, stores are on the verge of being shut down.

However, as customers transition from offline to online shopping, opportunities are emerging for online retailers. So, if you’re an online retailer, follow the tips discussed above. And if you’re not selling online, what’re you waiting for? Get started now.

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