Retailers could potentially boost loyalty of 69% of UAE shoppers if they switched to a unified commerce approach and stopped operating in silos, a new survey revealed. The report was launched on Tuesday in Dubai by Adyen, the global financial technology platform of choice for leading businesses.
According to the findings, more than half of UAE shoppers are seeking a flexible shopping journey that offers their favourite payment methods, buying online and returning in store and purchasing an out-of-stock item and shipping them directly home. Adyen commissioned Opinium LLP to survey 1,000 UAE consumers out of 36,000 globally, and Censuswide to survey 500 UAE merchants out of 12,000 globally.
The goal was to understand how recent are impacting businesses worldwide, with a specific focus on markets like the UAE. This research also explores changes in shopper behaviour across various markets and delves into the preferences of UAE shoppers, as well as the current performance of retailers.
Economic modelling conducted by the Cebr shows how unified commerce, which involves connecting online and offline payments in one system, supports greater retail resilience in a demanding and competitive retail environment. The overwhelming majority 80% of UAE consumers globally said they spend more time searching for the best deals and prices, while almost one third 30% wait for big calendar moments like Black Friday before making a purchase.
In response, 52% of UAE merchants believe the impact of inflation is such that they need to offer discounts to consumers year-round. The research found that in face of the rising cost of living personalisation and loyalty have become increasingly important. 78% of UAE consumers want to see more discounting at retailers they shop with and 67% say they want businesses to remember their preferences and previous shopping experiences so that browsing is more tailored.
UAE Retailers are finding it hard to deliver on this, with 58% suggesting it’s now harder to categorise customers. The tech advantage: 69% of UAE consumers say that they’d be more loyal to retailers that let them buy online and return in-store, and nearly two-thirds 64% suggested they’d have better shopping experiences if a business enables them to shop in store and finish online or vice versa.
Further, when consumers were asked about how technology makes them feel when shopping in-store, the result is overwhelmingly positive. Little less than half 43% said they were happier because shopping was quicker, and slightly more than one-third 36% said they would visit a store more frequently as a result of its technology implementation.
UAE retailers are recognizing the significance of connecting all sales channels. In fact, this region is familiar with unified commerce, as 50% of retailers have already begun investing in this strategy in the past year, and 45% are considering its implementation. “We have always recognised the potential of unified commerce for businesses and its ability to elevate the shoppers' experience.
It's great to witness that in the UAE, over half of the retailers have also acknowledged its potential and chosen to invest in it," said Sander Maertens, Head of the Middle East. “And despite the significant changes in consumer behaviour over recent years, retailers who have embraced unified commerce will find it easier to navigate and adapt to these shifts."
"Through Adyen's financial technology platform, businesses leverage unified commerce, bringing together all payment data into a powerful system. This integrated approach provides valuable insights into customer behaviour, enabling organisations to meet their shopping expectations effectively. In the dynamic world of the retail sector, where speed is crucial, technology proves vital in building operational resilience amidst the ever-changing landscape."