89% of UAE Customers Are Digital Converts to E-Commerce

  • 90% of UAE Customers Will Choose an Alternative Site Due to Poor Online Experiences
  • 87% of UAE Customers Have Less Patience with Slow or Poorly Functioning Websites
  • 60% of UAE Brands Rank Mobile Apps or Websites as Priorities for Improving Experiences

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 23 August 2021 –Sitecore® the global leader in digital experience management software, announced today that 89% of customers in the UAE, and 91% of customers in the Middle East and North Africa, have become digital converts since the pandemic and want to keep buying everything online.

The research, conducted by YouGov MENA, surveyed more than 650 IT decision-makers across 12 countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Levant, and Egypt.

Boosted by the stay-at-home economy of COVID-19, the Middle East’s e-commerce market reached USD 12.1 billion in 2020, representing 53.8% year-over-year growth, according to a recent report by MarketLine. Electronics and retail accounted for USD 5.2 billion or 42.5% of the total market. [1]

As e-commerce continues to grow, customers are placing greater emphasis on the customer experience. Since the pandemic, 90% of UAE IT decision-makers said their customers will navigate away from a site and choose an alternative if they can’t find what they need in just a few clicks. Furthermore, 87% of UAE respondents agreed that their customers have less patience with slow or poorly functioning websites.

“With 89 percent of UAE customers and 91 percent of MENA customers being digital converts to e-commerce, the region is seeing a rapid transition from bricks and mortar stores to hybrid and e-commerce models,” said Mohammed Alkhotani, Area Vice President – Middle East and Africa, Sitecore. “Millennials and Generation Z customers have quickly shifted their significant spending power online. Pressure will continue to mount on retailers until they can deliver an experience that delights.”

Brands in the UAE are taking a variety of actions to improve the shopping experience. The majority, 60%, ranked an online app or website that works well on mobile devices as among their top three choices.

Also scoring highly in the top three choices were brands remembering customers’ shopping history and preferences (33%), giving preferential treatment in the form of exclusive offers and invitations (42%), and knowing the name during login or customer service (35%).

“Brand loyalty has evaporated and there is no margin for error from browsing through to delivery,” added Mohammed Alkhotani. “Brands in the UAE are already ahead of the curve in prioritizing mobile apps and websites to personalize online experiences.”


About the Research

YouGov MENA (@YouGov_MENA) conducted the survey among 688 IT decision-makers in the Middle East and North Africa: GCC (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE), Egypt, and the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria). The research was commissioned by Sitecore, reflecting on COVID-19 impacts and priorities going forward. The study was conducted 10 May – 23 May 2021.

About Sitecore

Sitecore delivers a digital experience platform that empowers the world’s smartest brands to build lifelong relationships with their customers. A highly decorated industry leader, Sitecore is the only company bringing together content, commerce, and data into one connected platform that delivers millions of digital experiences every day. Leading companies including American Express, ASOS, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oréal and Volvo Cars rely on Sitecore to provide more engaging, personalized experiences for their customers. Learn more at Sitecore.com. 

Sitecore is a registered trademark of Sitecore Corporation A/S in the USA and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.