About 82% of shoppers in the Middle East found at least one frustrating issue in the online shopping process that included website navigation, auto-payment options, and long checkout processes, one of the largest shopping surveys in the region has revealed.

Tabby, the MENA’s leading shopping and financial services app, also found that young shoppers between 18-29 years are twice as likely to get frustrated over slow ecommerce websites.

For those hoping to attract Gen-Z shoppers, a good shopping experience is non-negotiable, said the survey that provides retailers in the region insightful and up-to-date data on the 2024 retail strategy, and help shoppers stay ahead of the retail landscape.

Female shoppers prioritise affordability over quality more than male shoppers, revealed the research that is based on a survey of over 7,500 shoppers across the UAE and Saudi Arabia and their retail habits and experiences.

The survey includes expert opinions from retail leaders such as Squatwolf, Level Shoes, Bloomingdale’s and Faces.


Shopping Experience Equally Important

The survey found that 30% of shoppers are exclusively loyal to brands that offer them a good shopping experience. It also revealed that customer loyalty schemes fail to achieve repeat sales with only 7.7% of consumers saying that such schemes are one of the reasons they return to shop at the same brand again.

Free Shipping is Key for Saudi Shoppers

The research also indicated that 29% of Saudi shoppers are frustrated when retailers do not provide them with free shipping, compared to UAE whose shoppers scored 23%, indicating that free shipping is a key driver for shoppers in the region.

In-Store and Online, Not in-Store Versus Online

Based on the survey results, 78% of retail customers have opted to buy items online after seeing them in-store to compare prices between different sites. They also prefer shopping online but appreciate expert in-person advice and will still overall opt for a mix of shopping experiences.

Online and in-store shopping experiences complement one-another as the data reveals that while 45% of buyers have purchased items through social media, 72% of shoppers find retail inspiration online and will likely know exactly what they want to buy in-store, before going in-person shopping.

Credible Stores

According to the data gathered, 60% of buyers have abandoned a purchase due to payment issues, with young shoppers more cautious about sharing their payment details. Thus, retailers are responsible for showing potential customers that their website is safe.

Hosam Arab, CEO and Co-Founder of Tabby, said: “In today’s competitive ecommerce landscape, information is key. We have launched our Middle East shopping survey to help retailers gain deeper insights into the needs and preferences of shoppers across the region. With such data-driven insights, we can create an ecommerce ecosystem that has a shared goal of giving shoppers the best shopping experience possible”.

Tabby’s biggest-ever shopping survey underscores the company’s growing momentum in the retail and fintech industry and follows its latest announcement of securing $700 million in warehouse financing from J.P. Morgan, representing the largest asset-backed facility obtained by a fintech in the MENA region.

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