The number of people using the internet to make purchases in the UAE rose to 42 percent in 2010, up from 29 percent in 2009, according to a MasterCard survey on online shopping.
It also revealed that online shopping in the UAE is led by the 25-44 age group, though the 35-44s purchased more items, with more frequency, than others.
Women are increasingly turning to the internet to shop, with 40 percent of respondents saying they bought online in 2010, compared to 33 percent in 2011.
However, 45 percent of UAE consumers said they still do not feel secure shopping online.
Conducted in the fall, the survey reached 8,500 consumers from 15 markets across Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa.
“We are seeing more UAE consumers go online for lifestyle purchases as well as day-to-day household items,” said Eyad Al-Kourdi, UAE country manager for MasterCard.
“This trend in consumer behavior shows that today’s tech savvy shoppers are diversifying not only what they buy, but how and where.”
Twenty percent of those polled in the UAE said they used mobile devices to online shop, a growing trend across the region.
Leading the purchases in the UAE were airline tickets, with 74 percent of respondents buying them online, followed by hotel bookings at 66 percent.
Some 32 percent of those polled bought home appliances and electronic products online, while 34 percent included clothing and accessories in their retail buys.
Cinema tickets also registered a sharp rise, with 48 percent of users buying online in 2010 versus 26 percent in 2009. Just over 60 percent of shoppers also purchased music concert and performing arts tickets online in 2010, up from 47 percent the previous year.
It fell sharply for music downloads, down 19 percent.
In the UAE, 64 percent said that when they shop online, they would prefer to have a hotline number for enquiry and 48 percent said most goods are much cheaper online than they are offline.
Amongst the top factors impacting online shopping, respondents chose value of the items, secure payment facility offered by site, convenient payment methods and merchant reputation.
Not having additional service charges and enhancement of payment security continue to be suggested by two-thirds of the UAE consumers as ways to improve their online shopping experience.
By Karen Leight – Read more on: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/online-shopping-surges-in-uae-survey-shows-387619.html