Ahead of this year’s Black Friday, or White Friday as it is called in the Middle East, Google has released a new study outlining critical purchasing behaviors of consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s shopping season, which falls between October to December.
At Google’s superstore pop-up event earlier this month in Dubai, advertisers and industry experts were briefed on the study’s findings and internal Google insights.
Exploring the key changes in the consumer journey while shopping during the Black Friday season, the study carried out by Ipsos revealed that consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are among the most eager to check out deals compared to Brazil, the UK, and the US.
Some key findings highlighted included that consumers are ready to be inspired and are shopping for new brands more than ever before. Around 33% of shoppers who plan to participate in the sales season don’t have anything specific in mind to purchase, and 60% of surveyed shoppers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia look for new products and brands when browsing online during the sales season.
The study also found that consumers increasingly watch videos not only for inspiration but also to support purchase decisions, especially on platforms like YouTube. One-third of surveyed shoppers classify video content as their favorite source of ideas, and two-thirds consider it a way to help them identify what to buy.
Shoppers are all geared up on making the most out of the shopping cycle in MENA, which begins at least two months before Singles’ Day and Black Friday and extends up to a month after encompassing the holidays. The study shows that 55% of respondents begin hunting for products early on and do not wait for the actual sales dates.
That’s not all; regardless of where they are, consumers are expecting a seamless shopping experience. Around 41% of respondents prefer to shop both online and in-store during the shopping season. MENA shoppers also care about flexible payment options more than ever before.
Additionally, deals are becoming more important to customers. One of the unique themes of the holiday season this year is self-care, especially during Singles’ Day. According to Ipsos, 70% of surveyed shoppers buy products for themselves during Singles’ Day.
Google recently introduced new tools to support merchants, such as the Performance Max tool, which enables retailers to expand their online, offline, or omnichannel sales by gaining access to all of Google’s ad inventory from a single campaign. Local businesses could improve their online storefront and enhance the online customer experience with the help of the Grow My Store tool, available in both Arabic and English.
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