Rami Olwan

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Number of online shoppers in UAE rises despite crisis

Shopping online is the new favourite with the number of people doing this registering an increase, according to a survey conducted by Google in the UAE recently.The survey found that 69 per cent of the respondents have bought something online and 48 per cent have used online services for their travel plans.

The survey findings were revealed by Google at an Agency Day it hosted for the top agencies in the UAE, in a bid to attract advertisers to online media. The two-day session was attended by Google’s AdWords team in the UAE and more than 100 digital media specialists representing local and multinational advertising agencies.

Google brought the UAEs agencies together to help them understand consumer behaviour on the internet and how they can make use of web-based tools to reach out to new audiences.

The sessions focused on the importance of various tools, including the strength of keywords, how AdWords works, content-targeted advertising, campaign setups and visitors attraction.

“Our objective is to provide agencies with tips and advice to help them push their clients to online media during this financial crisis,” said Husni Khuffash, Google’s Business Development Manager in the UAE. “Online means better and more relevant audience reach, lower costs and higher return on investments. The region has much to learn when it comes to online marketing and we believe this is the perfect time to initiate the transition to the digital age”.

Google surveyed 1,410 consumers in the UAE about their purchasing behaviourto understand online/offline research/purchase segmentation, use of search engines and attitudes to online shopping in the UAE in 2009.

In a mean average across the 20 products listed in the survey, 11 per cent of all product purchases were researched and purchased online; 28 per cent were researched online but purchased offline; five per cent were researched offline but purchased online; and 56 per cent were researched and purchased offline.

The survey found 64 per cent of the shoppers prefer credit/debit cards as the payment method when making online purchases. Other modes of payments such as pre-paid cards constitute the remaining portion.

One-third of the respondents said the current economic crisis has not changed their shopping habits, an almost equal proportion said the recent financial turmoil has led to less of their shopping being done online.

“This may be related to the fact that many of their online purchases may have fallen more into the ‘non-essential/leisure’ categories (for example, travel and event tickets) which people choose to cut out during difficult economic times,” according to Google.

Source:

http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20090602033537/Number%20of%20online%20shoppers%20in%20UAE%20rises%20despite%20crisis

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