83% of UAE shoppers use the internet for researching products but ultimately make final purchases in-store

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Dubai, 25th June 2019: A new report launched today by Blis, the global leader in real-world intelligence, has found that innovation in brick-and-mortar stores will breathe new life into the fragile status of the high street. Created to highlight the importance of real-world intelligence for retail brands, this report shows that we are experiencing a retail renaissance, where consumers are looking for a multi-channel shopping experience that blends the offline and online worlds.

Blis found that 68% of today’s EMEA shoppers use the internet for researching products but ultimately make final purchases in-store, this number reaches 83% for UAE shoppers. While research is key for many, impulse buying is still popular. Across EMEA, of those who consider themselves impulse buyers, over half say that they have been driven in-store by mobile ads whilst outdoors, the majority of which (89%) ended up purchasing the respective product as a result of the ad.

“Despite headlines about the ‘death of the high street’, we are heartened to see that more than half of consumers still crave that in-store experience to touch and feel the products they buy. In this new era of retail, real-world intelligence informed by location data is an essential tool for targeting shoppers while they are out and about, as it allows brands to understand the truth about what people are actually doing. Marketers should wield this tool when targeting impulse buyers in particular, the majority of whom have been directly influenced by ads to make in-store purchases.”
Diane Perlman, Blis, CMO

“Brands looking to keep up with the changing pace of consumer shopping behaviours need to be sure of what people want and how and where they are making purchases. This, of course, is why location analysis is so important” says Puja Pannum, Managing Director, MENA. “This report highlights the importance of brands needing to do their homework on who their target audiences are. Consumers are looking for an increasingly seamless shopping experience moving from online research to offline purchase.”

Further insights uncover how digital trends have shifted consumer demands in user experience and the retail landscape. Blis found that 63% of all shoppers use their mobile when shopping, a practice that 25-34 year olds do in the greatest number (80%). In fact, 86% of UAE respondents do so. But many shoppers in the UAE want to see physical stores themselves adopt digital features. 35% said they would like there to be a self-checkout option to speed up payments (compared to 32% across all EMEA respondents), while 36% of consumers would be more inclined to make in-store purchases if brands offer augmented reality or digital try-on functionalities, which enhance the shopping experience (32% across EMEA). So, as online and offline shopping habits blend together, brands should prepare to offer a new hybrid shopping experience.

Blis’ report also reveals the importance of understanding the shopper psyche in this new era, which will allow brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level. Findings show that most EMEA shoppers (60%) today are ‘Savvy Shoppers’, carefully searching for the best value-for-money deals online before purchasing in-store . In the UAE, 38% of shoppers perceive themselves as ‘Bargain Hunters’, specifically looking for the cheapest deals they can find. This number is close to the EMEA average of 36%, while 57% of those who were full-time employed in said they were impulse buyers. These EMEA shoppers (and subsequently UAE shoppers) are strongly influenced by OOH advertising, with 67% of 25-34 year-olds said ‘yes’ to going in-store after seeing an outdoor ad. Therefore, in this retail renaissance, insights drawn from real-world intelligence will enable marketers to provide the right message to the right kind of shopper at the right time.

Further stats include:

Compared to 36% of Bargain Hunters, just 8% see themselves as negotiators – people willing to haggle for a cheaper deal. The smallest type of shopper in the UAE is ‘the one on a mission’ with only 6% having a single goal in mind when shopping.

Across EMEA, 33% of respondents say they have been influenced to make a purchase in-store following an advert on their mobile or desktop. This number jumps to 59% for UAE shoppers specifically.

In the UAE, 81% of respondents are open to providing personal information at the entrance of a store in exchange for vouchers, compared to the EMEA average of 67%.

Blis partnered with Sapio Research to interview thousands of consumers across the EMEA region, balancing the data gathered by age and gender to ensure representative results. The report highlights key consumer trends in four sections: the savvy shopper and bargain hunter; where the digital and real worlds collide; the power of impulse; sealing the deal. Follow this link to download the report for free.

About Blis:

Blis is the global leader in real-world intelligence. We specialise in understanding real, human behaviour by analysing vast quantities of mobile location data. This gives businesses a uniquely powerful tool: the truth about what people actually do, to deliver real consumer engagement and measurable sales uplift. Our Smart Platform provides unmatched transparency, accuracy and scale through three proprietary technologies: SmartPin, Smart Scale and Smart Places. This enables more effective planning, activation and measurement for marketers and business decision makers alike, fuelling the next generation of insight-driven marketing. With 31 offices across five continents, Blis works with the world’s largest and most customer-driven companies across all verticals including Unilever, Samsung, McDonald’s, HSBC, Mercedes Benz and Peugeot, as well as every major media agency to reach over a billion mobile devices a year. To learn more, visit blis.com.

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