So, is e-commerce responsible for the decline of the shopping malls around the world, considering online sales are constantly increasing in Dubai, as well? If the Internet is killing the mall, why it is not happening in the United Arab Emirates too? The truth is that e-commerce isn’t still that big to affect traditional sales in strong markets. Generally, the most active shoppers are those aged 18 to 35-40. And contrary to popular belief, they don’t prefer online shopping over the good, old shopping spree. They are multi-channel shoppers, according to a research by the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. This means they visit retailers online and in person. Around 45% of the people spend more than an hour looking at retail websites a day, but not only to shop.
In fact, many people prefer to research online for products and brands and then go to the store and buy whatever they have chosen. People in this age group spend so much time on the Internet that when it comes to shopping, they consider it a form of entertainment (70% of the women and 50% of the men). For them, shopping is mostly a social experience, associated with spending time with your friends, sharing your thoughts and interests with people close to you. Shopping doesn’t mean only buying items you need; the shopping spree is associated with having a nice chat with your friend over a cup of coffee, going to the movie theatre, getting a new haircut or manicure, and so on.
The shopping mall culture is still pretty much alive and cities like Dubai are here to prove it. With all the services and products, all the entertainment and fun activities, the mall is essential part of the social life in the Gulf emirate. However, it’s pretty expensive, too.