58% of UAE consumers enjoy the hunt for a good deal


Consumers Use In-Store Conveniences Such as Banking (55%), Fast Food Services (52%) Or Pharmacy (52%)

Part of the fun of shopping is the thrill of the chase and 58% of respondents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) say they enjoy taking the time to find bargains, according to Nielsen’s latest survey report on retail growth strategies. Consumers are addicted to a good deal and it might be because retailers and manufacturers have conditioned shoppers to buy on deal.

Interestingly, the retailers that are winning are positioned at opposite ends of the price spectrum. While many consumers remain price conscious, when it comes to store selection, price-related attributes fall below several others. In the UAE, consumers believe value is about more than just the lowest price. In fact, consumers rate convenient location (96%), product availability (94%), and high-quality produce (93%) as highly and somewhat more influential in store-selection decisions than the lowest price (92%).

Despite the thrill of a good deal, one of every two respondents in the UAE say grocery shopping is a chore and that they try to spend as little time as possible doing. So what is it about the shopping experience that is particularly unpleasant? Many consumers think retailers don’t understand and deliver on their needs. Just over half (53%) of UAE respondents believe their main grocery retailer always or mostly communicates with them in a relevant way and understands their grocery requirement (52%). Less than half (48%) believe the retailers provide offers they like and value.

The way to stay relevant and connected to ever-changing consumer demand is to find pockets of unsatisfied demand and provide the products and services that will keep consumers satisfied and coming back time after time. In the UAE, the in-store services most widely available and used are convenient options that cater to on-the-go lifestyles. Five out of 10 respondents say they use in-store banking (55%), fast food (52%), or pharmacy (52%) services.

Another notable finding from the survey, which comes as no surprise is that UAE respondents place health and wellness as a top priority. Nearly seven in 10 respondents (69%) say they actively seek products with healthful ingredients, 62% say they read nutritional labels carefully, and 47% believe there are not enough healthful options available to buy.

“More than half of the UAE population is made up of those who are relatively young – the Millennials (aged 21 – 34) and Generation X (aged 35 – 49). These generations strive to lead healthier lives, and many are doing so by making healthier food choices,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan, Nielsen. ”It is important for retailers and manufacturers to know, in order to stay relevant that health and wellness isn’t just a nice-to-have benefit for consumers. They are more than willing to pay a premium for foods with health benefits and at the same as most of them are professionals and always on the go, they tend to go for stores with layouts and offerings that provide easy access to a wide range of fresh and healthful food.”

The Nielsen Global Retail Growth Strategies Survey polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries to understand the pain and the pleasure points about the shopping experience. The Survey examined how well retailers are currently meeting consumers’ needs and why consumers choose one store over another. We also reviewed a selection of 19 product categories to determine the product attributes that are most important.

Lastly, we took a look at consumers’ willingness to use additional in-store services and their preferred approach to dealing with price increases in order to identify areas for development or improvement.


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