Oracle Retail poll: Prices play big role in end-of-year gift buying in UAE


UAE customers are keen on spending more on their end-of-year gifts, granted in-store financing or an alternate payment plan is available, a new Oracle Retail poll reveals.

As a result of this thrifty trend, payment options will be critical for the end-of-year shopping plans for the bulk of UAE consumers.

At the same time, with consumers reining in their spending, luring shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores becomes even more vital as an irresistible shop façade, smart cross-merchandising and exclusive in-store offers can still do the trick and compel them to spend big.

Improving retention rates is also essential. As shoppers are seeking out the best deals, they are expected to rapidly switch focus to a new retailer whose offer is lucrative.

 Approximately 66 per cent of UAE shoppers claim that adverse economic factors will diminish their spending. Eighty-four per cent said they would consider alternatives like store financing or payment plan to cover the costs of gifts.

Senior vice-president and general manager of Oracle Retail said: “Next to inventory availability, price is the leading factor in how and where consumers will shop this holiday season.

 “For retailers still dealing with the constant loop of limited inventory supplies or surpluses, getting merchandise and pricing strategies right will be make or break when it comes to managing margins and customer expectations.”

Pricing should be moderate

UAE shoppers seem willing to splash out if the price is adequate, with 55 per cent of those surveyed citing cost as the determinant factor in morphing from an idle window shopper to an avid buyer.

Early shopper advantage

As the Black Friday frenzy has faded away, some shoppers still have hazy plans about their end-of-year gifts which dictates the need to hunt for deals as early as possible. At the same time, 85 per cent of UAE consumers ‘already have, or plan to, shop early’ to ensure they can get the items they want and have more time to shop for deals.

Caution is all the rage

Close to 36 per cent of UAE shoppers surveyed are concerned they won’t have the means to afford holiday shopping because of surging prices, according to the Oracle Retail poll. Forty-six per cent are worried that the gifts they initially planned to buy will get more expensive this year.

Around three-quarters intend to wait it out until the ‘big retail sales moments’.

The gift priorities

It becomes apparent that this year, shoppers are more likely to trade tangible gifts for experiences, with 46 per cent willing to invest in experiences with friends and family. For the rest, 43 per cent will spend relatively big on clothes, 34 per cent will buy gift cards, 38 per cent will prioritise beauty and personal care products, 40 per cent will focus on footwear, 31 per cent- on electronics and 25 per cent will go for NFTs or digital collectables.

Timing (and placing) is everything

Mr Webster said: “Merchandising in the wrong place at the wrong time can be the biggest cost to a retailer. We know out-of-stock inventory compromises top-line growth and customer satisfaction.”

This trend is echoed in the poll findings. Thirty-eight per cent of shoppers said out-of-stock items would sabotage their shopping experience, while 22 per cent claimed they would go to another retailer without hesitation if a product they are after was not available.

“Equally as important is its impact on margins. Retailers must be proactive in their placement of inventory as they consider size, style, and colour of the assortment to avoid massive store-to-store transfer costs.”