UAE residents love to shop and scan for deals – and an increasing number are now doing so online.
Recent trends in the UAE show that while, traditionally, people place the most orders on the Web during their lunch hour and most orders are received on Mondays, this habit changes a little during the month of Ramadan.
In fact, traditionally, most online transactions happen during work hours. Previous research shows that most of the money spent is during typical work hours, from 9am to 3pm and not much online buying happens between midnight and 9am.
That, however, changes completely during Ramadan.
According to a UAE-based online retail firm Awok.com, the hours between iftar and suhour are now the most popular time to shop online in the country.
The company in its analysis witnessed an increase in sales between iftar and suhour times, demonstrating that post-iftar is a popular time for online shopping for those who have just broken their fasts.
The site’s statistics also reveal a 35 per cent increase in sales in the period directly after iftar time and before suhour indicating that those fasting are using their time in the evening to shop for products online.
The most popular product categories for online shopping during Ramadan are home and kitchen appliances, suggesting that consumers who are fasting during the day are using their time in the evening to buy items that they require for cookingiftar meals for their families.
According to a previous online shopping behaviour study conducted by MasterCard, the UAE is leading the e-commerce revolution in the Middle East with five in 10 people shopping for goods and services on the Internet.
The study highlighted that UAE is home to a tech-savvy population and has the region’s highest Internet penetration and smartphone ownership rates, estimated at 71 and 73 per cent, respectively. The country’s e-commerce is forecast to reach $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) in value by 2018.
The study showed that online shoppers in the Middle East spend their money on airline tickets, clothing and accessories, groceries, books, CDs, DVDs and travel-related products and services.