New residents arriving in the UAE in May 2021 in Europe, the USA or Asia might have been amazed by how little e-commerce's footprint over the retail industry has been.

E-commerce platforms carried far fewer things than their international Presents, pages bore hardly any details regarding the goods being sold and testimonials were so restricted they barely represented a consensus about a product's quality or worth. If you wanted something, you're visiting the mall.

Markets and individuals were taught to stay home unless absolutely needed. Photos showed empty shopping centres, eerily devoid of human action.

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Formerly, retailers, appreciating continuous streams of shoppers through their doors, was pleased to push the job of inventing an e-commerce strategy their lists of priorities. This was clear; lots of retailers in the UAE signify numerous global brands as franchisees. The downside has been that those franchisees currently controlled consumer accessibility to all those brands. Having invested heavily in their own bricks and mortar supplies, and drawing tens of thousands of people every year, it's perhaps unsurprising that retailers in the UAE are slow to adopt e-commerce.

However, since shops were forced to shut in May, the scramble to get omnichannel capability quickly moved into centre stage. Those with their e-commerce offering turned into engineering partners to leverage their infrastructures up markets partnered with ride-sharing suppliers such as Careem and Dubai restaurant launched a digital shop in partnership with all

As customers, forced in isolation, arranged hair dye to maintain greys at bay out of the house, gym gear to keep on keeping healthy in the home, and desks, screens and keyboards to permit them to operate at home, the development of e-commerce continuing.

Has COVID-19 led to a behavioural paradigm change for customers from the UAE? We think that the future will probably be internet-enabled, Instead of singularly e-commerce concentrated:

The Culture

An adventure shared with friends and loved ones. In addition, the UAE's shopping malls are equally tourist attractions and a portion of the country's social fabric. Significantly, an individual can't discount the reality that malls additionally signify safe havens in the summertime heat. Ecommerce could be convenient but if temperatures grow people are still very likely to meet in the mall.

Omnichannel Leisure offerings, like salons, kids' play-centres and restaurants. We hope to observe stores offering more click-and-collect providers, therefore allowing customers to buy products online. And gather them from the shop when creating their next excursion to the mall to get a haircut, to drop the children at the cinema or to meet with a friend for coffee.

Data-driven Communication

Obtaining a call from the grocer permitting you to know that a choice product has arrived and they will be keeping some aside for you personally. Likewise, a call from your favourite shoe store informing you of your favourite shoe brand and colour. Your dimensions have only been restocked and they are saving a couple for you. It drives consumer dedication and binds buyers to manufacturers.

We hope to see brands utilize technology to enhance supply chain visibility and forecast customer behaviour so as to provide shoppers advance note of coming inventory they could possibly be considering. Shops may attempt to leverage shopping centres' anchor-like attributes and sellers' willingness to return to them to supply first or exclusive access to desirable items and unique rates.

Societal Purchasing

Shopping at China shares a number of the exact same cultural qualities as the UAE. Pinduoduo, a Chinese societal purchasing platform seeks to enhance this. The program enables customers to set together in"groups" and purchase goods in bulk by producers. The procedure bypasses middlemen, attaining better deals for customers whilst granting brands accessibility to greater margins. The digital marketing service involving customers since they indicate they are searching for additional buyers to group up with, and between vendors and customers trying to ditch the prices of merchandise down. It intends to replicate the psychological connections generated when buying a person.

As individuals, grocers and founders of expert goods have been made to adopt e-commerce via lockdown, we might observe the progression of social purchasing programs here in the UAE. Equally, wholesalers that could normally promote to a supermarket may attempt to leverage societal purchasing apps to create direct relationships with shoppers.


Elsewhere, We've seen the tendency of mortar and bricks Retailers, eager to keep customer involvement, utilize their shops as showrooms for goods and also to showcase new ethos and values. House to a youthful, self-indulgent, non-aggressive market, the UAE's customers are busy social Media consumers.

We hope to see additional brands set up influencers and ambassadors live stream has been viewed as the successor to reality TV, together with customers logging religiously to follow online characters.

Shrewd retailers will have taken note of how artists Have started utilizing live stream to broadcast podcasts, such as on electronic mediums. We foresee retailers utilizing their distances assets to broadcast to an internet audience, creating organic talks about their own brands and contributing to internet culture.

With malls seen as amusement destinations instead of Simple utilities from the UAE. We hope to observe brands utilize their spaces that are innovative to discuss brand history, background and backstories so as to construct meaningful emotional connections with customers.

Connected bricks and mortar shop is an attractive proposal, offering the ease of click-and-collect whilst displaying a new commitment to sustainability.

Ultimately, so as to differentiate themselves from e-commerce pure gamers, we hope to find a rise in retailers utilizing in-store experiential advertising and occasions. We expect more brands with their spaces to home cinemas, immersive theatre-style occasions and gaming adventures.


Whilst we do think that COVID-19 has radically stimulated Retailers to embrace considerable e-commerce strategies in the UAE. The uniqueness of the country's attitude towards purchasing, and the action's societal and cultural importance can't be ignored.

Additional retailers behaving as franchisees will probably be eager to keep a direct link with shoppers. We foresee All these factors impacting how tech Influences retail in the UAE. Strata of the current market, but it can be that the growth of e-commerce functions as a Catalyst, accentuating the bricks and mortar experience instead of Replacing it.

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