New research reveals Saudi's move to online purchasing increased significantly with around 95 percent of customers in the Kingdom moving to online since the start of the pandemic.
Across the Middle East, the pandemic provided a boost to e-commerce across the region, with a year-on-year growth of 54 percent, amounting to $12.1 bn in 2020, Sitecore, a corporate global digital platform provider revealed in new research. Electronics and retail accounted for over 42 percent of this.
In a warning to brands and providers to ensure a smooth and efficient online experience the survey showed that the overwhelming majority of Saudi users would cease using a site or move away if the experience was poor.
The research, conducted by YouGov MENA of IT decision-makers, across 12 countries in the GCC, found 90 percent would choose an alternative site if the experience was poor and another 89 percent revealed that their customers had less patience with slow or poorly performing sites.
"With 95 percent of Saudi Arabia customers being digital converts to e-commerce, the country is seeing a rapid transition from bricks and mortar stores to hybrid and e-commerce models,” said Mohammed Alkhotani, Area Vice President – Middle East and Africa, Sitecore. “Millennials and Generation Z customers have quickly shifted their significant spending power online. Pressure will continue to mount on retailers until they can deliver an experience that delights.”
He added that brand loyalty was a thing of the past and customers' focus was more on how good an online experience they were likely to have.
The majority of respondents, 55 percent, ranked an online app or website that works well on mobile devices as among their top three choices.
Also scoring highly in the top three choices were brands remembering customers’ shopping history and preferences, 37 percent, with the same also saying the ability to order by voice command, smart watch, or smart speaker was important and knowing the name during login or customer service.