The UAE loves a bargain but 70% will always pay more for the right quality
June 1st, 2016, YouGov

The UAE loves a bargain but 70% will always pay more for the right quality

UAE consumers will not forgo quality to find the right price when shopping around for the best deals on their retail purchases a new YouGov study has found.

Despite almost four-fifths (77%) of respondents claiming they compare prices of products before making the choice to purchase, and 70% claiming they are always on the lookout for the best deals and promotions, 70% claim they will always pay more money to find the right quality product.

The research shows that 67% of consumers overall claim they get a real thrill out of finding a bargain. This is particularly the case amongst females (74%), who agree they are always on the lookout for promotions, coupons and discount vouchers - significantly more than males. Asian Expats (72%) are also the biggest bargain hunters of all the nationalities in the UAE.

Interestingly, even celebrity endorsements don’t appear to sway the UAE’s bargain savvy consumers’ with 42% of respondents claiming they would not purchase a product just because it was endorsed by a celebrity, particularly females (47%).

Unsurprisingly, the price point of a product (63%) is the greatest influencer when UAE consumers are first considering which brand to buy from, followed closely by recommendations from friends and family (60%). However the results do show consumers largely stay loyal to brands with 63% claiming once they find a brand they like, they will stick to it.

Mass market brands appear to be striking the right balance with clothing products the most frequently with just over a quarter (26%) of respondents purchasing the latest fashion attire at least once a month. The most favorable price point is between $51 and $100 for both clothing (32%) and shoes (18%). This is followed closely by perfume with 22% of respondents spending money on their favorite scent at least once a month, particularly Emiratis who purchase it once a week (15%). Overall most respondents claimed they spend up to $50 on perfume from mass market brands (38%).

As far as luxury brands are concerned, department stores (37%) are winning the bargain contest in the eyes of consumers as the most popular outlet to purchase luxury items from - 22% purchase from them at least once a month and 15% at least once a week. On the other hand, independent luxury stores attract just a fifth of respondents from which purchases are made 4 - 6 times a year (18%), or 2 - 3 times a year (15%).

Interestingly, luxury brands are also winning with clothing items in the $51 - $100 price range with most (21%) of consumers spending that amount of money on their luxury clothing items, particularly Emiratis & Arab Expats. However when considering which luxury items consumers are willing to splash out on the most, bags attract the highest investment with 12% spending between $501 and $1000. More people spend money on shoes at a slightly lower price tag with 17% of respondents spending between $101 and $500 on the latest fashionable footwear. The least money is spent on luxury perfumes with a quarter of respondents spending between $1 and $50, particularly males (28%).

YouGov consumer research director Nehal Hassan Jibouri commented, “This study re-emphasizes the critical part value for money plays in the minds of UAE consumers when considering the right product to spend their money on. Finding a bargain is extremely important and it’s clear the majority are willing to splash out when the product quality makes sense, but a discounted quality product is the ideal mix. Mass market and luxury brands are demonstrating good appeal when it comes to clothing, but when considering their future strategy for other products, they need to be mindful not to squeeze their margins to the detriment of quality attributes, such as being long lasting or having a feel good factor. Providing a realistic price point or relevant promotional offers will also be key to attract a more bargain savvy consumer with the increasing means to quickly compare prices”.

This research was conducted online by YouGov amongst 2,590 respondents in the UAE between 6 April and 19 May 2016. Data is broadly representative of the adult online population in the UAE.