E-commerce increases with more people shopping online ahead of Eid

Customer in one of the souks. Photo: Salim Matramkot / The Peninsula

Doha: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people shop, and more and more people are now buying products online.

In a recent survey by The Peninsula, 74.5% of 50 respondents said they would rather shop online than go to stores, especially as special Eid discounts begin. .

Holiday promotions can be seen everywhere at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, encouraging shoppers to take advantage of discounts. According to the survey, the number one reason people prefer online shopping is its convenience with 74.5%, followed by the lack of crowds with 63.8%, and the third is the lack of selling pressure. and ease of payment with 40.4% each.

Expatriates from different countries participated in the survey.

Fashion-related products topped the list of most popular online shopping categories with 76%, followed by shoes and electronics with 10% each, and furniture with 4%.

According to the latest data from Statistica in 2020, the global average of consumers shopping online is 85%, and the top regions are South America and Asia with 86% each.

Meanwhile, a 2017 KPMG Global Online Consumer Report indicates that consumers in Africa and the Middle East are more likely to buy household goods online, with the exception of Emirates consumers who are more likely to buy telecommunications products and men’s shoes.

Founder and clinical director of mental health clinic Flourishing Minds, Tina Balachandran, said many factors affect consumer behavior online.

“Research supports that online purchase intent is influenced by a) shoppers’ attitude and belief that it would improve their shopping efficiency, b) opinion on the use of online shopping by friends, colleagues, and other influencers, c) consumers’ perception of the availability of needed resources and online shopping opportunities, d) the usefulness it brings, and e) trust in the website retail or online shopping platform,” she explained.

She said consumers are motivated to shop online because it provides convenience.

“It provides convenience, opportunities to compare prices, save time. There is better potential to read product reviews before making a purchase, and crowded places can be avoided.

She added: “When we buy online, there is a certain level of unpredictability and anticipation — of not knowing when we will receive the package, of tracking the order and waiting for it to arrive. This simple event of anticipation and delayed gratification (delaying an early initial reward for greater reward in the future – and in the case of online shopping this is anticipatory reward) with the eventual possibility of a reward (the delivery of online shopping) releases dopamine – the feel-good neurotransmitter in your brain.

Roger Trinidad, a survey participant, said he preferred in-store shopping to online shopping. “Call me an old type of person but I’m more into traditional shopping, I like to see and feel the material of any product I want to buy, especially clothes and shoes.”

Vanessa Macion Mortillo, who has been hopping online for four years, said: “It saves time and you can do it anywhere. You don’t need to wait and pay. With one click, I can pay easily and avoid the crowds of shopping in stores. »

The survey also showed that 90% of participants used their mobile phone to shop online, while 10% said they used a computer.

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