Monday 02 October 2023 - 11:26:33 am

PwC report finds Middle East consumers healthier, more digital and prioritise sustainability

ABU DHABI, 22nd March, 2022 (WAM) -- The latest edition of PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey showed that Middle East shoppers are becoming increasingly influenced by sustainability issues and prioritising health and wellbeing.

The survey highlighted a general shift in consumer behaviour as a result of the pandemic. For example, Middle East shoppers believe that they are now healthier (67 percent vs. 51 percent globally), more digital (65 percent vs. 53 percent globally) and have better work-life balance (66 percent vs. 60 percent globally).

They are also more likely than ever to take into account sustainability considerations when making a purchase. In fact, 60 percent of regional respondents believe they are more eco-friendly than six months ago and 53 percent are always or frequently buying eco-friendly products (vs. 42 percent globally).

Norma Taki, PwC Middle East’s Consumer Markets Leader, said, "A range of factors, from mass remote working to tech-driven regional transformation, have changed and continue to change consumer shopping habits and attitudes. As consumer optimism continues to grow in the region, it is essential that retailers and consumer companies take note of these shifting trends and adapt their priorities and strategies accordingly."

According to the survey, the pandemic has also paved the way for a more multi-channel consumer experience, with 45 percent of regional shoppers reporting that they shop through their smartphone regularly, reflecting a global trend.

That said, in-store shopping remains the most popular channel for frequent purchases in the region, with 50 percent of consumers choosing to visit physical stores on a daily or weekly basis.

The results also highlight that Middle East consumers are not immune to the threat of rising inflation. Overall, 60 percent of Middle East consumers say they have become more focused on saving in the past six months, while 52 percent are now more price oriented.

Amid rising worries about exposure to online threats and scams, regional consumers have become more protective of their personal data in recent months. 68 percent said they are guarding their data more strictly than before, compared to 59 percent globally. This increased focus on data privacy, particularly as retailers continue to embrace digital platforms.

Roy Hintze, Partner, Consumer Markets at PwC Middle East, concluded, "Moving forward, it is essential that consumer companies adapt and respond to shifts in consumer behaviour by developing a true omni-channel customer experience, embedding ESG in their supply chains, building sustainable product portfolios and prioritising data privacy."

WAM/Khoder Nashar/Amjad Saleh