28 June 2021: Today, PwC Middle East launched the Middle East findings of the 2021 Global Consumer Insights Survey titled “More digital and sustainable: post pandemic priorities for Middle East consumers” which takes a look at how consumer behaviour has changed as a result of COVID-19.
Undoubtedly, confidence is rising across the region, with 58% of Middle East consumers confirming that they have become more optimistic about the economy. Despite this confidence, our results indicate that the economic and social consequences of COVID-19 have impacted consumer behaviour and that those changes are here to stay.
Key consumer trends accelerated by the pandemic:
An accelerated shift to online and mobile shopping
In-store shopping is still important as part of multi-channel retail strategies
Price-sensitivity is increasing in the Middle East
57% of Middle East consumers indicated that they have been more price oriented during the pandemic and 66% said they have been focused on saving.
Middle East consumers are more health conscious
Socially aware consumers are on the rise
Older consumers are more likely to be focused on sustainability
Norma Taki, Consumer Markets Leader and Transaction Services Partner, PwC Middle East commented: “Digitalisation and sustainability are firmly at the top of consumers’ agendas. To prepare for the future, retailers across the region will need to be fast and agile to capture business from a rising generation of youthful, socially aware consumers who are digitally savvy.”
She added: “The speed of the shift in consumer sentiment reflected by our findings is a reminder that retailers cannot afford to adopt a wait-and-see strategy as the region’s shoppers emerge from the pandemic and the related economic uncertainty and emotional stress. A new, digitised market is taking shape, which already looks increasingly different from the region’s pre-pandemic consumer landscape.”
PwC adopted a ‘pulse’ approach for its 2021 Global Consumer Insights Survey in order to remain attuned to changes in the worldwide landscape and connected to the behaviours of the global consumer. The pulse surveys were put into the field in November 2020 and March 2021 and included respondents from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
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Established in the Middle East for 40 years, PwC has 22 offices across 12 countries in the region with around 6000 people. (www.pwc.com/me).
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Middle East Marketing & Communications Leader, PwC Middle East
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