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Total Retail Survey - Middle East 2016

They say they want a revolution

Retail is in revolution. Technology is changing not just how consumers shop, but how retailers operate. From supply chain management, to customer engagement, to brand management – everything is changing.

PwC released its annual survey of global shopping habits, interviewing 23,000 online shoppers across five continents in 25 countries in March 2016, including over 1,000 consumers in the Middle East. We looked at what drives different shopping decisions, what makes different channels attractive, and how new trends like social media are changing the face of the sector.

There are some conclusions to be drawn that affect the retail sector as a whole across the world; and there are some that are very specific to the Middle East region. These are what we explore in this report.

The new retail landscape

Key findings

Click on the findings to learn more


The Middle Eastern retail sector, is no doubt undergoing a change, a revolution, albeit at a different pace compared to the more developed countries. Even within the Middle East itself the rate of development of the sector varies across the analysed countries. Recent announcements have confirmed that the face of online retail is set to change. It truly is an exciting time for the Middle East.

The PC is still the main channel for online retail, however the use of mobile is growing and taking a larger role in the online shopping process. Further, the advancement of online retail varies across product categories. One of the important factors which has an impact on shopping behaviour, and as a result on the retailers themselves, is the payment method as consumers are still wary of online security and have a preference for cash payment. Finally, social media and personalisation influence consumer shopping behaviour and should therefore be a consideration for retailers with the change and evolution of the sector.


Total number of respondents: 1,003




Employment status

Contact us

Norma Taki

Transaction Services Partner and Consumer Markets Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 304 3100

Leo Vera

CF Managing Director, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 (0)50 900 3582

Rand Shuqair

Manager, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 (0)4304 3788

Imad Matar

Middle East Transaction Services Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +966 (11) 211 0400 (ext 1501)

Roy Hintze

Partner, Middle East Consumer Markets, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 56 682 0528

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