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Shopping behavior in the Middle East and North Africa - statistics & facts

Global consumer spending has been increasing in the past years. By 2025, total consumer spending is expected to reach around 62 trillion dollars. Spanning across two continents and with a young, ever-growing population, consumer behavior in the Middle East and North Africa region has been continuously evolving. The digital adoption, innovative business models, and nimble market entrants are revolutionizing the way consumers shop. The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted established ways of living which significantly shifted shopping habits. Right after the outbreak in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the vast majority of consumers prioritized their needs over wants in their shopping.  

 The MENA consumer

  Consumer markets in the MENA region are surely progressing and have bold growth ambitions, with further opportunities for growth. Even before the pandemic outbreak, consumer behavior had been evolving. Brand loyalty plays a less significant role in buying preferences, while consumer expectations for their shopping experiences are higher than ever. In a survey conducted in the UAE, around half the respondents reported that they were not willing to pay for shipping for online purchases. New trends are also emerging in the food sector. Consumers are expecting more convenience, more health-oriented options, and locally sourced products. In Egypt, consumer spending on restaurants exceeded one billion U.S. dollars, the highest in the region.  

COVID-19 impact 

The day-to-day lives of people around the world have changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has extended to a substantial shift in consumer interests and shopping behaviors. It is expected that many consumers will stick to their new shopping habits even after the pandemic. Around three-quarters of female consumers surveyed in Saudi Arabia reported that they will keep their online shopping habits after the pandemic. This has driven many companies to switch their focus from maintaining the status quo to identifying evolving customer needs and addressing them. While this presents a challenge for businesses in the current environment of uncertainty, it has also created an opportunity for them to grow new customer relationships and add value to existing ones.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 21 most important statistics relating to "Shopping behavior in the Middle East and North Africa".


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