95 per cent of respondents made at least one purchase online during the 3 months prior to the survey

Kuwait City, Kuwait, 21 April, 2015:MasterCard today released the results of its Online Shopping Behaviour study, revealing that Kuwait is the leading country in the Middle East in terms of the percentage of consumers who have shopped online during the three months prior to the study. In addition, the survey indicates that just under 90 per cent of respondents in Kuwait were satisfied with their online shopping experience.

The Online Shopping Behaviour Survey, which measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted at the end of last year and was based on interviews with 4000 respondents across eight markets in the Middle East and North Africa including Kuwait.

“Developments in Kuwait’s internet infrastructure has allowed a number of companies to expand their businesses to include online offerings, especially as Kuwait’s technology-savvy consumers are well versed  the with the benefits of cashless payments,” said Aaron Oliver, Head of Emerging Payments – Middle East and Africa, MasterCard. “Convenience, security and the ability to make a payment anywhere, anytime and from any device are just some of the reasons for the significant rise in online shopping in Kuwait.”

Co-Founder of Souq.com, Ronaldo Mouchawar said, “We are seeing huge growth in the trend toward online shopping across the Middle East. As the number of people shopping online increases, so do their expectations of service and delivery which is something Souq.com strives to not only meet, but exceed together with our partners, including MasterCard. We currently provide customers secure payment options as well as cash on delivery, a one-year warranty on all products and free returns, all of which enhances the online shopping experience.”

The survey indicated the most commonly visited websites for shopping were Xcite, Souq.com and Blink. Other key sites that were visited include Ubuy, Letouch and Mrbabu. The share of foreign websites exhibited a significant decline both in terms of purchase occasions and online spends – signifying that Kuwaiti consumers strongly prefer shopping from local websites.

The survey respondents in Kuwait were clear about their considerations for shopping online: secure payment facilities topped the list (72.2 per cent), followed by the convenience of payment methods (68.9 per cent).

Home appliances and electronic products were found to attract the highest online spends in absolute terms, trailed by supermarkets and hypermarkets, music concert tickets, performing arts and clothing/accessories.

Mobile shopping

In line with the upward trend seen across all markets in the Middle East, the number of mobile shopping users in Kuwait has increased drastically.  In 2014, over 80 per cent of respondents made a purchase during the three months prior to the survey.  Consumers were found to have purchased a wide variety of products via their mobile phones, suggesting that this method of online shopping meets the needs of many different types of consumers. Popular purchases ranged from magazines and newspapers to personal and beauty care products, as well as personal education and professional development products. According to Mouchawar, 40 to 50 per cent of sales on Souq.com are made through mobile devices, demonstrating a huge opportunity for growth in this category.

Note to editors: More information and previously released MasterCard survey results can be found at www.masterintelligence.com. The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.