Majority of consumers in Kuwait use the internet to buy books, CDs, DVDs, airline tickets, professional development tools, and more.
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Kuwait City, Kuwait: Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Kuwait, according to the 2014 Online Shopping Behaviour Study conducted by MasterCard. Over 32 per cent of those surveyed indicated they access the internet for online shopping, of which more than 90 per cent said they were highly satisfied with their online shopping experience.
The Online Shopping Behavior Survey, which measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted at the end of last year and was based on interviews with 3000 respondents from 6 markets across the Middle East. Consumers said they spend the most amount of money on travel related products and services, financial websites, hotels, followed by airlines and clothing.
Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments – Middle East and Africa, MasterCard said: “Well-developed internet infrastructure and the availability of secure online payment options means companies can expand their online presence to grow their business and diversify their customer base. For consumers, online shopping is convenient, fast and safe. When you consider the benefits, it is not surprising that more people are going online to make purchases.”
“The growth of online shopping trends in Kuwait sheds light on the priorities of the technology-savvy new age consumer, who now enjoys the convenience, speed, value for money and safety of their transactions while shopping online,” added Oliver.
According to the study, around half of the respondents made at least one online purchase last year, a noteworthy increase from nearly 25 per cent in 2012. More than 30 per cent of the respondents identified Amazon, the global e-commerce site, frequented for books, CDs, DVDs, gadgets and more as the most commonly visited website for online shopping. Booking.com and Cinescape have emerged as the next two most popular websites for online shopping in Kuwait.
That said, whereas websites offering travel related products and services, hotels, and online gaming have seen a gradual but steady increase in visitors since 2011, music concerts or performing arts tickets, personal care and beauty-care brands, and international news websites have witnessed a downward trajectory compared to previous years.
Kuwaiti consumers were clear about what factors sway their online purchasing decision, citing security of payment facility, reputation of website and convenient payment methods as the more important considerations when making an online purchase.
When asked how online shopping could be improved in future, 49 per cent of shoppers stated this could be done by ensuring transactions are secure. Ease of transactions and enhancing payment security also emerged as popular suggestions.
While smartphone penetration rate in Kuwait is one of the highest in the Middle East region, only 24 per cent of individuals surveyed made purchases using their mobile phones in recent months and an additional 14 per cent intended to use their phones to make a purchase in the six months following the study.
“Mobile shopping in Kuwait is progressing alongside the astounding growth in smartphone penetration. This progression is likely to continue as consumers become more aware of the safety and security features and begin getting more familiar with the mobile shopping experience. It is also becoming increasingly important for companies to provide convenient online shopping solutions that enhance the user experience,” stated Oliver.
In fact, convenience and being able to do shopping on the go have been voted as the top two reasons why shoppers make purchases using their phone.
The top three items purchased through mobile phones are airline tickets, movie tickets and clothes.
Other notable results include:
- Nearly 45 per cent online shoppers believe in ‘ethical spending’, and are more likely to buy from merchants who are environmentally responsible, who partner with or donate to charities, and who are socially responsible.
- Shoppers are increasingly turning to local websites to make online purchases, but about 56 per cent of online shoppers purchase products from foreign websites.
- Convenience and availability of wide variety of products locally have been cited as some of the top reasons for shopping from local websites.
NOTE: 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.
MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.
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Sahira Ladha, email@example.com, +971 4 3323308
 UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon
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