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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

UAE retailers to profit from bargain hunting 'Ramadan shoppers'

Three quarters of consumers make planned or impulsive purchases to cash in on deals, a new survey has found

Over half of UAE consumers are looking for deals on groceries and fresh produce this Ramadan. Leslie Pableo for The National
Over half of UAE consumers are looking for deals on groceries and fresh produce this Ramadan. Leslie Pableo for The National

Ramadan is set to provide a boost for UAE retailers, with 40 per cent of consumers believing the holy month is the most-lucrative period for them to make purchases, a new YouGov poll has found.

Three quarters of those polled are considered ‘Ramadan shoppers' - those who make planned or impulsive purchases during the holy month to take advantage of the offers available, according to the survey, conducted this month.

“This is a higher proportion that the average for consumers in other Gulf Cooperation Council member states,” YouGov said on Thursday.

Three in five of those polled state they already have certain purchases in mind that they want to make this Ramadan.

“Ramadan represents an enormous opportunity - both for retailers and customers," said YouGov. "While it is fair to say that, on the whole, consumers want bargains, the key for shops - be they online or actual stores - is to know what type of deals they are looking for and on what products."

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Read more:

The best deals this Ramadan for buying a new car

How not to slack off this Ramadan

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The holy month is typically a time when Muslims head to the shops to stock up on groceries for their iftar meals as well as gifts ahead of the Eid festivities. Retailers often ramp up their offers to lure in more shoppers; car dealerships, for example, are renowned for this.

According to the survey, while consumers want promotions across a broad range of categories, many focus on specific areas.

While over half look for deals on groceries and fresh produce, a similar number want deals on clothes while well over a third are keen to find mobile phone bargains.

Graphic by Ramon Penas
Graphic by Ramon Penas

Rasheda Khatun Khan, a wealth and wellness planner said Ramadan can be a good time to stock up.

“The UAE offers value for money during all sale seasons but Ramadam, in particular, has the best value for money on food, beverages and groceries," she said. "It's a good time to bulk buy. As clothes are the most popular gift item I get them prior to Ramadan to get better deals."

When it comes to brands, the study found these only count for big ticket purchases such as cars. This year, with the introduction of VAT and sluggish sales overall, dealers are pulling out all the stops to move vehicles this Ramadan season.

While over half of those polled look for car offers on specific brands, the same number also seek out deals on mobile phones.

While Ramadan can leave shoppers feeling drained, due to the constraints of fasting, the majority will still head to the malls or stores rather than rely on online shopping. However, many customers keen to seek out the best deals will do so through electronic channels. Around four in ten find out about promotions via social media ads and internet ads, while three in ten are notified through promotional emails or text messages from companies.

There is still a space for more traditional methods, however, with in-store adverts and word-of-mouth still influencing choices, according to YouGov.

Ms Khatun Kahn says Ramadan shoppers should budget carefully for their spending this holy month,

"Just like saving for a holiday, build up the funds you want to allocate," she said. "Write a list of the gifts you want to buy and look for those rather than buy things you find on the spot."

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