x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE consumers shop with heart

Consumers in the Emirates are more socially conscious when it comes to purchases than those in western Europe, a survey claims.

A survey has revealed that the country’s consumers are more socially conscious than their European counterparts.
A survey has revealed that the country’s consumers are more socially conscious than their European counterparts.

Consumers in the Emirates are more socially conscious when it comes to purchases than those in western Europe, a survey claims.

Among UAE respondents polled by the public relations company Edelman, 69 per cent said they were more likely to buy products and services from a company if they knew it had brands that supported good causes.

This is far above that of the Netherlands, where 35 per cent agreed, and above Italy's score of 64 per cent, the highest in Europe, said Iain Twine, the general manager of Edelman UAE.

Consumers in emerging markets tend to rank higher than those in developed economies when it comes to having a social conscience, Mr Twine observed.

He said this might be because emerging markets could "feel the pain of poor performance of unscrupulous organisations or companies. They notice the impact on environment.

"They notice the impact on poverty. They notice the impact on sustainability here in these markets more".

India had the highest score, with 79 per cent saying they would be more likely to buy from a company with socially conscious brands.

Mr Twine said the UAE's score on the survey, which was conducted in September, was surprising. "It is a good message," he said. "There appears to be a level of people wanting this."

More than 71 per cent of UAE respondents said they would promote a brand's products and services if there was a good cause behind it. This was similar to responses in Brazil, India, Mexico and China, which each had average scores of 77 per cent, compared with an average of 49 per cent in western Europe. 

Some 86 per cent of consumers in the UAE donated money for a good cause at least annually, the highest rate among 13 countries surveyed. About 80 per cent of those polled in the Emirates also said they believed a company needed to place at least equal weight on society's interests as it did on business.

aligaya@thenational.ae