Navigating your retail business in MENA through COVID-19

Download
Sally Monem, Celine Youssef / June 2020

Unique challenges are present for retailers as communities around the world respond to the coronavirus pandemic. In MENA, tough decisions are at play due to new restrictions and soft re-openings of stores, as well as fluctuating supply chains and employee protections. This also means digital commerce has become a lifeline for retailers. We have identified three high-level consumer insights to help retailers adapt to a nuanced online reality, according to new Google Trends insights detailed in the playbook.

1. Consumers are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented levels

People in the UAE and KSA spend 79% and 95% more time online during the pandemic. MENA consumers are also spending more time on mobile as search interest for “mobile app” grew by 35% since the beginning of March and by 58% when compared to last year.

2. People are searching for information and content to meet essential needs:

With retailers adapting to delivery or online models, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when they can get what they need. Across MENA, searches for ‘open now’ rose by over 120% since March, 2020. Search interest related to “delivery”

increased by 290% since the beginning of March, as people faced mobility restrictions in MENA.

3. Consumers are adjusting their routines to be internet-first:

In MENA, ‘online shopping’ related searches grew by 65% between February and April. In a rapidly changing environment, your customers are looking for real-time updates on how your business is doing — especially when it comes to your stores and product availability.

In a rapidly changing environment, customers are looking for real-time updates on how your business is doing — especially when it comes to your stores and product availability.

Discover insights on how to understand new and existing customers, adapt your marketing campaigns and much more in this retail playbook.

How e-commerce players leverage smart display ads to drive new customers