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33% of UAE consumers rein in online spend

Global credit crunch results in tightening of web purchasing - Google survey

A third of UAE respondents who took part in a Google survey said they had reined in their online shopping habit due to the current global economic crisis.

Another third of the 1,490 people polled by the search engine said their online spending had been unaffected while 69 percent said they had used the internet to buy products.

In general, as a mean average across the 20 products listed in the survey, 11 percent of all product purchases were researched and purchased online; 28 percent were researched online but purchased offline; 5 percent were researched offline but purchased online; and 56 percent were researched and purchased offline.

Regarding the drop in online spending among UAE consumers in the survey, a spokesman said: "This may be related to the fact that many of their online purchases may have fallen more into the non-essential/leisure categories - such as travel and event tickets - which people choose to cut out during difficult economic times."

In the UAE, English (76 percent of respondents) was by far the most popular search language with 23 percent preferring to search in Arabic.

The survey also showed that search engines were the most used source of online research information (81 percent of respondents).

Manufacturer websites (49 percent), Directories and local listings (27 percent), retailer websites (26 percent), and online auction websites (25 percent) were also popular.

The results were revealed at a day held by Google for advertising agencies in the region.

"Our objective is to provide agencies with tips and advice to help them push their clients online in this financial crisis," said Husni Khuffash, Google's Business Development Manager in the UAE.

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