Remember when you used to look through the entire mall for that perfect dress? With the increasing number of online shopping portals, spending hours in the mall is being replaced by online shopping. That dress will be delivered to your doorstep without you having to move an inch.

According to a survey by awok.com, 46% of Dubai residents shop online. Other findings reveal that 4% of UAE residents admit to making online purchases between one to five times a week and 5% more than five times a week.

 Why we love shopping online?

  • It doesn’t require you to drive anywhere to buy anything, which means no traffic hassles or parking problems. You save precious time which you could use to get other things off your to do list.
  • Holiday shopping season is the best time to shop online as you avoid crowds and long queues.
  • Easily research for the best prices online ans compare different website prices and promotions.
  • Many online portals have their products reviewed by users. These reviews will give you a fair idea about quality, service and reliability. You can also post reviews to help others out.
  • If you have ordered the wrong size or aren’t happy with what you’ve received, most online websites have a return policy but make sure you read the fine print.
  • Shopping bonanza’s such as the White Friday Sale offer huge discounts on a wide range of products. Availing such one-off discounts is a good way to save on your purchases.

When asked about why she loves to shop online, Hala, a Dubai resident who is a frequent online shopper comments:

”Convenience is my main reason. My order is delivered to me within the given time. The designs that you find online are unique, as compared to the ones that you would see in stores.”

If you are a fan of online shopping, check out the credit cards which are specially designed for shopping online such as the Emirates NBD Webshopper credit card or the Arab Bank Internet Shopping card.

Why we love the mall?

  • There are people who prefer taking a trip down to the shopping mall as they aren’t sure of sizes found online and want to try the products before buying them.
  • Some products need to be seen and felt in order to make the judgement. A picture is not enough to make the purchase.
  • Not all shopping websites offer the cash on delivery option which leaves people wondering whether or not the site can be trusted and the card information given out. Also, many websites charge a delivery fee which adds to the total cost.
  • Shopping at brick and mortar shops results in instant exchanges. You don’t have to wait for the delivery to arrive usually after a few working days.
  • Many people prefer shopping at malls simply because they love the ambiance and see it as a bonding activity with friends and family.
  • Festivals such as the Dubai Shopping Festival is a great time to spend and save at the same time.

Buying a new phone?

Upgrading to a new phone means spending a big chunk of money. We decided to compare the online and the retail shop prices of the latest iPhone 6S and Samsung Note 5 to give you an insight of both the markets.

Below is a comparison of the iPhone 6s/64GB/Gold  and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5/32GB/Black at a few selected online and retail outlets.

Online In-store
Iphone 6s/64GB/Gold Souq.com AED 2949 Sharaf DG AED 2999
Letstango.com AED 2975 Jumbo Electronics AED 3099
Samsung Galaxy Note 5/32GB/Black Souq.com AED 2059 Sharaf DG AED 2799
Letstango.com AED 2110 Jumbo Electronics AED 2899

There was a minimal difference in the iPhone 6S prices at both the market places. On the other hand, you can save money if you buy Samsung Note 5 online. Both online and traditional shopping have their pros and cons and shopping behaviour differs from person to person.  If you know exactly what you are looking for, it’s worthwhile to look around at both the platforms to get the best price available.