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Arab women’s top online habits


Great insights from ‘The Female Majlis’ talk at Marketing to Women in the Middle East 2015

Do you think that brands are attracting their audience in the right way?

According to research by the Dentsu Aegis Network, two out of three Arab women go online to learn something new, while almost half do it to receive advice and ideas.

Focusing on female Arabs in the UAE and KSA between the ages of 20 and 40, the research explores the Arab females’ online behaviour and their engagement with brands through the internet.

“Women are turning to the internet not just for entertainment, but also for a desire to know more,” states Ramzi Haddad, general manager of Carat UAE and Lower Gulf.

While the top four reasons for Arab women to surf the internet are to learn things, to give ideas and advice, to be entertained and to keep up-to-date with news, info and gossip, the research points out that acquiring information online gives them a sense of reassurance, discovery, connectivity and exposure.

“Arab women are as sophisticated as an American consumer and they know more about fashion than your British consumer would know,” explains Haddad.

With 35 per cent of women participating in online discussions to express themselves, according to the research, the top two most-searched topics online are cooking and food- and life-related matters. Still fashion and trends tend to be favoured searches online, the research shows, the top branded searches online are: fashion and beauty brands (62 per cent), electronic brands (15 per cent) and e-commerce platforms (eight per cent).

While regional users explore numerous social media networking websites, according to the research, the most popular platforms among Arab women are as follows:

  1. WhatsApp (80 per cent)
  2. Instagram (62 per cent)
  3. YouTube (55 per cent)
  4. Facebook (40 per cent)
  5. Twitter (30 per cent)

“Social media is the easiest when it comes to people switching off on you,” explains Haddad, adding that it is important to ensure that you do not ‘overpromote’ your brand online. Rana El Alami, senior insights executive at Dentsu Aegis Network in the UAE, agrees, pointing out that “consumers will really question the authenticity of a brand if it does overpromote, especially with luxury.”

“Instagram is the limelight, it is the attraction point,” states Haddad. “It will be interesting to see which brand in the region actually starts to use Instagram.”

With so much talk about social media, research reveals that the communication between a brand and its customer is vital in growing the brand’s following.


First published on Kippreport, sister publication of LuxuryMena

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