ALL AT THE MALL
The region’s huge appetite for retail therapy is growing, according to the huge volume of online searches.
MALL TRAWLING has gone viral in the UAE. If you didn’t know already that the world’s largest shopping centre, The Dubai Mall, is indeed the Middle East’s most popular retail destination, then you do now.
A recent study by Sekari reveals that the mega mall leads the fashion pack with a whopping 40,968 online mentions. It’s also the most searched for keyword among the shopping fraternity, with 90,500 searches. This means that the mall attracts vast amounts of attention online, not only on a local scale, but it’s also measuring up globally too. Simply put, The Dubai Mall has gone viral.
Unsurprisingly, the sheer volume of conversation and social media sentiments on malls run almost in parallel, with The Dubai Mall checking out first again.
But are other malls making an impact? The UAE’s top ten malls after The Dubai Mall are: Ibn Battuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dragon Mart, Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall, Dubai Festival City, BurJuman and Wafi Mall, with Mercato Shopping Mall scrapping in with just 1,600 searches per month.
In Saudi Arabia, the most famous leisure destination is the Mall of Arabia, with 2,900 online searches – a mere blip on the fashion radar when compared with The Dubai Mall – followed by: Red Sea Mall, Sahara Centre Shopping Mall, Granada Centre, Riyadh Sahara Mall, Hayat Mall, Al Faisaliah Centre, Kingdom Centre, Al Noor Mall, Al Rashid Mega Mall and Heraa International Mall.
What is surprising, however, is the low volume of searches, albeit positive sentiments, that the majority of the malls attract. Only four malls across the UAE and Saudi Arabia were reprieved for their marketing efforts. They are: The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Arabia and Red Sea Mall.
The top five keyword phrases in both countries are: ‘shopping’, ‘online shopping’, ‘shopping online’, ‘outlet’ and ‘shop’.
But what else do consumers look for when they want to shop, or just browse around and socialise, which is mostly the case in Saudi Arabia?
Search terms also reveal that, surprisingly, only two brands were featured persist- ently, namely: Carrefour and Burberry. This says a lot about the two countries that are home to more than 700 brands.
Therefore, brand managers, mall operators and marketers should take heed. Strategising on consumer behaviour in the digital world is paramount, especially if you want to capitalise on your consumers’ comments and digital behaviours.
Social media is also a key platform for getting involved with consumer conversations. Being active across different platforms not only creates buzz for your brand, it also builds sentiment among the increasingly vocal shopping fraternity.
As the saying goes: “You need to be seen to be heard.” Research covered Arabic and English search activities from July 21 to August 20, 2013.
Lee Mancini Head of Sekari, SEO, Dubai Powered by BrandWatch