ALL AT THE MALL

The re­gion’s huge ap­petite for re­tail ther­apy is grow­ing, ac­cord­ing to the huge vol­ume of online searches.

Gulf Marketing Review - - SECTOR ANALYSIS -

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

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