How Mobile Users in MENA are Getting Ready for Back to School Shopping

Aug 10, 2022
By: Jean Ortiz-Luis

The school term is upon us again! Summer is quickly coming to an end, and fall is just around the corner, which means it is time to prepare school supplies for our children. It may look like too early to do a shopping list now, but brands and advertisers have already started promotions! To have a better understanding of how school supplies will be purchased and how consumers will do their back-to-school shopping, Digital Turbine conducted its annual Back to School Shopping Survey.

This survey provides insights on consumer behavior during back-to-school shopping and online shopping preferences across the MENA region’s mobile users. Let’s dive into the survey’s highlights, with some insights per country! Be sure to check out the full reports!

Consumers in the MENA region are planning to do back-to-school shopping in autumn. – Demographically, 53% of respondents were male, and ages mostly ranged from 35-44 with 28%. Regionally, 52% of respondents plan to do their back-to-school shopping in autumn (September).

Check out the full report for the MENA region here.

School items like pencils, erasers, and notebooks are the most preferred products. – While 77% of respondents in UAE state that they will attend school/office on-site this year, 71% plan to buy back-to-school supplies for their children. When we asked which products they would buy, 77% said school items (pencil, notebook, eraser), 64% clothing/accessories, 43% electronics, 22% sanitation products, and 11% study/office furniture.

Click here to see the full report for the UAE.

In terms of electronic products, consumers prefer to buy computers/laptops. – As the hybrid education system continues during the pandemic, technological devices have been used in lectures more than ever.  When we asked which electronic school supplies are consumers in Egypt looking for; 53% said computer/laptop, 41% smartphone, 33% tablet, and 12% web conferencing accessories. 

To read more about back-to-school shopping in Egypt, check out the full report. 

Students are most likely to consume water and biscuits at school. – Students in KSA state that they prefer to buy mostly fruit juice (65%), water (61%), coke (52%), coffee (44%), tea (31%), and milk (22%) at school. When we asked KSA consumers which snacks they prefer to buy, 56% stated biscuits, 51% sandwiches, 44% chips, 41% burgers, 39% chocolates, 23% ice cream, and 14% cakes.

To read more about KSA students’ and parents’ plans, read the full report here.

Ordering school supplies online and having home delivery is the best way of shopping! – Even after the pandemic, online shopping habits remain dominant. While 89% of consumers in KSA prefer their smartphones to purchase an item online, 51% of them will use online ordering and home delivery while buying school supplies.

Providing a convenient journey leads consumers to prefer online shopping. – When we asked consumers in UAE about their primary reasons for online shopping, 79% of them stated to it is more convenient, 71% said easy to compare prices, 66% find lower prices, 44% think it provides better selection, 31% said for a better experience, and 25% state it is safer.

Consumers discover school supplies online via ads on mobile or tablets. – Regarding the online discovery of the school supplies consumers in Egypt are looking for, 51% prefer to use search engines, 44% prefer the ads they see on their mobile devices or tablets, and 40% online websites. Also, 61% of them would purchase something on their mobile device directly from an advertisement if the product is relevant to them!

Is Back to School Back to Normal?

The survey results in the MENA show us that, overall, parents prefer online shopping for their children this year instead of heading in-store since it is more convenient. Most of them will use their smartphones as their primary devices. Additionally, almost half of consumers will discover school supplies via ads they see on their smartphones. Because people’s lives have mostly returned back to normal, it was predicted that online shopping would decrease somewhat, but it seems smartphones will have a place in consumers’ shopping habits permanently!

About the Survey

Digital Turbine conducted its annual Back to School Survey in its inventory. It was distributed across the MENA region to analyze consumers’ behavior on back-to-school shopping and online shopping preferences. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 65.

By Jean Ortiz-Luis
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