Visa launches “Where You Shop Matters’ initiative to support small businesses in UAE
Visa has launched its regional “Where You Shop Matters” initiative that aims to champion and enable entrepreneurs while encouraging consumers to support small businesses in the UAE. The campaign will help support small businesses through its Visa Small Business Hub, a merchant platform providing tools and information on how to start, run and grow small businesses. The Hub will also feature leading merchants who embody the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses across the UAE.
The findings of its COVID-19 CEMEA Impact Tracker highlights increased anxiety amongst UAE merchants with 89 percent noticing a decrease in average consumer spending during COVID-19. As consumers stay away from all but essential retail, the impact of the pandemic on merchant revenues has been high with 83 percent of those surveyed stating revenues have been negatively impacted.
During the pandemic, many consumers in the UAE have started shopping online for the first time, primarily for essentials. Two-thirds of UAE consumers (68 percent) surveyed say that COVID-19 has led to their first online grocery purchase, while 70 percent have made their first online purchase from pharmacies. Overall, the report points to a shift to online commerce, with cash transactions being replaced by digital payments.
The study also found current conditions have served as a catalyst for online commerce with 10 percent of merchants reporting they have introduced online offerings as a direct result of the pandemic, while the vast majority (91 percent) had an eCommerce presence before the pandemic. As consumers and merchants focus on safety and hygiene, the use of contactless payments has also increased during the crisis with merchants expecting a further 32 percent growth post-COVID-19.
As part of the campaign, Visa will host webinars for small business owners in the UAE, sharing useful insights and tips that are critical to helping them optimize and adapt their business models for now and beyond COVID-19.
Visa will also be working to support small businesses across the country as part of the initiative. These include the likes of Little Majlis, which designs an artisanal collection of homeware, accessories and stationery, and el Grocer, a home-grown e-marketplace that brings local, fresh delivery to their customers’ doors.