LivingSocial records high growth in UAE

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LivingSocial, which recently acquired Dubais GoNabit, has said online buyers in the UAE have increased from 30 to 50 per cent, month-on-month basis. The social deals website said online registration is increasing day by day with many buyers shopping online for the first time.

The company recently launched its new mobile application for iPad and Android users in the UAE. LivingSocial said the application launch has contributed to an increase in visitors accessing the website through mobiles.

Dan Stuart, MD, LivingSocial Middle East, said: This is really a good and positive movement forward, given that we just launched the application last week. The convenience it offers today, one can shop from anywhere with the mobile connectivity, be it sitting in a coffee shop or anywhere else.

He also added: With the expectation of ordering food and apparels, which you have to try on, most other goods can be purchased without being present in shop. And with the rapid technological development, such as the use of Microsofts Kinect motion technology, even this could change.

GONABIT-LIVINGSOCIAL DEAL
The acquisition took place in June and has proven very successful so far due to an increase in online buying in the country.GoNabit is a leading group-buying company in UAE and other Middle East Countries which was started in January 2010 by Dan Stuart and Sohrab Jahanbani. It is being supported and invested by Bayt.com, the leading job site in Middle East.

Our acquisition by LivingSocial has really strengthened our ability and resolve to continue being the best group buying in the Middle East region. Both Stuart and I will remain in our respective roles for the foreseeable future and all GoNabit staff has been retained,” said Sohrab Jahanbani, GoNabit CEO.

GoNabit has its local market offices in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo and Beirut. It also has some great deals which cater to specific interest of buyers in Middle East.

RISE OF MOBILE SHOPPING
As LivingSocial has come up with mobile shopping application, it seems that the online shopping trend is growing tremendously.
According to the TNS Global research, about 29 percent of people living in the UAE have purchased goods through smarthphones compared to 26 percent of PC users.

James Fergusson, MD of TNS said: Here in UAE, 31 per cent of consumers access the Internet via mobile phones and that has increased in the 12 months from 2010-2011.

Stephen Leeds, e-Business Leader for Visa Middle East, said: Online shopping is still in its infancy in the region but all the signs are there that it will continue to grow, such as government, commitment, retailer investment. Young population is open to trying new technologies and innovations.

The inaugural report of GCC that the total e-Commerce sales in UAE has grown for about $2 billion and is expected to grow $5 billion till the end of 2011.

Sources: Arabcrunch.com, The National, Khaleej Times

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