Like every year, the latest edition of GITEX Shoppers 2014 conducted at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) has been a remarkable success, with thousands of visitors visiting the exhibition every day to look and shop latest electronic gadgets for themselves. The eight day event, which started off on 27th of September and operates from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, does not only reflect the euphoria of Dubai‘s shopaholic residents and tourists, but also signifies the strong consumer market sentiments, with which the Emirate is associated at the moment, on a backdrop of an anticipated economic boom, or more precisely Dubai’s next phase of growth.

After doing a preliminary analysis on the event, the present report can be seen as an extension, where in we have captured the event through trade research, market survey of 300 visitors and qualitative interviews of the exhibitors.

Smart Phones and Laptops – The Leaders in the Pack

In the market survey conducted, one out of three purchases made comprised of the Smart Phones. Undoubtedly the euphoria was driven by iPhone 6, for which the craze has been soaring high in the recent past. Our interviews with various exhibitors revealed that iPhone was top on the wish list of almost every visitor. Nevertheless, the high price tag and unavailability associated with the product ensured that there were plenty of takers for other brands as well such as Samsung S5 and HTC One.  Blackberry also launched some exciting products such as Blackberry Z20 (passport) the craze was falling short of the required threshold, which might be because of its slightly large size, as indicated in the research.

Similarly almost one out of four purchases made comprised of a laptop, indicative of the resurgence of penchant towards the device.  Though exact data is not there but there was an apparent craze for all types of laptop- high, mid and low ranges. Further discussion with the respondents revealed that one of the factors,  driving laptop (and other products as well) sales was availability of exciting offers, which involved, heavy discounts, purchase of bundle of products at discounted price, availability of freebies which included exciting free tickets to tablets along with various kinds of exciting prizes and lucky draws.

E Max Offers – Biggest Crowd Puller

As mentioned above, one of the factors which catalyzed towards higher sales has been exciting offers on products.  For instance, the above offer, which  included Nokia Lumia 630 smartphone worth AED 599, Toshiba backpack worth AED 99 and accessories (entertainer booklet, mouse, headset and Norton antivirus) worth AED 447 apart from a guaranteed return flight to one of the 25 destinations across the world on purchase of a Dell Vostro laptop worth AED 3199. The return air ticket  option was also available with various other E-Max products.

Though various other retailers such as Venky, Sharaf DG and Jumbo were offering exciting offers, the air tickets offered by E-Max seemed to be the winner. Visitors were not only excitingly making big purchases to get the flight tickets, but were also keeping no stone unturned in circulating the information in their network.

Besides, regular medium, social media has also been an active ingredient of the marketing campaign of GITEX in terms of viral marketing. For instance the above E-Max was also highly publicized on Facebook feeds of various UAE based newspapers, thereby adding further impetus. The various discount offers on social media, primarily Facebook, resulted in the popular trend of individuals tagging their friends and generate free awareness.

Other than offers and social media, one of the factors, which have further added impetus to the GITEX Shoppers event has been the upcoming Eid event, wherein many individuals returning to their home countries for Eid Holidays opted for bundle offers as GITEX event provided an economical alternative for buying gifts for their near and dear ones.

Hence, in a nutshell it could be concluded that the given GITEX has been a big success, with over 35,000 products put on showcase. Besides, being a successful event in itself, GITEX also successfully reflect the powerful purchasing power of UAE, which is driven by higher per capita income, rising economy, cosmopolitan outlook and young demographics. The event is also a symbolic representation of the rising power of social media and viral marketing, which are becoming instrumental in driving marketing campaigns in the modern era.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com
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