Conversion Rates in Saudi Arabia are 5 days late
by Guido Schild
It is common retail sense conversion rates vary, from location to location. A store in a train station, with mainly commuters in a rushing „need-to shop-mode“, likely has higher conversion rates (CR) than the same store at an airport, with mainly tourist in „waiting to board mode“. Good, if you know the „appropriate“ store KPI for your locations.
With the internationalization retailers‘ knowledge of „appropriate“ performances became broader. In China, where window shopping is no.1 leisure activity, we find a high share of store traffic with low income, and conversion rates of 5% can be best practice. In Saudi Arabia best practice CR tends to be higher; but for not for income reasons. The country is home to 500+ international retail stores, but still has its way to become a modern consumer society. Store clerks were 100% male until recently, so women changing rooms were not appropriate. In consequence store shopping is rather a pre-selection process, similar to filling an internet basket with many choices: Women postpone the „buy“ to the time they try at home, retailers know their conversion rates with 5 days delay, when items have returned/not returned.
High conversion & low return rates are favoured by another local specialty: Women are still not allowed to drive, its needs a husband to join the return trip. And in this men are no different to their Western counterparts: One shopping trip is more than enough, it doesn’t need a return trip on top.