Online food ordering fast catching up in Saudi Arabia

Some 56 percent respondents in a survey conducted in the Kingdom say that they order food online at least once a week. (Shutterstock)

Some 56 percent respondents in a survey conducted in the Kingdom say that they order food online at least once a week.

The YouGov survey revealed that 28 percent of respondents order once a week, 22 percent order two to three times a week, 5 percent order daily, 1 percent order more than once a day and 44 percent order once a month.

Of those, 42% of respondents currently trust digital channels to carry their food orders successfully.

However, the majority (55%) prefer to order their food over the phone. The research revealed that nearly half (49%) of consumers cite lack of confirmation that their order has been placed as the biggest uncertainty they face when ordering food online.

The next most prevalent uncertainties include the status of an order (44%) and hygiene in the kitchen (39%), according to respondents across the country.

When asked what would most influence their decision to order food online, out of the full sample, convenience (68%), quality of food (64%), quality of service and the menu (both 59%) fared as the factors that would most appeal.

Of those that do trust digital channels to order food, mobile apps are the most popular method according to just over a quarter of respondents (26%).

However, the type of app used isn’t favored either way with 13% equally claiming they prefer to use restaurant mobile apps and online delivery service apps. A lesser proportion tend to use websites to make their orders with 8% ordering via restaurant websites and 6% ordering via online delivery service websites. The use of chat services such as BBM or WhatsApp to order food was popular with 2% of respondents.

In fact 89% of respondents claimed cash was their most preferred payment method. In contrast, just 2% claimed they use E-wallet (PayPal), 3% use online bank transfers and 5% use a debit or credit card to complete their online purchases. 1% claim they use other services.

The study was conducted amongst 418 respondents in Saudi Arabia between Dec. 31, 2015 and Jan. 27, 2016.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on March 7, 2016.

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Last Update: 06:12 KSA 09:12 - GMT 06:12
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