How unified e-commerce can help UAE retailers drive sales this DSS
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How unified e-commerce can help UAE retailers drive sales this Dubai Summer Surprises

How unified e-commerce can help UAE retailers drive sales this Dubai Summer Surprises

Studies show there is a 9 per cent higher increase in growth amongst agile businesses that connected their online, in-app and in-store payment channels compared to those that don’t

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Dubai Summer Surprises

Dubai’s most popular summer retail extravaganza is back. The 25th edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) which runs from July 1 to  September 4, promises plenty of dining, shopping and entertainment across key malls and pop-ups in the city. Dubai residents and visitors are looking forward to competitive discounts and offers, and retailers too are preparing for a busy season ahead.

As people gear up to make big purchases, they will be looking for outstanding customer experiences, including convenience, safety and ease of making transactions. According to a 2022 retail study we conducted, UAE consumers are more likely to shop from retailers that use technology to deliver seamless payments and an enhanced customer experience. This has been noticed by UAE retailers. Hence, a majority (66 per cent) of UAE businesses invested in digitalization to improve operations during the pandemic, 20 per cent higher than the global average. Those who digitised saw a direct impact on their growth rate, as 73 per cent grew by 20 per cent or more and even 88 per cent will continue to grow by 20 per cent or more in the coming year as a result of leveraging technology to link operations with payments and customer experience.

Cashing in on the digital opportunity
Leveraging technology could be a gamechanger for UAE retailers. According to research by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UAE retail sales will grow by 6.6 per cent annually to reach Dhs258bn by 2025. Furthermore, retail e-commerce is expected to reach Dhs29bn during the same period.

Digitally savvy customers are hungry for new experiences – and retailers are increasingly deploying new technologies like click and collect, location-based marketing, voice recognition and AI and IoT to improve the overall customer experience and enable more seamless tracking and collection of items. Connecting operations and customer experience are fundamental for success – not just in terms of sales, but also in operational efficiency. Our studies show that there is a 9 per cent higher increase in growth amongst agile businesses that connected their online, in-app and in-store payment channels compared to those that don’t.

Adopting a ‘unified’ approach for growth
A ‘unified’ approach enables businesses to make more data-driven decisions, which inevitably leads to an improvement in supply chain and inventory management. Our research indicates that an average merchant expects a 64 per cent increase in revenue growth in 2022 from adopting this method.

Businesses in the UAE are on the right track, with retailers that have connected their systems and opportunities with unified commerce enjoying higher growth rates than the worldwide average. In fact, 61 per cent of UAE businesses witnessed an improved customer experience which resulted in a remarkable 54 per cent of growth in sales. This is in large part thanks to the acceleration of digital transformation in the industry, as businesses were forced to streamline operations and connect with customers in new ways during the pandemic.

Now that everyone has moved ahead from global lockdowns and restricted supply chains, a majority of consumers expect retailers to deliver the same cross-channel flexibility they provided during the pandemic. Essentially, linking online, in-app, and in-store payments with a single system – via unified commerce – has proven to enhance both brand resilience and customer satisfaction.

Key takeaways
As Dubai Summer Surprises gets underway, retailers must focus on a few key areas to enhance business performance. They should work to link the online and physical shopping experience and leverage tech to make their loyalty or rewards schemes easier and more effective. For example, Link your loyalty programme to your customer’s payment card or leverage mobile point-of-sale terminals enabling store staff to let customers pay anywhere they want in-store. Unified commerce practices like these will drive targeted decision-making and flexible experiences for customers. They also keep retailers agile since they can add new channels and support new customer journeys quickly where everything is connected. Relying solely on physical stores with helpful staff and an exciting environment alone won’t cut it in the competitive retail environment of the UAE; businesses need to think about the bigger picture to stand out by offering an omnichannel experience.

Sander Maertens is the head of Middle East at Adyen

Read: What’s in store for Dubai Summer Surprises 2022?

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