Retail stores are diminishing. Businesses are unable to attract and retain enough customer footfalls in-store. Due to the rise in E-Commerce, customers can now receive convenient, cost-efficient and time-saving services. However, customers are still skeptical regarding the online threats and data privacy issues regarding this channel of shopping. As a result, over 45 percent of shoppers prefer shopping from brick and mortar outlets.
The Middle East market represents huge opportunities for retailers. The launch of new policies and initiatives have played a significant role in supporting entrepreneurial growth and business digitization across the region. This has improved the ‘Ease of Conducting Business’ and further strengthened their position as a global business hub.
Impact of Technological Advancements
Over the past few years, major corporations have invested in fourth industrial revolution technologies to tackle competitors and stay relevant. These developments are playing a vital role in revolutionizing the retail sector as we know it. They enable businesses to approach their corporate vision and missions from a whole new perspective. They also assist in optimizing business operations and managing corporate resources effectively and efficiently.
According to a recent market study, more than 60 percent of the customers prefer shopping from brands with whom they have a long-term relationship. As a result, retail stores must continually monitor customer shopping habits and introduce personalized strategies to satisfy and retain them. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning algorithms and the Internet of Things assist store owners to accurately identify and capitalize on market opportunities to flourish in the industry.
Data Security and Privacy Concerns
Nowadays, customers are concerned about how their personal data is being utilized. According to a recent market study, more than 80 percent of customers prefer businesses where their data is secure. In the day and age of modern technologies, containing online breaches are becoming a day to day struggle. As a result, the need for cybersecurity solutions is on a rise.
Over 60 percent of the customers prefer offline stores when it comes to shopping for high-value products and services. These customers prefer to feel and touch the product to avoid receiving damaged or contradicting goods. Rise in online threats such as frauds have urged online retailers to invest in strategies such as cloud computing to strengthen and secure corporate infrastructure.
Launch of new and improved concepts such as facial recognition, asset tracking, customer journey analytics and digital mirrors have raised customer expectations. In fact, industry experts believe that stores that implement these advancements will witness a rise in footfalls and sales. As a result, store owners must rely on disruptive technologies such as Big Data and Analytics to enhance customer shopping experience and drive conversion rates in-store.
Written By: Rajiv Prasad