Retailers will continue to embrace big data and analytics in order to create a retail space that can provide customers with a truly bespoke shopping experience. In today’s business landscape, industry experts largely agree that fulfilment, convenience and unique experiences for customers are the primary competitive differentiators for retailers to outperform their peers and increase revenue. On this account, intelligent data management for real-time insights and key marketing decisions have become a strategic imperative, especially amongst retail players.
Based on a report from MicroMarket Monitor, the Middle East big data, business intelligence, and analytics market size is forecasted to reach USD 12.38 billion by 2020, propelled mainly by shift in the mode of deployment to IoT and cloud, emergence of mobile BI and domain-specific solutions, and rise in competition that demands simplified and enhanced data visualization tools. The analysis of these data sets has become essential for companies to stay competitive, invest in innovation, achieve growth, and gain consumer insights.
Gartner’s IT spending forecast reflects similar trends, with the research firm projecting MENA’s IT spending to grow to USD 155 billion this year, a 3.4 percent increase from 2017 and the highest growth in the last three years. The same report revealed that software is projected to exhibit the strongest growth, with a 12.7 percent increase from last year, driven by companies pursuing new functionalities in major back-office systems like supply chain management, enterprise resource planning and customer service. Gartner analysts also said that in 2018, the leading segments driving IT spending growth in the region are banking and securities growing at 3.6 percent, insurance at 2.9 percent and retail at 2.8 percent.
Data capture, management and analytics technologies are among the solutions that will be highlighted in this year’s staging of Smart Stores Expo. The event, scheduled on September 4 – 6 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre, is devoted to showcasing the latest trends, developments and technologies shaping the future of retail. It will focus on four key verticals – build, operate, manage and retail leasing pavilion – catering to all aspects of the retail industry.
Jayaraman Nair, Chairman, VIS Exhibitions and Conferences, the event organizer, said, “Retailers today need to embrace digital transformation to revolutionize the kind of shopping experience they offer. They need to adopt advanced technology platforms to deliver breakthrough value customers cannot find anywhere else.”
“Retailers across the globe are modernizing by embracing technologies such as IoT, AI and analytics. The role of data in retail decision-making will grow exponentially, especially since, as early as now, we are seeing that the experience that the customer has at the store is overtaking product and price as key brand differentiators. This is particularly relevant in UAE retail landscape where there is continued focus on technology initiatives and improvements. Forward-thinking retailers should keep exploring ways to collect and leverage data in their businesses as doing so would translate to enhanced competitive advantage for the long term,” commented Reshmi Raj, Managing Director, InfoQuest, a leading supplier of retail antitheft systems, people counting solutions, RFID and other retail technology solutions to some of the biggest retail brands in the region.
“Customers are now more digitally connected and this all the more puts retailers under pressure to meet their expectations. InfoQuest, recognising that the adoption of data solutions offers significant returns to every enterprise, has launched some innovative retail solutions to meet the demands of our retail clients and help them achieve higher growth,” Reshmi added.