A recent research indicates that the $55 billion worth current UAE retail industry will rise up to $63.8billion by 2023. For the last few years, UAE managed to be in the position of one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world. But one of the exciting thing being noticed in the recent times is the convergence of offline and online in the retail industry.  

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of the Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment (DFRE), said the retail industry is in a face of huge transformation and also pointed out some of the main elements that are shaping the future of retail. The first and the important element for transformation in the retail market he pointed out was the advancement in technology available today for both retailers and consumers

Technology Advancement and their role in the Offline Retail Market

The fourth industrial revolution (also called the 4IR or Industry 4.0) is making a significant impact in the future of UAE, the way of living, and also impact on almost every business sector. It’s a fusion of advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other technologies that blur the boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological worlds.

In the present situation technology advancements have made a huge gap between the online and offline retail services. Online services have the upper hand because of their ability to know customer needs and respond immediately to customers changing demands and though increase customer satisfaction. To stand ahead on these situations and to bring more customers to their offline stores. Shopping mall operators and retailers want to come up with the latest technology advancement to their shops to get customer attraction and pick out customer needs and improve the customer shopping experience.

Let’s check some of the exciting examples of UAE Digital mall and retail shops that have made use of technology to give a new shopping experience

1. Personalize the Shopping Experience with AI

Intouch, an Ireland-based retail personalization platform have developed An AI integrated in-store personalization platform for grocery, and other retailers. The platform helps retailers in influencing customer’s buying decisions by providing automated product recommendations in real-time within the store that increase sales and drive loyalty

2. Digital Screen to raise Brand Awareness.

Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch’s brand used a giant digital screen on their new outlet at Mall of the Emirates. They cover their new outlet storefront with a giant digital wall display of Californian beachfront that gives a perfect brand awareness about what lies inside the store.in a darkish atmosphere, created an exclusive club environment that fosters consumers’ curiosity. The store has encountered significant traffic and provided a new in-store digital experience to the customers

3. Augmented shopping – Connecting Customers using Augmented Reality

The Galleria Mall in Abu Dhabi created a pop-up store, which offers a new digital shopping experience to its customers by using augmented reality. Customers were able to virtually try different clothing and accessories of different luxury brands in an innovative dressing-room. This helps both customers and retailers to gather more information about the customer’s behaviour and the customers get a sense of what fits them more. Retailers can also make use of this customer data to create a personalized online marketing strategy

4. Blockchain Security and Acceptance of Cryptocurrency as Payment

Mall. Global – This is a first true hybrid model of offline store and e-commerce experience in the regions wherein they are offering combination of online experience and on ground experience to customers. They have deployed security of block chain to supply source authentication and are accepting leading cryptocurrencies for payment transactions. This is a strong and significant move in retail sector where you see the merging of multiple technologies for benefit of customer as well as business.  

As we have seen, UAE as the fastest-growing e-commerce market and their fourth industrial revolution strategy have already made them the global leaders, it’s obvious that more retailers will join the race of integrating offline stores too with modern technologies  

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