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Home   /   SpotLite   /   Retail Trends in the UAE: Expert Predictions

We recently interviewed our Head of Malls and Cinema, Ali Chab, about upcoming retail trends in the UAE. Here’s what he had to say.

What major retail trends can we expect to see in the next five years? 

Experts predict that the major retail trends that will experience growth in the next five years are digital transformation, omnichannel, and interactive retail. Digital transformation is essential for companies to develop innovative solutions that can help them adapt quickly to the changing needs of their customers, increase profitability, and grow market share. Omnichannel retailing allows retailers to interact with their customers through various digital and physical touchpoints. As customers move across these channels, applications and data follow, creating a consistent, on-brand experience from start to finish. Interactive retail technology can personalise the shopper’s journey by providing them with relevant information and creating engaging experiences that encourage repeat visits to the store. 

Retail Trends in the UAE: Ali Chab

What technology will be more prominent in retail in the next 5 – 10 years? 

Big Data Analytics allows retailers to convert massive amounts of data into valuable insights that are easily accessible in real-time. Analytics, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), will enable retailers to customise their marketing mix channels, offers, and recommendations to individual customers. For instance, physical retail is expected to evolve to the point where retailers will use customer data to anticipate their needs before they even enter the store. An example of this future is a sports retailer in the United States that has opened a concept store which adapts its product selection based on the shopping profiles of its members in the area. The store’s offerings could change every two weeks to ensure the shopping experience is highly relevant to its customers. 

What current trends are affecting the retail industry, and how? 

Omnichannel retail, same-day delivery, social commerce, and interactive retail are some examples of significant retail trends. An increase in buy online, pick-up in-store services, mobile point-of-sale systems to allow sales anywhere inside a store and a range of contactless payment options will have data winning the day. It all goes back to simplification, ease of purchase and, most importantly, customer satisfaction, supported by all the trends mentioned above.

What are the benefits of out-of-home advertising in retail spaces? 

OOH advertising in shopping malls and in proximity to retail outlets offers a variety of benefits to brands, including heightened brand awareness, contextually relevant messaging, broader audience reach, increased sales, and improved brand positioning.

By strategically placing their advertising in high-traffic retail areas, brands can increase their visibility and reach more qualitative shoppers. Moreover, with customised messaging, brands can tailor their ads to their target audience’s needs and interests, resulting in a more personalised and engaging shopping experience.

What advice would you give to brands who want to maximise their reach through retail advertising? 

Brands need to understand their customers better, analyse retail behaviour, and be able to communicate effectively via OOH media channels. Dynamic branding is one of the key elements supporting the goal of achieving better results. This advertising medium’s flexibility and creative freedom efficiently speak to the broader customer audience, allowing change or movement based on location, behaviour, demographics, and daypart.

Ali Chab
Head of Malls and Cinema
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