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Fahad Al Bannai

Connected devices ‘influencing UAE retail market’

DUBAI, September 29, 2016

With consumers in the UAE now owning at least three connected devices at one time, mobile technology is having a profound influence on purchase decisions, said an industry expert citing Google’s latest Connected Consumer Survey.

UAE businesses that do not embrace mobile technology as part of their efforts to enhance the consumer experience risk being sidelined in today’s increasingly competitive environment, added Fahad Al Bannai, CEO of axiom telecom, a leader in the mobile market.

And those who choose not to respond to the market’s insatiable thirst for information, which has been fuelled by the adoption of mobile devices and the country’s rapidly developing digital infrastructure, may find it difficult to both survive and thrive in today’s dynamic business landscape, he added.

“As our lives become increasingly connected to the devices we use on a daily basis, there is a shift in the way we connect to data services and consequently engage with our surroundings,” said Al Bannai.

“Today, UAE consumers live online. It’s the first place they turn to when seeking information or a service – and if your business is not there when they look, that is a lost opportunity. In today’s fast-paced and information-driven world, having a strong online presence is instrumental to the success of every business.”

According to the Google study, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of UAE residents use their smartphones to search for local businesses. In addition, 84 per cent go online at least as often via a smartphone as a computer – a whopping 44 per cent increase since 2012, and more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of residents look to the internet when seeking information.

However, traditional mobile technology is not the only way consumers connect with data services, as wearable and smart devices are also penetrating the way people live and interact.

Jumping five points to rank third, UAE residents are today more connected than the citizens of Norway, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UK, Switzerland and Denmark, thanks to the UAE government efforts to make the country highly advanced in adopting technology.

In GfK’s Connected Consumer Index 2016, the UAE scored 995 points, ranking behind Hong Kong and North America that ranked first and second respectively in the list of 78 countries. Globally, the average score in the index stood at 313, while for the Middle East and Africa region, it was at 127.

“People go online because they want to meet some of their basic universal needs, whether it is interpersonal connection, self-expression, exploration or for the sake of convenience. If brands and retailers manage are able to successfully tap into these personal motivators, they will have an incredible opportunity to reach consumers anytime, anywhere,” Al Bannai concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: retail | Axiom | Mobility | Smartphone |

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