Each activity of ours be it personal or business has to be questioned and re-worked post-COVID. Such is the scenario at present and hence; we are going to lay out our thoughts on one such business activity in UAE and i.e. – the Omnichannel Marketing opportunities for retailers post-COVID.
The Natives of the UAE
UAE or the United Arab Emirates, a federation that is made up of seven emirates, is one of the most diversified countries in the world having a population of 9.9 million people among which 7.8 million are expatriates from over 200 nationalities. Therefore, understanding consumer behaviour, their needs and serving such a complex, multi-cultural and multilingual landscape is no less than a challenge. To add more to it, COVID-19 infection appeared and now to reach out to the UAE consumers and serve them in a better and safer way, UAE retailers need to opt for omnichannel marketing strategies keeping the current situation in mind about which we are going to discuss here.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
To understand that first let’s get to know what omnichannel commerce is. It is nothing but a multi-channel approach to providing shoppers with a unified experience across all channels or touchpoints i.e. – both online and offline. It simply means being there wherever your customers are. Therefore, omnichannel marketing is about making use of both digital and/or traditional marketing channels to send out a relevant and unified message, voice, and a brand for your company. It is an approach that adjusts to your customer based on their behaviour through your sales funnel and provide them with an ultimate and seamless personalized shopping experience.
Why Go Omnichannel for the Middle East?
Since the Middle East has a massive cultural difference, there is no surety where your consumers will be. We today are already living in a digital jungle which comprises of Pinterest boards, QR code walls, showrooming, mobile couponing, pop-up shops, mobile apps, Tweet Mirror, Facebook walls, digital circulars, augmented reality, flash sales, and what not? which retailers can make use of to reach out to the consumers who are always up to embracing new technologies and services.
Earlier TV, radio, and newspaper were the only modes of advertising, but now, digital marketing has taken over, and retailers must make the most out of it. With high internet and social media penetration (99%) in the Middle East, internet advertising can do a lot more than you can imagine. In fact, digital ads spend in the MENA region is expected to reach more than $5 billion by 2022. But the interesting fact is that Emiratis are still attached to television more. Though internet usage is over 7 hours daily on an average, the people of MENA spent on an average of 5 hours daily on TV viewing, and now with the lockdown due to COVID-19, TV consumption spiked further. All the above facts show how diverse the people of MENA are in terms of media consumption and on which platforms (Television, Newspaper, Facebook, Instagram, Google Ad Networks, Snapchat, Tik Tok etc.) marketers can find their audience glued in.
In short, omnichannel marketing is a win-win situation for both the consumer as well as the brand as it improves engagement/conversion rates at a higher ROI for brands while customers, get a connected brand experience regardless of the channel they chose to interact with the brand.
Omnichannel Marketing Opportunities UAE Retailers Must Take Interest In
Now, coming to the point, let’s take a look at how UAE retailers can leverage the benefits of omnichannel marketing.
The digitalization Virus
Digitalization is spreading in the world even faster than Coronavirus. Technology has evolved and reached in almost all corners of the world so much that there’s a lot can be done without any effort and, in the present times, when social distancing is necessary due to the fear of COVID-19 infection, virtual marketing is the best and safest way to reach out to your customers. Live video streaming, webinars, Facebook, emails, responsively designed webpages, etc. can prove to be beneficial, especially during the pandemic.
Moreover, with the adoption of 5G, pretty soon, the mobile revolution will be on the next level. And with the UAE being the third most-connected country globally, retailers have a broad scope in omnichannel marketing in UAE.
Rise of eCommerce
Another reason why UAE retailers can benefit from omnichannel marketing is that eCommerce has doubled in the MENA region due to COVID-19 infection and may become a preferred choice of shopping from hereon. Although before pandemic UAE’s eCommerce market was doing fine, the lockdown, restrictions, social distancing and the fear of Coronavirus have altogether increased the demand for eCommerce business in the UAE, which is why retailers are busy getting their online presence developed while other foreign retailers are eyeing to step into the Middle East market. Therefore, due to the change in UAE consumer behaviour, retailers too have to shift to omnichannel marketing if they want to serve UAE consumers during the pandemic, and thereafter. If you are also looking to get started in UAE, choose the best eCommerce Mobile app builder in the UAE which can be right partner for developing a standout solution for you.
UAE is already digitally forward compared to other countries and therefore, you must go an extra mile if you want the brand loyal and luxurious UAE customers to stick to your store. The UAE government has already started investing in AI, and Big Data and hence embracing such new technologies will only benefit you in gaining more consumers via personalization and good ROI due to high conversion rates.
The Tech-Savvy Population
The UAE Millenials are extremely digital-savvy. It has a whopping 98% of social media usage rate having YouTube with 8.65 million users, Facebook (7.77 million), and Instagram (6.68 million). In fact, about 50% of shopping is influenced by YouTube videos/ads. Thus, there is no need to explain any further how UAE retailers can leverage omnichannel marketing to create highly engaging, rich media content across multiple platforms to prompt users to make the purchase.
The economic downfall that Coronavirus has bought in the entire world is undoubtedly massive and will take time to bounce back, but, fortunately, the Middle East has started its journey on the road to recovery. Due to the high per capita income of UAE consumers, the spending growth was positive even during the lockdown. The online purchase of essentials like groceries alone doubled during the quarantine period. Hence, from now onwards, you can expect UAE consumers to be shopping online and therefore can think of omnichannel marketing strategies like targeted and personalized campaigns, loyalty program initiatives, rich and relevant content etc. to deliver an integrated experience through a more effective mix of channels all while maintaining social distancing.