Regional omni-channel adoption making definite headway

Today it’s crucial for retailers to offer customers freedom to move around effortlessly be it the company’s storefront, mobile apps, website, catalogue as well as social media by creating an omni-channel existence.

“That’s what we did,” says Allan Chapman, manager – IT, Dubai Duty Free (DDF) and one of the eminent participants at RetailME Connect.  “In 2001 soon after Concourse C opened we brought 0.2% of our sales online from a total figure of $880 million. By the time we launched the new e-commerce site we started clocking 0.8% of sales online from a total of $2 billion annually.”

RetailME speaks to Chapman about the response to DDF’s recently launched click-and-collect facility and the overall state of omni-channel adoption in the region

DDF has recently started a click-and-collect service. Is it clicking with the UAE audience?

Our goal is to delight all our customers passing through the airport. We wanted to give them the option to do shopping even on-the-go. That’s why we launched the click-and-collect service wherein orders can be placed online and picked up from the airport on arrival. Based on the orders, we keep everything ready for passengers to collect it from DDF, giving them extra time to do more shopping on arrival, of course if there’s enough time.

It is just a matter of time before more people start using our click-and-collect option as well as for this service to be well-known through word-of-mouth. The next step for us will be the implementation of beacon technology, making shopping an even more convenient experience for our shoppers.

Is the GCC region slowly becoming omni-channel ready?

This region is definitely getting omni-channel ready. There are quite a few players dabbling in the e-commerce space. Further we also see traditional retailers developing online presence and with time we’ll see more movement.

Do you think a knowledge platform like RetailME Connect is useful?

It’s high time that we develop our knowledge about omni-channel and this will happen by sharing our own learnings at platforms like RetailME Connect where we can share innovative ideas to put into practice. Such platforms also help us to meet our peers and forge partnerships wherever possible. If we have a similar session next year it will be great to recap and see the progress we all make, what lessons we learn and how many of them we actually end up implementing. And probably by then we’ll have more stories to tell.

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