Elevating the Luxury Retail Experience: Thriving in the Middle East

November 15, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau

Driss Iziki, MEA Operations Director, Cegid

The luxury goods market in the Middle East is projected to reach $20.39 billion by 2029, up from $14.08 billion in 2022. Economic growth in the region, driven by diverse sectors and economic diversification, has led to higher disposable incomes and a growing middle class. This economic upswing has spurred a heightened demand for luxury goods, paving the way for prestigious brands to cater to the sophisticated tastes of Middle Eastern consumers.

Driss Iziki, the MEA Operations Director for Cegid, a global provider of POS, unified commerce and task management solutions, delves deeper into the realm of luxury retail in the region.

Elevate Customer and Employee Engagement

Offline luxury sales are soaring, set to account for 78% of the region’s total sales by 2025, Statista indicates. In this landscape, personalised service isn’t just a preference; it’s a necessity. Store associates bear a hefty responsibility, embodying roles as brand advocates, expert salespeople and relationship builders, all the while upholding store aesthetics and brand standards. Iziki highlighted their vital role, enabled by technology to seamlessly guide customers, offer tailored suggestions and facilitate omnichannel services such as endless aisle, store fulfillment and mobile checkout. “This isn’t merely about boosting sales; it’s about cultivating genuine loyalty.”

“Crucially, retailers must invest in their store associates, equipping them with the necessary tools. An example is PVH Group, whose brands include Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Overloaded associates, juggling multiple technologies, were streamlined through our task management platform, saving four hours weekly – equivalent to £300,000 in labour costs. These reclaimed hours now translate into enhanced customer service on the shop floor,” Iziki added.

A report from Dubai-based Commercial Real Estate Consultants reveals a staggering 133% surge in in-person retail transactions and a remarkable 184% increase in transaction value over the past year. This underscores the vital need for retailers to prioritise both their customers and store associates, ensuring an unparalleled shopping experience while preserving invaluable talent.

Elevate Confidence

The Middle East’s rapid urbanisation and infrastructural growth come hand in hand with amplified security concerns. In this landscape, luxury brands grapple with the constant threat of cybercriminals eyeing their customer data and digital platforms. To counter these threats, rigorous security measures and constant vigilance are crucial. “Many retailers are making the shift from traditional on-premise setups to more secure Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.”

Cegid stands at the forefront of this digital defence, offering global luxury and premium brands a global Point of Sale (POS), unified commerce and task management platform, all hosted on a secure SaaS infrastructure. In collaboration with Microsoft Azure and Cegid’s strategically positioned Points of Delivery (PODS), the company ensures uninterrupted operations for luxury and premium brands globally.

A testament to the effectiveness of our approach is the recent incident involving the Italian brand, Benetton Group. Despite a cyberattack, our security measures ensured that Benetton could continue its in-store operations seamlessly. This success story highlights our commitment to safeguarding the digital and physical presence of luxury retailers in the face of evolving cyber threats,” Iziki shared.

Elevate Profitability

The Middle East, with its diverse customer preferences and high-service expectations, offers a unique blend of opportunities and challenges for luxury brands in the region. To remain competitive, embracing essential omnichannel strategies is a must. More than 55% of the Middle Eastern population is well-versed in the omnichannel shopping experience and favours brands with established omnichannel approaches.

“Cegid partners with luxury brands such as Abu Issa, L’azurde and Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa (AAW), facilitating omnichannel sales. This involves expanding and seizing all sales opportunities through the convergence of offline and online channels, elevating in-store productivity, optimising product availability with real-time inventory management and improving performance monitoring through accessible dashboards for informed decision-making at both headquarters and in-store,” Iziki elaborated.

Cegid excels in supporting global luxury brands, elevating retail experiences, boosting engagement, ensuring robust cybersecurity and driving profitability through omnichannel strategies. With a prestigious portfolio including Abu Issa, L’azurde, GANT, Christian Louboutin and Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa (AAW), Cegid empowers luxury retailers to thrive in a competitive market and elevate their retail experience.

To learn more, visit: https://www.cegid.com/global/solutions/retail-and-distribution/

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