Omni-channel adoption in the region is few years away


May 18, 2015 | By RetailME Bureau

Today most retailers – globally and regionally – are either leveraging benefits or planning to put in place an effective omni-channel strategy. However, Thameem Rizvon, group IT director, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, feels differently, “Defining any form of innovation from the return on investment perspective is a huge challenge for a traditional retail group like us.”

“That’s not to say that we didn’t try leveraging benefits out of online as a channel. In the past we did rollout an online site for our lingerie brand, which was eventually discontinued. We tried doing the same for our cosmetics brand. That too ended up causing a lot of logistics hassle than adding any real value. In this region it’s a matter of touching and feeling product physically, at least in certain segments that we dabble in. Of course in the west many such businesses are flourishing online. In fact, online accounts for almost 30% of sales for British brand John Lewis.”

RetailME talks to Rizvon, one of the eminent Connect roundtable particpants, about omni-channel preparedness in the region and his views on our first of many-to-come RetailME Connect roundtable knowledge series

Are retailers in this region leveraging benefits from omni-channel?

While it isn’t full-fledged, this region is slowly adopting omni-channel. Retailers are definitely starting to feel the benefits from omni-channel. The journey started off with e-commerce followed by mobile and now social media. It is progressing but there’s still sometime before omni-channel becomes a lucrative revenue stream. Today it’s more about innovation and getting insights into consumer needs. There is still time for it to mature, for customers to get ready for omni-channel and retailers to benefit from it.

Did you like attending our maiden RetailME Connect roundtable?

It was an interesting experience to get together with peers from the industry and learn about what’s happening in the region as well as various levels of omni-channel usage here. It is always very insightful to know about what other retailers are doing as part of their omni-channel strategy and the kind of innovation being introduced in this space.

Do you think knowledge-oriented platforms like RetailME Connect are important to keep a constant dialogue going with the rapidly expanding retail community?

Such platforms are always beneficial from the networking point of view. It is also educative as we get to learn a lot from those who’ve already implemented omni-channel in their business and has derived value from it in addition to getting global examples of omni-channel implementation. That’s probably been the best part of RetailME Connect!

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