Swiss Arabian is redefining the fragrance journey of customers by reimagining perfume development, production and the retail environment, shared CEO Adham Kamal during an exclusive interview with RetailME.
The Middle East fragrance retail market has grown exponentially over the past few years and is expected to hit the $1.24 billion mark between 2022 and 2026, research indicates. Factors driving growth include escalating brand consciousness in the region along with increasing disposable income levels. Add to that the rising influence of social media, wide product availability on e-commerce platforms, coupled with doorstep delivery, faster product launches all leading to a positive outlook for the regional fragrance market.
A home-grown brand that’s leveraging this positive outlook is Swiss Arabian, a business that started in 1974 and continues to evolve on the back of omnichannel innovation.
“In fact, a major milestone for Swiss Arabian is our global partnership with Amazon in 2022,” Kamal pointed out. “As we lay a strong foundation for our digital business, we also teamed up with e-commerce platforms in the region, such as Namshi, noon and Golden Scent. We understand that change is the only constant and at Swiss Arabian we integrate modern technology with our deep understanding of fragrances.”
Redefining fragrance journey across channels
Being mindful of the ever-evolving consumer demand Swiss Arabian has embraced technology and e-commerce while acknowledging the relevance of the physical retail environment. “Brick-and-mortar retail remains relevant especially in our region where malls are an essential part of the social fabric,” Kamal stated.
“We have kick-started the process of re-engineering across brand touchpoints wherein investment and effort are being aligned to enhance every aspect of brand-customer interface. For example, our flagship store in Dubai Mall is modelled around best practices in fragrance retail to create an immersive omnichannel presence.”
From options such as virtual tour, scent finder to anchor features such as immersive pods to experience new fragrances, alongside Swiss Arabian’s rewards programme and many bespoke services seek to turn every visit to the store into a memorable experience.
“We also have an exclusive lounge area for customers who prefer oud and plans are in the pipeline to make the purchase process more meaningful. To offer delightful, personalised experiences, we’ve launched a Luxury Giveaway campaign where customers can order giveaways for their special occasions with personalised engravings,” Kamal added.
Smaller but experience-rich stores or expanding online presence: A balancing act
Swiss Arabian is constantly developing its e-commerce strategy with valuable data to enrich customer experience. “While e-commerce continues to play an important role in our retail offering, localisation is the golden key to unlocking the e-commerce potential for the UAE. We don’t view physical and online shopping experiences as cannibalising one another. In fact, we expect an uptick in phygital shopping experiences, which plays on the strengths of brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We are exploring models that leverage digital innovations in the brick-and-mortar environment,” Kamal stated.
Swiss Arabian’s omnichannel strategy seeks to replicate the immediacy of a physical store in an online environment with the ability to react immediately to a customer’s needs, make accurate real-time suggestions and recommend alternatives that encourage the customer to pick another option or purchase an additional item. The brand also leverages technology solutions to strengthen its back end for inventory optimisation, build a strong CRM to reach customers at their preferred time and platform and do more.
“With an improved access to advanced artificial intelligence (AI) tools we can leverage crucial insights to anticipate what consumers want, improve customer service at the individual level and herald a new hyper-personalisation age. Therefore, as a brand we will further invest in digital transformation in 2023 to lower costs, streamline supply chain and improve customer service,” Kamal added.
The way ahead: Expansion plans
“We are always looking to innovate and meet the needs of our customers. At the product level we launch around six perfumes a year on average as we understand that trends are changing, and customers need novelty all the time. Gone are the days when people would wear just one fragrance for a long time. Nowadays, people prioritise their scent preferences according to their mood which is why we offer a diverse range of products from perfumes to concentrated perfume oils to bukhoor and oud.”
Regional expansion is also on the cards. “We plan to expand in the Saudi, Qatari and Omani markets. Our goal is to cater to younger, tech savvy generations that dominate these markets through a great product assortment, innovation and digital advancements,” he concluded.
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