RetailME Connect – Decoding the omnichannel formula

The only retail business publication in the Middle East, Images RetailME is undoubtedly the most reliable source offering crucial information/updates on the retail industry – regional and global. In order to serve as a knowledge platform for one of the most dynamic industries worldwide – retail – Images Multimedia constantly works towards offering enriched content and up-to-date information through various mediums including print, digital and social media in addition to hosting knowledge-oriented events all-year round.

Our newest endeavour in this regard, RetailME Connect, is a prestigious retail roundtable knowledge series. The first edition of RetailME Connect is scheduled to be held in April this year. The theme for the maiden roundtable series is “Decoding the omnichannel formula,” which will focus on the in-depth analysis of a channel that’s becoming increasingly dominant within the retail landscape.

Some of our other highly successful events include Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) and Images RetailME Awards. While in its fourth year MRF serves as a retail knowledge platform for the largest gathering of ideas, innovations, concepts and minds in the business of retailing, the annual Images RetailME Awards recognises top performing retailers and best retail practices in the industry, rewarding excellence across a range of retail categories.

Retail ME Connect-Mailer-Narain


3.00 – 3.30 pm: Registration & refreshments


3.35 – 3.40 pm: Opening address


3.40 – 4.00 pm: Creating an inter-connected ecosystem

Today it’s crucial for retailers to offer customers freedom to move around effortlessly around the company’s storefront, mobile apps, website, catalogue as well as social media; to put it simply, create an omnichannel existence. But it’s important to know the right omnichannel recipe to cook up a wow customer experience.


For example, click and collect is a medium that’s widely used in the West. Does it have similar opportunity for retail in the Middle East? What challenges do home delivery and click and collect face in the Middle East?


4.00 – 4.30 pm: Converting raw data into actionable insights

Integrating online and offline analytics is key. Retailers work towards putting in place an integrated solution to optimise business growth, ensuring key data points do not remain in silo. Having a synchronised product list online and in-store will help retailers gauge consumer insights in a better manner, while also understanding product categories that work well for both channels.


The Middle East has the opportunity to be the customer experience example for the world of retail. In doing it’s important to explore ways to leverage technology in a big way. For example, examine if RFID can deliver on its promises in the warehouse as well as in-store.


4.30 – 5.00 pm: Leveraging social metrics to build brand perception, generate sales

Are you in a relationship with your customers? Are you talking to your customer 24/7 in their language? Why are so many retailers moving to provide guest Wi-Fi for customers? That’s because retailers are keen to constantly have a dialogue with consumers. And one of the best ways to do this is by making good use of social media, which today has a powerful impact, changing brand perception positively and negatively. Further retailers can easily get a 360 degree view of consumers through topics resonating in social media, using embedded analytics in a shopper journey – from window to actual purchase.


5.00 – 5.20 pm: Refreshments break


5.20 – 5.50 pm: Five ‘Rs’ of omnichannel

It’s very important to offer the right product at the right time to the right audience at the right price thereby driving right profit. Thus, to maximise business profits it’s critical to harness technology and information, leveraging omnichannel optimally to meet consumer needs.


5.50 – 6.20 pm: Omnichannel case studies


6.20 – 6.55 pm: Open discussion


6.55 – 7.00 pm: Closing remarks


7.00 pm: Networking dinner

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Connecting ideas and insights for innovative action


It’s the beginning of yet another exciting journey for RetailME – the launch of our newest endeavour RetailME Connect, a roundtable knowledge series to connect ideas and partners in retail. The first edition was held on April 20 at Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City; the focus being on “Decoding the Omni-channel Formula.”

While launching of the new platform, Amitabh Taneja, chairman and managing director of the Images Group, observes, “Our goal is to bring together the brightest minds of the Middle East retail industry.” And that we did!! The maiden roundtable knowledge series was moderated by Narain Jashanmal, head of direct response advertising – MENA for Facebook.

The list of participants in the roundtable reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the most eminent names in the regional retail industry. It included Mark Thomson, director of retail & hospitality – EMEA, Zebra Technologies; Sumit Bathla, GM group IT, Al-Futtaim Technologies; Sammar Farooqi, VP – IT-planning & projects, Al Tayer Group; Jennie Wright, head of digital experience, du; Ronaldo Mouchawar, founder,; Allan Chapman, manager – IT, Dubai Duty Free; V Suresh, CIO, Jumbo Electronics Co Ltd; Thameem Rizvon, group IT director, Kamal O sman Jamjoom Group; Rishi Kishor Gupta, category head – IT, office automation & gaming, Sharaf DG; Abdulkhader Pattilath, IT director of Kuwait-based LSH Holding; Hozefa Saylawala, regional sales director, Zebra Technologies; Vijay Kumar, regional IT manager, Abu Dhabi-based Emke Group; and Shahnawaz Khan, marketing manager and Collette Shannon, corporate communications manager, Spinneys Abu Dhabi.

Those who attended the roundtable included, among others Stephanie-Alexandra Chartier, director – marketing, McArthur+Company; Abhik Gupta, managing director, CPG, Nielsen MENAP; Mary Ghobrial, chief strategy and business development officer,; Thej John Roy, senior operations manager, Leisure Entertainment Services; Patrick Fallman, head of projects, Umdasch; Rajesh Jiandani, regional director – MEA, ETP international; Vasu Vemuganti, business development manager, Westcon; Tarek El Goweiny, CEO, NCC Group; Rafiq Kumar Shafi, practice head – retail consulting ME, Wipro Technologies; and Laetitia Araujo, senior regional audience manager, Distree Events.