18 Feb 2020

Region's Retailers Scoping AI & Big Data Analytics in Bid to Drive Personalized Customer Experiences

Dubai – Retailers across the Middle East and Africa spent $1.95 billion on IT in 2019, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research, consulting, and events firm forecasts this figure will reach $2.04 billion this year and continue rising at a compound annual growth rate of 5.7% over the coming years to reach $2.43 billion in 2023.

"The Middle East retail industry is going through a transition where the digital marketplace is gaining prominence," says Ranjit Rajan, IDC's associate vice president of research for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. "While the bigger players are directing their money and efforts towards building digital platforms, the market's smaller players are exploring new business models in partnership with digital pure plays.

"Regardless of the size or the type of marketplace, the focus is on providing a personalized customer experience that is enabled by data-driven processes and a cloud-based foundation. Technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics are becoming an integral part of the retail value chain –from personalized marketing and seamless digital or physical stores to warehouse and delivery automation."

With many consumers wary that organizations are collecting too much data about them online, IDC believes that 60% of major retailers worldwide will implement a consent-based approach over the next two years, with the aim of maximizing the value of contextualized customer journey personalization and automated conversations. Those retailers that fail to do so may find that they can only leverage anonymous and aggregated data, severely limiting their ability to deliver personalized customer experiences.

Enabling a digital commerce platform will also prove to be an essential step for driving commerce across both old and new business models. Indeed, IDC expects that by 2021 around 80% of retailers worldwide will have implemented such a platform. As a core component of these platforms, artificial intelligence will play a key role in optimizing daily operations and gathering insights for innovation, which in turn will drive significant supply-chain improvements and enable greater levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

These trends and their impact on retail supply chains will be discussed during a dedicated session that will take place at the upcoming IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2020. The annual event has served as a beacon of ICT thought leadership across the region since 2008, and this year's edition will be hosted at Dubai's Atlantis, The Palm on February 26-27 under the theme 'The Race to Reinvent: Connecting to Leaders to Empower Digital Transformation'.

Combining informative presentations, interactive panel discussions, and dedicated focus groups, the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2020 will provide more than 500 senior C-Suite executives from a broad range of industries with the expert guidance required to benchmark the digital transformation progress of their organizations. For more information about the event or to register your interest in attending, please visit www.idcciosummit.com/dubai or contact Sheila Manek at smanek@idc.com   / +971 4 446 3154.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC

IDC in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa

For the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa region, IDC retains a coordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Istanbul, with a regional center in Dubai. Our coverage couples local insight with an international perspective to provide a comprehensive understanding of markets in these dynamic regions. Our market intelligence services are unparalleled in depth, consistency, scope, and accuracy. IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey currently fields over 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region. To learn more about IDC MEA, please visit www.idc.com/mea. You can follow IDC MEA on Twitter at @IDCMEA.

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