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UAE retailers to increasingly use AI and VR technology to enhance retail store experience

August 2018

August 14, 2018 | 12:30 | Dubai – KPMG International and The Consumer Goods Forum’s 2018 Global Consumer Executive Top of Mind survey finds that almost half of UAE CEOs in the retail industry intend to start using artificial intelligence (AI) in the next two years, as they are increasingly influenced by technology to enhance the retail store experience for customers.

Global CEOs, however, were less optimistic about the adoption of AI, with only 24 per cent expressing intent to start using AI over the next few years. They were also less confident about the prospects of technology in retail.

Even when it comes to the overarching theme of business transformation, 80 per cent of UAE CEOs said they planned to prioritize it over the next two years versus 57.5 per cent of CEOs globally.

As changing customer behaviours and shifting demographics contribute to sustained margin pressures, shorter strategy cycles and increased expectations from customers, companies are ramping up to embrace digital and AI technologies underpinned by data and analytics.

This shift is helping boost margins, customer centricity, agility and efficiency by replacing or augmenting some human activities with technology, and by shifting technology to the cloud.

The next few years in the UAE may see more brands adopt AI, VR and connected technology to transform the in-store experience and integrate online and offline experiences. “Today’s consumer and retail market is beyond disruption – we are disrupted – and CEOs need to listen to the market, look outward and focus on changing their business,” said Willy Kruh, KPMG Global Chair, Consumer & Retail. “It’s an increasingly difficult tightrope to walk between dealing with both internal and external continuous disruption, but both are key to creating customer-centric organizations. Those companies that cannot authentically connect to customers will get left behind.”

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