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KPMG: UAE consumer firms prioritises omni-channel strategies

Anurag Bajpai - KPMG
Anurag Bajpai, Partner, KPMG Lower Gulf

KPMG’s third annual ‘Top of Mind’ consumer survey, in conjunction with the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), has found that growth and top-line expansion, consumer trust and a sound omni-channel strategy are the top priorities for consumer company executives – both globally and in the UAE.

KPMG and CGF surveyed close to 550 senior consumer, manufacturing and retail executives globally to gain insight into the economy, the impact of competition, and critical disrupters for the consumer industry. For the first time, respondents to the survey included key decision makers from consumer businesses based in the UAE.

47 per cent of UAE consumer companies reported that income had increased by more than 10 per cent in 2014 – far outstripping the global trend where only 15 per cent had seen similar growth. Perhaps recognising this, all of the UAE respondents said that expansion and top line growth are going to be critically or very important to success over the next one to two years – compared to a global response of just three-quarters.

Anurag Bajpai, Partner, KPMG Lower Gulf and the leader of its retail practice, said, “While growth and expansion have traditionally been top three issues for senior management, executives globally and in the UAE have identified this as their top focus for 2015. The focus on omni-channel echoes the exceptionally strong annual growth in e-commerce globally, as well as the increased role of the internet throughout the customer’s path to purchase and the supply chain. However, delivering on omni-channel potential is widely recognised as a challenge. At the same time, 70 per cent of UAE respondents feel that protecting customer and company data is going to be important to company success over the next 24 months.”

Having established that top line growth is a – if not the – key goal for almost everyone in the industry, the survey identifies six specific levers that are likely to exert the most influence on a company’s ability to grow revenue – grouped as drivers (consumer trust and omni-channel), enablers (consumer knowledge and supply chain), and derailers (data security and sustainability and corporate social responsibility).

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