Beyond the Digital Divide: Evolving Digital Commerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2014
Author: Alexandra de Kerros Boudkov Orlov – CEO Sacha Orloff Group
In the Gulf, and in Saudi Arabia, the trend is an expansionist real estate strategy. Leading groups prefer to cash-in with proven formulas, highly praised in the Middle East, such as malls and western franchises, even if mother-brands operate online and offline.
The Kingdom has largely accepted the principle of the evolution of the shopping Malls, and has adopted by default e-commerce solutions and payments to acquire a large part of the consumer goods and products market, encompassing the full value chain from banking system, retail, airline, hospitality, tourism, transport couriers and telecommunication sectors. Most of these companies are changing their product mix to support margins, focusing on increasing sales, and consolidate customer loyalty to grow sales and introducing co-branded credit cards.
The Millennial Generation represents one of the most important factors in the adoption of e- and m-commerce in the region. This year, Internet penetration in the Kingdom reached 59.25 percent of the population, and has grown by 11 percent since 2013
Now is the time for the Saudi merchants and business groups to be fully immersed in digital activities. As most of the Saudi firms are still not embracing e- or m-commerce; they should tap into the market of mobile owners to drive traffic, increase loyalty and grow sales.
To link technology, innovation and strategy to the Saudi digital sector require acquisition and retention of human talents. Leadership, creativity, expertise, development and execution are key factors to growing success and excellence. It allies company culture to create strong relationship between human forces and firms.
In all the GCC, customer service is weak and investing in training human capital is essential to obtain a level of satisfaction to retain customers. The danger to accept mediocrity is that firms compete with others on the same average level.
The actual organizational moto is to move away from channel focus to customer focus. The business implies data analytics, supply chain optimization, integrated technology and strong customer service. Businesses have to take calculated risks, embrace disruptive changes and empower their talent forces to gain both offline and online customers.
Download the report: http://media.wix.com/ugd/17fd63_f7f73aaa041b46fc8de638b8544402ab.pdf
Sacha Orloff Group in the Media:
Technology Market Corporation
Ministry of Economy Taiwan – Bureau of Foreign Trade