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| 21 September, 2017

Saudi e-commerce market to double to $22bln by 2020

Image used for illustrative purpose.
U.S. dollar bills are displayed in Toronto in this posed photo, March 26, 2008.

Image used for illustrative purpose. U.S. dollar bills are displayed in Toronto in this posed photo, March 26, 2008.

REUTERS/Mark Blinch
RIYADH - Saudi construction giant alfanar has joined regional organizations such as Virgin Megastore Middle East and North Africa, the Sharjah Cooperative Society, and MODUL University Dubai in showcasing global best practices in digital marketing to transform the customer experience.

By 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s e-commerce market is set to more than double to $22 billion, the second-highest in the Middle East, according to a recent report by PayFort. The wider Middle East’s e-commerce market is set to more than double to $69 billion. In anticipation, the Chief Marketing Officers are investing in digital marketing initiatives for real-time customer interaction.

At SAP Hybris Customer Engagement Symposium on Wednesday, Middle East innovators exchanged best practices in how to use e-commerce and digital marketing to transform the customer experience.

During the event’s awards ceremony that recognized innovative enterprises, Saudi engineering and construction firm alfanar won "Cloud Champion of the Year," Sharjah Cooperative Society won "Grocery Commerce Excellence," and Virgin Megastore MENA won "Outstanding Omni-Channel."

The $2 billion Saudi Electrical manufacturing and construction firm alfanar uses e-commerce for its 3,000 wholesalers, reducing servicing time by 40 percent and increasing customer satisfaction.

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"Real time customer insights have been a game-changer for alfanar’s business and customers. We can now send technicians with iPad tablets instantly following customer notifications, who have greater insights on our resource planning and management, and can better predict product demand," said Raed Suhil Aleid, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, alfanar Electrical Division.

Marketers agree social media is vital. Hootsuite shows the UAE has the world’s highest social media penetration and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the world’s fastest-growing social media users.

MODUL University Dubai has used digital marketing solutions to transform the student and faculty experience. MODUL University is now looking to integrate SAP Hybris into its educational curriculum.

"Middle East universities are in competition to attract the top student and faculty, and enhance the educational and alumni experience. For a newer university such as MODUL, digital marketing and social media analytics have been the game-changer to easily target and attract the best talent, and connect them with our expanding partner ecosystem," said Zaid Maleh, CEO of DACH Advisory and Managing Partner of MODUL University Dubai.

SAP Hybris solutions enable organizations to rapidly transform across all channels, helping them get closer to their customers and delivering a great experience at every main touch point. With SAP Hybris solutions across commerce, marketing, revenue, sales, and service, CMOs can cut costs and complexity, optimize time, and have the real-time insights to make informed business decisions.

"Middle East market businesses are racing towards the most meaningful and rewarding customer experience. Combining omni-channel commerce with digital marketing, sales, service and revenue management is no longer a luxury. Organizations can compete effectively by meeting their customer needs in a mobile, personalized, and intelligent interaction, anywhere, anytime, and at any touch point in their journey," said Sam Alkharrat, Global Chief Operating Officer for SAP Hybris.

Attendees buzzed about artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things can transform the customer experience, and experienced prototypes from the SAP Hybris Labs.

"SAP Hybris delivers an innovative and integrated end to end, flexible, and scalable front office suite. Using SAP Hybris, marketers, digital officers, and sales leaders can have the same 360-degree rich view of their customers, and compete for their business, while delivering a unique and inspiring set of experiences," added Sam Alkharrat. - SG



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