Warehouse automation and artificial intelligence will have the biggest impact on UAE retail sector
Source: Honeywell , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Sun October 1, 2017 2:37 pm

UAE. Automation technologies and Artificial Intelligence have been recognized as key drivers for the future of the retail industry in the United Arab Emirates, according to a new study led by Honeywell (NYSE: HON), the global software-industrial company.

The research, conducted in partnership with YouGov, shows that in the UAE 83% of retailers believe e-commerce will bring further improvements to the shopping experience, with technology being a key driver behind this view.

According to the study, retailers in the UAE believe warehouse automation (38%) and artificial intelligence (36%) will play the biggest role in shaping the future of their industry.

E-commerce has come a long way in recent years and as a result, the UAE survey results highlighted that four out of five retailers (84%) believe their customers are satisfied with the current delivery options available. This could be attributed to three quarters of retailers (75%) in the UAE stating they currently have the right technology solutions for automation in place. In addition, almost nine out of 10 of UAE retailers (87%) said that they have seen a positive impact on productivity since implementing new technology solutions.

With customers expecting increasingly faster sorting, dispatch and delivery times on their online purchases, the UAE retailers are keen to ensure they are equipped with the right tools at the front and back-end to optimize the customer experience and satisfaction, as well as streamline operations to achieve better bottom-line results.

Edmond Mikhael, general manager, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) commented: “The study shows that new technology is changing the retail sector within the UAE in a positive way. Automated warehouses and artificial intelligence are improving productivity and it is clear that more retailers in the UAE are witnessing the benefits. It is evident that there are still barriers to technology adoption and we believe that more needs to be done in educating retailers on the potential benefits technology can bring to their retail operations.”

“The e-commerce market is still emerging and has many opportunities to grow. Only Honeywell offers a complete portfolio of integrated retail workflow solutions that deliver what retailers need in today’s connected environment. Our products are designed to grow top-line revenue – solutions that extend marketing initiatives to the consumer’s smartphone, integrate with e-commerce, provide greater mobility and data visibility, and most importantly improve the customer experience,” concluded Mikhael. 

The research by Honeywell also highlighted interesting perceptions within the retail industry. In the UAE, 75% of retailers are under the impression that customers expect to receive their online deliveries either the next day or within 2-3 days, and 72% believe that customers are willing to pay extra for quicker delivery.
With customers expecting faster deliveries, retailers are feeling the need to equip themselves with the right solutions to meet this growing demand.

The Honeywell study conducted in partnership with YouGov was designed to understand key challenges to operational efficiency in the retail sector and the impact of these challenges on the overall future direction of the retail environment in the UAE. It was also conducted to understand the current challenges in the use and implementation of technology within the retail industry. 

In the GCC, the e-commerce market is set to quadruple to reach $20bn by 2020*. Whilst consultants Frost & Sullivan believe the e-commerce sector is expected to reach $10 billion in 2018 (compared to $2.5 billion in 2014)**.

*Source: A T Kearney report “Getting in on the GCC e-commerce Game.”
**Source: Frost & Sullivan – Digital Retail: e-commerce in the GCC


Photo Captions:
1. (above)  Edmond Mikhael, General Manager, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions
2. (inset)    For illustrative purposes (File photo)



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