Digital experience for retailers in Saudi Arabia

I usually spend at least 12 hours a month doing my groceries. The experience I go through is always different and gets affected by several factors. Depending on the day of the week, it differs, weekend vs. week days , and that decides if stores are crowded or not. Despite the fact that I have installed an app , on my Nokia Lumia , to manage my shopping/ groceries list , yet I still go back home with stuff missing from the list. I did my part by installing that App but still the experience tells more on how I go through the aisles and interact with the surroundings…

I had this experience as an eye opener for the consumers’ digital experience for retail industry in Saudi Arabia. This covered the topic for my speech at Inretailsummit 2013 Saudi Arabia ..

No one can argue that Retailers spend huge money on pulling consumers to their premises to generate sales, but how do they do it !

“ Is your marketing so useful, people would pay for it ? ”  Jay Baer

Already have gone the time when we used to just go to the store and buy this or that brand we feel good about, then hit the cashier. Now it is different, as we have different understanding around brands and consumption patterns, not only because of the way we are exposed to different factors of purchase decision influence but also, we are starting to shy away from brands broadcasting their messages using mainly TV and other traditional channels. I trust my friends and brothers recommendations, you trust your wife, she trusts her boyfriend’s, and they trust their school peers. We grow to learn something different about trust, as we have different thoughts on how things work and how should we react towards them.

Many businesses have lost their grip on the market because they have continued doing the same traditional use of communication channels, while the consumers, the market, and the technology have changed a lot.

Brian Solis debriefs this in this video END of Business

TV Was King

new marketing approach
Emergence of new marketing approaches

NOW is the time for change. Retailers in Saudi Arabia still enjoy great deal of business flow and traffic, as the country enjoys a booming economy and ranks high in terms of consumers’ purchase power. High internet penetration, mobile and internet use/day is high too, but only retailers that respond quickly to these dynamics will be closer to consumers and engage better.

BRIAN SOLIOS “New Media is a matter of Digital Darwinism affecting any and all forms of marketing and service. In the world of democratized influence, businesses must endure a perpetual survival of the fittest. engage or die!”



Paradox of choice , consumers live this delimma today
Paradoix of choice , consumers today live this delimma

Low fat or whole milk, digestive or regular and different others are representing the diaries’ shelves today. Consumers are overwhelmed by the choices they have, so how do they decide? TV, Radio or Newspapers! What about twitter and FB feeds ! maybe Whatsapps family / friends’ groups! Are the branding efforts on the shelf enough, as the consumer is holding his/her mobile on one hand while pushing the shopping cart with the other? He/she shoots pictures, post , share, ask, check and search things while shopping.. it is crazy different than it used to be, but this is how it works now.

A New business model is emerging… Adapt or Die !


Social Media is dominating

     Now it is the time of integrated world, as everything is connected, Instagram my meal, tweet this bad customer service at XYZ, share my new sunglasses on Facebook. It is all about activities consumers do every day. Social and mobile are shaping the daily life patterns of people around the world. Everybody talks about how big is social arena today, and how it is reshaping the marketing activities businesses execute every day.

So who can rise above the noise in this cluttered world of different communication channels! Should we go Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Keek, why not all because the competition is everywhere! Here comes the need for a careful social media channels and content strategy to control where, how and what goes in each channel , as the question is not about when to do what.. Because the time is NOW! I mean this moment this very second..

As David Meerman Scott always recommends “ Harnessing the Real Time”

What consumers like to hear , read or watch in videos online! Sales push messages, useless dull ads, or how good the brand is! They will engage share and react if they like the story told. So what story are retailers telling? Boring ones! Better not as people have many different ready options online. So are the retailer’s products social? Do they talk to influencers and advocates who love their brand! How do brands appreciate what their clients do for them?

Now is the time when marketing talks to consumers everywhere and anytime as people are connected and mobile. Not enough to send a thank you follow up email after they buy, but also keep the relation open and warm for more stories to discuss and share, keep them hooked for more!


No need to state the numbers for Saudi as they are shockingly big to miss for marketers. What is important to highlight here is how do you look on Mobile screens, as a retailer!

mobile experience for retailers in saudi arabia
some retailers dont get it , we are in the age of mobile..!

Screen shots for some retailers websites experience on mobile

Pleasant experience for consumers!   NO, it is definitely not and will bring negative in different forms and ways. How is the visitor experience on the retailer’s website, do they easily find what they want?

Today consumers look for things while they are on their way to the store , inside the store , picture goods to ask their connected mobile friends online, share other stuff while pushing their shopping carts inside the store, why not give them more info about your products!

I gave you my number, Address, email and my favourite color , WHY don’t you love me?

The consumers have signed up for newsletters and the retailer has their info in the loyalty Database , CRM or offers Database.. why still SPAM them with irrelevant content/offers , just LOVE them more and be relevant!

Consumers are already online and engaged, so be closer then love them more or step down.

عندك تعليق ؟

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.