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Top priorities for consumer executives in the UAE: Growth, consumer trust and omni channel strategy and technology

UAE. 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% of UAE consumer companies reported that income had increased by more than 10% in 2014 – far outstripping the global trend where only 15% had seen similar growth. Perhaps recognizing 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 1-2 years – compared to a global response of just three-quarters.

Anurag Bajpai, a partner with 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 recognized as a challenge. At the same time, 70% of UAE respondents feel that protecting customer and company data is going to be important to company success over the next 24 months.”

Willy Kruh, the global chairman of KPMG’s consumer markets practice said:  “With topline expansion and growth being this year’s top priority as well as the top challenge, the survey data clearly shows that a new battleground is emerging—how to understand and win over customers. 

“There are some hard choices to be made to build or maintain a competitive advantage. Companies must be aware of – and proactively address – potential disruptors—the optimal time is usually long before you think it’s the optimal time.”

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).

To see the survey, please click here

Photo Caption: Anurag Bajpai, Partner with KPMG Lower Gulf and Leader of its retail practice

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