Wholesale, fashion chiefs turn The Retail Summit spotlight on technology transforming shopping experiences for new age customers
Dubai, UAE, 9 January 2019: AI-powered shop assistants know what you want to buy before you do, and have an innate sense of how to meet customer needs.
In the age of Artificial
Intelligence, anything is possible as retailers eagerly embrace new technology
to create a shopping experience driven by the demands of millennials and Gen Z
“Today’s shoppers are
scrolling, not strolling,” says Chieh Huang, CEO of Boxed, the American online
and mobile membership-free wholesale retailer.
“On-the-go millennials and
Gen Z consumers are all about convenient shopping experiences. To meet the
needs of younger, tech-savvy shoppers, retailers are investing in channels that
make shopping feel less like a chore.”
Huang will be among more
than 60 speakers descending on Dubai next month for The Retail Summit, an
important new event bringing together 600 international retailers from every
Taking place at Atlantis,
The Palm from 13-14 February, and held in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of
Commerce & Industry and Meydan One, the event is being launched in response
to the digital disruption and change in consumer expectations that are
While major organisations
may dominate the retail revolution, Huang says small operators will not be far
behind. “As large retailers work on improving their digital experiences for
shoppers, we’re going to see a heavy investment in developing proprietary
technology,” he says. “The biggest impact to retail business will be the shift
in the perception of retailers as technology companies.”
“As retailers create new
software to accelerate and innovate their services, they’ll branch out to
license their technology to other companies— similar to what we’ve seen with
the Amazon Web Service (AWS) model.
“Many regional and smaller
grocers will license software and fulfilment technology from digital-first
companies to support their burgeoning e-commerce capabilities.
“From one-click ordering on
mobile apps, to subscription services and predictive reordering, to shoppable
Instagram posts, retailers are making it easier to capture consumer attention.
The challenge lies in striking a balance between maintaining your identity as a
retailer and establishing a profitable technology business.”
With millennials and Gen Z
set to make up the majority of purchasing power, another top speaker at The
Retail Summit says it’s vital to recognise that the two groups have distinct
“First, they really are different
generations,” emphasises Steve Evans, Senior Vice President of American fashion
designer Fossil. “Millennials served as pioneer users of technology while Gen
Zs were born with it.
“We see Millennials more
focused on digital-only experiences and they are often looking to discover
what’s ‘next’. Gen Zs are clear and comfortable with their personal suite
of technology. Both expect to be communicated with in a customized and personal
Evans says technology has
enhanced the science of data collection and predictive analytics, creating a
real opportunity to develop the art of both data collection and insights.
He adds: “In the end, it
all comes down to understanding the consumer’s journey in order to best serve
their needs and this is happening in real time, which is a major shift in how
we have historically worked.
“Here’s what hasn’t changed
– consumers care about getting a great product that is right for them. They
also expect a great experience, whether it’s through the right digital ads,
in-store experiences or the selection of products offered to them.”
speakers attending The Retail Summit 2019 in Dubai include billionaire
entrepreneur and Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, H.E. Hamad Buamim,
President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and beauty
powerhouse Huda Kattan, founder and CEO of Huda Beauty, one of the most
successful and fastest growing new brands to be launched this decade.
With a packed
agenda featuring inspiring topics of discussion across the two-day Summit,
other industry heavyweights confirmed to participate include:
Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing Officer, The LEGO Group
Viglione, CEO, Moleskine
Co-founder and Global President, Huda Beauty
Scocchia, CEO, Kiko Milano
The Retail Summit is
supported by event partners Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan
One; Silver partners: Black Jack, CBRE, KPMG, Openbravo, SAP, Umdasch and
Xpandretail; Strategic partners: BJSS, Cegid, Lava Moments and Nook.