As premium brands shift to the digital arena, the news from the Middle East about the rise of Smartphones is likely to further boost the luxury sector’s fortunes. Telecom and IT research firm, IDC, said in a recent report that the market share of Smartphone shipments to the Middle East has grown from 27 percent in 2013 to 41.9 percent by the end of 2014 – indicating an increase of 83 percent.
The region has more than 100 percent mobile penetration and approximately 60 percent Smartphone penetration, which could indicate its readiness to embrace the digital aspect of luxury brands. According to the IDC, the Smartphone penetration in the GCC countries is set to reach 80 percent by end of 2015 – this is on par with markets such as the United States, Russia and China.
Arab Luxury World, a two-day conference taking place from June 1-2 at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, will aim to help attendees understand the technological dynamics of the luxury sector in the Middle East. Presentations will highlight questions related to the latest technologies, digital marketing and the readiness of brands in the premium spectrum.
Some sessions, lead by senior executives from IT companies and luxury brands, will discuss the different aspects of building bridges between digital and premium brands:
Can digital media replace print?
The investment toward digital media has risen in 2014. With brands spending four to ten percent of their budget on digital advertising, how is media adapting to those new challenges and to this migration? Can digital media kill the double spread? How does the Arab World fare against the trends in the US and Europe?
Technology’s impact on luxury
With Smartwatches, 3D printing and the Internet of Things coming to the market, the luxury industry needs to prepare for all-new categories. What is the current landscape in the region? How will this impact a market that was once driven by novelty? What is the new digital equation in the luxury industry?
The use and abuse of social media
With bloggers and Instagram users becoming tools for brands to promote their products, can social media market luxury brands as effectively as a traditional medium? Is the tool overused and losing an aspect of genuineness?
As the digital infrastructure of the region keeps growing, the bandwidth of the connection allows the deployment of new strategies. Brands are attempting to reproduce the in-store experience through purpose-designed sites. The market can also expect an update on the on the status of e-commerce, advertising, branding and content. What have been the changes over the last 12 months and what are the trends for the region?
E-commerce… still loading
How can the issue of credit card payment limitation in the region be solved? Can the luxury experience be reproduced online? Can other modes of payments be applied to luxury brands?