The path to total commerce

Dentsu MENA’s Bassam Daher explains the benefits of a total commerce approach

In a world where commerce has become the lifeblood of every brand, we’re living in an era where reaching consumers directly is not just important; it’s crucial. We’ve transitioned into a customer-driven market and the winners in this new era will be those who can break down the barriers between customers and their products, making commerce accessible wherever they are and whenever they desire.

The key to achieving this is adopting a total  commerce approach, integrating it into every facet of our organisations, from strategy to technology, and from branding to operations.

Total commerce is both an aspiration and a framework, offering a way to bolster a brand’s commerce capabilities across various fronts, regardless of industry vertical. It’s about transforming every part of your business, from media and creativity to CRM and supply chain management, into a commerce powerhouse.

The goal is to make your products and services effortlessly ‘shoppable’ in any context, minimising the friction buyers encounter along their journey. But here’s the universal challenge we all face – the competition for a scarce currency: customers’ attention.

Nowadays, customers aren’t just shopping when they visit a store; they’re always shopping. From web and mobile to social media, voice assistants, virtual reality, and even interactive physical stores, the channels for brand-customer interaction are multiplying exponentially, and the trend is accelerating.


Cross-border shopping: Consumers are increasingly exploring international online retailers for a wider range of products, better prices and unique items.

Marketplace growth: E-commerce marketplaces in the GCC are expanding rapidly, giving consumers a wider selection while enabling small and medium-sized brands to reach larger audiences.

Mobile shopping apps: These are the preferred choice, offering personalised recommendations, discounts and convenient payment options. Retailers are responding by improving the user experience of their apps.


Omnichannel retailing: When your audiences are visiting a beautifully designed look book, or reading content on a blog, or taking part in an interactive journey you built to attract them, you want them to be able to purchase your products or services from within the experience, without having to be redirected to a separate shopping environment because that may alienate them.

Localised and platform first content: In this diverse region, personalised marketing is crucial. Tailor your campaigns to match the unique preferences of each country’s consumers. Create rich content libraries to deliver dynamic shopping experiences on both web and mobile interfaces.

Customer experience enhancement: In the convenience economy, customers buy based on experiences. A poor experience not only keeps customers away but also discourages others with bad reviews.

Data analytics: There’s no such thing as too much information about your customers but handling a lot of it can be challenging.

Integrating your CRM system with your online shopping platform is crucial to ensure your commerce data feeds into the bigger picture.


Retail media is gaining traction for three key reasons:

Personalisation: Consumers receive personalised offerings, find what they want and often get enhanced discounts and offers.

Brands’ objectives: Brands are keen on improving their market share, ROI and personalisation efforts.

Retailers’ revenue streams: Retailers are exploring new revenue streams.

Retail media is a win-win for everyone – retailers, brands and consumers. By leveraging it, brands can grow their e-commerce market share, build deeper relationships with online marketplaces, and harness the power of precision targeting, optimising media effectiveness, measuring success and gaining shopper insights.

But, it’s not without its challenges:

Ownership within organisations: Many are restructuring to better manage retail media landscape.

Budget allocation: Onsite digital retail media budgets often come from in-store media budgets, while offsite digital budgets are drawn from digital media budgets.

Varied maturity: Retail media is evolving at different speeds across markets.

Nascent practices and processes: Developing new ways of working is essential, including measurement and framework development.

Dentsu Shop: Empowering retailers for success.

The challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving e-commerce landscape require specific retail media capabilities. Our recently launch retail practice, Dentsu Shop, provides a comprehensive suite of services and capabilities across experience, media, content and data.

Our solution is designed to empower retailers with a comprehensive toolkit to thrive in the ever-evolving retail media landscape. This extends to the domains of retail operations, analytical data and insights, audience management and content creation.

Taking commerce beyond the store and evolving it from a transactional moment into a relationship requires injecting an understanding of human motivations, needs and action into every aspect of how a brand expresses its differentiation, how it generates interest, how it operates its business and how it enables customer experiences through people and technology.

As e-commerce continues to redefine the retail landscape, retailers need to stand ready to unlock their full potential and drive success in the digital age.

By Bassam Daher, Business Director at Dentsu MENA