Premier knowledge and networking platform for India’s retail industry, India Retail Forum 2014 has inaugrated on September 17 at Renaissance Hotel, Mumbai. The inaugral session of the two-day event started with Omni-channel Approach in Retail, a Key Enabler for Enhanced Customer Experience.
Omni-channel format in retail is a new order of the day following the rising belief of Indian consumers in click and collect by opting for online purchase across the various stages of shopping process. While speaking at the curtain raiser session, Debashish Mukherjee, Partner, A.T. Kearney shared “E-commerce is breaking traditional myths and apprehensions around online payment is significantly reduced with 56 percent online shoppers pay online today and only 44 percent utilise cash on delivery.”
Concurring with the trend in online retail, Abheek Singhi, Senior Partner and Director, the Boston Consulting Group, Retail Insights and Consumer Insights said “Indians are more advocacy conscious than any other part of the world, particularly by word of mouth.”
However, in an era, where consumer advocacy requires simultaneous working on multiple levers to manage them effectively, Singhi said consumer segmentation on the other hand is becoming irrelevant as the same consumer behave differently irrespective of the same category.
Sharing key trends on the online retailer behaviour, Singhi said 37 percent buy for convenience, 29 percent for variety and only 30 percent for discount, apart from saving time. Also, the rising proportion of increased consumption as average Indian consumes 20 times more than what an Indian born 50 years back will continue to fuel the retail pie, he said.
Stating that it is an understatement to say Indian consumer has changed, Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director of Madison World, said, “He has more money but less time which is the combination that is of critical importance to the marketer and retailer. He is also no more loyal as in the olden days and wants to change for the sake of change. Indian consumer was known for herd mentality but now he wants to be counted as an individual.”
Sharing the success story on e-commerce portal Snapdeal, its co-founder and CEO, Kunal Bahl said, “We only want to make money when our partners make money, whether it is a courier company or service providers or product supplier and hence do not charge to list products on our platform.” While there has been a tectonic shift in the way purchases were happening, the growth of mobile penetration has been a key facilitator to push the rising online purchase, Bahl said.
The second half of the day will witness sessions like adapting to the new landscape and re-drawing the blueprint for the next millennium of retail, building a location platform for business success in retail, seizing the moment for powering the next wave of growth in food and grocery retail and few more.