The day two of India Retail Forum 2014 witnessed plethora of discussions on many significant topics and one of them was on today’s digital natives. Today the consumer and shoppers are getting younger and tech mature. Hence, how retailers can keep up with the notion of what’s cool and what’s in.
The session started with the presentation by Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director-ecommerce, Classifieds and media, google. He spoke about the evolution of ecommerce in our country.
He mentioned that the online booking started initially in the year 2007-08 where online booking of books and flights started. In 2010 online booking of music and recharges took place. In 2011, apparel booking started and purchase of baby products and electronics started in the year 2012. In 2013 the booking of electronics started online and now in 2014 the purchase of cars and housing has started now.
He mentioned that Tata housing today sells at least one apartment online per day and GeoSF sell car’s online. There were exclusive launches in the online world – like Flipkart launched Moto phones, Amazon launched X-box, Myntra launched HRX. He said the consumers buy online not because of low prices but because of range, accessibility and convenience.
Devendra Chawla, CEO Food Bazaar was the moderator of this session. He asked a common question to all the speakers. His question was- “What change have you seen in your business due to the technology which has come in?”
Sanjeev Agrawal, MD, Skechers answered- “The focus is on the software aspect. What’s happening to the consumer is that the consumer has become far more impulsive, his disposable income has increased and thus his wants. Thus, brands need to plan their assortment accordingly now. The new generation of customer expects a very high level of customer service and if its not fulfilled then the complaints are hammered across social media.
Sanjay Karwa replied to this saying “we are the only organized music retailer which is still alive in the country. The consumption of the customer has grown multifold but there is a change in the medium. The consumer today wants everything there at his place, at his convenience and doesn’t wants to pay for this service.”
Priti Mehta, Founder and Director of Omvd was asked the question that how do they see to capture the young consumerws below the age of 25. To this she replied- “the bridge between the producer and consumer has reduced and the process has become PROSUMER. There is more interaction between the two parties today. The 4 P’s have become irrelevant as the customer wants their own product, at their price and their place.
Vinay Niar, Coca-Cola added that the change has occurred as more consumers are young today. The concept of communication and role of communication has changed the decision making process. The desire of the young consumer is to co-create their own product. Sanjay Karwa commented that Planet m has come up with a new concept of CatchY,which is catch the young customers. Earlier 70% of their floor space was dedicated to entertainment. Now they have reduced it to 25%. Now they have four verticals – Telecom Verticle, Lifestyle Verticle, Gaming Verticle and Toys Verticle.
The session concluded with the message that the future of retail would be a bix of offline and online retail.