India’s largest and the only knowledge sharing platform for the Retail Real Estate industry, India Shopping Centre Forum concluded with an effervescent, invigorating and futuristic session on ‘Experiential retail in the shopping centres’. The session was moderated by ISCF 2015 Chairman, S Raghunandhan and the eminent panelists included Megha Ajwani, Head-Strategic Alliances, Snapdeal.com, Sumat Chopra, Head-E-commerce, Godrej Nature’s Basket and Arun Sirdeshmukh, Co-Founder&CEO, Fashionara.com.
ISCF Chairman Raghunandhan set the tone by stating that, “Lot of online players who started with the online retailing business have today started launching their brick and mortar stores and experiential centres. This is basically to give a touch and feel experience to their customers. This trend was started at internationally, when some of the online players started opening the physical store format also, now, even Indian e-commerce guys are doing the same thing.”
Raghunandhan then asked the panelists on how they analyse customer needs and what they are doing to tab customers buying pattern. Replying to Raghunandhan, Ajwani, shared that, “At Snapdeal, we work very closely with our sellers making them aware of the consumer buying pattern for this we do predictive analysis and data mining of customers buying behaviour. We also keep a tab on that what customers buy, at which price point they are more comfortable, at what time they buy, in what cases they abandon carts, etc. Without being intrusive we send subtle reminders to them of the same.”
Talking on data mining, Chopra, said, “We at Godrej Nature’s basket want to cater holistically to the needs of our customers. There is a full time data person working with us, whose job is to mine the customer data and with the help of refined data we can cater to our customer in a better way.”
Adding further, Chopra, said, “We have deployed technology to help us cater the needs of the customers, from the minute they enter our store, he said, We are deploying Beacon technology in our stores, which can access the basic information of the person from their cellphone and the moment the customer enters the store, we get their data and so we can offer them the personalised services based on their previous buying patterns.”
Asserting this point Sirdeshmukh said, “In e-commerce, even while a person is doing webrooming you can gauge and know what they are looking at and you can suggest your customer the products they are looking for, but in brick and mortar format till the time a person doesn’t reach the billing counter and shows his loyalty card, retailer doesn’t know that this person is my loyal customer and whether I know about his preferences or not. So, showrooming has to up the ante to reach the sophistication of webrooming. Retailers can give loyalty cards to customers that can be presented at the entry point itself, so that customers needs can be catered as soon as he enters the store.”
Summing up the session in his concluding remarks Raghunandhan said, “Click & Collect and experiential centres are getting morphed together and these are the formats shopping centre developers can pitch to be in their malls for creating a differentiating factor for the mall.”