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The Technology Imperative: Converting an Influencer into Enabler

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Retailers in India have invested and have made technology an integral part of their operations, speakers at the Technology Session noted at the South India Retail Summit conference held in Bengaluru on December 10.
Moderated by Bino George, Head of Business Consultant, Infor Indian SubContinent, the panel discussion featured N Gopalakrishnan, Founder, N Stores; Seshu Kumar, Head – Buying and Merchandising, and Rohit Khetan, Head, Marketing and Strategy, Ginesys.
The panelists were unanimous in the observation that converging commerce with technology is the key to enhancing a customer’s shopping experience.
According to Gopalakrishnan, while loyalty programs help in understanding consumer purchase patterns, data derived from retailers in India is not optimally leveraged to understand market shifts. “I know of shoppers who used to walk into stores, but are now calling to order for home deliveries,” he said, referring to changes in consumer behaviour.
Seshu Kumar also noted that until recently, retailers and store owners used to be present in the store on a daily basis in order to minutely understand consumer buying patterns and requirements.
“Traditionally, retailers want flexibility and control,” said Rohit Khetan, whose company Ginesys offers custom technology solutions for retailers to optimise merchandising and operational efficiencies. “Our customers are looking at controlling inventory and bringing certain aspects on to a mobile platform,” he said
Panelists acknowledged the fact that technology can be used in better ways to deeply  understand, pre-empt and service consumer requirements . Data analytics can be optimised to determine which add-ons a consumer could further purchase, and introduce such products on the store shelves, they said.
The first-ever South India Retail Summit was held on December 10 at the ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru. Comprising a day-long conference and exhibition, the event hosted business and operational heads of some of South India’s and the country’s leading retail organisations, consumer brands, retail support companies, shopping centre developers and global consulting firms.

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