In India retailing is experiencing a positive growth. By 2020 India is projected to be a nearly US$ 32 billion market as estimated by Technopak.
Apart from brick-and-mortar formats, brick-click and click-click formats are also increasingly visible on the Indian retail landscape. Consumer dynamics in India are changing and retailers need to formulate their strategies to deliver value.
The driving force, in this scenario, will be innovation.
Retailers must seek to create a concept that is so different and compelling that it renders competitors irrelevant — and then to implement that concept in such a way that core customers are bonded and the competitors find it hard to copy or react.
Innovative offerings from a variety of industries have attempted to create niches that were protected from competition. Brands such Subway (low fat menu), Paper Boat (non-aerated regional drinks), Titan Juxt (smart watches), Amazon and dozens of others have been able to maintain a distinctive offering that attracts an extremely loyal customer base.
Here are the 5 must-have characteristics to build a strong retail concept:-
MUST HAVE A CLEAR VISION
There must be clarity around the offering, the identity of the target group, and the value proposition. A clear vision will help make that special connection with the target group. Firms with successful new retailing concepts tend to have a strong vision that connects to a core customer group.
ADDRESS A REAL NEED
Developing a new concept is hard enough without the wind at your back. Many new retailers prefer to retain concepts that have benefited from a market force – often based on a visible and meaningful unmet need, an opportunity. Take for example the Apple Store which captured the unmet need to avoid the frustration of installing, using and maintaining computer and entertainment systems. There’s a big difference between sticking with a brand and being stuck with one.
One of the main reasons new retailing concepts fail is execution. Successful execution is the result of appropriate SOPs in place. Fast fashion pioneers like Zara and H&M developed systems to conceive, create, make, and deliver products on a real time basis. Strong systems mean a formidable barrier to competitors as well.
Most successful new retail concepts have gone beyond functional benefits to deliver emotional or self-expressive benefits.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Research and development must be a continuous process. Most successful new retail concepts evolve over time, especially during the early days. Brands must invest on continuous upgradation of our products as the competition is fierce and the speed at which the consumers have accepted you can be the same at the time of replacing you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr Rupal Shah Agarwal is the Chief Strategy Officer at Your Retail. Coach. The views and ideas expressed in this article are her own.