Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries says that the company is set to create a differentiated ‘omni-commerce’ model for its retail business with the integration of advanced infrastructure built by its telecom venture Jio and physical retail presence.
In the annual report, RIL said the online-offline integration will deliver superior value for consumers.
“We are augmenting to reach customers through online-offline product assortment across trade channels. These efforts in building a seamless interface and will deliver superior value proposition for our customers,” Ambani said in a letter to RIL shareholders.
During the year, Reliance Jio moved towards completion of its network infrastructure as well as business services and platforms. ” We on-boarded over 1.5 million test users, who have been using the services extensively. This has enabled testing of the network, user applications and services and business platforms. The feedback from test users is extremely encouraging. The test programme will be progressively upgraded into commercial operations in the coming months,” he added.
Reliance Retail, which operates a chain of convenience stores, supermarkets, wholesale cash-and-carry and specialty stores, is India’s largest retailer by revenues as well as footprint. The company operates Reliance Trends in the apparel segment while it runs Reliance Fresh, Reliance Smart and Reliance Market in the grocery business.
“We caters to over 3.5 million customers every week. With over `20,000 crore of revenue, we are India’s largest retailer and has sustained a growth rate of 29 per cent CAGR in the last five years,” the report said.
In FY 2015-16, the company has added 624 new stores taking its total stores to 3,245 stores, spread over 12.8 million square feet and it is currently operating 3,383 stores. “Reliance Fresh” has consistently appeared in the list of most trusted national brands, he said.
Differentiating customer experience via multi-channel initiatives
The company also said that the e-tailing segment is on a high growth curve and Reliance Retail is well prepared to participate in this growing channel.
“The era of ‘Digital India’ is taking shape as the ecosystem around data security, device and bandwidth availability, digitisation of wallets, content availability and more continues to improve. This is paving the way for a large number of customers to get a first-hand experience of online shopping. The e-tailing segment is on a high growth curve and Reliance Retail is well prepared to participate in this growing channel,” the report said.
Relaince entered the online fashion retail business in April through AJIO.com, targeting shoppers with high-margin, curated fashion. The company has opened AJIO ‘shop-in-shops’ in more than 100 Reliance Trends stores as part of its omnichannel strategy, an initiative on which the retailer is working aggressively.
With multi-channel initiatives for grocery and apparel under its belt, Reliance Retail says that it will extend its reach to cover the entire country much beyond the 500 towns where its physical stores are operational. The opportunity of integrating an ‘offline-online’ model would truly differentiate the customer experience.