At a time when most of the offline retailers are still warming up to the Omnichannel universe, lifestyle retail chain Shoppers Stop has said it will invest another Rs 20 crore over the next 18 months in technology and infrastructure to attain Omnichannel status.
The company which reported an annual turnover of Rs 3716.9 crore for the year ended FY16, a rise of 10.3 per cent, said in an annual report that it aims to achieve 15 per cent revenue through digital commerce.
In an earlier interview with Indiaretailing, Omnihannel Head, Shoppers Stop, Sachin Oswal had talked about similar plans. “In 2015, the online share of the overall revenue was just 1per cent, we target this to reach 5 per cent this year (2016) and touch 15 per cent by FY 2020. Global retailers took 7-10 years to get to these numbers,” he had said.
So far, the company has invested about Rs 40 crore toward this end.
“We embarked on a three-year Omnichannel journey last year to tap into the exponential e-commerce growth in India and it continues to be a key pillar of its growth strategy,” Shoppers Stop Chairman, Chandru L Raheja said in the company’s annual report for 2016.
Over the next two years, the company has “plans for focused investment in technology and operations to provide a seamless online and in-store shopping experience and drive revenue growth through digital advancements and initiatives”, Raheja added.
Omnichannel: The Journey so far
Shoppers Stop Ltd, one of the early adopters of Omnichannel dominance, has laid down a clear business and technology execution blueprint for three years (2015-2017), with Rs 60 crore being dedicated towards beefing up technology, strengthening the digital supply chain, hiring specialised talent and optimising digital marketing operations.
Shoppers Stop Ltd currently operates 77 department stores across 36 cities. Over the last year, the company launched several Omnichannel and digital initiatives to shore up its customer experience. The agenda is to become a truly Omnichannel retailer across the company’s formats – HomeStop, HyperCITY, and Crossword– by 2017.
The company is following a three-pronged strategy divided into three phases — digital capability build-out (2015), multi-channel (2016) and finally, true Omnichannel retailer (2017).
“The idea is to be a brick and mortar play, online play, Omnichannel play, and marketplace play… so that customers can find us wherever they are and want to shop from. For a retailer like us, Omnichannel means putting the consumer at the centre of our strategy and allowing them to decide when, where, and how to shop. The consumer can order anytime, anywhere, and from any device,” MD Shoppers Stop, Govind Shrikhande, told Indiaretailing in an earlier interview.
As a first step towards technology execution, Shoppers Stop partnered with Hybris Software, a SAP company and one of the world’s fastest growing commerce platform providers, for SAP Hybris Commerce & Order Management Platform in Q1 2015. This was followed by an investment in Warehouse Management System in Q4 2015, to provide seamless and unified shopping experience to customers across multiple channels.
In the same quarter, the company redesigned and launched a new website which is responsive across various screen sizes including mobile, tablets etc. The new website doubled the conversion rate.
Shoppers Stop redesigned and launched a new website which is responsive across various screen sizes including mobile & tablets Shoppers Stop redesigned and launched a new website which is responsive across various screen sizes including mobile & tablets
The 2015 strategy also touched upon initiatives toward embedding ‘digital inside the store’. Magic Mirror was one such launch during Q4 2015 in Shoppers Stop Mumbai’s Inorbit Mall store. A first-of-its-kind in a department store in India, the Magic Mirror enabled customers to swipe through various products without having to physically ‘try on’ the desired products.
In addition to its own websites, Omnichannel capabilities, and in-store features, Shoppers stop also entered into strategic alliances with major e-commerce players in 2015. The company set up anchor stores or microsites with Snapdeal (strategic, full assortment), Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong and PayTM to sell shoppers stop brands on these marketplaces.
It also tied up with hyperlocal e-grocers such as ZopNow, Grofers and PepperTap, who picked up grocery from HyperCITY for deliveries.
The company’s Omnichannel play also focused on payment solutions and customer analysis tools to provide a seamless experience through all ways possible.
Shoppers Stop accepts Freecharge wallet in all its stores. The company claims to offer the same experience to the customer in terms of service at the store, calls, emails, social media. They are also in a process of rolling out a customer relationship management (CRM) program to take this experience to the next level.
The beginning of 2016 saw the launch of new mobile apps, both on Android & iOS platform. The company claims to be the only department store chain retailer in India that has been able to launch a new website and mobile app on an enterprise-grade platform like Hybris in just over six months.
“This year we will be investing in a CRM (Microsoft Dynamics) and a WMS (JDA) to build on cross-channel customer service, supply chain & operations capabilities enabling customer journeys such as Click N Collect, Endless Aisle & Ship From Store,” the company said in an annual report.