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South Indian customers more brand loyal than other buyers in India

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India Retail Forum (IRF), India’s largest retail intelligence event, hosted the second edition of the South India Retail Summit (SIRS) yesterday at the ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru.

South Indian customers more brand loyal than other buyers in India
Comprising a day-long conference and exhibition, the event’s mission was to focus on 'Retail Transformation and Winning Strategies in a Connected World'

Comprising a day-long conference and exhibition, the event’s mission was to focus on ‘Retail Transformation and Winning Strategies in a Connected World’. Speakers, attendees and delegates discussed the following retail trends in detail.

The 2nd edition of the Summit kicked off with SIRS breakfast meet, followed by a session moderated by Co-Founder, Next Practice Retail, R Sriram on Understanding of Experiential Retail: The Act & Art of Millennial Shopping. The session largely spoke about immediate shoppers seeking experiences and relationships when they shop, and how they want the experience to be consistent across all touch points. Who the consumer is, in addition to how, where, and even why they shop, is changing rapidly and forever. The way retail stores look—and retail brands interact with them—are constantly in flux.

The panelists largely conversed on how customers often make purchase decisions spontaneously in the store. Nowadays, shoppers use their smartphones to access all kinds of information as they browse the shelves. If they find a better deal, they may spend their money with another retailer, either online or elsewhere. With integrated sensors and wireless communications, connected lighting systems create an indoor positioning system that can pinpoint shoppers in store, letting retail brands send targeted information directly to them via specially designed mobile shopping apps.

In addition to this, Senior Research Analyst, Euromonitor International, did a session on Euromonitor Research: Key Retail Trends, which discussed drivers of change in convenience in retail largely focusing on the delivery service in the sector. Das also shared insights on new trends in retail sector. The brief discussion largely spoke about the varied consumer behaviour influenced by millennial, advent of e-commerce and technology. She also discussed the introduction and use of various tools like Omnichannel and mobile as a tool for click-and-collect initiatives.

Brand Guru and Founder, , shared insights about the latest trends in the retail industry and highlighted the emergence of small retail brands affecting a threat to the established players in the sector. In his brief session called, “Hey Retail! What’s New?, Bijoor, introduced the new futuristic trends which largely comprises, Naked Retail, concentrating on stores without brand presence, Organism Retail, which gives impetus to the new age digital application based retail, Segmented Retail, highlighting the demographic sectors and Internet of Things enabled stores.

Following this was the break through inaugural session on The South Side story: Creating a blockbuster retail economy moderated by Founder , B S Nagesh. Joining the discussion were CEO, , Rachna Aggarwal; MD and CEO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited, Suresh J; CEO – Retail & Commercial, Brigade Enterprise, ; MD & CEO, Max Hypermarkets, Rajeev Krishnan.

Besides discussing growth and opportunities from new retail concepts, the session also covered embracing digital and Omnichannel as key propositions to the established ways of doing business. The panel discussion centered on the various trends on how the Tier II cities and towns are gradually becoming the emerging markets for retail. The panelists also discussed the importance of the southern market and various lifestyle changes affecting the retail and the buying pattern of the consumers. The panel highlighted the digital transformation in-store – tailored experiences – convergence of multiple technologies – seamless, synchronized experiences to shoppers – across all physical and digital channels. This discussion brought forward the advantages of the traditional retail in the Indian market.

Speaking on the Future of Retailing – 2020, Retail – Industry Lead, , Trilokesh Satpathy shared his insights about the new trends and key developments in the retail industry along with adoption of new technologies and digital wallets as a payment platform.

The first half of the SIRS concluded with a session moderated by Member, Strategic Advisory Board and L Capital Asia, . The session highlighted the most debatable topic of Retailing in the next decade- Conquest for Survival and Growth: Innovate or Perish.

Joining the discussion were Co-Founder, Curefit, Ankit Nagori; Head IT Strategy & Governance, Arvind Limited, ; COO, , and COO, Max Hypermarket, Ponnu Subramanian.

The session highlighted factors of sustaining profitable business vs. increasing market share, giving impetus to the revenue model and delighting customers, importance of social and digital media, role of technology and mega trends in the sector. The speakers also shared inputs on how to create a unique customer experience that is both personal and relevant by blending offline and online channels. It also encouraged the retail brands to gain momentum in order to avail the first mover’s advantage and understand the various categories of the business which can grow in the next five years.

The group concluded that recognising the right channels and developing customer relationships through customer delight can attain a future for retail brands and is paramount to build sustainable success for retailing in India.