By 2018, the Indian retail sector is likely to grow at a CAGR of 13 per cent to reach US $950 billion. Organised retail sector is expected to account for 24 per cent of the overall retail market by 2020.
Increasing urbanisation, digitisation, demonetization and eased FDI norms have impacted Indian retail in a big way in 2016 and will continue to shape the sector further. And because of this both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce majors are planning to be on their toes to decipher consumers consumption behaviour and demand.
India is also expected to become the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market, driven by robust investment in the sector and rapid increase in the number of Internet users.
As the opportunities are immense, let’s take a look what steps retail stalwarts are doing in 2017 to go beyond success:-
Sanjay Sethi, Co-founder and CEO, ShopClues
2017 will separate the men from the boys in the India’s e-commerce space. This year, we saw some correction happening for many of the e-commerce players’ valuations. The presumptions on which these businesses were built, stumbled badly this year. Companies struggled to justify their valuation primarily because of issues related to their business models. And we saw some corrections. However, there is still a long way to go, India is still underserved and there is a huge gap to be filled.
So, in 2017, along with answering some hard questions about valuations, profitability, et all, it will be imperative for players to have some differentiation – in terms of offerings and consumers they are targeting to – to remain afloat this year. Those who will do it, will be there in the game, rest will die…
Kapil Hetamsaria, CEO and Co-Founder, Velvetcase.com
With demonetization, online payments will definitely grow in 2017, as we are seeing in our platform already. Also, Cash on Delivery will make way for Card on Delivery capability by the logistics partners in 2017.
Specifically in jewellery sector apart from the obvious above trend we see a lot of growth in the silver jewellery market, especially silver swarovski jewellery. Artisanal jewellery like temple jewellery from South India or beautiful filigree work from Odisha is now coming into the mainstream with an online platform like ours, which will continue to grow in 2017 as well.
Innovative & multi-purpose modular jewellery and unique customised jewellery are also going to be big trends in 2017, along with the solitaire jewellery. We also see growth in wishlists, social sharing and referral driven purchases on our platform and in general largely across the online jewellery vertical as well.
Dinesh Malpani, Founder and CEO, UrDoorstep
E-commerce has got two large monsters in terms of cost structures; one has been the cost of customer acquisition and the second is logistics and reverse logistics (or returns) spends. E-tailers believe that once acquired, the consumers become loyal, they will be there with the brand for a longer time. But this ‘retention value’ has remained a big question mark in Indian e-commerce and logistics is anyway a challenge. And I believe, at this point of time, not even a single e-commerce venture in the consumer Internet space has been answering clearly about their approach against these big monsters. While all of them are looking to be focussed on getting profitable, they have still not able to tame these two monsters and that’s where the problem lies.
Having said that, I believe, that going digital is the only way forward, infact demonetization has further made that push. It’s like a blessing in disguise for e-commerce players. Consumers are moving online but only those who will understand how to optimise this oppotunity profitably will survive. The fact that, businesses run on the matrics of profitability, scalibility and viability will remain true in the year 2017.
Devang Sampat, Director – Strategic Initiatives, Cinépolis India
Year 2016 was a positive year for the cinema exhibition industry and particularly for Cinépolis. We opened more than 50 screens pan-India, with majority of the openings in cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, and Chandigarh, taking up the screen count to 286 screens. As a part of our inorganic expansion strategy, we acquired 7 screens of DT Cinemas from DLF in September 2016 which gave us access to the prime catchments and audiences across Delhi NCR.
Overall footfall has grown by 20 per cent as compared to previous year. With the announcement of demonetization in November 2016, we also took immediate measures to welcome the move to keep ourselves aligned with the Government’s cashless economy concept. To sail through this revolutionary move and for the convenience of our patrons, Cinépolis came out with exciting offers on cashless transaction for the movie lovers which gave a positive spin to all the digital transactions.
Vijay Jain, CEO and Founder Director, ORRA
India is undergoing a structural change and demonetization is perhaps a step in that direction. I cannot help but remember the phrase from Charles Dickens book: – A Tale of Two Cities:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Current demonetization has resulted not only in a contraction of liquidity but also in certain sectors, a contraction of income and an increase in the statutory cost of doing business (both for existing business and more so for the informal sector as they move towards a formal sector).
While from a long term perspective, the benefits are immense, in the short term, in the absence of any meaningful announcements in the upcoming budget 2017, we are likely to see a demand contraction on the consumer side. I am hoping that the Government will take concrete steps to both stimulate demand as well as increase investments.
At ORRA, we see this reset as a huge opportunity. ORRA enjoys a huge advantage.
Unlike the majority of the market which has built its business on high cost (large stores, large inventory, large people cost), high volume, low margin (largely gold) business, ORRA has built the brand around low cost structures (1,500 sq.ft. stores v/s for a market penchant for larger stores with bigger players on average having 8,000 sq.ft. plus stores), high margin (focus on diamonds – as against a market players who have less than 1/4 diamond sales ORRA has over 50 per cent) and a focus on a discerning consumer (design and store experience).
Low liquidity, impact on income and a high statutory cost of compliance will impact jewellery business demand. Jewellers with a focus on high value sales are going to be particularly hard hit especially on a low margin and now high cost of compliance (both from a jeweller and the consumer side) business.
At ORRA we see this as an opportunity. We perhaps have the highest credit card sales in the industry with 60 per cent through cards, a strong urban presence (24 cities – which are likely to recover earlier) and a very good consumer profile. We will focus not only on efficiencies of store matrix – same store growth has seen a CAGR of over 20 per cent over last 5 years but also a focus on strengthening the brand with a focus on CRM and digital. Focus would be both for retention and new customer acquisition.
Amit Goel, Founder and CEO, Just Relief
With a rapidly increasing emphasis on providing affordable and accessible healthcare, the e-healthcare startups have disrupted the traditional business models. Considering the surge in demand for affordable and superior healthcare services, the new-age tech healthcare startups are reaching out to tap a wider network of consumer base. Bringing technology at the core of their operations, online pharmacies are offering holistic healthcare services to the consumers from the privacy of their homes.
With the Government’s focus on digitizing and pushing economic reforms to upscale the e-commerce sector, the online healthcare industry in India is all set to emerge as a trendsetter in the space. Factors like affordable and accessible medical facilities, increased proliferation in terms of discounts and offers, and of course the recent digitization of transactions, have driven phenomenal demand growth in the country.
Post demonetization, the online pharma space has had a positive impact considering that they offer not only one stop services at-home but also as the consumer has access to digital payments. Tech healthcare companies like Just Relief are now giving the convenience of both time and money transactions.
All in all the sector is all set to grow and the healthcare companies specially online healthcare providers, have a huge opportunity to scale-up their growth. This will in turn allow for an increased contribution to the national GDP and financial inclusion in the long run. Time is right for the healthcare industry to now invest in processing and adopting technological solutions for further growth.
Lalit Agarwal, CMD, V-Mart Retail
This year particularly has been very good for the Indian retailers because of better monsoon as compared to last 2 years. The consumption has increased in second half of the year and we experienced much better third quarter.
We were expecting much better end of the year but due to demonetization people could not spend much. We experienced in smaller cities where we have very strong presence people could not spend because of the fact they did not have money in their pockets. There was a big dip in sale due to demonetization but we have seen increase too, organised retailers have been benefited because of the demonetization. We are happy to have the demonetization, because most of our regular customers are from mid-segment income group and they have been using the plastic money, I feel only unorganised ones and those who are selling very high-end luxury products have been effected.
Overall we experienced a great year with lots of ups and downs.
(With inputs from Mehak Sharma)