The era of digitalization has brought about many ground breaking changes across industries. Technology has started playing a more significant role in the growth of newer business models and improving consumer preferences placing consumers in total control of the path to purchase. Businesses have no choice but to provide customer-centric, technology-aided, and fast-paced channels of sales and purchase.
The retail sector is seeing an unprecedented boom in India. Growing at a CAGR of 13 per cent, the retail industry is expected to double its growth over the next four years and touch US $1.08 trillion by the year 2020 from the current US $585 billion. There is going to be a greater flow of FDI which would back new models of sale and purchase driving Omnichannel retail in India.
Focused fashion players such are set up on the philosophy of fast-fashion with a sharp focus on ‘Mind to Market’ including churning 10 per cent of the catalogue every month, to keep merchandise exciting and fresh.
Digitalization has provided the retail sector with an abundance of data that can be mined and utilized to develop business. What is required is the right means to do so and an understanding of what data is needed and the uses to which such data will be put. There are many recent developments in the market which are influencing the retail industry’s future.
Recent trends in the retail industry
#1. Operational and Logistics Innovation
With the advent of technology, operations and logistics have seen major advancements and technological progression. Concepts like micro-warehousing and integrated logistics are getting more prominence. Micro-warehousing is a concept in which the businesses set up smaller distribution centers nearer to the urban delivery points ensuring a faster delivery time. Essentially this entails acquisition of smaller spaces at the supplier’s location instead of establishing one large warehouse. This reduces material movement and centralizes inventory. There is a rapid advancement of real-time tracking of products during transit and the usage of technology to ensure speedy delivery.
#2. Omnichannel Presence
Online retail businesses are increasingly becoming aware of the need to have various touch points with their end customers both virtually and physically. Thus, they invest a lot of time and effort in researching and finding means to connect with their audience including retail stores, online stores, mobile application stores, telesales, and websites among many others.
#3. Data-driven Launches
Retail businesses are increasingly using industry data and databases as well as data that they collect through various tools and applications to analyze and understand customer preferences and requirements. Through this, they customize and personalize products and deals to suit changing customer needs ensuring that they are fresh and interesting.
Brands such as ours invest significantly in finding out what will be current and changing customer preferences before building their catalogues.
#4. Fast Fashion
Developing clothes and fashion accessories which reflect current trends in the fashion industry has become an inevitable. With a well-travelled and tech-savvy audience increasingly aware of changing trends, low cost and more accessible versions of fashion trends are in high demand. Fast fashion is something that brands like Campus Sutra are sharply focused on and gearing their front and back-end towards. Brands understand the need for customers to make a statement in the way they dress and accessorize, while using cost-effective alternatives.
E-commerce has changed the way people look at the retail industry. From mere luxury to a necessity, the industry has changed customer perception of fashion and fashion accessories. It has thus becoming increasingly important for young businesses and start-ups to adopt technological advancements to grow and thrive in the industry.