Omnichannel has been the buzzword of the retail world for the better half of the last decade now. Across boardrooms, in meetings, and in-store, the word Omnichannel comes up as a perennial agenda item for most organized retailers across the world.
And even as the retail world was coming to grips with the fact that without multichannel and experiential retail, the future is very bleak, malls have jumped into the fray, wanting to be a part of the ‘new retail’ era.
Malls too want to service consumers by going Omnichannel. They want to service their retail tenants and customers with a fundamental change in the management process by going Omnichannel and achieving great benefits.
One of the pioneer Omnichannel malls was Inorbit. Inorbit tied up with Pretr last year to convert itself into Omnichannel Mall.
Pretr, a technology and back-end service provider, helped Inorbit to link the brands present in the mall and offer their products online. A majority of the brands in the malls jumped on the bandwagon, collaborating with Inorbit in its effort to go Omnichannel.
The idea was simple – the consumer could choose products from a bouquet of brands online (all of which had stores in Inorbit Mall). Once the consumer placed an order, the Pretr team picked the product from the mall store and delivered it to the consumer’s home. Depending upon the availability of the product, this could take between 24 to 48 hours.
The Inorbit Mall-Pretr Partnership
The Organised Retail and Lifestyle industry in the world is approximately valued at US $85 billion. Currently 10 percent of this is online and 90 percent is offline.
“Both online and offline businessesmust manage inventory fragmentation, or they can lose opportunity both from width and depth perspective. This is where Pretr comes in. The whole idea of Pretr is to join the dots, improve in-store opportunity from both offline and online mediums by 30 percent and make stores seamless. We also provide a single view of all demands and channels, all inventory and customers to the mall / retailer,” says Bhavik Jhaveri, CEO & Founder, Pretr.
“Omnichannel supply is a reality and if we don’t do it, someone else will for sure,” he smiles.
“The Internet has democratised attention and increasing access continues to unlock new consumer lifestyles and choices, the primary driver of change. Our Omnichannel strategy enforces that belief that we must ensure least effort on the consumers evolving shopping journey. Omnichannel not only gives the consumer an option to shop at the store but also gives him the convenience to shop from anywhere anytime with the satisfaction that the product delivered will be 100 percent authentic and carry the same privileges of return/exchange as stores in Inorbit,” adds Naviin Ibhrampurkar – Head of Marketing & Corporate Communication Inorbit Malls (India) Pvt Ltd.
“Inorbit mall always works towards offering consumers a great shopping experience. We believe in learning from everyone and identifying growth drivers and there are a lot of learnings we can pick from the e-commerce model to elevate the shopping experience of our customers,” he adds.
“We see the growth of E-commerce as a big opportunity to catch and ride on this wave of Online shopping and reach our customers who are not able to visit the mall regularly. Looking at this changed scenario, we introduced India’s first Omni channel Online Shopping program merging the online shopping convenience with our brick & mortar space. Our website www.inorbit.in and Inorbit mobile app has an integrated ‘Shop Online’ feature where we offer the dual convenience of Online shopping with same day delivery promise and a unique service to reserve the product Online and pickup from mall. This has been launched in Mumbai at Malad and Vashi malls. It has been an interesting learning curve and we are now exploring the expansion of the services to all our malls,” he further states.
But Omnichannel supply is only one part of business. “Omnichannel customer experiences have a far-reaching impact and can take consumer seamlessness to different level. Our endeavour with Inorbit is at an early stage. We have planned multiple phases in which we will drive Omnichannel for Inorbit and other malls. Currently we are in integration phase and we believethat in the next three years 8-12 percent of mall business will be influenced or improved through us,” Jhaveri states.
He says the key factor which has helped the mall go Omnichannel is that Inorbit has the willingness to experiment and be early adopters. “The mall management is very supportive of Pretr and a very high level of belief in the digital roadmap is driving the key differentiation for Inorbit’s Omnichannel vision.”
Pretr, at its core believes that Omnichannel is a mall / retailer’s ability to serve customers seamlessly at every touchpoint. Malls, online marketplaces or retailers need to drive open ecosystems to improve and serve customers at every touch point.
Jhaveri says that the success of Inorbit has driven more malls into Pretr’s kitty, all with the hope of turning Omnichannel.
“Close to 19 malls have signedup with us and our platform hosts close to 90+ brands, but this is just the starting point. Our job is not done until we are able to drive a larger change across retail fraternity to build a trusted eco-system to improve customer service, improve store sales, improve store associate’s ability to serve, improve and make data driven decisionsthrough a single view of business,” concludes Jhaveri.
(With Inputs from Surabhi Khosla)