The retail industry in India is gradually maturing and going towards the next wave of evolution. For the consumer of today, shopping is no longer just walking into a store and buying a specific product. Shopping is an experience, the product is the star of the show and customer is the king. The retailer is simply the medium that brings the customer to the product.
Today, retailers need to move with the times, adapting to the ever-evolving needs of the educated customer. Consumers no longer buy products alone, but rather experiences, making it a major challenge for retailers. Retailers innovate and launch new concepts to make shopping a wholesome experience, all the while understanding that the experience is a means to an end – selling the actual product.
Retail stalwarts share how the industry is gearing up to serve the next-gen consumers:-
Salesh Grover, Business Head, OSL Luxury Collections Pvt. Ltd. – Corneliani
In the coming time, consumers will want to buy at the best price points and, at the same time, will ensure that the retailer they’re supporting is socially-conscious.
We, as retailers need to implement the latest in-store technologies and deliver a superior shopping experience to Gen Z consumers and the millennials. The retail industry will face immense challenges in the coming years like demographic changes, raw materials becoming more expensive, consumers changing their behavior due to increasing digitalization and e-commerce.
The retail market has been fragmented for a long time and is now heading towards a more consolidated model.
Consumers would like to see better value proposition when it comes to retail shopping. Brands should work towards achieving sustainability and the concept of stores should keep rolling. Moreover, brands should create more personalized experience for customers.
Narinder Singh Dhingra, Chief Managing Director, Numero Uno
Omnichannel model will become need of the hour for all businesses. Sustainable fashion is here to stay which will reflect heavily in retail sector.
Sachi Maker, Vice-President, Traworld
Our industry is growing tremendously and getting competitive day by day. 2020 is more likely to see changes in features of the luggage based on consumer needs and a larger than life visual merchandising, that will be anything but mainstream. We live in the world of millennials and visual treats have become more attractive and effective than any other medium and brands have started to realise that.
We can see 3 major changes in retail sector in 2020:
– Consumers are Choosing Multichannel Buying Experiences: Customers are moving seamlessly between online and offline experiences, and are open to retailers who can best facilitate these transitions. The explosion in mobile retail means in-store research and showrooming – the practice of viewing a product in-store only to make the purchase online – are now more common than ever. On the other side of the coin, online orders can be delivered to a local store – often for free – further closing the divide between online and offline retail. The solution here is to focus on creating a second-to-none customer experience across all channels. Customers are looking for retailers they can be trusted to deliver exceptional service time and again.
– Customers Expect a Seamless Experience: If retailers can create this type of fluid online/offline experience for their customers, they can cease pitting their channels against one another. Centralized customer data can help retailers build a seamless, fluid experience – beginning with an easily-accessible customer profile. Loyalty programs can help, by collecting relevant information and putting it to use. A retailer can use its loyalty program to not only reward customers, but deliver relevant content and integrate data across all interaction points – including online interactions, in-store sales, and home service technicians – creating an integrated, Omnichannel customer experience.
– Inventory management: It’s not difficult to guess the inventory needed for popular goods. But for no-so-popular goods, inventory management is challenging but essential. Retailers might be lured by a higher margin offered by new principal companies who want to grab market share. But how much of that inventory sells depends on the principal company’s marketing, reputation, product demand and customer support. The more time goods spend on shelves and in warehouses, the more the revenue of retailers is impacted.
The consumer today is looking for a story, rather than a product to buy. Experiential Retail will be the key to a consumer’s heart, mind and their purchasing power.
Consumers today are looking to indulge all their senses than just looking for an instant gratification. Brands today have to be more consumer focused not just in terms of offers, geography or age. We have to stop looking at consumers as data and numbers but as people and vibes.
Sustainability as we all know will be a US$ 12 trillion economy by 2030. It means that growth should be repeatable, ethical, responsible to and for current and future generations. It is a golden key to long term success of any business.