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Offline or online, retail is where the consumer is: Industry leaders at PRC 2024

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Adapting products and services in line with evolving consumer preferences is essential for brands to succeed

Bengaluru: Regardless of whether it’s offline or online, the focal point of retail business should be consumers, compelling brands to adapt to consumer demands in product offerings as well as services, according to industry leaders speaking on the day one of Phygital Retail Convention (PRC) 2024 held at the Jio World Convention, Mumbai on Wednesday.

Bijou Kurien, chairman of the retail apex body, Retailers association of India who moderated the panel discussion, emphasised the need for innovation in consumer engagement through media channels, urging businesses to eschew conventional methods and instead explore innovative approaches in their media strategies.

Rajneet Kohli, chief executive officer of the FMCG major Britannia underscores the necessity of hyper-personalisation in marketing strategies. Britannia employs diverse campaigns to engage with consumers across its brands like Bourbon, Nutri Choice, and Milk Bikis, with an annual sale of 20 billion packs.

Kohli chooses the fondness of South Indians for Milk Bikis biscuits as a prime illustration. “Social listening is key. In the South, there’s a strong affinity for Milk Bikis, a franchise worth 1,300 crores. Our innovation of personalised biscuit packets featuring names in Tamil facilitates meaningful interaction between parents and their children,” said Kholi.

Vineet Gautam, chief executive officer of the clothing and accessories company Bestseller India, claims that there has been no discernible change in the stores even over the course of a year.

“Indian consumers consistently expect top-notch service, albeit with evolving expectations influenced by technological advancements. Today, acknowledgment holds paramount importance to consumers. Brands must reassess their service models, prioritising region-specific services to meet these changing demands effectively,” added Gautam.

Yanira Ramirez, country sales manager at the Swedish fast-fashion brand H&M in India, stressed on the need to improve employee awareness in leveraging data to ensure superior treatment of consumers.

“Data is power if we use it correctly. Staying relevant amidst rapidly changing trends and consumer behaviour is our constant endeavour, with our data serving as a crucial tool. We understand that happy staff lead to happy consumers.”

The leaders were part of the session titled “What’s Hot in Retail – Emerging Consumption Categories, Retail Formats And Channel,” which also saw the participation of Paul Warren, head-convenience business, India at Reliance BP Mobility, Kavindra Mishra, managing director of Shoppers Stop and Rajiv Nair, chief executive officer of Kaya India.

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