Bhupesh Dinger, Director – Operations, Enrich Salons & Academy
Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director – E-commerce, Retail, Online Classifieds, Technology, Education and Government, Google India
Rajiv Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Celio Future Fashion Limited
Ramesh Menon, CEO, HyperCITY Retail (India) Ltd
Moderator: Kishor Chitale, CEO – Capegimini Local Business Services, India & Middle East
Digital is changing the consumers. Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director – E-commerce, Retail, Online Classifieds, Technology, Education and Government, Google India informed that from the year 2012 onwards there has been a rapid increase in the number of people showing interest in searching online for shopping. Since 2015, there has been a massive change in the behaviour of the customer who now likes to check out prices online but still likes to feel the product at the physical store before taking the buying decision.
So digital is actually driving footfall to the stores, which is what retailers should cash on. Technology can be of great help here. “For technology to revolutionise stores, retailers should encourage their employees to participate in the online revolution,” said Ramesh Menon, CEO, HyperCITY Retail.
One retailer that has taken the lead in embracing digital is Celio. CEO of the company Rajiv Nair feels that for a company it is imperative to embrace the digital revolution and do away with the traditional methods in most areas, especially advertising. A YouTube video gets around 2 million views within a few days, something which is not possible using traditional means of advertising.
Correctly pointing out a key challenge today, Kishor Chitale, CEO – Capegimini Local Business Services, India & Middle East said that customers come from different strata. It is therefore a herculean the task to ensure that all kinds of customers are engaged equally.
Technology can help a great deal, but it still is a serious challenge. An e-based learning programme that Google offers could be a possible solution, suggested Bawankule of Google. It helps engage customers from different strata.
For any technology go actually work, there needs to be a change in the mind-sets of customers, he cautioned.
Today, on an average, Indians spend 150 minutes on their smartphones as against 117 minutes in front of a television. So the answer on which platform the retailers should leverage is obvious.
The consensus of the experts was that the push from the Government towards Digital India is certainly going a long way in increasing internet usage in rural India. Hence, it is time that brands start using digital marketing to target the rural market too, which been untapped over the years.
Accordign to Menon of HyperCITY, long-term sustainability will be defined in future by those who can deliver faster and those who can deliver efficiently. Therefore, efficiency in the supply chain is something that every company should strive for.
All unanimously agreed that unless companies embrace change in technology quickly and with an open mind, it will be a dead end for them. “There is no way around one-vision, one-organisation, one-platform. That’s the mantra for the future,” said Chitale of Capgemini.
By Sanjay Thampy
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