The session “Moving with Times: Mobility Solutions for Retail” was moderated by Anand Mehta, Director, Asia Pacific-Retail Vertical, Motorola Solutions. The eminent panelists were AC Chidanand, Head-IT, Titan Industries Ltd; Meheriar Patel, CTO & Head, eCommerce, Globus Stores Pvt Ltd; Sudesh Agarwal, CIO, Landmark Group, Veneeth Purushotaman, CIO, Hypercity Retail Ltd; Vikram Idnani, Head IT, Trent Ltd.
Mr Mehta categorized multiple retail touch points as digital and non-digital. In this context what role a smart phone plays? Pointing out that omni-channel is all about service not selling he opined that mobility solutions are enablers of sales conversion. Customers nowadays browse online to get the product information, place order on a smart phone and pick it up from the brick & mortar store or enjoy the home delivery. Today, smart phones are available at Rs 10000, so retailers feel the need to ride the wave. There are myriad numbers of interactive, customer-focused applications. Mr Mehta produced the below data:
- By 2017, more than half of retailers plan to make use of psychographic metrics using social network data
- More than half of retailers think integrating in-store and online shopping experience
According to Mr Idnani mobility is the natural progression to shopping. Mr Purushotaman viewed that mobility solutions are the link between click and brick formats, while Mr Patel opined implementing mobile applications should be a strategic decision and should have a proper roadmap to reap long term benefits. Mr Chidanand stated that mobility solutions have multiple uses, be it in understanding customers and enhancing customer engagement, selling or receiving customer feedback. Mr Agarwal further added that identifying store locations, product comparisons are some other features which are driving customer traction, making such solutions imperative over time.
However, there’s a note of caution amongst retailers. Mr Idnani advised to take baby steps while investing in new technology before fully convinced about its full utility, but initiative has to be taken and technology will keep on evolving since situations cannot be frozen, sail Mr Chaidanand.
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