REATIALING IN THE DIGITAL ERA

Customer behaviour is changing due to the fact that technology is making life simpler and the driving factor behind this is the Internet of Everything. In terms of economic value, there is a lot at stake — 1.5 trillion dollars — on the Internet of Things. Also, IT companies are helping retailers in integration of technologies to increase the revenue and market share while simultaneously moving towards real time analytics.

People have moved to smartphones, saving their energy to do smarter things in life because of which new services will come up, leading to a better quality of life and a better world. eBay is one such example, which has over 150 million products being sold by around 25 million sellers across 206 countries. From a retail point of view, this has brought a big change as local suppliers from remote areas like Dharavi and Ambala are able to sell their products to different countries via a platform, which acts as a technology integrator in a country of entrepreneurs like India.

In a broader sense, there is nothing called offline, anymore. It’s now about staying connected or not connected, and the idea is to stay connected because most of the shoppers are home makers who are now exploring digital options. Digitising is important for keeping the customers connected and the staff happy.

Digitisation can help in making money as there is profit in online business simply because a lot of people are going there although right now it’s for the price perspective. A big box store might be limited in terms of products it showcases in which case a digital store becomes a medium for consumers to get what they want. Also, stores like shop CJ still use tele-shopping along with the online platform, which enables them to reach people in all corners of the country. Consumers even get the benefit of watching the visual presentation of the product on television channel. Although, the fact remains that originality and product quality still matters, which actually leads people to buy a product.

Another effective way to attract customers is through coupons — it is not different from other promotion strategies as it gives consumers an advantage for the price they pay. It basically connects shoppers and businesses together. Offline retailers also use coupons just like online retailers as it is just another strategy that the retailers can use to get customers.

At a global level, business models are formulated using analytics in order to make projections of demands. For example, throwing coupons on diapers during a particular time of the month so that the consumers buy more of it.

Therefore, it is apt to say that a little collaboration is required and the digital world can help make anything possible.

This is a summary of the proceedings of the CEO panel on Retailing in the Digital Era at ReTechCon 2015. For detailed presentations and videos visit www.retechcon.com

  • Research by Shreshth Saxena

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RAI
Retailers Association of India (RAI) is the unified voice of Indian retailers. RAI is a not for profit organization (registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956), works with all the stakeholders for creating the right environment for the growth of the modern retail industry in India. RAI is the body that encourages, develops, facilitates and supports retailers to become modern and adopt best practices that will delight customers. RAI has a three charter aim of Retail Development, Facilitation and Propagation.