Multi Channel for Multifold Increase

Multi channel panel

Panelists for the session included Sunil Sanklecha – Founder,  Nuts‘n’Spices; C K Kumaravel, Cofounder – Naturals Beauty Salon India  Pvt Ltd; P Subramaniam – Consultant RmKV; Ganesh Subramanian, COO, Myntra; Suhail Sattar- Director, Hasbro Clothing and  Moderator: Vikas Choudhary – COO, AIMIA.

Why multi channel is a necessity?

“Traditionally retail was about buying and merchandising. Now its interaction based.” 

– Vikas Choudhary – AIMIA

“Customers want to shop using your store, using TV channels and online.  You have to go where the consumer is.”

–  Suhail Sattar- Director, Hasbro Clothing

The role of mobility

Mobility and apps have created the need for retailers to engage customers – at a brand level – before and after the purchase transaction.


  • Apps such as Four-Square which help consumers identify ‘stores’ based on location
  • TV programs which allow customers to comment on social media and buy merchandise worn by on-air celebrities.


  • Nike’s fuel band which measures activity level through the day.

Creates a need to invest in mechanisms for continuous brand engagement.

  • If your target customer is between 18 and 30 – you have to invest in multi-channel.
  • In addition, in smaller cities, a large number of online customers are from the older age groups.


Who is your customer?

“There are now 13 crore people who go online regularly in India. 2.5 crore have shopped online.”

–  Ganesh Subramanian, Myntra

  • 80% of online shoppers in India are between 18 and 26.
  • 450 towns, 10,000 pin codes are active online.

How do you go online?

  • The easiest way is to list on a market place.
  • Don’t start your own ecommerce site without listing and ‘feeling’ the pulse of the market.
  • Creating an ecommerce portal takes effort. It is not about the investment – it is the management time that it sucks up in terms of creating relevant content.
  • On Myntra – content is the product.  Unknown brands fight with large national brands because of superior content.


Franchising as a way to think multi-channel

“Franchising works on the“Other Peoples Time”/ “Other Peoples Time” model. It has to be used responsibly for it to succeed”

C K Kumaravel, Cofounder – Naturals Beauty Salon India  Pvt Ltd


  • For high involvement categories such as designer silk sarees – online can still work. 
  • It works because the basic brand promise has already been established in the consumer’s mind.
  • The core of the multi- channel strategy has to be to deliver a CONSISTENT experience across all channels.

P Subramaniam – Consultant RmKV

 Online – virtual national reach

 “We set up our online channel because of customer demand for repeat purchases – within Chennai as well as nationally.” –

Sunil Sanklecha -, Founder, Nuts‘n’Spices

 Online / Offline integration

“Use the analytics provided by online behavior to create tailor made offers offline, to the same customer segment.”

–  Vikas Choudhary – AIMIA

“Acquiring a  repeat customer is about making sure that his experience is good up to the point of time he gets the item that was purchased online. That means fulfillment is part of sales, as is the returns policy.”

–  Ganesh Subramanian, Myntra

The role of analytics

  • Sainsbury in the UK, used the online behavior of the “Middle Aged Health Conscious behavior” to generate targeted offers at the POS in the brick and mortar store, aimed at the same customer segment.
  • They saw a 20% conversion on the offer.
  • Fastforward – a retailer in Germany uses digital windows in its offline stores. Customers can order by moving items displayed into a virtual basket – which is physically delivered to them the next day.
  • Food brands have begun adding intelligence to the POS billing system.  Along with the bill, the system generates recipes for the items physically in the shopper’s basket.


Challenges in the Indian context

  • Fulfillment used to be considered – logistics – i.e. operations. It is actually part of customer acquisition – i.e. it’s part of the sale process.
  • The biggest challenge is sizing. Therefore the returns process is where your multi channel strategy is truly tested.
  • Customers have evolved to the point where they are willing to use the online channel for returns.
  • Today, 30% of returns have been converted into exchanges.
  • Continuous evolution in technology – e.g. Fitiquette  – virtual fitting rooms.


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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.