Multi-Channel Retail – A Joint Effort

In the panel discussion pertaining – Innovation in Multichannel Retail – Creating a Seamless Experience across Channels, the focus was on collaboration between online and offline retailers. The session was moderated by Rajiv Prakash, founder, Next in Partners.  “There are no such differences between online customers or offline customers. There is only one customer who looks for value. They behave differently but they are the same persons,” commented K Vaitheeswaran, Founder & CEO,  Muralikrishnan B, Country Manager, Ebay India opined that GenY is information rich, social media savvy, they are deal seekers, they are smart shoppers. Online retailers are working for making them understand value proposition of premium products.” Seconding Muralikrishnan’s view, Ambareesh Murthy, founder & CEO, said ,”Online and offline retailers require different skill-sets.”

Sanjay Nadkarni, founder & ceo, justified the reasons behind the popularity of baby products online commenting that products which are not easily accessible to the parents are available online. Parents are reaching onlinse to buy best products for their children. Hari Menon, CEO, shared, “lady who are buying online are more demanding that remains a constant challenge for online grocery retailers.”

Murthy, observed that 75per cent-80per cent of online buyers are male and they mostly buy electronics equipments and books. However the trend is shifting towards grooming and fashion products grocery retailers, online retailers too suffer from low gross margin.”

Prakash commented that 90 per cent of top retailers in the US are coming from online segment .

While coming to the point of efficacy of multi-channel retail, the panelists view that there is plenty of scope for  collaboration between online and offline retailers. Jeetendra Joshi, director – marketing, Martjack viewed that multi-channel requires a new approach and demands digitizing the existing customer’s data to enhance sales and  customer engagement. It has to be holistic and integrated.

While discussing about the payment mode, Murthy commented that despite the popularity of COD (cash on delivery) that works fine with small ticket items, there is a requirement for credit card payment mode for high ticket items. So development of e-retail cannot take place without this payment option.

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