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Interaction with Industry experts/Academic experts
Part A: Brief background information of interviewee
Educational back ground
Part B: The market
What are the main benefits of opting for an Omnichannel strategy in your opinion?
What are the main challenges associated with the Omnichannel strategy in your experience?
How has your organization progressed in Omnichannel/Digital strategy?
What do you think will be the future of physical stores?
Rajiv Merchant, Co-founder and CEO, Tangerine.
Indian retail is going through exciting times. Online retail is new and shaking the conventional retail. Traditional retail stores are facing closure threat. Omnichannel retail brings in benefits for conventional retailers by helping them reach a larger market and give superior service.
The major challenge for conventional retail is rampant discounting by brands across categories. However, I am very bullish on the retail story of India. Understanding the consumers and providing Omnichannel marketing and retail solutions is going to be the challenge in coming days.
The retail market in India will primarily be driven by Omnichannel as brick-and-mortar retailers enter e-commerce to support their stores. This will help retailers leverage their physical presence.
Omnichannel retailing is the way to go in India. All retailers have a big market, nevertheless organized retailers will have to find local relevance,”
Tangerine is a pureplay retailer but going forward we will go physical also. Already we have opened shop in shop format stores in two Star Bazar outlets. Response has been very encouraging.
Charu RaviKumar , CEO, Sapient Razorfish consultancy
In today’s world, retail is divided into two distinct categories—brick and mortar and e-commerce Today these two worlds have begun to merge and it will be difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Each of these worlds has its own strengths and is very good at delivering value in its own way. Brick-and-mortar retail gives customers the touch and feel of products and the feel-good experience of living the brand. E-commerce offers greater choice, convenience and value.
While each of them is delivering to its own strengths, they both fall short of delivering the perfect customer experience. The retail chains that innovate will stay in game. The online retailers will start opening stores. We are already seeing the Online retailers like Lenskart , Pepperfry getting into physical store space.
I have been a consultant for many apparel retail brands. One good study is Aditya Birla Brands LP, VH , and Planet Fashion where company owned stores are in transition towards Omnichannel retail.
Prof Dinesh Sharma , Professor, Marketing , SJM School of Management IIT Bombay
The retail industry is going through a transition. The convergence is happening at a superfast pace. The retail store of future will no longer be just a point of sale. It will be an experience zone, where technology will be used to transform customer buying process. Personalized service and recommendations through location-based applications, digital devices like tablets etc will help you select from wide range, one-click payments, fast home delivery to nearby locations, integration to online portals, buy-online pick-up in store .these will be some of the features that physical retail already offer. Transforming an experience where you are one in million to an experience where you are the focus.
On the online side, brands will need to learn how to reach out to tech savvy customers and make them transact without deep discounting. It will mean improving the experience of buying online through a better offering, engaging content and increasing convenience through quick delivery and easy returns. For this to become a reality, brands will need to work strategically with online marketplaces and strategically open up their inventory rather than use the online channel as a liquidation medium.
Retail is poised for some good transition. Indian retailers have started their journey towards an Omnichannel strategy. Shoppers Stop, Landmark Retail, Raymonds are some big brands investing heavily in Omnichannel strategy.
Jaideep Kanse GM Marketing ; Digital Asian Paints.
These are exciting times in retail distribution. Technology is transforming the way retailers sell. Online retail is eating into share of the conventional retail but its still miniscule.
Retailers who innovate and take advantage of physical presence will beat online hands down in long run. Brick and Mortar will be the foundation of Omnichannel retail.
Challenge in implementation of Omni strategy is of cost, technology and also a mindset change.
Physical stores are here to stay. Going forward we will see lot of convergence between off and online retail going towards a symbiotic /hybrid relation.
Asian Paints is creating a firm digital vision and driving synergies to build technology platforms that lead to customer focused innovation.Digital will transform Asian Paints from being a brick-and-mortar business into a click-and-mortar business. Asian Paints is converging digital technology with the physical network built over the past 75 years, to service customers. Winning in a digital world is all about how you weave and create an ecosystem that is digitally connected.The company has a strong web presence and this serves as a strong platform for consumers looking for painting and decorating their homes. All key websites of Asian Paints, www.asianpaints.com, www.sleekworld.com, www.beautifulhomes.com and the websites of international units have been significantly revamped..Asian Paints has made significant progress in creating Omnichannel experience for dealer community. This will allow a seamless experience for Asian Paints dealers across voice, web and mobile channels.. Asian paints has launched a comprehensive mobile app for our dealers.
Disrupting your own ecosystem and embarking on a journey that marries the digital channels with the physical world, is the way forward. When it comes to digital, small beginnings lead to big transformations
Mahadevan Gopalkrishnan , Business Development Amazon India
The paucity of time and ease of buying have been factors in fast growth of online retail. Deep discounting has helped online retail made good inroads. Store expansion by conventional retail has gone slow.
Many retail chains have closed down or on verge of closing down. The Mobile Store, Spice Retail, Mobiltiworld are few names that figure here.
Organized retail is making efforts to innovate. Omni retail is new buzzword but challenges of supply chain, IT, training, investment and time taken to implement play deterrent.
The Indian consumer similar to the global consumer is digitally savvy, and expects offline and online availability, buying products and services, including ordering food from a restaurant, to getting medicines delivered or household services at door step.
In our country neighbourhood Kiran stores hold special place because people have been using this format of grocery since ages. But the online grocery retail is also picking up fast. With India going digital and becoming ‘smart phone’ savvy, this channel has almost become the second choice of the people.
Someday the online grocery retail distribution channel will surpass the traditional Kirana stores. Amazon a pure play online retailer is working to leverage these synergies of physical stores.Currently, the online retail grocery channel in India recorded a value growth of 44% on year on year basis in 2017 and is expected to continue being the fastest growing for the next five years as well.If we see the big picture, India has a remarkable position in global retail rankings; the economy with a high market potential, low economic risk, and moderate political risk. With an investment of around US$ 511.76 billion, the first half of 2017 witnessed the highest annual private equity (PE) in the retail sector, since 2008 and is expected to grow to US$ 1.3 trillion by 2020, registering a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.7 per cent over 2015-20.
But the Brick and Mortar stores will be under pressure from new channels. They need to pick up new ways to stay relevant. Stores of future will be a mix of offline and online.
Hirender Kumar Rathod , Director Online Sales , Samsung India
Impact “Online retail has impacted the physical retail . High discounts, aggressive promotions and novelty of this channel has helped it grow an exponential rate.”
The Brick and Mortar retail in mobile device segment has to bear the brunt of online retail. We saw many stores closing down specially those of Modern trade and Regional retail chains. Last two years hardly saw any new stores opening in mobile device segment.”
Under pressure the physical retail is innovating to stay relevant. Bigger players like Croma, Reliance digital have started their journey towards Omnichannel retail.
“Samsung will grow its presence through Omnichannel across, offline as well as online channels. We are wherever our users are. And that’s why we have the largest retail network in the India with over 1, 50, 000 retailers. We are looking to grow our business in all channels including the online space”
Samsung has launched online exclusive models. So far, Samsung was reluctant to go all out in the online segment as it has huge dependence on the offline trade, Beside Amazon and Flipkart, Samsung has partnered with Paytm for online sales. It recently recruited over 5,000 online dealers as part of its tie up with Paytm Mall.
Stores of future-
All these developments put pressure on retail stores to improve, innovate and evolve. Stores of future will be more than just sell, they will be places that become keystones for a brands overall channel strategy.
Maninder Singh , Lead Consultant , Infosys
It is a time to review your store’s Omnichannel strategy . Is it ready for a transition to online to offline sales. My views on how it is time for retailers to plan and implement their Omnichannel strategy .
Retailers are using new approaches to better Omnichannel retailing. The right solutions give a retailer an good view of stocks across stores and the offline , wherever the location of the purchase and pick up may be . Retail chains that invest in strong back office capabilities to offer innovative options to customers will win.
Consumers are now shopping online channels as well as at physical stores. In order to reach them at the right time and place, companies need to have Omnichannel strategies to be more effective, improve stock visibility and planning of merchandise across channels.
Consumers are increasingly getting information from social media for a range of products before making a purchase. Retail chains need to recognise this fact else they may not be able to meet these needs of consumers, which, in turn will lead to shoppers to purchase from a competitor. The retail environment is now characterised by trend driven demand as well as consumers purchasing online and at physical stores.
Consumer loyalty for a specific retail chain is dwindling and experience has shown that retail chains still underestimate the importance of technology including smartphones on their operations.
However, with an Omnichannel strategy increasingly becoming the norm, leading players have taken several steps to stay ahead of peers
Retailers that have implemented Omnichannel retail have an edge over pure physical retailers.
Stores of future will be more than just showrooms or places for shopping. They will be the hubs for customer service and experience.
Saurabh Sharma VP , Products , Paytm Mall, Former National Head Modern retail , Airtel
Being a retail professional I watch this evolution with awe. Retail industry is undergoing rapid changes. Offline and online are going towards convergence point, new hybrid models are emerging.
Under duress conventional retail is trying new things, Omni retail is seen as saviour for retailers facing onslaught of aggressive online retailers.
Challenges in implementation are many. Time and cost the important ones. And since it’s a new area expertise is limited.
.Paytm Mall, the ecommerce arm of digital payments giant Paytm, has launched a new model of retail, wherein customers can walk into brick and mortar stores, scan product QR codes, browse information and make purchases via the Paytm Mall app.
The move is in line with the company’s vision to combine online with offline, in order to offer consumers a flexible and efficient shopping experience.
For the launch, Paytm Mall has partnered with fashion brands and is set to expand its reach to more than 50 stores across the country by the end of 2018. “We will also offer this technology to traditional retailers to help them transform into the digital age. We are confident this will prove beneficial for brands as it combines offline stores, warehouse and fulfillment hubs into a single place thereby enabling them to offer an enhanced experience to shoppers.
Through the latest initiative, Paytm Mall aims to maximise partnered brands’ reach and increase the overall efficiency of the retail ecosystem by combining three places: stores, warehouse and fulfillment hub into one place.
Dharmendra Khajuria , CEO Airtel MPCG
Airtel is a service provider. We touch our customers through the largest retail network of General trade retail, Modern trade, Own retail. We are present in offline space through websites, apps, and touch our customers through voice call centres. Till now these channels operated in silos, going forward we are working on seamless integration of these channels and going towards being a strong Omnichannel service provider.
Airtel’s product offerings in India include wireless and fixed services, mobile commerce, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, and national and international long distance services to carriers.
With over 265 million customers across its India operations, Airtel faces the immense task of making sense of and leveraging huge volumes of customer and network data they collect on a daily basis, which was previously stored in multiple traditional systems built over a period of time.
“Our main focus is on providing the best customer experience with our new Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics platform, powered by Cloudera,” ”
It’s very important for a service provider to go Omni so that customers can get services, products where they want and whenever they want.
It’s an exciting challenge to go Omni and involves huge costs and technology and firming the backend supply chains.
Vipul Gupta , Co Founder Hypersonic advisors, ex Practo, Qwikwell , Pepsi Co.
Forget it…. delete
Chirag Sutharia Infinity Retail, Croma , Cluster Lead.
The Modern trade did feel the impact of online initially. It was a novel way to buy and heavy discounting lured customers. It led to decrease in footfalls and hence sales and profit for most CDIT retailers. Big impact was seen in mobile devices and accessories. Product categories where price difference was huge took big hit.
We at Croma , have always been in the forefront of innovation and customer service. Croma was the first in the category to launch a webstore (croma.com) in 2012.
It is once again first off the block with internationally popular Omnichannel features added to the shopping experience.
Over the last year, Croma has already deployed an integrated shopping interface, allowing for a seamless experience across stores and ecommerce. Customers have also been quick to adopt this new age shopping method, with over 30% of Croma’s online sales now choosing to enjoy these Omnichannel features. Its mobile responsive webstore is rapidly gaining traction as more and more customers walk into Croma stores with either information about the product they desire or having already booked the purchase online.
Nearly half of the consumers buying at Croma have visited the website, Croma’s Omnichannel strategy includes its website directing people to visit the nearest Croma store. This allows the retailer to differentiate from etailers like Flipkart and Amazon and also up-sell and cross-sell.
TataCLiQ is also helping Croma , where it is listed as a reseller .
Vikash Sharma , Former Cluster Head The Mobile Store, Present Reliance JioThe Mobile Store was a Mobile and telecom retailer. The first organized chain in this segment in India, had the first mover advantage. Began operations in 2006 and grew to 2000 stores spread across India in 48 cities.
The chain launched its ecommerce website in 2008 in its journey towards Omnichannel retail.
The segment of mobile devices bore the heaviest brunt of online attack. . The mobile purchasing behaviour changed drastically over past few years with advent of online retail. The deep discounts and one day sale offer kind of promotions that many new brands offered pulled customers away from stores.
To counter this, the chain overhauled its technology platform and launched a mobile app. With dwindling sales the retail chain tried to innovate, it tied up with Snapdeal and Paytm to act as fulfilment centre for their deliveries.
The mobile store was biggest telecom retail in India. Emergence of e-commerce business rang bell for brick n mortar stores. The mobile store did achieve break-even point in its tenure. However since 2012, it was booking heavy losses.
Company cut down loss making stores on regular basis. However it didn’t help. Company hired seasonal professional to give new direction to company. The Mobile Store launched FED. With Fastest Expert Delivery (FED), The Mobile Store ensured the phone is delivered along with all the value added services within two hours, satisfying the need of today’s customers – the need of not waiting anymore.
Due to fall in footfall and sales going down, The mobile store revenue fell drastically in 2014-15 and never came to its earlier level. The fall continued in coming years also
In October 2017 parent Essar Ltd. Decided to shut shop and closed all The Mobile store outlets.
The story of The Mobile store is that of an organization that didn’t respond to the changes in consumer buying behaviour and paid price for it.
Ever since the Online retailers are piggybacking on offline retail to move forward.
Maulesh Chaya Regional Head LG,
LG India is the Indian arm of the South Korea based electronic giant. It produces consumer electronic goods such mobile devices, Television and home appliances LG is doing all efforts to market its products via social media. And presently, the core focus seems to be on its range of World Record (WR) products. With sizeable presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a Bulletin Board Forum LG is going all out with their social media activities.
LG has firmed up its app and website to give a 360 degree Omni experience. Exclusive LG shoppes will be next step in this regard.
In consumer electronics touch feel experience are important elements of consumer buying process. And personal interface becomes important when it comes to after sales service. Importance of physical stores remains high in this segment. LG still needs to do a lot when a 360 degrees Omni channel strategy is concerned , but you will hear more on this soon.
Aamir Akhtar , CEO Lifestyle Fabrics , Denim, Arvind Ltd
Arvind story goes back to 1887. The textile manufacturing company has done the full journey from fabric to apparel to retail to now, Omnichannel retail.
With a big basket of brands in its kitty Arvind is India’s leading fashion retailer. Flying Machine, Arrow, Lee, Nautica, Ruggers and the list goes on. From a conventional retailer to Omnichannel retailer
Arvind Internet kicked off with custom clothing platform CREYATE in 2014, and launched the Omnichannel retail platform NNNOW in the summer of 2016.
NNNOW will connect digital shoppers to every piece of merchandise from Arvind’s warehouses, 50-odd brands and a network of more than 1,200 stores across 200 Indian cities. It will be one of the most comprehensive merchandise offerings online even as Arvind offline stores will see a spike in productivity due to digitization .
The future of stores will no longer be just a sales medium. It’s going to be an endless aisle,. Offline stores lose as much as 15% sales due to stock outs. NNNOW will offer same-day delivery, click-and-collect (store pick-ups) facilities. “We will create offline experiences online, and online conveniences offline says Aamir.
Arvind Internet, an e-commerce division of Arvind, is restructuring its business operations to become an Omnichannel enabler for large brands and retailers, providing technological and back-end support to them. The firm has already bagged contracts to create brand e-commerce sites and Omnichannel capabilities for brands such as Puma, Levi’s, Reliance Brands, Converse, Being Human, Forever New, Numero Uno and BlackBerry in the Indian market
Vibhuti Kiri , Apple Solution Specialist , retail
Apple is known for innovation, giving world a new experience always. Apple tries to give a seamless experience combining physical stores and mobile app to increase sales.
Apple operates through its own stores, Reseller stores and shop in shops at leading modern trade chains. Apple solution specialists are deployed at major stores in service of customers. Customer centricity is at heart of this effort. Customers can book appointments with customer care team through the app. Customers get alerted when a representative is ready to serve them. They are alerted when they’re near the store where they have to collect a product . They get their order information alerts moment they enter the store to collect the product. These experiences bring delight to the customer . He gets a feel of the brand whicever medium he interacts with it.
Apple is one of the best example of what Omnichannel strategy means. Customer is at centre of this Omnichannel experience. All Apple stores have a similar standard design where you can freely interact with products , experience them.
There are many ways Apple ensures everything around it is a single branded experience, while providing fast, easy and simple solutions. Apple is a good example of right Omnichannel strategy use because customer experience is unified across platforms. One example , Apple welcomes customers into their physical stores in order to give a feel, experience of their products. Customers can also easily research their products online, then come to physical store to experience these products before they decide to buy. And since branding is consistent across each channel, their products and marketing are same across.
I am here as a Solution Specialist at Apple physical stores and Shop in Shops to meet the customer need of human interaction and personal touch. Apple says its customer first always and we help them from all available channels. Backed by a strong brand equity, premium products which give strong performance we strive to make customer experience a delight.
In future we will see more innovation at stores towards the Omnichannel strategy. Stores of future will be more of showrooms to induce purchase.
67% improve Paytm, lg infy , apple
Infibeam and rural Vipul Trivedi , Egram delete ?? non relevant
Infibeam is bringing the fruits of ecommerce to rural areas of Gujarat. Infibeam has signed up with Gujarat government for this initiative.
Ahmedabad based E-commerce startup InfiBeam is trying to do everything possible on earth that can be associated with a web company. From e-store to branded mobiles, from Pi to Phi, classifieds site to education portal to customized merchandise. In their latest bid to do more, InfiBeam is tying up with Gujarat govt. to power their rural e-commerce initiative, Vishwagram Bazaar. Vishwagram Bazaar would enable the 14,000 Vishwagram centers in the state to be able to buy and sell goods, including local produce online.
Infibeam will open up its e-commerce platform for village entrepreneurs including fair price shops to create online Vishwagram Bazaar stores. This would enable entrepreneurs to buy, sell and access products. An estimated investment of Rs.2,000 Crores will be made over a period of five years in building out the IT infrastructure, logistics, product inventories and support services.
Hardeep Singh Big Bazar , Future Group
Though we were an early proponents of e-commerce, but now we focus only on physical retail. Ecommerce and alternate channels don’t figure in retail strategy at present.
The Omni retail or ecommerce, the cost of doing business is unsustainable, it’s not about e-commerce as a business. 20% cost of customer acquisition, 20% cost of delivery, 8% technology cost. You can’t sustain any business on this basis. Of course great enterprises have been created, but in the long term it’s the model that you build that works. You have to build a sustainable model.”Bigbazardirect.com shut shop after three years of launch as it didn’t pick up
We at Future group are of view that retailers should not have an e-commerce strategy at all. Focus on your strength and that is physical retail.
This coming at a time when the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is investing heavily in its e-commerce operations to catch up with online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. Amazon, in turn, is investing in offline retail networks
Globally, online and offline retailers are rapidly converging in each other’s territories, as retail margins shrink for companies following both business models. Closer home, offline retailers including Tata group’s Trent Ltd and Godrej Group’s Godrej Nature’s Basket have acquired small online app-based retailers to set up their online sales operations as part of their “Omnichannel” strategy. But Future group is firm, it will not invest in an Omnichannel strategy for its physical stores for now.
TataCLiQ, Westside, Chandra Vijay Singh Jhala , Store Manager
Westside has a unique Omnichannel strategy courtesy TataCLiQ. We have not gone the way Shoppers stop.
Tata Group, the 150-year-old salt-to-software conglomerate. It entered online retail with its e-commerce portal TataCLiQ. TataCliQ is unique in so many ways.
TataCLiQ has done a few things differently from other marketplaces. Its concept Phygital blends physical with digital. It sells only fashion and electronics, and is working on adding more categories.
Of the 800 brands that Tata CliQ has tied up with, the ‘phygital’ effort involves 50 brands, including Croma, Westside, Titan, FCUK, Police, Esprit, Metro, Vero Moda, ONLY, and Global Desi.
Flipkart, Myntra, ShopClues, and Amazon boast of thousands of brands—international and local. Their goal is to have everything for everyone, whether in the budget range or premium. Not all their sellers are authorised re-sellers of the merchandise they put up for sale, which increases the chances of fake products making their way to customers. TataCLiQ onboards only authorised re-sellers.
TataCliQ.com allows customers to buy products online which can be returned in any of the physical stores – Westside or Croma.
This is a first-of-its-kind phygital e-commerce marketplace brings to India a smart combination of the reassurance and in-store experience of a large on-ground network with the convenience of online shopping, bringing the best of both worlds together,”
Nike —?? Find someone or leave
Adidas , Mohsin Shaikh, Store Manager
With 500 plus stores for Adidas and 250-plus stores for Reebok, Adidas Group in India aggressively rolled out an Omnichannel strategy in 2015 to integrate its vast retail expanse with shopper-friendly technology.
With an ‘endless aisles’ technology as the centre of its strategy, the group has managed to transform its 227 offline stores in last one year. The ‘endless aisle’ technology equips Adidas and Reebok franchise stores with iPads where shoppers can browse and order for items that are not in stock at the physical stores.
Adidas Group has identified three key pillars to merge its online and offline worlds: create strong in-store experiences, move from data to actionable data and provide seamless experiences across channels.As a first step, the website and mobile site for both Adidas and Reebok were set up in early 2015, followed by a roll out of ‘endless aisles’, connecting 220-plus stores via iPads. By 2018, this number went up to 750 stores.
As a next step, the group is focusing on acquiring meaningful consumer data through mobile, e-com, and retail POS. The group has set for itself a target of acquiring one million consumers in 2018. Along with these capabilities across-channel, marketing campaigns are also being orchestrated in which the traffic is being guided to retail stores via E-commerce and vice-versa. Adidas goes on in its journey towards an integrated shopping experience in a robust way.
Raghunath , Puma, Regional Head
German sportswear maker Puma SE is planning to introduce new services in India that combine features of online and in-store shopping to better cater to customers demanding convenience.
Taking a leaf out of the book of overseas chain stores such as Wal-Mart Stores, Puma is looking to let its shoppers pick up goods ordered online from stores within the same day. It is also going to equip its in-store salespeople with tablet computers to quickly check if something that is out of stock in a store is available online or in a store nearby.
The plan to revamp Puma’s flagship stores in Indian metros over the next six months comes at a time when shoppers are increasingly ordering everything from gadgets to clothes online from Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon India and others.
“We will support both the channels now that we know that consumers have started to move towards online transactions much faster,” As part of the revamp, Puma will look to better manage its inventory in an attempt to give shoppers simultaneous access to its in-store and online merchandise while they are shopping in a store. “It will help us recover lost sales due to lack of inventory in-store as stores only have so much shelf space,” he said.
Puma, which currently runs 320 standalone franchisee stores across 115 cities in India, is also planning to expand in existing and new cities while building its Omnichannel format, joining an increasing group of retailers who are trying to service Indian shoppers across mobile, Internet and brick-mortar retail formats.
“We will go to the top 10 cities with Omnichannel and then progress,”
Puma will also try to start delivering goods ordered via in-store tablets to the customer’s doorstep within 24 hours. The company is yet to decide whether it will do this on its own or through a third-party logistics partner.
Shoppers in India are increasingly opting to buy their ware online or on their smartphones rather than making trips to the local store or mall.
Puma is also working to make sure similar products are not sold at different prices in-store and online, and dedicating exclusives to both channels.
For Puma, which currently sees 10-15% of sales trickling in from online channels, brick and mortar will continue to be a critical part of the Omnichannel retail strategy. “We definitely see increase in sales online and e-commerce will grow faster, but we will never take the eye off the ball from physical retail,”
Raymond , Kunal Shah, Director
Textile major Raymond Ltd plans to come out with its Omnichannel strategy to scale up its digital business and woo younger customers,
The company which is into fabrics and branded apparel, is facing no competition from e-commerce players. For Raymond, the customer base is largely 30 years and above. Huge number of customers who shop online are below 30 years Raymond sees no competition here.Today a customer looks at his/her convenience and wants to shop at any time and lot of online shopping happens after 9 pm, when no “physical stores” are open, Raymond has made its products available online. We are definitely looking at Omnichannel strategy where a consumer can shop online or shop at the store and get it delivered at his home. It could be anywhere…you could shop anywhere, and pick from anywhere is how Raymonds sees it.
This will help customers choose out of a wide range. The strategy would help the company to connect with younger customers,
Rising sales logged by e-commerce players in general has made the Raymond “think hard” in terms of adding stores.
Raymonds projects sale of Rs 100 crores in this financial year from online channels. We believe that shopping in this country is still impulsive and experience . Both Brick and Mortar and Ecommerce will coexist. But still working towards an integration makes sense.
Shoppers Stop Rajesh Mandaliya , Ankur Jain
Omnichannel refers to retailing simultaneously through both off-line? ??channels like physical stores and onlin?e? through e?-tailers.
Deep discounting by e-tailers, market sources pointed out, have led to falling footfall for brick and mortar stores. As such, many brands and retailers are looking at Omnichannel presence in order to leverage both the channels
With online fashion players getting aggressive to tap new breed of shoppers, traditional retailers have to innovate.
Shoppers Stop has tied up with hybris software, a SAP company and a commerce platform provider.
The retailer plans to invest Rs. 60 crore over the next three years in technology, supply chain and talent to strengthen its Omnichannel play.
The tie-up with Hybris will enable it to provide a seamless and unified shopping experience to customers across its multiple channels, that is, physical stores, web, social, TV and marketplaces.
Over the next three years, Shoppers Stop will extend its Omnichannel strategy to its group companies HomeStop and Crossword.
By 2020, the company targets to achieve 10 per cent revenue through digital-touch points.
Amongst the top global retailers, 9 out of 10 are brick and mortar players who have evolved into Omnichannel entities. In India, Shoppers Stop was one of the first department stores to launch a multi-channel play through our e-store www.shoppersstop.com. Now, we are embarking on our Omnichannel journey by linking our multiple channels to give customers a unified brand experience. We plan to invest Rs. 60 crore over the next three years in technology, supply chain and talent to strengthen its Omnichannel play.
We have introduced new features such as ‘Click & Collect’, ‘Ship from Store’, ‘Endless Aisles, and much more.”
Customer service, inventory and order delivery management module implementation has been done
Shoppers Stop currently has 80-odd stores. It has already closed/restructured some stores which have not been “performing well”.
Shoppers Stop, in which US-based online retail giant Amazon had picked up 5 per cent stake last year, is expecting contribution from online will get doubled every year as channel matures.
Shoppers stops has seen investment from ecommerce major Amazon who infused 179 crores investment.
Suresh Menon , HyperCITY
In addition to its own websites and Omnichannel capabilities, the company has entered into strategic alliances with major e-commerce players as well. It has tied-up with Snapdeal, Flipkart, Amazon and Jabong to sell Hypercity’s products on these marketplaces. Additionally, it has also tied up with hyperlocal e-grocers such as ZopNow, Grofers and PepperTap, who pick up grocery from HyperCITY for deliveries.
“So the idea is to be a brick and mortar play, online play, Omnichannel play and marketplace play…so that customers can find us wherever they are and want to shop from. For a retailer like us, Omnichannel means putting the consumer at the centre of our strategy and allowing them to decide when, where, and how to shop. The consumer can order anytime, anywhere, and from any device.
67% correct , adidas, shoppers stop
Sujith S, Store Manager
Landmark group , Max fashion , Lifestyle.
Landmark Group, Dubai-based retail conglomerate
Currently Landmark stores are present in 100 cities across India and the brand has plans to expand to 20 more cities in the next one year. The brand will cover 120 cities with its brick-and-mortar format. Apart from that, its e-commerce portal, lifestylestores.com,Maxfashion.com serves to connect to consumers in more than 500 cities.
Omnichannel has opened a bag of opportunities for retailers, and Landmark is also leaving no stone unturned to provide a similar, unparalleled experience to its customers across all mediums.
Apart from opening physical stores, we are also connecting the inventory of all online and offline stores through click-and-collect. Customers can shop online and then collect the item from any store. They can also get alterations done in-store if needed.”
“By going Omnichannel, the fulfilment and convenience for the customers goes up. It also helps brands give consumers a superior experience,”
Landmark which is working on it Omnichannel strategy, gets just one per cent of its business from its online channel. However, over the next five years, the brand hopes to achieve a healthy contribution from the same.
“Over the past two years, we are working towards making Max Fashion, Lifestyle true Omnichannel brands. We have tied up with vendor partners who are providing us with solutions and we are using their platform towards better tracking, and analytics, so that we can provide the consumer with a seamless experience. We are also using their third-party vendor platform for logistics,
Landmark group is planning to leverage the nationwide brand acceptance and continue expanding all over India, with a focus on northern and eastern markets.
Landmark Group, leading retail and hospitality conglomerates in the Middle East and India, has unveiled Click & Collect and Returns to Store in India. The two features, available on LifestyleStores.com, MaxFashion.com, HomeCentre.com, and their Android and iPhone apps, mark group’s endeavour to provide convenient Omnichannel experience to its customers. These customer-focused initiatives represent the latest step in the Group’s journey towards providing a complete, simple and convenient Omnichannel experience for its millions of customers in India. Our goal is to make shopping simpler, faster and more delightful for our customers, regardless of whether they choose to shop from our stores, sites or apps.” The first of these features, Click & Collect, allows customers to shop and pay for their orders online and then collect their products in-store. The Group has leveraged its vast store network in India to ensure that customers will be able to collect their orders from over 230 stores across the country. Orders will be ready for collection in one-four business days, depending on the location of the store, and can be held in-store for the customer up to 14 days. Click & Collect is already a popular feature in more evolved retail markets. According to IRUK Top 500, 58 per cent of the UK’s top 500 retailers now offer Click ; Collect, while Planet Retail states that over 75 per cent of the country’s online shoppers are expected to use the feature by the end of 2017. Many top traditional retailers in the US have also adopted Click & Collect. Gartner reported that by 2015, the service was offered by 45 per cent of large firms with an annual revenue greater than $ 3 billion. Benefits for customers include zero shipping charges and the flexibility of collecting their products from a location of their choosing. Max online shoppers can collect their products from the Max store they’ve selected, Lifestyle customers can select a Lifestyle store, while Home Centre’s online customers enjoy the ease of collecting from either a Home Centre standalone store or a combined Lifestyle and Home Centre store. As a bonus, upon collection, customers will receive a voucher for a discount on their next in-store purchase. The second Omnichannel feature, Returns to Store, allows customers to easily return their online orders in-store within 30 days of receiving the products. Max customers can take their products back to a Max store, Lifestyle customers to a Lifestyle store, and Home Centre shoppers can return their orders either to a Home Centre standalone store, or a combined Lifestyle and Home Centre store. One big advantage customers enjoy with Returns to Store is that they can receive an instant cash refund if they’ve paid for their order by Cash on Delivery. If not, they’ll receive a refund to their card, bank account or wallet, depending on their payment method. Alternatively, whatever their payment method, customers can also opt for a credit note which they can use to shop online. The refund will be initiated as soon as their returns have been checked in-store. The Group’s priority was ensuring that both features are not only useful but also convenient. For customers to pick up their orders, all they need to do is head to the Collection Point in their chosen store and show their government-issued photo ID. To make a return in-store, customers just need to remember to include all tags and their invoice when they hand over their returns to the store staff at the Collection Point. (SV)
Lenskart ??? TBD
Pepperfly/Urban ladder TBDUday , Dmart Supermarket chain DMart, is building supply-chain capabilities, to reach its customers faster.
The company recently launched a mobile app and a website, to take on big-box retailers such as Star Bazaar and Big Bazaar besides online players such as Bigbasket, Grofers and ZopNow. On SCM front company is planning to strengthen its supply chain backbone by setting pick up points for app orders.
Named DMart Ready’, the centres will be 150-200-sqft stores that will act as pick-up points for customers who order products on its app. The pilot is on in Mumbai and will be rolled out in all DMart market in a gradual manner.
DMart’s better financial performance in comparison to its competitors has been driven by its differentiated business model, wherein 90 per cent of its stores are located in properties owned by the firm, unlike most retail firms that go for leasing. Also, the company has kept operational costs low by opening stores in suburbs and small towns.
Parag Shah, Director,, Aditya Birla brands , LP , VH
Trendin.com, the e-commerce website of Aditya Birla Nuvo-run Madura Fashion ; Lifestyle, has witnessed 200 per cent growth in its online orders since its launch in 2013 and is planning to launch store pick-up and return services. Trendin.com showcases merchandise for men, women and kids and houses brands such as Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Peter England and People.
Most traditional retailers are moving towards Omnichannel marketing. As consumers move seamlessly between digital and physical channels, even during the same shopping trip, the lines between online and in-store shopping is getting blurred, and reaching out to consumers through all possible shopping points is becoming imperative.
A big adjustment that businesses need to make is to understand that their shoppers do not see the world as online versus in-store. It is fully integrated in their minds and lives. But until very recently, most businesses were set up with an online division that often competed with their brick-and-mortar division. That’s just going to confuse consumers, and it is not leveraging insights across teams for the betterment of the company “Omnichannel retailers need to get out of silo thinking and integrate various functions.”
Premium lifestyle brand for professionals, Van Heusen, Louie Phillpe recently unveiled digitally immersive flagship stores, in their effort to address every customer’s peeve of not finding the appropriate fit, size and style best suited to their personality.
At the store, shoppers are greeted by a 42 inch, digital display called ‘Today’s Briefing’ that offers ‘look of the day,’ informs what’s new in-store, doles out styling tips and updates on new fashion trends. Next to the display is the ‘Fit Scanner’ enclosure, where the customer is scanned by an infrared device, after which, measurements, right from the collar circumference, shoulder width, to the chest, bust, hip etc. are generated and are used to identify the right fit for shirts, trousers, dresses, etc.
Adding on to that, the store also has a ‘Style Bar’ digital display that helps customers to identify their style personality by answering a few questions and throwing up 20 different looks that match the shopper’s style. Customers can even choose to virtually preview the selected shirts, trousers etc., on themselves using the Virtual Trial Mirror, without having to step into a physical trial room. By offering such wide array of digital solutions, the store aims to solve customer issues of fit and fashion through multiple digital touch points.
The Aditya Birla group owned brands are trying to connect all company owned stores in its first step of Omnichannel journey. Franchisee stores will happen in second phase.
Decathlon, Gunjan Bajoria , Expansion Manager
‘Omnichannel is a revolution to which no one escapes’, said François De Witte, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Decathlon France
1,352 outlets in 39 countries and fast expanding sports and fitness retail chain.
Important transformation for Decathlon is its Omnichannel market approach. “Although the share of internet sales is still low for us at 4.5% in 2017 (4.1% in 2016), Omnichannel is still a revolution to which no one escapes,” “Market research also shows that one in five customers said they had not found the product they were looking for in stores without checking it online first.”
To improve its customer service Decathlon wants to increase the online product availability from 90% now to 100% in the nearby future. Sporting goods retailer offers its customers the possibility to order online and collect it at a nearby store.
There is a special kiosk instore where the on line ordering can happen in store also.
Visibility for Omni initiatives has been done in store at good vantage points.
Click and collect has picked up well and will be further enhanced by staring delivery at doorstep.
Harshad Joshi, Former GM Operations, Bharti Walmart, Current CEO Mahi Dairy Ltd.
For retailers the days of relying on a physical presence without incorporating digital selling channels are over. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, retailers are blending both worlds to meet or exceed customers’ expectations. After all, it’s the consumer, rather than the retailer, who now defines the shopping journey. Everything is eventually driven by what the customer wants and India being a young country, the millennials are adopting digital in a big way. So, the retailers don’t have a choice. If they want to be successful, I think it is one of the key success practice that they provide the Omnichannel experience and implement strategies to serve the customers.”
The value conscious Indian shopper believes that price is just a part of the larger value story. Convenience offered by the retailer also plays a major role in determining value. Indians buy online primarily because of convenience and price
Shoppers demand a service-focused in-store experience and want to interact with a knowledgeable store employee (both in e-marketplaces as well as physical stores).
In addition to shopping in stores, the consumer is also opting for e-Retail. The choice, and ease of ordering from a smartphone gives a greater shopping convenience to the consumer, which is expected to grow in the coming years. Indian Retail – both brick-and-mortar and online, thus will continue to drive domestic consumption growth which in turn will boost manufacturing
There are plenty of reasons for this upsurge in Omnichannel retail, the foremost being the penetration of broadband Internet, as well as a growing number of 4G users in the country. Add to this the fact that India will soon be home to the world’s second largest smartphone user base and one can understand why there has been an explosive growth in online sales.
Other factors such a rise in the standard of living, competitive prices and availability of a wide range of products, doorstep delivery options and loyalty privileges have all contributed towards forwarding India’s Omnichannel boom.
This is an exciting time for the retail industry and the next five years will belong to those who commit to provide the seamless Omnichannel experience to customers. E-Retail is undeniably a very big change and is here to stay.
R Srinivasan, Retail expert Former Cluster Head Future group
The biggest trend in the Indian retail industry in 2017 was inarguably the emergence of the Omnichannel business model (where a retail brand had both an offline as well as an online presence). Omnichannel model is not restricted to the physical retailers alone, but the large online stores merit in having a physical presence.
So, Amazon India picked up a 5% stake in Shoppers Stop and more recently, Flipkart’s fashion arm, Myntra has announced that it would be launching physical stores to retail its private brands Roadster, HRX and All About You. While single brand online retailers such as furniture, jewellery, eye-wear and beauty brands had already moved into the physical space, this year saw the market places moving into physical retail, a trend which has already taken place in the matured markets with the likes of Amazon and Alibaba picking up stakes in large physical departmental stores. In fact Walmart’s Omnichannel model has been giving Amazon a serious run for its money in the US. Latest in this regard is Walmart buying home-grown online retailer Flipkart.
The fact that consumers want to touch and feel the products they buy as much as they want to shop within the comforts of their home has compelled retailers to embark upon a multi-prong retail strategy. The physical stores also serve as a distribution hub, and thereby help reducing costs. So, if a consumer wants to exchange a product, she has the option of going to the nearest store to return the product she has bought online, browse through other options at the physical store, even try it out (in case of categories such as apparel, footwear etc.) and then buy a product of her choice.
Apart from online retailers bleeding profusely because of deep discounting, the practice of offering free delivery and free returns which most online retailers are practising to acquire customers has also become a huge pain point. They may start charging for these services in near future,
Let’s see how these synergies will work, while Shoppers Stop will sell its 400-odd brands on Amazon, the latter will get space to set up experience centres at Shoppers Stop outlets to promote its fashion brands. By selling through Amazon, Shoppers Stop can now reach to far-flung areas of the country where setting up stores wouldn’t have been economically viable for the country.
While most Indian retailers have set out on the Omnichannel journey, will it work, will it be profitable? No one in the industry has answer, as all of them are still experimenting the model.
While most Indian retailers have set out on the Omnichannel journey, will it work, will it be profitable? No one in the industry has answer, as all of them are still experimenting the model.
Challenges, Omni-channel is expensive with the various techniques and customer interface. Not everyone is tech savvy to use and results to only 10% output to a maximum in many cases, physically look n feel the products n make buying decisions.
Future in retail cannot be ignored with Brick & Mortar stores. It will coexist with rest channels of retailing.
Yamir Bhatt , Cluster Head
Darshak Mehta , SVP , Strategy
To cash in on the fast growing e-commerce segment, Reliance Retail, a company Reliance Industries, has launched multi-channel shopping across all its formats.
The company, which operates its business under five core formats — Value Formats and others, Fashion and Lifestyle, Digital, Brands and Jewellery — has already launched e-commerce operations for its Value format through reliancefreshdirect.com on a pilot basis.
“Reliance Retail is poised to launch multi-channel shopping for other format sectors as well. The potential of e-commerce combined with the network of physical store locations will offer tremendous choice and convenience at a great value to the consumer,” Reliance Industries said about its retail business in its annual report.
The opportunity is to integrate an ‘offline-online’ model, which can truly differentiate the customer experience.”
Reliance Retail forayed into online channel through reliancefreshdirect.com. Today Reliance digital, Reliance trends and Reliance footprint are in process of implementing a Omnichannel strategy.