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Retail 2015-10-28

Omni Channel, Emerging Opportunity in Retail

Few experts within the industry believe that “Omni Channel model” in retail business is at its nascent stage while others believe, for a few sectors like travel, disruption has already happened. What will be its fate, let’s take a quick look.

By Amanpreet Kaur, TFW Bureau Chief Sub Editor

Omni-channel is basically amalgamating or blending online and traditional brick-and-mortar channels to drive robust profits for the brand or a company. These days, this trend is evolving as customers want anytime, anywhere experience across online and offline channels therefore, many brands are hoping on different retail formats to not only have a robust footprint but to generate more and more revenues in no time. However, the major key point lies in understanding to what extent; it can sustain unlimited profits for retailers, franchisors and existing franchisees. 

 In India, the consumer demand is changing rapidly and to provide best of offerings to the end consumers, business models are also transforming which is further resulting in the demand for funding options. Realising the potential of the omni-channel retail strategy, brands are willing to make investments as they believe that it will impact direct sales, persuade leads and building a strong presence of the brand across the country. So far, many brands have adopted this channel to have a widespread in the country and reaching the target consumers. In fact, various brick and mortar brands are also making their products available online on leading e-commerce portals. Supporting the ongoing trend of omni channel retail, Dipak Agarwal, CEO, DLF Brands, says, “Online retail disruption has created a lot of opportunity for investors. Looking at the growing popularity of E-commerce space, our plans are underway to soon launch our exclusive online shopping portal – Kidskart.com for parents and kids.” On the other side, understanding the need to provide funding support to franchisors, State Bank of India has also come up with different schemes to support the franchisors and franchisees. On supporting the entrepreneurs through external funding options, Rashmi Duggal, DGM – SME, SBI said, “At SBI, we offer a gamut of financial solutions to prospective franchisees. Also, for capital intensive franchisees, we can offer customized CAPEX funding to suit the business model.”

Regardless of what retailers or franchisors think about omni-channel route, the big question still lies in knowing whether the e-commerce bubble is going to prevail for a long time or it will explode in a short duration. To keep afloat and evaluate their current strategy, some brands are expected to get into partnerships as the growth of omni-channel continues to move faster as brands are investing more on different business models to become profitable and reach consumers. In a nutshell, it is believed that omni-channel has truly revolutionised the way consumers shop these day, seeing this; it will be interesting to see how online stores increase or launch their brick and mortar concept in the coming times or vice versa. 

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