The rampant shift to online shopping can be attributed to the advent of technologies including the internet and smartphones.
Today, products ranging from everyday FMCG essentials to heavy electronics are all simply bought online and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. The rampant shift to online shopping can be attributed to the advent of technologies including the internet and smartphones.
In FY17, the organized retail market contributed to 7% of the total retail sector while its unorganized counterpart contributed to the remaining 93%. Further, in 2015, e-retail sales made for 1.7% of all retail sales in the country. This share of e-retail is expected to grow to 4.4% in 2019.
Omni-channel entities and the role of digitalization
As the line between pure online and offline retail blur rapidly, brands have to be present wherever a majority of customers is present. Whether it is online, offline or both, brands have to cater to customer preferences in order to thrive in this cut-throat market.
Each brand, through all its touch points, needs to offer similar customer satisfaction. Given both of these scenarios, the more processes are digitalized, the better the experience is going to be.
Here are 2 separate instances where digitalization can enhance customer experience and thereby boost brand reputation.
Purely Online: A customer visits your app, shares her email and Facebook ID while also subscribing to your newsletter. She browses through some products, probably likes something, and exits without shopping. Then, she goes on with her life and an eventual notification reminds her of the product which she then decides to buy.
This time, she calls the support number for customization and the executive automatically greets her by her name, asks about her previous purchase, asks if she likes the newsletters she's receiving post her subscription and if she needs any help with the current order. Without a doubt, this customer will be wowed and would want to continue shopping through the website for years to come.
Omni-channel: A customer visits a brick-and-mortar store for the first time and submits her email ID and name. She then checks out a product and finally places an order online. After placing the order and making an easy online payment, she decides to pick it up at yet another physical store of the store of the company that is close to her workplace.
At the store, all she needs to do is enter her name and email ID, and her products are presented before her. She does not need to provide any other details or wait in queues to pay for her products. Such a seamless experience can only be offered when digitalization reaches its full potential.
This article is written by Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-founder of Wakefit.co.