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Nov, 02 2016

Winning Over the Store-less Generation

In today’s omni-channel retail environment, the relationship between consumers and retail brands is changing – which is demanding an innovative retail strategy to win over the new-age consumer.

The big debate of online versus offline is still on. How, when, where, and why is consumer buying - every brand is curious to know. This was a hot topic at the Franchise India 2016 show – which provided a common platform to the retail biggies to brainstorm on how to succeed in this omni-channel retail environment.

Shiv Nirula, MD, Futomic Group of Companies, said, “As product lines, nowadays, are almost similar; product quality and service is getting standardized. So, the only thing where you can win is by providing a different experience to the consumer.”

It is important to be present in both channels as it is more about consumer convenience. But, there should be right synergy between online and offline space.

Manav Sarin, Sr. VP – Business Development, Gitanjali, said, “A few years back we were not doing very well in retail chains, we came up with a marketplace by the name of Jewelsouk – which is doing so well.”

Talking about the average ticket size, he added, “Earlier the average ticket size of a consumer was Rs 5,000-6,000 and it has grown to 22,000 now.”

Bhawant Anand, Chairman, Khazana Group, added, “We have created two platforms where you can go online, see the products and place an order. We are planning to open 50 stores in India where people would be able to experience it. If it is a high-ticket business, people would like to touch and feel. With these two platform consumers would be able to connect better.”

Online brands are betting big on discounting. Anupam Bansal, Executive Director, Liberty Shoes, said, “Heavy discounting is an ongoing trend in online space, which I think is temporary. It is important to keep the experience and brand emotion alive.”

Highlighting the challenges, Vivek Sethi, Director - Retail, LeEco, shared, “Internet penetration is still low in India. With the increased penetration, e-commerce will become big but it can’t stay without offline.”

Satish Meena, Forecast Analyst, Forrester Research India, said, “Only 2 percent of the total retail market is online and we still have a long way to go.”

Clearly, online definitely it is an opportunity that no brand can ignore. At the same time, they have to be cautious that it should not compete with the existing network. So, definitely, both need to co-exist. 

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