Indian customers’ experience with purchasing in a retail environment has undergone a massive change in last 5 years. The responsible factor? Massive ecommerce boom of course! It is equally encouraging for ecommerce companies to receive such huge response. While, on one hand, ecommerce retailing has started to change the notion of shopping in the country, on the other hand, the traditional brick-and-mortar stores are struggling hard against the rioting success of online shopping. Technological advancement and increasing numbers of tech savvy customers hold both curse and blessing for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers. If they resolutely indulge in making technological advancement work for them, then they will have attention of the large tech savvy customer base. Failure to do so would only quicken their defeat against online competitors.
Trends Inspiring Brick-and-mortar stores to embrace Smart Retailing:
- Non-stop boom in the number of internet users, from approx. 51 million in 2008 to 176 million in 2013 (the growth rate is around 250%)
- Rise in smartphone purchasing tendency among Indian customers, up to 69%
- More and more customers are indulging in showrooming, providing retailers with clear hint that with adequate facilities and personalized services, they are ready to purchase from brick-and-mortar stores
- During 2007-11 the Indian retail industry has grown at the rate of 8% on an average and as per the recent estimation, the growth rate will rise up to 14% by the end of 2016
Customers Ready to enter the Brave New Brick-and-mortar stores?
Quite in contrast to the general perception, the modern Indian customers are expressing their preference towards Smart Retail Stores against traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts. The quality of life has improved significantly in the country during past few years. People have become habituated with less time-consuming, personalized and automated shopping experience. The customer-base, especially the modern one, doesn’t want to go through the hazards of aisles hopping, not finding the products at the right place, out-of-stock or waiting in a long queue. Quite on the contrary, online shopping portals are providing them personalized, time and cost-effective shopping experience. The persistent boom of online purchasers and their random shift from older to newer platforms are clear indication of Indian customers’ readiness for the brave new brick-and-mortar stores. What the brick-and-mortar retail owners need to do is providing customers with real-time information as per their personalized shopping preference.
The best part about Smart Retail revolution emphasizes on understanding customers like never before. This intelligent platform continues gathering customer information from various touch points, starting from their social media, mobile search to in-store purchasing behavior. While the integrated retail analytics divide customers as per their taste, budgetary capacity and demographic preference, on the other hand, business strategists enjoy unprecedented benefit with sending customers with personalized promotional messages to their smart devices. Smart retailing also allows retailers to follow up with customers through different channels and remind them of any purchasing process that they left all of a sudden.
Welcoming the Brave New Brick-and-mortar Experience!
Implementing changes in brick-and-mortar retail is sure to bring forth the following changes – all for the benefit of overall retail in the country:
- By 2018 retail will be more organized and the growth will happen at an accelerating pace
- Organized retail will increase customers conversion in fields like apparels, footwear, packaged food and regular grocery
- Organized retailing will help retailers to overcome the existing economic and regulatory issues, preventing profitable growth
Technological advancement and active initiative of the existing government are pushing for a digital overhaul. The platform is set, the dice is rolling and retail business is all set to become a part of the change. This is a brave new India and customers are ready to derive the benefits of all new brick-and-mortar retailing experience.