Omnichannel retailing is considered to be the modern way of retailing across the Globe today. This modern way of retailing has penetrated into the mindsets of the Indian retailers as they focus on having an omnichannel presence. They certainly are on the right track and are bound to succeed in the future if they persist with this approach.
Why Omnichannel Retailing is important?
The rise of e-commerce has meant that customers are now subject to a lot of options. Apart from the obvious advantage of items being delivered to home, the whole idea of shopping from home appears to be an exciting and convenient proposition. But, there still are customers who feel at complete comfort while shopping at the store. Whether it's the 'immediate gratification' or 'touch and feel before you buy' factor that customers favour, the fact is that Brick-and-Mortar are not completely out of the picture. Here lies the question. Why not cater to both online and offline?
Customers are not loyal to any particular channel today. Many dwell on online sites, compare prices and end up buying them at the store, and vice-versa. Not all retailers and brands have both an online and offline presence. Hence, the levels of brand loyalty are taking a beating as well. What customers need is a seamless integration between the online and offline channels. Retailers and brands need to have an omnichannel presence if they aspire to be successful in the future. Indian retailers understand this fact and are therefore resorting to omnichannel retailing.
The Expected Growth of Modern Indian Retail
Modern retail in India, driven by omnichannel retailing is forecasted for a massive growth in the years to come. According to a report jointly published by Knight Frank India and the Retailers Association of India (RAI), retail in India is expected to double in size from Rs 87,100 crore at present to Rs 1,71,800 crore by 2019. This rise is expected across the top six retail markets of the country which include – NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad.
Retailers across these six locations are looking to provide their customers with a seamless omnichannel experience. The modern retail penetration is expected to witness a surge from 19% to 24% by 2019. Various factors have resulted in retailers adopting this modern way of retailing. The primary one is that of the ever changing consumer buying behavior across channels. Other factors include the favourable state retail policies, advent of technology and increased foreign direct investment initiatives.
The Key Players adopting the Omnichannel path
The time for omnichannel retailing has come and brands do realize this fact. For this purpose, various renowned brands are looking to provide their customers with an omnichannel experience. Shoppers Stop, renowned department store operator are keen on adopting an omnichannel strategy. The recent launch of the Shoppers Stop mobile application and the relaunch of its' online portal certainly validate this fact.
Just like Shoppers Stop, various other brands are looking to adopt a similar strategy. They include Vero Moda, GAP, Selected Homme, Woodland, Jack and Jones, etc. The Swedish fashion brand Hennes & Mauritz, although still focusing on offline stores in India, are well aware of the omnichannel opportunities in the country and will certainly look to capitalize in the future. Other retailers and brands who are still figuring out how to go about things in the future should certainly look to emulate what these brands are doing. With every passing day, having an omnichannel presence for brands and retailers is becoming increasingly imperative.