Indian retail sector is witnessing a steady rise Omnichannel Retail Business Model and it’ll only grow. Here’s how
Since 2017, the Indian retail sector has seen a significant shift towards integration of omnichannel in retail business models. The spike of e-retail or e-commerce has led the customers to crave a more holistic experience and national and international retailers have taken the ‘Omni’ route towards sales.
The Omni Channel Model
Omnichannel stands for the complete integration of shopper’s experience blurring the boundaries of off-line and on-line stores. for example, with the help of technology, one needs not to check out a store again and again for the new arrivals – one can just order online and pick up from the physical store and vice versa. Unlimited opening hours, virtual mirrors, self check out kiosks, smooth cross channel shopping and more — all are part of the omnichannel basket.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. A report finds that 67% of Gen Zs believe that a website will know what they’re looking for before they even do anything. Keeping the customer preferences in mind, the retailers are trying to make the customer experience as seamless as possible.
Recently, US Luxury jewellery retailer Tiffnay’s & Co entered the Indian market with Reliance Industries. The new store in The Chanakya, New Delhi, aims at an improved shopping experience via a private salon which is available on scheduled appointments. With this debut Tiffany put India on its omnichannel map that operates over 300 retail stores worldwide which is supported by over 5,000 skilled artisans and approximately 14,000 employees.
Talking about Reliance Industries, in a bid to go omnichannel, Reliance Retail is aggressively making a network of grocery stores to be used for last-mile delivery of food and grocery. With this network of physical outlets, the Indian giant will be head-on with international giants like Amazon and Flipkart’s business in India.
Last month, world’s largest furniture seller IKEA launched its online store in Pune. The move comes under a grander strategy, before the launch of the signature IKEA store in the city. IKEA’s retail strategy entails reaching out to customers via e-commerce, small stores, and large retail formats. The company which aims to reach 100 million customers in India in the next two year, said in a statement, “Pune is the second market in India after Mumbai to open online first without the presence of physical stores.” IKEA’s wider strategy includes opening small-format stores in cities like Paris & New York while pushing e-commerce sales.
The Future Of Indian Retail
As per forecasts India is expected to become a $ 4.5 trillion economy by 2023 and about a 5.5 trillion by 2025. By 2025, the omnichannel experience will greatly benefit the retail sector which alone can contribute $ 1.5 trillion in total expected $ 5.5 trillion economy of the country. Another study by JLL finds that retail sector in India is consistently adapting to economic changes via balanced and innovative strategies.
In other instance, Titan watches have already achieved significant success in the omnichannel approach like buy online and pick up at the store. “We became omnichannel in Mumbai, Bangalore and other metro cities. This helped our customers to locate the nearest store, seek product availability, options to reserve any particular watch online, and schedule pick up according to their feasible date and time slots,” Krishnan Venkateswaran, Chief Digital & Information Officer of Titan told ET.
The online stores provide retailers with new insights into customer behavior and a controlled environment to experiment on low or no operational cost. Brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus have already successfully taken the route of experimenting first online then launching a fine-tuned product in the market. Business Today quotes, Sumeet Narang, founder Samara Capital, “We are entering a world, where companies will not win but ecosystem will win because the moment there is an omnichannel play, what becomes extremely critical is that the cost structure is not duplicated between the different ecosystem partners so that all the savings are passed on to the consumer to make customer service promise stronger.”
India is the second-largest online market with over 560 million active internet users. This figure is expected to exceed over 600 million by 2021. Keeping this in mind coupled with ever-changing consumer behavior the omnichannel approach being adopted by the retailers will only see a significant spike with an infusion of AI and technology in the coming times.