Are you busy contemplating whether offline retail is dead or is ecommerce the next dot-com bubble that will burst eventually once its popularity wears off? The fact is ‘pure’ offline and online retail (brands that play only on one selling medium) is on the verge of dying. But what’s alive is Omni-Channel Retailing in India.
Indians prefer to shop from all channels
Hansa Cequity, marketing analytics firm and Retailers Association of India (RAI) recently conducted ‘Omni-Channel Shopper’ study to understand the shopping patterns of Indian consumers. The results revealed that 74% of the survey participants were omni-channel buyers, i.e. they shopped across all retail channels, be it online, local retailers or malls.
Co-founder and COO of Hansa Cequity, Ajay Kelkar shared, “As consumers embrace new technologies, the shopping experience has become increasingly sophisticated, enabling new ways for leading retailers to reach their audience. By integrating and aligning channels – stores, e-stores, mobile apps and social media – omni-channel retailing provides a flexible and seamless shopping experience to customers.”
S Swaminathan, Co-founder and CEO of Hansa Cequity listed down the benefits of multi-channel retailing by saying, “With multi-channel shopping interfaces: physical stores, malls, e-commerce platforms, social-enabled shopping experiences, and smartphone app-based services consumers have so many ways to discover and buy the things they want to.”
Other findings of the study
- Convenience and value-based-buying are crucial factors that influences buying decision
- Young people prefer to research about products on the Internet, the senior lot like to visit malls and other shopping areas to collect information before purchasing
- ‘Deals’ help to get attention of young shoppers, adults get excited about experiential rewards
The Hansa Cequity-RAI study throws light on how omni-channel as a concept is picking up and plays an important role in the evolution of retail in India. It reflects the changing consumer behaviour and how companies across all platforms need to co-exist & use each other as a harness to stay alive.
We can see many retail giants such as Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle Stores, as well as online players like Snapdeal, Amazon that have already adopted multi-channel retailing strategies to stay relevant. And it appears more players will join the club soon.