De­mys­ti­fy­ing the hype

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Contents - By Premjit Mo­ha­p­a­tra

Omni-chan­nel has been the re­tail in­dus­try’s buzz­word for the bet­ter half of the last decade. Across board­rooms, in­vestors’ calls, busi­ness plan­ning meet­ings and in-store, the term omni-chan­nel comes up as a peren­nial agenda item for most or­ga­nized re­tail­ers across the world. But the re­al­ity is that whether you call it omni-chan­nel, multi-chan­nel, ex­pe­ri­en­tial re­tail or even new re­tail, very few brands and re­tail­ers have a co­he­sive idea of their phys­i­cal + dig­i­tal roadmaps and, more im­por­tantly, what this new way of ser­vic­ing cus­tomers can re­ally do for a re­tail busi­ness.

While omni-chan­nel vi­sion­ar­ies paint the fu­ture of seam­less, high-tech, in­tra-ses­sion, cross­chan­nel jour­neys across the pur­chase fun­nel, most re­tail­ers must still grap­ple with the brass tacks re­al­i­ties of defin­ing their omni-chan­nel vi­sion and mak­ing the right ground-zero decisions to re­al­ize it.

Amongst all the noise of new chan­nels, e-tail in­no­va­tion, in-store tech­nolo­gies, and omni-van­ity met­rics, re­tail­ers who ex­cel in this new way of sell­ing find a bal­ance be­tween the ex­is­ten­tial re­al­ity of do­ing omni-chan­nel ver­sus get­ting sucked into a vor­tex of in­vest­ments with lack­ing returns. Against the back­drop of day-to-day re­al­i­ties of hyper com­pe­ti­tion, ris­ing re­tail costs of busi­ness, and pro­duc­tiv­ity, th­ese re­tail­ers are able to draw clear lines be­tween the must haves, nice to haves, and pies-in-the-sky omni-chan­nel jour­neys to focus their re­tail trans­for­ma­tion ef­forts. Th­ese re­tail­ers also look be­yond the tech­nol­ogy and treat omni-chan­nel as a fun­da­men­tal change man­age­ment process in their or­ga­ni­za­tions to achieve the true ben­e­fits.

At an in­dus­try event, pan­elists com­pris­ing stal­warts of the re­tail in­dus­try, took a hard look at the true essence of omni-chan­nel be­yond the buzz­words, hype, and out­side-in es­o­ter­ics. Specif­i­cally, the panel ad­dressed hard-hit­ting top­ics for re­tail­ers and ar­tic­u­lated the view points of in­dus­try prac­ti­tion­ers who have de­liv­ered cus­tomer de­light and ROI on omni-chan­nel. The pan­elists were: An­shu Dubey, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, Dis­tri­bu­tion Sec­tor, IBM; Atul Madan, Direc­tor Re­tail, SSIPL; Deven Pabaru, Chief Strat­egy & Im­ple­men­ta­tion Of­fi­cer, Stel­lar Value Chain So­lu­tions; Kavin­dra Mishra, MD & CEO, Pepe Jeans; Uma Tal­reja, Chief Dig­i­tal Of­fi­cer, Ray­mond; H.S. Sidhu, Pres­i­dent, Mufti; Pooran Jaiswal, CTO, Globus Stores; Jaideep Shetty, Co-founder & MD, Min­er­als Fash­ion. The ses­sion was mod­er­ated by Mukul Bafana, Co-founder and CEO, Arvind In­ter­net and Harmeet Ba­jaj, Fash­ion Aca­demi­cian, Con­sul­tant and Part­ner, Im­pre­sario (So­cial).

To put things in the con­text, Mukul Bafana started by talk­ing about how re­tail­ers can get their omni-chan­nel strate­gies right. “We need a well-se­quenced ap­proach to get the ROI from our busi­ness. For this, we need to act on the om­nichan­nel play­book. A key prin­ci­pal of the om­nichan­nel model is to keep the busi­ness fea­tures cen­tred around con­sumers. We need to un­der­stand our cus­tomers’ needs and build the ap­pro­pri­ate chan­nels to help them in their shop­ping jour­neys. Omni-chan­nel is a trans­for­ma­tion jour­ney, so the play­book needs to be se­quenced in a man­ner that helps us cre­ate a fu­tur­is­tic roadmap.” Ex­pand­ing on the omni-chan­nel theme fur­ther, Harmeet Ba­jaj asked the pan­elists about their omni-chan­nel jour­neys and to share their ex­pe­ri­ence.

Atul Madan of SSIPL spoke about Nike’s om­nichan­nel jour­ney and said, “We run close to 170 stores for Nike in In­dia and we are con­cen­trat­ing on main­tain­ing hy­giene in in­ven­tory and sup­ply chain. We rolled out our omni-chan­nel strat­egy about 18 months ago, and it has given us in­cre­men­tal sale of around 5-7 per cent even though our omni-chan­nel

We need a well se­quenced ap­proach to get the ROI from our busi­ness. For this, we need to act on the omni-chan­nel play­book. A key prin­ci­pal of the om­nichan­nel model is to keep the busi­ness fea­tures cen­tred around con­sumers. — Mukul Bafana Co-founder and CEO, Arvind In­ter­net

model is nowhere com­pet­ing with the e-com­merce busi­ness of the brand.”

Kavin­dra Mishra of Pepe Jeans talked about how omni-chan­nel adds value to the con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence and the im­por­tance of in­ven­tory turnover op­er­a­tions. “Tech­nol­ogy in­ter­ven­tion should add to the con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence. Within six months, we are plan­ning to come out with e-com­merce and om­nichan­nel re­tail in­ter­faces.” An­shu Dubey of IBM gave his take on omni-chan­nel. “Omni-chan­nel is a jour­ney from brick to clicks. The roadmap of a brand needs to be very clear about where you want to lead so that your var­i­ous for­mats or al­ter­nate chan­nels don’t can­ni­bal­ize each other’s busi­ness.” Uma Tal­reja of Ray­mond said: “A lot of us talk about om­nichan­nel as a sup­ply and ful­fill­ment ex­pe­ri­ence and there are lots of op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies re­lated to it. But we be­lieve that we need to gauge and re­gain con­sumer trust and ex­pe­ri­ence to save the sales.”

H.S. Sidhu re­counted his ex­pe­ri­ence of how Mufti is mar­ry­ing the omni-chan­nel strat­egy be­tween COCO and FOFO stores. He said: “If any fran­chisee is serv­ing on be­half of other fran­chisee, I have no prob­lem in giv­ing ex­tra mar­gins to them.

We all are multi-chan­nel and my idea of om­nichan­nel is to nav­i­gate be­tween the medi­ums. Our omni-chan­nel strat­egy is at a nascent stage but we are fo­cused on mak­ing it big. I will lead my om­nichan­nel strat­egy from my stores.” On his part, Jaideep Shetty spoke of the omni-chan­nel strat­egy of Min­er­als Fash­ion. “We have been look­ing to ramp up sales from our shop-in-shops and in a cou­ple of months we will be launch­ing an app that will help us to gen­er­ate more sales by as­sur­ing greater ac­ces­si­bil­ity. It will help drive our sales strat­egy from on­line to the store.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.