MAKE WAY FOR OM­NICHAN­NEL

Shopping Center News - - ROBO SHOP -

Malls will need to in­creas­ingly im­bibe tech­nol­ogy, and there is no short­age of ex­am­ples of this hap­pen­ing al­ready. For in­stance, on­line re­tail­ers are now launch­ing stores as fulͤl­ment cen­tres, and are lo­cat­ing these stores near ma­jor metropoli­tan ar­eas in an ef­fort to lo­cate prod­ucts which are in high de­mand but close enough to be able to meet same-day or next-day de­liv­ery re­quire­ments eͦ­ciently.

Mean­while, though oͧine re­tail­ers have big­ger con­straints in terms of the ware­house in­fra­struc­ture avail­able to them, they do have an edge in the sheer num­ber of stores lo­cated all over the coun­try, and even world­wide. They have the op­tion of re-pur­pos­ing these stores so as to be able to of­fer di­rect or­der fulͤl­ment and back-oͦce stock­ing, while keep­ing a cap on the as­sort­ments stocked on the ͥoor.

In­tro­duc­ing Om­nichan­nel will deͤnitely call for a lot of in­vest­ment in terms of chang­ing sys­tems and op­er­a­tions, but it is well worth­while for achiev­ing longterm com­pet­i­tive­ness with e-com­merce play­ers. High in­ter­net and smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion is also play­ing a big role in how re­tail­ers con­duct their busi­ness. In F&B, more and more play­ers are de­vel­op­ing mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions which al­low their cus­tomers to in­spect the menu, make ta­ble reser­va­tions and make on­line pay­ments on­line.

Fash­ion re­tail­ers are in­creas­ingly adopt­ing Om­nichan­nel re­tail­ing, giv­ing cus­tomers the ͥex­i­bil­ity to in­spect mer­chan­dise in their stores and then pay for their pur­chases ei­ther in-store or on­line. We are also see­ing the use of tablets by store staff tak­ing off in a big way. This al­lows them to con­ve­niently process pay­ments and also help shop­pers to check sizes, styles and the avail­abil­ity of se­lected items. In case of non-avail­abil­ity, store staff can let shop­pers to place on­line or­ders di­rectly on the tablet, and to de­cide on whether to re­ceive the or­dered item in the store or in their homes.

Go­ing for­ward, we will see fast-paced adop­tion of tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions by re­tail­ers, as this is the only way to stay com­pet­i­tive in to­day’s tech-driven world. We are just look­ing at the be­gin­ning of this trend. In the com­ing ten years, tech­nol­ogy will en­tirely rev­o­lu­tionise the way peo­ple shop and re­tail­ers sell their mer­chan­dise. Phys­i­cal re­tail­ers will come up with a whole range of imag­i­na­tive so­lu­tions to counter the com­pe­ti­tion from e-com­merce. In­ter­est­ingly, this move­ment is pri­mar­ily be­ing fu­eled by start-up tech com­pa­nies with a focus on dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion – and In­dia has a clear edge in terms of sat­u­ra­tion of such ͤrm.

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