Lucy Unger

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, South Asia, Fitch

VM&RD - - WHAT'S IN STORE? INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER -

In Ret­ro­spect: 2012

The ma­jor im­pact we have ex­pe­ri­enced over the last 12 months has been the po­ten­tial ar­rival of FDI in the In­dian mar­ket­place. This in par­tic­u­lar has im­pacted a lot of lo­cal In­dian brands who rec­og­nize the re­al­ity of the in­creased com­pet­i­tive threat this poses. In ad­di­tion to this is sim­ply the op­por­tu­nity an In­dian con­sumer will have to com­pare and con­trast an es­tab­lished lo­cal brand with a new ar­rival and re­sul­tantly reap­praise their op­tions. This has led a lot of proac­tive lo­cal re­tail­ers to start to fo­cus on their re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence – to be ahead of the game and ready to ef­fec­tively com­pete. We’ve also iden­ti­fied an in­ter­est­ing evo­lu­tion in the con­sumer mind state in In­dia. So much so that we ac­tu­ally re­searched into it and our hy­poth­e­sis was proved cor­rect. Shop­pers in In­dia are look­ing to be in­spired by their shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence – more so than in any other BRIC coun­try and in­fin­itely more so than in the tra­di­tional devel­oped economies and mar­ket­places.

Look at th­ese stats: - A 31 year old In­dian woman is the most fash­ion con­scious and, ac­cord­ing to our re­search, is the hap­pi­est shop­per in the world. - 80% of In­dian women would like to have more prod­uct in­for­ma­tion when shop­ping for gro­ceries - An as­tound­ing 87% of In­dian men en­joy shop­ping for elec­tron­ics and a high per­cent­age of th­ese ac­tively want to learn some­thing new while shop­ping.

Ar­rival of FDI

By lev­er­ag­ing our global net­work and ex­pe­ri­ence we will con­tinue to bring our clients state of the art, world class brand and re­tail de­sign so­lu­tions for In­dia. Our fo­cus is on start­ing with the con­sumer, un­der­stand­ing what ap­peals to them in or­ga­nized re­tail and de­sign­ing unique re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences to ful­fill those as­pi­ra­tions.

Look­ing Ahead: 2013

There’s a lot to get your head around. Any re­tailer needs to un­der­stand what makes their brand unique and how to cap­ture that as an ex­pe­ri­ence that in turn meets the needs and as­pi­ra­tions of their cus­tomers. And it’s no longer about tra­di­tional brick and mor­tar re­tail – although al­most 70% of In­dian con­sumers still think the brick and mor­tar store is the most im­por­tant re­tail chan­nel, an in­creas­ing num­ber spend time on­line brows­ing and shop­ping. The jour­ney con­sumers now take to pur­chase is in­creas­ingly com­plex and di­verse.

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