Cus­tomer Is The Undis­puted King Now

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Ra­jiv Raghu­nath

Re­tail con­sumer ap­petite for pur­chas­ing in-store is ex­pected to re­main healthy in the com­ing years, ir­re­spec­tive of the rapid growth of e-com­merce in dif­fer­ent mar­kets in­clud­ing In­dia. US-based eMar­keter, an in­de­pen­dent re­tail re­search firm, has fore­cast that while about 63% of the US pop­u­la­tion will make a dig­i­tal pur­chase in 2015, only 6.5% of US re­tail sales are ex­pected to come from in­ter­net trans­ac­tions, in­creas­ing to 8.9% by 2018. The re­port main­tains that the ma­jor­ity of US con­sumers are mak­ing pur­chases on­line, but more than $10 out of ev­ery $11 are still spent in stores. As US and China are cur­rently the world’s lead­ing e-com­merce mar­kets, trends spot­ted in th­ese mar­kets could in­deed be the shape of things to come in the In­dian re­tail mar­ket.

One can sur­mise from the global re­tail mar­ket trends that brick ‘n mor­tar re­tail would not lose trac­tion even if e-com­merce were to gather greater mo­men­tum than seen now. But, that does not mean the brick ‘n mor­tar re­tail play­ers should rest on their oars. Rather, they need to re­de­fine their cus­tomer en­gage­ment strate­gies by lever­ag­ing the new In­ter­net and mo­bil­ity driven chan­nels to connect with a larger cus­tomer base. Omni-chan­nel re­tail­ing is per­haps one way of achiev­ing this goal. This edi­tion of VM&RD di­rects sharp fo­cus on this dy­namic di­men­sion of re­tail busi­ness.

What is equally note­wor­thy is that in the re­tail sphere, cus­tomer-cen­tric­ity has sharp­ened man­i­fold in the wake of in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion. This is a wel­come devel­op­ment. Re­tail in­dus­try lead­ers are now con­stantly ex­plor­ing new ways to en­gage cus­tomers by cre­at­ing great re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences at their stores and other out­lets. Against this back­drop, In-Store Asia 2015, be­ing or­gan­ised in Mumbai dur­ing Fe­bru­ary 5-7, will bring key re­tail play­ers un­der a sin­gle roof for in­tense knowl­edge-shar­ing and busi­ness dis­cus­sions – to iden­tify in­no­va­tive ways to en­hance cus­tomer en­gage­ment by adopt­ing in­no­va­tive re­tail so­lu­tions.

Hope to meet you at the Con­fer­ence!

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