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BW Businessworld

Technology Transforming Retail

Coronavirus pandemic has pushed the boundaries of marketing to an extent where there are limited yet effective platforms for a brand to utilise and make the most from.

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The retail sector is evolving. Recent studies indicate that over 64 per cent of Indian consumers prefer online retailing over physical store in the wake of coronavirus. This has caused a loss of over Rs 5.5 lakh crore to the offline retail trade. Platforms such as, Swiggy, BigBasket and others restructured their workforce to cater to the surge in online orders during lockdown, while most in the retail industry faced the worst of the crisis.

To transform digitally, retailers must re-envision their business models to bring together people, data and process in a way that creates value for customers. The aim is to leverage customer data to enhance reach to audiences and engage them while optimising operations. To begin with, brands must list their challenges and then choose the best mode of digital transformation to fill the gap of demand and supply for their product/service.

Coronavirus pandemic has pushed the boundaries of marketing to an extent where there are limited yet effective platforms for a brand to utilise and make the most from. As per a WPP report, consumers are strategically yet permanently shifting towards digital media for work, entertainment, information, etc.

There are some tactics that will enhance brand engagement response while transforming digitally.

Product Photography: Consumers are more conscious today. Brands must focus on product photography to display offerings in a credible way.

Rating & Reviews: Every major decision is made after online research. Brands must focus on developing and employing an effective online reputation management and search engine optimisation strategy.

Shopping Cart Abandonment & Instant Gratification: Offering value to customers and guiding them towards completing their purchases increases the chance of conversion and lowers customer acquisition cost.

Voice Search: This technology not only entices customers into searching more products but also engaging with the brand/platform in a unique way.

One must also consider key changes in the sector and the technologies retailers & sector stakeholders embrace. For this, retailers are educating themselves and are encouraging their partner stakeholders in the sector to be able to adopt digital transformation to increase their area of operations and reach more customers.

They are investing in infrastructure. Converting a physical store to e-retail requires upgradation of the business operation model and involvement of effective marketing tools. This will engage the audience in an improved customer-brand experience.

India is a country that is highly dependent on retail. Shutting down large part of the retail sector redefined the way people buy product and service from retail outlets.

Customers are looking for a user-friendly experience, as with lockdown various platforms have confirmed a huge influx of customers from all age groups and not just Gen Z or Millennials. Customers are seeking credibility from brands with whom they want to build relations with, through clean, safe, contact-less and last-mile experience on delivery with an extra advantage of instant gratification.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Divanshi Gupta

Director, The Marcom Avenue

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