Off late, the retail industryhas witnessed a change in shopping patterns and consumer behaviour that has compelled the traditional retailers to change the ways they retail. Pondering on the same line, the Indian Retail Congress 2015 organised by Franchise India Holdings Ltd had made a strong endeavour to understand the present scenario of retail and how technology has influenced consumer behaviour and the way ahead.
The unpredictable consumer
In spite of the progress of retail industry, the question arises that what is compelling established retail giants to move towards building their online presence.
Expressing views at the Congress, Vivek Biyani, Director, Future Group & Director, Big Bazaar Direct said, “I think consumers will shop through multiple channels every time, like physical stores for some product categories and online for some other categories. Besides, there will be times when they will shop through mobile or any other digital ecosystem, so the consumer’s shopping pattern is unpredictable.”
In a bid to understand consumer’s mind and influence his buying decision, retailers try to tap consumers by making them feel good about saving money, others assure to take care of insecurities and some make them feel like their purchases contribute to making the world a better place. These strategies help retailers and e-tailers to tap consumers and retain them to some extent. However, the fact remains the same that every consumer is different and so are the buying behaviours and this has been a major reason for physical retail to diversify into omni-channel.
Power in hand
E-tailers are betting on more Indians switching to shopping online, with a projection of 200 million new consumers by 2017, according to a report by Accel India. Speaking at IRC 2015, G Raghunandan, Co-Founder & CEO, TaxiForSure said, “E-retail and mCommerce are changing the DNA of digital business, and you have to learn to change with the customer.”
Besides, smartphones have empowered the consumers to choose products and services anywhere and anytime. As per a research report, 70 per cent of people shop through smartphones.
To conclude, digital retail will continue to re-shape the retail scenario in the country. Besides, eCommerce
and mCommerce will influence the consumer behaviour and shopping patterns by offering them various options to choose. However, it can be expected that traditional retailers will adapt and diversify as per the consumer demands.