The year 2020 caught everyone off-guard and disrupted various aspects, including the distribution and supply chain of retail brands in the country to an extent whereby exploring new avenues of growth did not look like to a thing to have but a must have. The pandemic has served as a wake-up call for a lot of labels and taught everyone different ways to sustain while establishing a digital presence and embracing the virtual world. As we have said adios to 2020, it is only wise for us to study the market and glance through the strategies and trends which might work out to business’ advantage in 2021. Here are some of the trends which can take the lead in the coming year, making it merrier right from the start:
The pandemic has wide caused disruption across sectors, however online purchase has seen a remarkable surge.
"Keeping the digital and social media growth opportunities in mind, jewellers are setting marketing strategies accordingly. But the arrival of festive season has helped in retail movement and counter interest, else the wedding jewellery market has also seen some growth as other expenses have been rationalised given the new normal at wedding functions," says Nishit Nanda, CEO, Consumer Business, Khimji Jewels.
Known for its Jaipurkurti.com brand, Nandani Creation Limited's revenue revenue from operations was up by 1.51 percent to Rs 12.06 crore during the quarter under review as against Rs 11.88 cr in the 3rd Quarter of FY 2020-21.
Their Q1 FY21 was impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in the country and its effect was clearly visible on the e-commerce business. With their new spring-summer 2021 collection, they are coming up with ‘New Normal’ with amazing themes and attires. They also launched ‘Value Plus’ and started the manufacturing ‘N95 Masks’ to meet the rising demand during the peak of the pandemic.
There has been a major shift in customer buying behaviour during the pandemic. Consumers continue to bet big on gold as an investment option, the idea of going from store to store saw a dramatic redefinition. Today, there are so many online gold jewellery platforms to explore many different variations.
Also, the endless aisle which online shopping gives us is something that the buyers look forward to today.
With the onset of the Covid-19 enforced lockdown, Mango Stationary, saw acute changes in terms of buying trends and also in terms of the way consumers spend.
"Being a stationery and electronics retailer, there was an obvious slump in office and school related supplies. However, they did see a huge spike in demand for computers/ laptops and related accessories, as work and learn from home quickly became the new norm. There was also a surge in demand for art supplies, DIY kits, games, as consumers across various age groups found ways to keep themselves and their children engaged and away from their screens," states Sitanshu Chheda, Director, Mango Stationery.
Post-lockdown, they saw a boom in sales for about 2 months, probably influenced by a lot of pent-up revenge buying and a surge in demand for the above-mentioned products. Since then, they have been seeing fluctuating demands, as the uncertainty with Covid-19 brought with it erratic spending behaviours.
Rise of the Digital Channels
What started as a fad prior to COVID-19 pandemic has now become a statement with consumers favouring online shopping over physical or offline retail. There is a huge surge in online purchases across categories with FMCG leading the pack. Also, going digital has enabled the industry to further personalise the customer experience at every touchpoint. Consumers are finding purchase through digital channels more convenient, safe and feasible for them. Brands are investing and not postponing their decision to be in digital channels over physical retail.
JaipurKurti.com has been working with the online portals like Flipkart, Myntra etc since the inception of their company. These online portals have helped them to increase their sales as they were doing 99.99 percent business online. As of now, they have 3 retail stores in Rajasthan.
"The lockdown forced us to adapt and change their growth strategy. Over the course of three months, they doubled down on their efforts on digital platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp, growing their follower base to roughly 2K to now 13K+ (on Instagram). They also took this opportunity to work on their e-commerce website, and were able to launch it in August 2020. This helped them to stay connected with their existing clients, and also opened avenues to reach a much wider, national consumer," Chedda says.
Now, it has become imperative for any retailer to develop an omnichannel presence to create multiple touch-points for their consumers, as the lockdown has forever changed how brands and consumers will interact going forward.
During the lockdown, 100 percent of Mango Stationary’s business was done via WhatsApp, Instagram and their website. Though, that ratio has significantly dropped post the multiple unlocks, they still see about 20 percent of their sales being driven through digital channels, maximum of whom are the new clients they reached during the lockdown.
Future is Omnichannel `
The silver lining in this pandemic for the industry is that, it has given enough time to think and motivate the retailers. The industry stalwarts have been building, testing and deploying strategies continuously to revamp their businesses.
Going forward, the primary goal of the brands seems to increase their digital presence and focus on generating higher revenues through their website and other digital platforms.