Innovation: Runs the retail show

Innovation is the call of the day. Customers are always on the look-out for new-fangled ideas. If you can cater to this requirement, your business will touch new heights. An insight on how retailers can innovate.

Innovation attracts people to itself. Something unusual or unique always has more takers. Modern day retailers are trying all possible means to woo the customers by roping in innovative techniques that would help them create a unique brand image in the competitive market.  

Changing patterns
Retailers are introducing different ways to increase footfalls in their outlets apart from offering regular services. They have taken a step ahead to make customers feel at-ease and spend more time in the outlet. The element of innovation is being brought in with activities being undertaken in stores as well as with the products.  

Activity oriented
We all witness various activities that are introduced by retailers to engage a customer to spend more number of hours in an outlet. Manzoni, the house of Raymond introduced an innovation in luxury shopping - ‘Midnight Shopping’ in Mumbai. This launch came as part of Manzoni’s first anniversary celebrations of its Linking Road boutique. Commenting on the same Shreyas Joshi, President – Raymond Apparel Limited said, “Midnight Shopping is a benefit offered to our Manzoni customers across India, whereby they can seek to shop at any of the Manzoni boutiques till midnight, and our facility will be available to service them at their convenience. This service is currently being offered on request. Besides unique product offerings, Manzoni also offers a unique service proposition for its customers. Any new range or collection from Manzoni is showcased for customers, at the comfort of their homes, on request. Such service offerings are in line with our focus of providing our customers with high quality products with superior designs and international styling; with service excellence.”  

Retailers also come up with various activities around festive seasons and special occasions to bring more people to their stores and live up with the festive spirit. Almost all festivals like Valentines Day, Diwali, Holi, Christmas and so on are touted as opportunities for garnering extra sales. Big Bazaar, the flagship hypermarket format of Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, organised a special and unique Putty art workshop in association with POGO on Children’s Day. The workshop was conducted by ROB, the host of the show M.A.D. (Music, Art & Dance), aired on POGO. With a zest for innovation, he along with the M.A.D. team has been instrumental in providing unique, fun and exciting art creations on the show. About 50 children from ‘Save The Children’, India of various age groups also participated in the workshop and the contest and won special prizes. Such events help a brand in gaining a strong appeal with the customers.  

Product allied
Not just activities but innovation has reached products also. People today take pride in owning exclusive products and something that is not owned by anyone else. Brands have diverted their attention to this aspect and are working around it. Myntra.com offers some of the most well known pen brands in the world like Sheaffer, Cross, Waterman and Oliver personified with the name of the customer. Mukesh Bansal, CEO, Myntra said, “Pens have been an all time favourite gifting item for their utility, badge value and their occasion neutrality which makes them a relevant gift throughout the year and across all types of gifting occasions. Myntra.com now elevates pens to a new level by offering some of the finest pen brands in the world and offering these pens for personalisation. We are confident that these differentiators will make Myntra.com the one stop shop for gifting of personalised premium branded pens.” 

Café Coffee Day has entered into an alliance with Sony’s PlayStation where Sony PSP will be setting up kiosks across Café Coffee Day’s outlets in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Alok Gupta, Director, Café Coffee Day says, “We are delighted to partner with Sony PSP one of the world’s most popular gaming brand. A diverse variety of age groups visit the café on a daily basis. This will enable our youth patrons to have an enhanced in-café gaming experience and help us in bringing greater value to our customers and yet again establishing our brand promise that ‘a lot can happen over coffee’.” Such an initiative is targeted at the game-savvy coffee lovers who will engage themselves in gaming and spend more time at a CCD while order drinks and food as well. So such a partnership works best for everyone.  

End Note

We can envision that innovation pretty much runs the show for retailers and customers in today’s scenario. Some retailers have already taken this road while the others are counting on it. In the days ahead we may witness some more remarkable innovations that would give a new dimension to the retailers as well as add value to the consumer’s shopping expereince.

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