How Omnichannel Strategy will Drive Retail Market Growth in India
How Omnichannel Strategy will Drive Retail Market Growth in India

Shopping has always been more than a transaction, it could be compared to a tradition of sorts. It is the hallmark of festivity and gifting loved ones. For any brand, this is a period of rainfall. Retail stores get flooded with customers, stocks run out and gifts-coupons are distributed, a celebration, indeed. It is imperative that a business chooses befitting channels of distribution. For categories of products that don’t need a touch-and-feel or trial with its purchase every time, a hybrid model would work successfully. Combining offline: physical stores and online: web-based models, where orders are placed with ease, whenever wherever without restrictions. Also, the convenience of checking the entire collection in one go is an added delight.

But categories that require some sort of, explanation or touch-and-feel will work better, offline. However, by 2013 with 4G internet and affordable smartphones in the market, everyone witnessed the boom of Flipkart and Amazon. Everything about the shopping experience like the point, place, and pleasure of purchasing changed drastically. The online stores offered a fresh shopping experience filled with convenience, and choice and also ended up being cost-effective. Consumers who’d usually throng their favorite stores for their dose of shopping thrill now switched to the more rewarding omnichannel retailing.

When you talk of omnichannel as a concept, it literally means that one is ‘Everywhere’ or in this case, ‘one is all over the place! For e.g. When someone has the capability to serve certain trends that work only in the South, they shouldn’t focus on selling pan India. However, if that brand has products that are homogeneous, for the entire country, then ‘omnichannel’ is the way forward. The business and customers decide where a brand has to be and when!

Consumers have started shopping by more than one medium at a given time. For e.g. standing in line to pick up popcorn in a theatre, one could also be renting a copy of the latest holiday movie for streaming at home too. By integrating all mediums (phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, mail, and stores) brands can now reach, showcase, and also more understandably, target-advertise to their customers in the privacy and comfort of their liking. By 2020, online orders started taking too much of a jump at a national level, because of Covid. 

The growing list of overheads in owning/running a store has allowed retailers to quickly adapt their strategy to the phone screens and also learn of the customers’ behavioral patterns. It is the customer who chooses what he wants based on when and where he wants. So definitely the future has to be omnichannel! And one has to be available across platforms, modes of delivery, or wherever the customer is and not just have a store on Facebook or Instagram. Own a website with a store, have it on 3rd party-sites as well, and be on marketplaces if you are doing other brands.

So, how does a business owner ride this technological tsunami and scale business to greater heights? From building and launching a website, optimizing it for mobile phones, using a holistic POS, stocking-up inventory, adding shipping and returns, tracking the business with web analytics, and shifting the focus to engage customers and create a unified experience. These must get you started on your journey of building your own effective omnichannel business!

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