The Indian retail industry is considered to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Evolution in retail has consistently been about enhancing the shopper experience. With the global pandemic acting as an accelerant, digital transformation across domains and verticals in the retail industry has gained new highs. People have realized the value of good health and healthy living has taken first priority in everyone’s lives. Leveraging the need-gap for the sustainment of healthy living, many companies have come up with extraordinary concepts and ideas that help with the cause. From bringing groceries to homes to deliveries of proteins (raw and processed non-vegetarian items) everything nowadays has found a way to reach its consumer directly at home.
The retail industry in India is in the midst of a paradigm shift, transitioning from an unorganized sector to a systematized and organized venture. The industry going from being product-centric to being customer-centric and retailers are leveraging technologies to reach the ultra modern-day shoppers. From dietitians, fitness coaches, from hair and beauty treatment specialists to lifestyle coaches everything is now available at the consumer’s fingertips at the tap of a button of their mobile phone screens. Similarly, everything has become so individualized and accessible that one doesn’t go out shopping and order online, either over varied mobile application platforms or e-commerce doors on world-wide-web.
The competition has escalated and the retailers today are not competing amongst themselves anymore; instead, they’re competing with different technological interventions and advancements in order to be the most competitive within their space. With growing competition, it has become pivotal for retailers to innovate continuously and implement cutting-edge technology towards fulfilling the needs of today’s demanding customers. The only difference that has now come into perspective is the fact that it is now possible for a retailer to explore opportunities of scaling up without having to physically open-up shop. A virtual establishment can literally earn as much but cost considerably less while the standard operating procedure changes drastically.
Today the retailers, be it the upgraded ones or the conventional ones are constantly finding innovative ways to draw insights from the ever-increasing amount of structured and unstructured information available about their customers’ psychographic footprinting. Information technology has become an omnipotent driving force in our lives; we have started studying consumer behavior, ordering patterns, seasonal and regional demands, demographical implications, and need analysis. This has led us to a point where we do not blindly stroll into a market space and wait for acceptability, we are capable of rather creating a market for a certain product that promises to carve a niche for itself.
Information gathering and analytics are playing a crucial role in embryonic business models in retail. Assorted technologies are engaging consumers, both in physical stores and in the digital space. Earlier, retail only meant physical stores that operate within certain demography and target a certain set of consumers but in the present time, due to the revolution in information technology now the consumers can shop at multi-channel around the clock and they are empowered by the ability to compare products and prices online, social media reviews and feedback, blogs and stories that harness the true potential of any business and even person to person contact happens through various digital mediums.
Consumers have become emotionally attached and to an extent, addicted to technology. The power of personalization and customized solutions has helped retailers to synthesize unique customer experience that acts as a catalyst in boosting sales and simultaneously makes the consumer feel special while they shop. AI and analytics platforms are being used for better consumer engagement with personalized shopping experiences both online and in retail outlets.
Engaging customer interactions through an immersive interface that allows them to feel and sometimes experience products at highly appealing levels. It is important to take into account that these innovations are being reproduced by identifying the technological trends that have replaced the traditional means of business analytics and are acting as guides through the recent years and will pave the way for the future. Many recognized brands have already ventured into the space while the emerging market of start-ups in India has dug in deep, thus creating opportunities to venture capitalists and investors to swoop in with smaller funds and exit with deep pockets. The future of retail is already here and it has made headway into every territory fathomable; one just has to realize the contribution& latch on to this tide of unending opportunities.