With the influx internal brands and experienceand consumerism getting a new makeover, brands and companies are struggling to create positive brand associations in the market. It is difficult to predict the buying patterns oftheconsumers today due to the diversification in shoppingoptions available,such as shopping malls, Hypermarts, Online stores and High-street shopping. Though India is projected to become one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets globally, and it has been reiterated time and again that this phenomenon will have its impact on high-street, malls and retail shopping the retail experience is here to stay.
According to a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield on the Indian Retail Industry it has been assessed that going forward, the retail market would witness retail companies adopting the hybrid model as they integrate online and offline channels of retailing. Driven by investment and rapid increase in the number of internet users the retail market is also maturing to a stage where brands are looking to amalgamate their online and offline (brick-and-mortar) presence, attempting to enrich customers’ shopping experience.
Analytics suggest that though online has had its mark leading to a dip in retail and mall shopping, what is even more striking is that in the presence of niche buying platforms, online stores and shoppingmalls, the high street shopping experience has felt the impact more.
Mall Culture offers several benefits one of which is several brands under one roof and diversity and uniqueness. Multiple brands under same roof can create lucrative deals for the customer who is the ultimate winner as he gets to pick and choose form a multitude of options. Recently Malls have graduated towards providing a complete entertainment and family outing platform to its customers with a right mix of shopping with dining and family fun making them the most preferred spot on weekends. At the same time online shopping offers the convenience of choice along with delivery and payments options like PayPal, PayU India and InstaMojo, all at the customers convenience and time.
The future of retail shopping depends largely on implementing the technology and the right brand and tenant mix in anappropriate way.For example, year 2015 witnessed a huge decline in the profits of the online retailing channels due to large discounts that they offered. At the same time on the offline shopping front, international brands like H&M, GAP, and Aeropostle ventured into India creating a niche market for the Indian buyers. One of the reason online retailing became popular was the availability of equity funding tothis sector. But with constant losses, in the present scenario online shopping, if not stagnant, will see a drastic decline in its profitability due to tough competition. Due to huge discountsoffered by international brands and malls, theconsumer is getting indifferent to the pricing strategy andopting for a 360 degreeshopping experience.
According to a report published in Business Insider, 90% of the shopping is still done offline due to consumermindset,as they still prefer to personally select the products rather than ordering the productsonline. Electronics did see a huge rush in the online retail market, but with stores like hotspot coming up, the sales dipped. So, prediction about the online shopping in the times to come is dicey and is likely to slow down.
As put by Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat, theonline shopping looks impressive because of its flexi model, but In India it will take a few years for the consumers to depend on online retailing model. People today have high spending power and a liking for the brand culture that triggers the boom in the high street shopping. In such a scenario, online shopping seems to be lagging behind in this retail competition. Technically, in India, in the coming 15 years, the retail sector will witness a rapid change but it depends on the speed at which Internet ecosystem and technology is restructured.
The article has been penned down by Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific India Group (Pacific Malls)