Digital & personal media will create new channels for customers
Digital & personal media will create new channels for customers
Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland, gives insights on the current retail market, outlining his strategy to optimise multi-channel and raising consumer experience.  
By Retailer team
How do you see retail scenario changing in 2015. Please give us your vision of retail and brand growth envisaged in this year?
The Indian Retail sector has come of age, and has seen major transformations over the last decade with a noticeable shift towards organised retailing, being on a growth trajectory over the past few years. There are certain factors fuelling the bright future of retail in India:
"The market is growing exponentially, as economic growth brings more of India's people into the consuming classes and organised retail lures more and more existing shoppers into its open doors.
"The eCommerce industry is growing at a rapid pace and changing the dynamics of the retail industry. In the near future, eCommerce is expected to contribute close to 12-15% of the total retail segment in India. This growth is bound to continue with newer trends like the emergence of mobile commerce in a big way. Digital and personal media will continue to grow exponentially and create new channels for customer insight, interaction and engagement.
"With tremendous potential and large population, India is set for high growth in consumer expenditure. With India's large 'young' population and high domestic consumption, the macro trends for the sector look favourable.
"Growth in the Indian real estate sector is also complementing the retail sector and thus it becomes a strong feature for the future growth of the retail industry.
"Better infrastructure is benefitting the sector too.
Favourable demographics, increasing urbanisation, nuclearisation of families, rising affluence amid consumers, growing preference for branded products and higher aspirations are other factors which will drive retail consumption in India.
What would be your strategy on enhancing consumer experience and loyalty across your stores and for your brand?
It's important to reach out to your customers regularly and consistent feedback is what works for the brand. It's essential to understand their requirements and customise according to their needs. Effective turnaround time for consumer management is also imperative when building customer relationships. We also plan to introduce a monthly e-mail marketing campaign to touch base with our customers and share new product info with them or maybe offer them loyalty rewards.
Our overall strategy is designed to grow our online business, enhance our in-store customer experience, and leverage our multi-channel capabilities or deliver to our customers' great advice, service, and convenience in the channel they want to be served. 
How do you see eCommerce figuring for brick-and-mortar retailers in 2015? What are your plans to optimise multi-channel in 2015? What kind of allocation you will have in your budget and resources for the same. Kindly elaborate. 
For 2015, we see an exceeding growth in the eCommerce sector with a gradual growth in the number of online shoppers, but brick-and-mortar retail is still responsible for a significant percent of sales in the country. There are still a significant percentage of shoppers who like to physically see and test the products before making a purchase. Hence, In-store experiences will remain an integral part of any retailer's Omni-channel strategy and success.
However, the site and store are playing a tandem role. The store, an intimate experience in which a brand has the full attention of a consumer, plays the role of discovery and introducer. The site, unburdened by physical limitations and empowered with the capabilities of connectivity, serves as the problem solver. Underneath both, is the foundation of modern retailing.
To optimise multi-channel retail options, we connect with customers across each and every touch point, and provide the resources necessary for them to research and shop for products through multiple channels.
We will continue to increase our budgets to build a seamless system through expanding our offline presence to newer and unexplored markets and increasing multi-channels to reach out to more customers. 
What strategies you are going to have in 2015 to upraise your teams both in Business and Service side for better customer engagement?  
We plan to concentrate more on a seamless approach through all available shopping channels, i.e. mobile internet devices, computers, bricks-and-mortar, television, radio, direct mail, catalog, in-store experience and so on. 
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