How Arvind Internet is enabling Omni-Channel Retail Transformation?
In an exclusive conversation with Mukul Bafana, CEO and Co-Founder, Arvind Internet sheds light on omni channel journey of Arvind.BY Shipra Srivastava | May 14, 2018 | comments ( 0 ) |
Arvind has the vast retail footprint in the offline space since they have many premium international brands on board with them. Usually, all international brands have their exclusive web portal which is run parallel to their offline channel also these brands are retailed via marketplaces. So what Arvind is looking to achieve from the omnichannel retail platform NNNOW?
NNNOW is a kind of virtual high street where each brand from Arvind has their footprint available. Alike to highstreet each brand maintains their own website, for example, SEPHORA, the online retail distribution can be found at https://sephora.nnnow.com/.. , similarly, GAP and all other brands have their exclusive websites. However, these brands are also retailed via EBOs, MBOs, SISs, distributors and discounting channels.
So, what was happening with marketplaces such as Myntra, Jabong etc., these websites are used to for retailing product stock, distribution stock, and also the liquidation stock. The biggest challenge with these marketplaces is, they might not be able to sell fresh stock on full MRP since they offer steep discounting. Though these sites drive traffic but being a MBO channel in the online space, these sites are emerging as liquidation channel. So we cannot offer the same brand experience that we can do on NNNOW.com or exclusive brand outlet of the brand.
So NNNOW is a strategy from Arvind to avoid ‘discounts’ in the online space. In such scenario, what would the strategy attract new customers? Also, would there be NNNOW exclusive merchandise lines?
Let me put this way; we all have seen many premium brands going into 50% to 60% off on marketplaces. So the obvious question arises, what is the need of offline presence if the brand is easily available on much discounted prices. We need o understand each channel serves its own purpose. Discounting channel can be very good to liquidate the old stock. However, discounting channel cannot be use for fresh stock channel. The reason to have your exclusive offline EBO or online channel that helps you in brand building and getting loyal customers.
Marketplaces might have data advantage but they cannot tell whether the customer is brand loyalist. For example, a non Arrow consumer might buy the brand due to discount but can’t be a regular customer to brand. There is a different level of engagement when the customer visits the exclusive store. Since we have complete control of our exclusive channel be online or offline so we introduce complete inventory and not just selected styles.
How you are looking to connect NNNOW with physical stores of the brands? Also what initiatives have been taken to improve the in-store conversions?
NNNOW is an initiative to align online to offline and offline to online shopping journey. It is an omnichannel ready platform for Arvind. The customer shopping on NNNOW.com can see real-time inventory of the store including size and color availability. We are also enabling click and collect and vice versa features. Not only this, we are doing a lot of innovations to promote cross store sales that include to 'select' from one store and 'pick' the same order from another store.
Moreover, we are working towards bridging the gap between brand and retailer in the smarter way. We are merging online data with offline, as we know, online has the advantage of data; they know the customers as soon as they logged in to their websites. However, if the case of offline store, we only get to know about customers’ profile once they swipe their loyalty card at checkout. We are making this experience more seamless. For example, if any customer has bought an Arrow shirt from the online store, we are making sure to reflect that purchase when he/she walks into the offline store of Arrow. Such initiatives will definitely help us in improving in-store sales.
24 Nov 2015, Hotel Pullman, Aerocity, New Delhi.
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