"Social Media Accounts 10 Percent of Our Consumer Base": Pawan Sarda

In an exclusive conversation Pawan Sarda, Group Head- Digital at Future Group India talks about how digital commerce helps multi channel approach of the group.
Pawan Sarda

How would you analyze the role of digital strategist in planning, analyzing, recommending and implementation of Omni channel strategy for the group?  

As far as omni-channel is concerned, we want to be present where the customers are, whether online or offline; we do see it as our strategy to bridge the gap across the channels to create frictionless journey for consumers. Whether it’s click or collect model or vice versa, the larger picture remains the same. Our ultimate goal is to tap the customer regardless of the channel and be the part of their journey. If you look at our flagship brands FBB, Brand Factory and aLL, we are already doing it.  From purchase point of view, we have left the final decision at customers’ end whether they want to browse online or experience within store.

There are many challenges in making this entire process frictionless, because it is about two channels speaking to each other. However, we are continuously working to create seamless experience. We are the in the process of integrating all our channels across the businesses. However, at this moment I cannot individually comment on each business.

Social media is emerging as very important element of digital commerce. At Future Group, what is your strategy to leverage this channel beyond customers’ feedbacks?

Today, we use social media to acquire new customers. We observe all social channels very carefully and figure out the strategy to recruit new customers. We talk to our customers through social media to engage them and do some sort of transaction with them in line with O2O perspective. In fact, we drive close to 10 percent our customer base from the social media. Social media helps us in understanding the shopping preferences of our customers, accordingly we incentivize them though coupons.

Do you see market maturing enough for retail companies to just focus on app only approach?

These are business objectives; I am nobody say what to follow or not. However, an app drives an eco system which in turn enabled the group in encouraging higher purchases without putting any additional cost.

From the app perspective, it all matters on the group’s end objective. If the focus is to promote the e-commerce business, then encouraging people to go on app more frequently makes sense because in the long run we have to save money on customer acquisition. Having said this, I would like to highlight that m(commerce) side always has its importance to grew customer base.

AI is becoming a buzz word these days. What is your approach towards same to improve digital presence?

I do not wish to go into fancy words; if it does make sense for our business I will definitely do it. However we do use AI for trend forecasting for consumer perspective to figure out what can be sale and up- sale to customer.

What is the key to success as far as digital commerce is concerned?

Speed, frequency and a sharper approach to understand customers are the decisive factors as far as digital commerce is concerned. If you can create business with all these essentials your success is assured.

Is there anything big in pipeline as far as digital commerce of future Group is concerned?

We intend to grow FBB as the discover platform with focus to penetrate much larger audience in plus size segment. There is a lot of fashion focus as far as digital commerce is concerned, which is very visible in Brand Factory, an online extension of our offline store.






Pawan Sarda