As consumer attention shifts online and retailers continue to shutter store doors, a slew of experiments have been popping up that can serve as a lesson for all of the ones in the retail sector who are looking to pivot in this new normal. In an exclusive conversation with Atul Todi, CEO &Co-Founder, 10Times talks about how amid this COVID-19 by leveraging tech-based virtual tools, brands can conduct live interactions in real-time- (Product launches, Fashion meets) without violating the social distancing protocols. One such platform is FLOOR, an innovative virtual solution to fill the gap, unaddressed by conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Zoho.
Global retail sector is growing 1000% virtually, Where does India stand in this sector?
India is a large consumer market. Virtual retail sector, which includes any form of online shopping, has come a long way. With this pandemic, this trend has accelerated and rapidly expanding across all industries. However, both physical and virtual are channels of convenience and choice. Both would exist in the near future and grow together, as Indian Retail is just getting started and has tremendous untapped potential.
Virtual stores, events, live shopping and so on can be augmented. How this is helping retailers pivot to the new normal?
While e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart have helped stores go online and encouraged buying online, these are early days for virtual stores and live shopping. Social apps like Instagram are pushing for more interactive buying, yet a lot more needs to be done. Before we leapfrog to augment reality and virtual reality, keeping in mind the constraints of hardware and internet bandwidth, simpler solutions like real-time interaction and buying via video streaming are the need of the hour. FLOOR, a virtual space for live interaction is addressing these needs, starting with events. We have seen great response and growing demand.
How through face to face virtual interactions, brands will showcase their products through a curated online experience ?
It's not very different from physical interactions and experience. Virtual has many advantages like data insights, lower cost, more reach , which are all in favor of brands. The biggest challenge is holding user attention for long-periods online. This is precisely what we are solving for.
How does FLOOR by 10Times keep retailers & consumers engaged - and gives an edge over physical events when it comes to product launches and Fashion meets?
Instead of comparing physical events, we like to focus on the advantages of virtual/online events. Firstly, it opens the market to a digital first audience which never went to physical events. Secondly, it provides critical data, personalization, lower cost, etc. So in the coming days, both physical and virtual would exist parallely, and in most cases as hybrid solutions.