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Indian retail looks at omni-channel to drive growth
Jun '15
After e-commerce, it is now the turn of omni-channel in India. The country’s retail market will primarily be driven by omni-channel as brick-and-mortar retailers enter e-commerce to support their stores, says media reports.

"Omni-channel retailing is the way to go in India. All retailers have a big market, nevertheless organized retailers will have to find local relevance," JK Dadoo, additional secretary in the commerce ministry said at the Trends in Retail Summit 2015 in Mumbai.

With the changing trends, the retail market will see more interest by investors even as the Indian government is keen to allow FDI in B2B e-commerce.

Experts feel that a host of factors, both human and technological, will give shopping experience a new dimension.

"Shopping is an occasion which needs to be cherished and is a combination of mobile, social and human connection. Today consumers are in control of the shopping experience," said Abheek Singhi, senior partner and director, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Given the recent boom in the sector, e-commerce is capturing a bulk of retail sales, however, brick-and-mortar stores will never go out of fashion. "The four D's that count at present are Demographics, Disruption, Digital and Data Analytics. Living in the generation of millennials, mobile and social commerce will shape the future of shopping," Govind Shrikhande, MD of Shoppers Stop said.

To drive its strategy of becoming a seamless 'omni-channel' retail store by the end of 2016, Shoppers Stop has earmarked an investment of Rs 60 crore over the next three years to strengthen its technology.

The company will implement its omni-channel strategy in three phases, Shrikhande said. "We will invest Rs 60 crore over the next three years," he added.

In the first phase, the company will focus on its departmental store format, Shoppers Stop, and will strengthen the online presence, offering better navigation and superior assortment, by the end of December.

The second phase is expected to start by January next year focusing on the company's other formats HomeStop, Crossword and HyperCIty, and is likely to be completed by Diwali.

"By September next year, we expect our operations of the physical stores and the online stores to be seamlessly integrated," Shrikhande added.

The company is targeting up to 10 per cent of its sales to come from online in the next three years, he said.

Sports footwear and apparel major Adidas is also among those keen to cash in on the online shopping boom. The company will soon roll out omni-channel model, a new mode of technology, at its retail outlets in Punjab. The company aims to fully integrate 200 outlets using this technology across India by March 2016.

"Omni is definitely the biggest thing happening and in the near future, it's going to completely revolutionise the way consumers buy their products," senior director, e-commerce, Adidas Group India, Abhishek Lal said in Chandigarh recently. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk – India

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