Consumer preferences are changing. The way they purchase is changing. From only shopping at brick-and-mortar stores to now finding the right product at the physical store and buying online, Indian consumers have come a long way. This means that we will need to change the way retail does business.
Delivering the best product on time is now a norm and not a USP that the brand can flaunt. The same goes for discounts. With players like Amazon and Flipkart offering flash sales, End of Season Sales, Big Billion Days and so on, the consumers are expecting discounts even at a physical store.
So in order to stand out, what should the brands do? Move to a service approach!
‘Retail as a Service’ now needs to be looked at with all seriousness in India. Every customer needs to be serviced differently. They expect to walk or click into a store and find something best suited for their needs. Of course, departmental stores are best suited for this model. Specialty stores would face a tough time, having only a small window of opportunity to convert. Self-check-out counters and an omnichannel presence are the need of the hour.
In the digital space, this will translate into user experience. If the experience of your e-store does not cater to multiple personas, you are losing out in the game. Customized user journeys starting at the landing page and using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to show the products that the customer may be exactly interested in, is now mandatory.
What does this mean for marketers?
We believe that marketers need to adapt their marketing plans to Retail as a Service. Using analytics and deep diving into consumer behaviour, dynamic messaging is the way to attract customers to the retail (e)stores. It, now, becomes imperative to break the clutter of discounts, sale, and quick delivery and focus on consumer needs. This also means that marketers need to focus on building an emotional connection between the users and the brands in order to drive brand love.