New trends in retail
Recently Ladies’ Wing of the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry had organized a panel discussion on ‘New Trends in Retail’ which was hosted by Vanita Bhandari, the 50th president of IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ladies Wing.
The panelist shared their view on how the consumers are increasingly holding power as the industry is experiencing transition and why the Indian retail industry is assumed to grow at breakneck speed, nurturing and modifying the retail scenario worldwide.
Talking about the retail sector, Bhandari said, “Retailing today is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy and is under transition phase not only in South Asian countries like India and China but throughout the world. The increased popularity of organized retailing is mainly because of the consumers’ changing behavior. This change has become possible due to double income families, changing lifestyle and favorable demographic patterns.”
Today consumers prefer to shop at places where they can get grocery, food, entertainment and other daily routine items under one roof. This has made retailing the most attractive sector of the Indian economy. In terms of the future of retail, the pain point for either retailers or consumers is the need for innovation, she said, “The top three pain points would be focus on the customer experience, use of artificial intelligence by 2020 –85% customer interactions will be managed without human involvement—and turning attention to consumers who make value-based judgements as the new breed of customers, are very concerned about the origin of the product whether they are organic, eco-friendly, etc.”
According to Morgan Stanley’s report of April 2017, India will have 40 million millennials who will spend $330 billion annually by 2020. That’s more than the population of America and more than China. Naturally, everyone wants a slice of the pie. Millennials want instant gratification for all their retail therapy. Others want to touch and feel the products before they buy. They are complicated as they know exactly what they want and that’s why the one-size-fits all marketing strategy does not work with them. Millennials are extremely opinionated and want authentic conversations. Hence, host shopping websites now provide a live chat service. Millennials do not believe in brand loyalty and they are not brand conscious. If the brand matches their lifestyle and helps them to look different, they will buy it.
The biggest challenges for manufacturers is aligning with the right channel partners. The goals of both should sync. Retailers need to choose the right mix of brands, whose products move off the shelf quickly. Visual display is essential and can make or break any retail store.