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Customer centric strategy plays a critical role in any retail format

By VJ Media Bureau | Vjmedia Works | February 09, 2015

The panel discussion highlighted that all forms of retail will co-exist, where customer centric strategy is going to play a critical role in enhancing customer experience across the purchase cycle.

A panel of experts, representing different segments of retail analyzed the "Growth Prospects & Strategies of Retail Formats: Family Managed Retail / Modern Retail / Online Retail” on day two at In-Store Asia 2015, Mumbai.

Kick-starting the session, Moderator Abhishek Malhotra, Partner, AT Kearney, India presented the current retail scenario of Indian retail market to the audience. "Indian retail market has grown at the consistent rate and this trend will continue as rapid urbanization across country will lead to increased consumption. Though professionally managed retail is in the limelight today, the market is dominated by family-run retailers. There are around 91 per cent family retailers, 8 per cent professionally managed retailers, and less than 1per cent online retailers. India, however, holds the biggest opportunity for e-commerce globally over next 5-7 years,” he said.

The discussion highlighted that in every retail format, customer centric strategy is going to play a critical role in enhancing customer experience across the purchase cycle. Traditional retailers understand customers psyche perfectly, and modern retailers can learn from them. Chalavadi Naga Kanaka Durga Prasad, Founder, Chairman & MD, Sai Silks (Kalamandir), said that "We, family managed retailers are very closely connected with customers. We listen to them very carefully. We genuinely believe customer is God. So we always take feedback from them and give them personalised services. And that's why they keep coming back to our shops.”

According to Jaydeep Shetty, Founder & CEO, Mineral Fashions, traditional retail's success somewhere lays in real estate advantages. He said, "Most of the family retailers own the property so the burden of rent is not there. So they are in a better position.”

 Discussing the characteristics of customers, the panel agreed that customers, specifically women, can smell the fresh products and discounts. And they look for bargains as it gives her chance to one more product.

Ashish Jhalani, Founder, eTailing India mentioned that the customer behaviour is same online as it is offline. Trust is the important factor. If you build trust online, a buyer will come back to you as it comes back to the shop.

The panel discussion came to a conclusion that all forms of retail will co-exist. Customers are using online information to make offline purchases. And at the same time, customers are trying the products in the shops, and shopping online.

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