Retail future outlook in a Covid 19 World!! -27th APRIL – 1ST MAY 2020 | Virtual
Getting closer to the customer
Shifali Singh, SVP Retail, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group started off talking about the changes in the market as a whole and how the retail segment will evolve in the post-pandemic world. She mentioned that growth is going to be muted within the retail universe. New business models that cater to essentials will get closer to the customers. She also highlighted that brands that have been traditionally operating within a particular non-essential category will now choose essentials to diversify and reach out to a larger audience base.
Catering within the essential space
Now taking advantage of the lower rentals, Anirban Chakraborti, E-Business Head (Pharmacy & Lifestyle Products), Wellness Forever Medicare Private Limited mentioned that they are further strengthening their omnichannel presence. The brand has been on this track for years now and they do not discriminate between customers irrespective of whether they reach them online or at the offline touchpoint. But now, more focus is been given to the omnichannel model wherein the maximum impetus is getting drawn at the e-commerce platform.
Fashion and lifestyle domain will see a shift in purchase
Brajesh Singh Rawat, Ecommerce Head at Marks and Spencer Reliance India Private Limited highlighted that as a brand they are not canceling any orders they have put with their supply chain. Even though the situation is uncertain in terms of the sales that they will be making in the days to come in the post-pandemic world. He highlighted that this supply chain that they have built is not temporary and this will be there in the post-pandemic world, so cutting orders is a question of integrity that the brand values. Moving on he also mentioned that the purchase for undergarments, kidswear, and other such essential categories within the fashion and lifestyle segment will see maximum impetus in the post-COVID world.
Engaging with a minimum marketing budget
Marketing budgets for all brands have been brought down to bare basics now, however,Harsh Shah, Co-Founder, Fynd mentioned that he has seen a good rise in innovative marketing practices, currently given the restrictive operations. Retailers are using this time to gain trust with their customers. A lot of gamification is happening too. Brands within the fashion and lifestyle domain are helping customers create their wishlist and pre-book their order at this time, Harsh highlighted.
Bringing that balance
At the consumer level, the fear factor will prevail even in the post-pandemic world. That’s why Shanth Kumar, Digital Head, NAOS mentions that e-commerce will thrive in the days to come and thus every brand should increase their e-commerce presence independently or through aggregators and other channels. The need to balance marketing spends and working capital, he said is upon us, and now is the time to reach out yet keep a strong cash reserve handy.