Technology Is Enabler But Retail Has Human Connect
consumer Feature News Retail

Technology Is Enabler But Retail Has Human Connect

India is the largest market for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, with a 30 to 35 per cent growth rate that is expected to reach around 100 billion dollars by 2025, said Ankit Rungta, Founder & Director, Story@Home, while addressing a session on exploring the future of legacy retail, E-Commerce and D2C at BW Retail World Building Blocks of Retail Summit.

In B2C businesses, retail is the channel that connects companies with their customers.

Shireesh Joshi, the Chief Business Officer at ONDC, believes that retail is the face of the business and digital scalability is its key advantage.

The combination of digital and retail represents the promise of digital commerce, as good businesses are most effective when their building blocks are unbundled and combined, he continued.

“What ONDC is doing is allowing retail to be broken down into its building blocks, which can then be digitally combined. So that the buyer experience is a seamless journey,” Joshi stated.

Expounding on the importance of online business, Samayesh Khanna, Co-Founder- Beanly said that the online mode gives us maximum insights to our customers.

“The amount of data that we collect by interacting with our consumers directly through online mediums is unparalleled. However, the inevitable expansion for any business is to distribute via retail,” he said.

“Whether you choose to have your own retail offering or establish your presence via retailers is subjective. But, for young brands, having the option of interacting directly with your consumer at such a low acquisition cost has been nothing short of a miracle,” Khanna added.

Rajesh Dewani, the Managing Director of Avit Digital, emphasised the significance of retail in the present era.

“If you look at the customer journey today, it starts from the need for awareness of product information to product evaluation and eventually the purchase. With the current omnichannel presence, until the customer comes into the store, it is basically product evaluation. Hence, a physical store is where a customer must experience a product,” he said.

Dewani highlighted the two main challenges that the retail sector faces, which are high rental costs and a shortage of skilled employees.

“We are unable to adequately compensate our employees because real estate costs account for more than 50- 60 per cent of our store’s sales,” he added.

Commenting on various market choices available for brands, Siddhant Rana, Market Development Head, India and South Asia, Shopify, delineated, “It is important for brands to be on touch points that are relevant to them and that is a personal choice that a brand makes. You can start with an online store and then go on to offline. It could also be that you started on online marketplaces and then worked backward towards your own online store.”

The store could be established online and later expanded to other channels, depending on the brand’s journey and target audience, Rana added.

By Bhupendra Paintola, Correspondent, BW Businessworld

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: