As time passes, we begin to gradually realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused crucial disruption worldwide. More so, it has provided valuable insights as to how the retail industry must evolve onwards.
With the pandemic, it is bound for the Indian retail scene to change. Before the pandemic occurred, roughly eighty-six percent of the surveyed millennial buyers and fifty-six percent of Gen X buyers mentioned that they have gone shopping in a store and left without buying anything.
Instead, they ended up buying the item online. This survey was carried out by the APAC shopper study. According to a report carried out by Bain and Co., the e-commerce market in India is prepared to clock between one hundred to one hundred and twenty billion dollars in GMV gross merchandise value.
Nevertheless, before we assume that this will be the end of India's retail industry, there have been reports that the e-commerce segment of India accounts for roughly 3.4percent of the general retail market.
Understand that e-commerce has not made the physical shops obsolete; rather, they send customers to the brick and mortar locations by suggesting that they buy online and pick up the item at the shop.
Note that the convenience of online shopping has resulted in retailers striving for a new customer experience that will appease the 21st-century shoppers who are professionals of swift gratification, be it in the form of services, products, or information.
However, if the retail industry can implement the ideal technology to modernize the shops and supply chains, it will not end in doom and gloom for them.
Solution To The Problem
The pandemic has made an impact on the Indian retail industry at an unprecedented scale. However, the question remains how they can find a new normal post-pandemic. The whole pandemic has brought with it diverse challenges for retailers.
Customer experience and omnichannel is vital
One way for the retail industry to face the post-pandemic normal is to convergence digital and physical commerce. The retailers will end to be present where the consumers are and not rely on store footfall.
The new normal is to deliver at home or click n collect with a pre-fed monthly shopping list. Retailers should try out personalized customer experience and social listening since they are important to retaining brand loyalty.
Integrated and cloud e-commerce
Due to low infrastructure cost and ease of use, cloud services have been able to open new channels for mid-tier retailers. Thus, it will introduce integrated e-commerce services with a full customer experience and even personalized services.
ERP with improved robotic process automation and analytics
The automation-enabled ERPs are known as the catalysts of virtual transformation. Retailers should harness them in a bid to redefine the future of their sector and reshape every of its function, beginning from finance down to supply chain and sales.
The retailers should be set to prepare their teams with newer skill sets and be ready to explore the needed investments to deploy bots.
The new emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Machine Learning, is vital in shaping the new retail models. The retail industry can explore touchless in-store shopping, personalized virtual communication, and virtual trial rooms.
They can make use of influences to create content and utilize Artificial intelligence to deliver commerce.
On a general note, every retailer out there is trying to know their customers better, thus coming forward with diverse personalized marketing promotions and campaigns. The pandemic has successfully fast-forwarded the shift to virtual transformation.
This is the time for the retail industry to gain total control of the current crisis and invest in the ideal technologies.