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India 2015: OUR INSIGHTS | RETAIL

Brick and mortar stores can win in the e-tail era


Carl Daji

Strategic Planner Contract 

Carl.Daji@contractindia.co.in


As the e-tailing phenomena manages to steal headlines as well as steadily gain in both share of mind and wallet, its brick and mortar counterparts are in search of answers. How do they battle the relentless onslaught of year-round discounts, limitless range and quick delivery time that e-tailers offer? The answer lies in the approach they choose.

Shopping in India has evolved from being about what we buy, to what we do. It’s no longer about simply acquiring products but also about enjoying an experience. And there lies the advantage of the brick and mortar stores. Their floor space becomes their platform to engage consumers with experiences that combine the real and virtual worlds.

Globally, brands like Macy’s and Nordstrom, early adopters of an omnichannel retailing, have managed to seamlessly connect their online presence with richer and more enjoyable in-store experiences. They provide a good model for Indian retailers

Tools for improving the in-store shopping experience include location-aware apps that provide sales staff with customer preferences and personalized shopping. In-store “endless aisle” kiosks for ordering a range of items, many not available in-store, can increase customer satisfaction and store productivity. These digital tools, and others, put the brick and mortar store in a more powerful position to defend against the e-tail blitzkrieg.