Retailers Sustaining The 2021 Festive Season

Brands have tried to capture customer attention in all possible ways by adapting various approaches for high-level customer experience as well as consistent delivery performance

The festive season is ON, and so is shopping. In the past 18 months, a significant change has been observed in consumer behavior. eMarketer estimated the increase in retail sales in comparison to the sales of 2020 i.e. $51.52 billion. And various research reports have expressed similar results like YouGov, Outlook Look Report 2021, RAI that there is a festive cheer to Indian eCommerce. As per RedSeer, “e-commerce platforms are expected to potentially clock over Rs 675 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) during the festive season this year”. And yes, the spirit of resilience and positivity post the measured approach of social distancing and lockdown, Indian marketers have served their consumers with their best potential. As per the data shared by RedSeer consulting, “The first week of online festival sales in October saw 23 percent year-on-year sales growth in 2021. Goods worth $4.6 billion (Rs 32,000 crore) were sold online”. Technology is a big contributor and played a crucial role in gearing up the momentum during the festive season.

Back On Track

Despite a hard time, retail has seen in the last few months, brands have strategies looking at the diverse consumer’s profile and targeting them with Digi-mobile fest approach. Brands have strategies themselves with digital adoption to accelerate their sales during the festive season. Maintaining sufficient stock is the key as it facilitates businesses in serving customers as well as boosting sales. Complete control over inventory with digital tools has helped brands from forecasting the demand to processing the orders. Thus getting inventory control with real-time inventory management is helping in making instant purchases without a loss in sale due to stock out. Various inventory management software through their apps are providing excellent control of inventory like GoSure - StockTake, GRN, StockRefill, StockPick to ensure 100 percent order processing. These logistics decisions made by brands have given retailers a wide customer base as well as excellent sales records. BC Bhartia, National President, Confederation of All India Traders shared that, “There was an estimated business of about Rs 1.25 lakh crore (trillion) in the entire country during Diwali this year, where Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, added that 25000 crore business was contributed by Delhi only with a big preference towards Indian goods item.

The omnichannel approach is giving a new shape to retail, trends like Curbside pick-up, BOPIS, BOSS, same-day/next-day delivery are helping retailers to get strong positions among customers. Retailers have expanded their radius and reached their prospective customers through apps like OrderEasy, GoDeliver.The next consumer revolution in India is gaining momentum with the rise of eCommerce models like Thrasio-style, house of brands. Brands have tried to capture customer attention in all possible ways by adapting various approaches for high-level customer experience as well as consistent delivery performance.

Retail is changing at an unbelievable speed with increased internet penetration, the rise of social networks, cross-border eCommerce, and giving a new reality to the future of retail. As per the report released by Shopify, “76.9% Indian consumers show a deep inclination towards online shopping this festive season because of the convenience it offers. While traditionally festive shopping has been an offline retail activity, pandemic-induced restrictions put in place to contain the virus forced most retail activity to move online”. The digital approach which accelerated during the pandemic has created a permanent space in Indian consumers’ minds. Mobile is acting as the primary screen, thus retailers need to hook their customers by contextual relevant experience at offline and online touchpoints.

The author is Dr. Veenu Sharma, Assistant Professor, Retail and Marketing, Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida

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