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Retail & Consumer Industry - page 39 / 88

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Today, Indian retailers are—

  • Leveraging parent company names/brands for retail ventures

  • Focusing on one or few niche/specialty areas

  • Creating discount formats where value for money is the primary driver

  • Choosing a cluster bombing strategy where retailers plan to enter and dominate major retail sub-categories and/ or formats like consumer durables, health and wellness, books and music, hypermarkets, supermarkets, etc.

As consumers’ purchasing powers, brand awareness and exposure levels heighten, retailers will increasingly offer branded merchandise in categories like apparel, cosmetics, shoes, watches, beverages, food, jewellery, etc. In order to create a ’total lifestyle solutions’ platform for consumers, retailers will evolve into lifestyle-oriented brands which operate across target consumers and categories. At this juncture though, they are focused on scaling up retail operations, understanding product mix, launching new products, assessing the drivers behind consumers’ purchases, etc. Sustainable competitive advantage will be dependent on translating core values, products, image and reputation into a coherent retail brand strategy. To do this, best- in-class retailers will need to focus on innovation as a key driver of growth.

Innovation in the Indian retail sector Aside from encompassing the launch of new products and services, innovation involves—

  • The launching of new formats (SIS, value, etc.)

  • The introduction of customer loyalty programmes that enable retailers to use customer data to generate new product ideas, build brands, launch marketing and promotional campaigns, improve customer service and establish new service standards, etc. Retailers who operate several formats are extending customer loyalty cards for all outlets, enabling consumers to leverage points generated from expenditure made across offerings.

  • The creation of private labels that, over time, can be marketed, branded and positioned as unique and well-recognised brands.

  • The development, creation and implementation of customer service standards that delight and excite consumers as they interact with retailers. Customer service standards encompass a range of activities, such as—

  • Interacting and engaging with consumers at the store-level (greeting consumers, answering product-related queries, resolving customer service issues, etc.)

  • Handling disgruntled consumers

  • Assisting customers with after-sales service queries and formalities

  • The creation of new distribution channels such as non-store channels where the staff visit consumers at their homes and bring merchandise, allowing consumers to display products in their homes, understand product features in the comfort of their homes, etc.

PricewaterhouseCoopers

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