Technology and convenience are reshaping the retail landscape: Deloitte

With the pandemic-induced disruption the retail industry has faced over the past 18 months, the future of the retail industry will be defined by a “multi-channel approach” where online and offline channels line will not only compete, but will also support each other.

According to the Deloitte-Mapic India report, the future of the retail industry will be a mix of physical stores and online sales platforms, both of which are likely to continue to grow in markets like India.

Retailers will need to constantly evolve their operating models to adapt to technological changes and improve the customer experience. Already, retailers are rapidly adopting an omnichannel strategy, digitizing their operations, and focusing on sustainable business practices to operate efficiently.

“As the world continues to switch between blockages and the phygital presence, businesses are adjusting to a new avatar of a modern shopper where Retail 4.0 will be the ultimate convergence of traditional and online channels,” the report adds.

Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, said, “Today’s consumer is a convenience consumer, looking for value, instant gratification, range and assortment across all channels they do. his purchases. The blockages induced by Covid-19 over the past 18 months have radically changed the journeys and behaviors of buyers. From online research and shopping to the increased preference for convenience and digital payments / e-wallets, door-to-door delivery and ease of returns, internet shopping trends are expected to continue even with the opening of the centers. commercial.

“The acceleration and adoption of technology in the consumer and retail sectors will continue to play a critical role in surviving and thriving in the new normal and coping with rapid change. In addition, retail businesses will need to continue to focus on customer experience-driven engagement in-store and online to meet the needs of a new, tech-savvy consumer, ”added Wahi.

The report pointed out that factors such as the shift of consumers to smaller, more localized stores as well as heavy convenience-oriented online shopping are changing the retail landscape. There is also the emergence of the direct-to-consumer channel that bypasses existing distribution models and fuels the creation of new retail models.

At the same time, there are challenges related to the deteriorating impact on margins due to the higher online delivery costs and the complexity of the omnichannel approach. “Digital success will probably require more effort in the next few years,” he said.

“There is a compelling need for retailers to define the next stage of digital differentiation, one that takes into account new retail models and encompasses the entire value chain and technology operating model to drive a vision and a unified strategy. The report says.

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