Retail industry adapts to new normal, says report

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Retail industry adapts to new normal, says report

In a joint report released by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP DTTILLP and Mapic India, the new normal after the COVID 19 epidemic has resulted in the need for retailers to adapt operating models to be more adaptable to technology and enhance the consumer experience.

The report Rewriting the Rules of New Retail was published at the annual edition of the MAPIC India, formerly known as India Retail Forum 2021. The report found that retailers are adopting the omni-channel strategy - digitising their operations and focusing on sustainable business practices to operate efficiently. They are making efforts to be authentic in order to thrive in a new business landscape.

Amid lockdowns and phygital world, companies are adapting to Retail 4.0, which will be the ultimate convergence of the traditional and online channels. Rajat Wahi, Partner, DTTILLP, said today's consumer is looking for convenience, instant gratification, range and assortment in their shopping experience. He said that the COVID 19- induced lockdowns over the past 18 months have dramatically changed shopper journeys and behaviours.

The report said that online research and buying to increase preferences for comfort and digital payments e-wallets, home delivery and ease of returns and internet-based shopping will continue even as malls and shopping centres open up.

Technology acceleration and adoption across the consumer and retail industries is critical for surviving and thriving in the new normal. Retail businesses will need to focus on in-store and online customer experience-led engagement with new consumers.

Successful brands will have to maintain the right balance between the online and offline channels as we move ahead in a data-driven economy, said Wahi.

The report shows that more retail and consumer brands can connect directly with customers D 2 C, bypassing existing distribution models and creating new ones. The D 2 C market is expected to reach $100 billion by the year 2025, and there are opportunities for brands to innovate.

It flags how companies like Google Cloud and AWS and SalesForce Commerce are enabling the rapid transformation of retail, making it easier for retailers to expand online businesses through advanced analytics, better forecasting and demand planning, deeper understanding with their customers and business partners.