Moumita Deb Choudhury

retailtech
The Indian retail industry is dynamic and one of the fastest growing globally. With modern day customers showing a vast change in their buying behavior, retail is no more a place where consumers only buy, instead it is where people “experience”. It is expected to grow to US$ 1.3 trillion by 2020, registering a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16.7 per cent over 2015-20, states an IBEF report. The sector is increasingly offering a great deal of opportunity for channel partners.

Indian Retail Landscape

India’s retail sector is experiencing exponential growth, with retail development taking place not just in major cities and metros, but also in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Healthy economic growth, changing demographic profile, increasing disposable incomes, urbanization, changing consumer tastes and preferences are the other factors driving growth in the organized retail market in India. India is the fifth largest preferred retail destination in the world and is among the highest in the world in terms of per capita retail store availability, highlights the report.

The e-commerce boom has also set a high standard in this space, posing a threat to the offline retail giants. In this fast life, customers want to be met where they, rather than frequently visiting stores. In this context, mobile devices have been pivotal in enabling easy interaction with the brand and if a brand cannot ensure this, failure is what they have to face.

India’s population is taking to online retail in a big way. The online retail market is expected to grow from US$ 6 billion to US$ 70 billion during FY15-FY20. E-commerce is expected to be the next major area supporting retail growth in India. The industry is projected to touch US$ 100 billion by 2020 growing from US$ 30 billion in 2016, noted the report.

If the offline retail giants have to stay afloat in the competition, they need to digitize themselves soon and also make themselves experience rich.

Opportunity for channel partners

There lies immense opportunity for the channel partners to tap in this sphere. Modern day consumers which include the millennials seek technology driven shopping and this calls for the retail to imbibe big-data analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence, smart edge and an array of other smart technologies. Here partners can help retailers build new technological capabilities.

Due to the changing scenario, retailers will have to heavily rely on partners to acquaint them with skills and platform to excel better. There are several ways partners can address the retailers’ pain-points and help them achieve better ROI.

Retail business is largely based on data. It consumes and emanates data in its process, and in this cluster of data, the data needs to made sense of. Data analytics comes to play here. These can be provided as managed services which will cover a vast area such as Internet connectivity X2, PoS systems, IoT devices, SD-WAN, Cloud, providing advanced to predictive analysis to the business etc.

Partners can also help retailers in creating a contextual customer experience through mobile for omni-channel shopping. Digitally enhancing the retailers will in turn enhance growth for the partners who possesses the right products and solutions and technical know-how.