“Variety has become the food for life in the Indian retail sector”, which is going through a transformation and witnessing a significant change in its growth and investment pattern. Being an emerging market, both the existing and the new players are experimenting with new retail formats. Currently two popular formats – hypermarkets and supermarkets are growing very fast. Apart from the brick -mortar formats, brick -click and click-click formats are also increasingly visible on the Indian retail landscape. Consumer dynamics in India is changing and the retailers need to take note of this and formulate their strategies and tactics to deliver value to the consumer.
The next wave of innovation is here.. In India retailing is experiencing a positive growth. By 2020 it is projected to be a nearly USD 32 billion market as estimated by Technopak. So what will be the driving force?? The answer to this is ‘Innovation’.
Retailers must sought to create a concept that is so different and compelling that it renders competitors irrelevant — and then to implement that concept in such a way that core customers are bonded and the competitors find it hard to copy or react.
Innovative offerings from a variety of industries have attempted to create niches that were protected from competition. Brands such Subway (its low fat menu), Paper Boat (Non-aerated Regional Drinks), Titan Juxt (Smart Watches), Amazon (Aapki Apni Dukkan) and dozens of others have been able to maintain a distinctive offering that attracts an extremely loyal customer base.
5 Must-have characteristics to build a strong “RETAIL CONCEPT”
MUST HAVE A CLEAR VISION: Firms with successful new retailing concepts tend to have a strong vision that connects to a core customer group. There must be clarity around the offering, the identity of the target group, and the value proposition. All the brands noted above certainly have this quality. A clear vision will help you make that special connection with your target group.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT: Research & Development must be a continuous process. Most successful new retail concepts evolve over time, especially during the early days. Brands must invest on continuous upgradation of our products as the competition is fierce and the speed at which the consumers have accepted you can be the same at the time of replacing you.
EXECUTE: The main reason that new retailing concepts fail is execution. Successful execution is the result of appropriate SOPs in place. The organized brands have been able to deliver the value proposition consistently and profitably.
The fast fashion pioneers, Zara and H&M, developed systems to conceive, create, make, and deliver products on a real time basis. Strong systems means a formidable barrier to the competitors as well.
MUST CONNECT EMOTIONALLY: Most of these successful new retail concepts have gone beyond functional benefits to deliver emotional or self-expressive benefits.
ADDRESS A REAL NEED: Developing a new concept is hard enough with wind at your back. Many of the new retain concepts benefited from a market force often based on a visible and meaningful unmet need. There was an opportunity. The Apple Store captured the unmet need to avoid the frustration of installing, using and maintaining computer and entertainment systems. There’s a big difference between sticking with a brand and being stuck with one.
CHANGE IS SURVIVAL!
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Chief Strategy Officer