Retail must blend brick-and-mortar with online: Report

Retail sector has to blend brick-and-mortar with online: Report

The report said the ‘new normal’ has created the need for retailers to constantly evolve

 Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

Hit hard by the Covid pandemic-induced disruptions in the past 18 months, the retail industry’s future will be re-defined by a “multi-channel approach” where online and offline channels will compete and support each other, says a Deloitte-Mapic India report.

It also highlighted that the future of the retail sector will be a blend of brick-and-mortar stores with online platforms and that the ‘new normal’ has created the need for retailers to constantly evolve.

They need to constantly transform their strategies and operating models to become more adaptable to technology and enhance consumer and shopper experience, thus being resilient in their desire to succeed, the report said.

The modern retail era is being redefined by evolving behaviour, where business is being re-imagined with a ‘home cocooned consumer’ being habituated to ‘subscribe’ services and consider ‘convenience’ as a critical element to have many-a-things being delivered to their doorsteps, from food and drinks to razors, candles, medicines, and more, the joint study finds out.

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To cater to the ever-demanding ‘new Indian consumer’, retailers are accelerating adoption of the omnichannel strategy, digitising their operations, and focusing on sustainable business practices to operate efficiently. At the same time, they are making efforts to be authentic to thrive in a new business landscape.

The report said while the world continues to flip between lockdowns and phygital presence, companies are adapting to a new avatar of a modern-day shopper where Retail 4.0 will be the ultimate convergence of the traditional and online channels.

Speaking on the launch of the report, Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, said, “today’s consumer is a convenience-craver, who is looking for value, instant gratification, range and assortment across any channels he/she shops at. Covid-19-induced lockdowns, over the past 18 months, have dramatically changed shopper journeys and behaviours.

From online research and buying to increased preference for comfort and digital payments/e-wallets, home delivery and ease of returns, internet-based shopping trends are likely to continue even as malls and shopping centres open up.

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