The retail industry is one of the most fascinating domains today. There is a wave of massive technological disruption that is sweeping across the segment. These disruptions are driven by the pressures that the industry is dealing with, such as customer showrooming, evolving payment ecosystem, a meteoric rise in online shopping tendencies and the constant danger of being the target of the next high-profile security breach.
Omni-Channel evolution and forecast
The digital rush started in the year 2000 with the advent of websites in the retail segment, and every noteworthy retail brand made a dash to get onboard the online-retail bandwagon to reach customers through the World Wide Web. Online retail became an industry fad. The digital retail segment further evolved, and significantly, with the integration of social media, around the year 2010. Thereafter emerged multiple digital platforms which took the retail industry by storm.
The emergence of multiple digital platforms and their convergence birthed the Omni-Channel retailing phenomenon. The anticipated online retail sale in India is projected to grow up to $70 Bn by the year 2020 as reported by Accel and KPMG. The report also states that online will drive more than 5% of the overall retail sales; almost $1.2 Tn before 2020. There are several surveys being conducted to gauge the developments in the industry and a report by KPMG and M&E states that brands are spending more than 9% of their marketing budget on the digital medium and are finding ways to maximize Return On Investment (ROI).
However, prior to delving into the evolving Omni-Channel retail segment and related markets, it is essential to first get a better understanding of Omni-Channel Retail. Omni-Channel is a multi-channel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, over telephone or in a brick-and-mortar store.
Here it would be pertinent to note that almost 69% of the internet traffic consumption in India happens through mobile phones.
The reciprocally growing industries of Omni-Channel Retail and SaaS
Along with the technological advancements, consumers have also evolved and now demand for anytime, anywhere access to content through multiple channels. They are spending more time on digital channels than on traditional media. In view of this, retailers today are required to inculcate an Omni-Channel mindset for their own survival and growth. To execute this seamlessly, they have two choices. The first is by adopting the enterprise-class platform – licensed based model such as Hybris and IBM Websphere, and the second is to take up a SaaS-based enterprise Omni-Channel platform such as MartJack.