The Retail sector is posing a great opportunity for IT marketers at its transition stage from unorganized to organized format. IT spend by Retail sector in India has been highest for last few years averaging 36% CAGR. The estimated spending on IT by retail sector in 2010 remained $1.07 billion according to a recent study done by Annik Technology Services. The study reveals that Retail in India spends maximum on business specific application followed by front end customer interaction and back end support function.
There has been a rapid expansion of organized retail formats and the concept of shopping is moving in and around hypermarkets, supermarkets, and specialty stores. India is witnessing a changing lifestyle, increased incomes, the demographic variability and vibrant democracy which have helped retail sector to grow and to take the shape of modern retail. The modern retail market is estimated $200 billion in the year 2014-15 which is over 30% of total retail.
“The customer profile is quite young and spending patterns have shifted upwards, thus creating a growing opportunity for the organized retailers to serve.” says Partha Sarathi Sengupta, Senior Project Director at Annik Technology Services. There are more than 12 million retail outlets in the country, over the past decade there has been rapid expansion of organized retail formats.
In coming years, the focus on customer retention and loyalty will drive significant investments in retail IT. CIO’s are churning out innovative ideas to enhance the customer’s shopping experience.
The biggest problem facing the retail sector is the absence of much differentiation. There doesn’t seem to be any difference in positioning between any of them. “Indian retailers seem to have finally understood that to survive in the long run; they need to do something different which would attract customers. The loyalty program seems to have brought solutions for them.” opines Sengupta of Annik Technology Services.
According to the study by Annik Technology Services, shopper loyalty discount is the most important in-store factor which helps making brand decision. CIOs are experimenting with solutions involving the point of sale, such as printing coupons. Using their customer data collated over the years, CIOs are trying to understand the preferences of customers.
According to Sengupta of Annik Technology Services, “Retail sector has moved up in the value chain of technology adoption”.
This has crossed the stage of implementing inventory management, on-line activities, accounting and billing etc and planning for mobile coupons. Consumer interest in promotions, higher adoption rates and usage of mobile data services and the ability to reach younger demographics are driving adoption of mobile coupons.
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