Retail Round Table # WeSchool on Technology- enabling seamless retail

Sep 22, 2017 | Posted by admin in Campus Corner   No Comments »


A lot of movement across the globe is pacing at the speed of technology. The omnipotence of technology is bringing a cultural shift among consumers across the social strata. Retail is moving in leaps and bounds; constantly innovating the offerings between the shopping aisles. To enlighten the students about the role of technology in making retail seamless formed the crux of discussion at the recently held roundtable at WeSchool, Mumbai campus. Present for the program were Retail industry wizards such as Mr. Rajiv Nair, CEO, Kaya;  Mr. Siddharth Hegde, Managing Director & Founder, Ethinos Digital Marketing; Mr. Aashish Mashruwala, Business Head, Crocs; Mr. Kedar Mehta, Associate Director, KPMG and WeSchool Alumni –  Ms. Neha Divanji, Head of E-commerce & Digital Marketing at Welspun Group – ‎Welspun Group. The roundtable was moderated by Dr. Swapna Pradhan, Professor, Retail Management, WeSchool. The theme for the roundtable Technology- enabling seamless retail.

The interactive and thought-provoking discussion revolved around how retail is growing its technological arm in the retail space, consumer interface, and supply chain front. Mr. Nair, CEO, Kaya shared how online chatbots offer effective communication at a time and place for consumer convenience. He described the tech evolution in retail had begun with the rise of ‘E-commerce’ as an awakening call. He mentioned how the online stores had won consumer interest by raining discounts. Today, consumers have been experiencing new offerings that are changing according to their needs and likes. These days the consumer is more informed with easy internet accessibility. Customers research on the product to be purchased beforehand. It has become crucial to train a team of store representatives on the nuances of the products in the store.

Speaking about customisation, Mr. Siddharth Hegde, Managing Director & Founder at Ethinos Digital Marketing emphasized on individualization of services carving a niche in retail. Most panelists agreed that while the hybrid model has begun the sea change in retail, CPG players are entering retail market share through online platforms such as Amazon, Big Basket and so on.  Lines are blurring between E-commerce and brick + mortar stores. Adding a point of view to this, Mr. Aashish Mashruwala, Business Head, Crocs mentioned how the transformation of Crocs from offline to online was an uphill task and how online shopper profiles were different from the ones who visited the physical stores.

Adding another angle to the discussion, Mr. Kedar Mehta, Associate Director, KPMG, mentioned how Google is helping consumers locate the nearest restaurants and coffee shops, which is a plus for retailers. Ms. Neha Divanji, Head of E-commerce & Digital Marketing at Welspun Group seconded the fact on how mobile technology combined with the internet is helping retailers reach out their customers in the vicinity of the store location.

The idea of privacy as mentioned by Mr. Hegde is an ongoing cultural shift in mindset. Today people believe in sharing personal moments across social media channels.  This gives retailers a glimpse of what customers love and dislike.

The discussion concluded on a note that yes technology can be optimized to make retail seamless by enhancing customer experience and strengthening back-end supply chain. Some tech reforms may take time keeping in mind the extensiveness of retail network offline and online.  However, technology is here to stay in retail space and make the customer experience more incredible than before.


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