Will brick-and-mortar and online retailing co-exist in India?


Online retailers are witnessing a big growth in the current times. This growth comes as a result of major promotions done by key players like Flipkart (now a Walmart group company) and Amazon. Flipkart comes up with strategic promotional initiatives like the Big Billion Day sales when it offers customers huge deals on mobile phones, electronic gadgets and others in addition to discounts on the use of specific credit or debit cards. It runs such Big Billion Days for five days during the third week of September every year and this creates a crazy shopping experience for online customers. Competing with Flipkart, Amazon has introduced its Great Indian Sale for around four days during the National festival days of India like the Independence Day and the Republic Day, when discounted special prices are offered to customers. Amazon also runs a big campaign during festivals like Diwali known as Great Indian Festival Sale. Promotional sales by online retailers set records of sorts every year!

While brick-and-mortar retailers adopt an omnichannel strategy, online retailers open brick-and-mortar stores. Many brick-and-mortar retailers had their own standalone e-commerce portals once, which were not successful retail businesses. Furutrebazaar.com, Shoppersstop.com, etc. failed to emerge so successfully as their company’s brick-and-mortar businesses. They have now adopted an omnichannel strategy. Cross-channel optimization is a key success factor in omnichannel retailing. Retailers use both brick-and-mortar and online channels efficiently to promote products and sell through one another. Consumers often research a product online and purchase it offline and vice versa. They also shop across channels. As online businesses take off, they only need a strategy to integrate with other channels efficiently to reach customers and be connected with them. That said, this nation of retailers, I am sure, would always enjoy coexistence of multiple channels in retailing in the days to come!

Article CreditsGibson G. Vedamani, author of Retail Beyond Detail: The Great Indian Retailing Business” 



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