Research: The New Retail Reality
Images Retail|October 2020
A report by KPMG in India and Retailers Association of India (RAI) sheds light on how the pandemic has led to a change in consumer behaviour and more importantly how the retail space is undergoing a complete makeover…

With the ongoing pandemic, Indian retail is undergoing a huge makeover. Despite this, the sector continues to be one of India’s largest industries that makes up for about 10 percent of the GDP and around 8 percent of the employment. Shopping habits have been largely affected during the pandemic, with safety now taking over as a new criterion over price range, variety and convenience. In India, hypermarkets are witnessing lower footfalls and most sectors including apparel, accessories and durables have faced a lack of demand. Essential category players are also facing challenges, albeit of a different kind-managing huge spikes in demand, ensuring liquidity, modifying and managing store operations to maintain safety standards, managing employee and health and grappling with a shortage of staff.

While it is yet to be determined which consumer shopping trends will have a lasting impact coming out of COVID-19, what we know for certain is that the digital shelf is now more important than the physical shelf. While many brands are taking this time to innovate and nd new strategies for greater personalisation and digital connection, they’ll need to ultimately unpack what is a passing trend versus a real shift in consumer behaviour.

KEY ASPECTS:

Considering some of these changes, below are a few key aspects which retailers should consider post the COVID-19 scenario if they are to survive in this new reality:

Going Hyperlocal

New Age Phygital

Using Digital Technologies Maximum

Supply Chain Resilience

Revised Media and Advertising Spends

Staying Close to Customers

The report titled, ‘The New Retail Reality’ by KPMG in India and Retailers Association of India (RAI) sheds light on how the pandemic has led to a change in consumer behaviour and more importantly how the retail space is undergoing a complete makeover. Some of these changes include consumers becoming more digitally savvy, the increasing need for a touch-free shopping journey, price value equation, a rise in consumer awareness, popular discretionary spends, new product launches, local sentiments undergoing a change, increased consumer consciousness and last but not the least the online channel gaining traction.

Commenting on the report, Harsha Razdan, Partner and Head, Consumer Markets and Internet Business, KPMG in India said “The unchartered waters of COVID-19 has meant a gradual change in consumer behaviour. With new models of working and shopping evolving, physical and online channels too are undergoing makeovers. We are seeing an increasing thrust on localisation as the new standard. With rising consumer expectations, order fulfilment is becoming increasingly important for retailers to adhere to. To provide a seamless customer journey, it is important to be available across physical and digital touchpoints offering the right choices to consumers. Our view is that retailers across the world, especially the brick and mortar ones will have to borrow best practices from each other and get back up on their feet. Since there is uncertainty that continues with this crisis, innovation and adaptation is key. With the advent of a strong digital wave, it will be important for companies to adapt to the situation quickly & continue to innovate keeping consumers at the centre of their plans.”

Kumar Rajagopalan – CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI) said “Retailers are relooking at their product mix and the way in which they do their businesses. Even neighbourhood retailers are stepping up their game by augmenting their digital capabilities to optimise every prospective opportunity to their bene t. They always had the trust factor going for them and are now also adding convenience to their arsenal. They are now creating their own web stores and taking orders by marketing their products through various digital channels such as Facebook and WhatsApp. The pandemic has pushed retailers to think out of the box and accelerate tech adoption. We see this trend continuing, making retail more interesting and consumer-focused.”

Changing Consumer Behaviour & Impact

DIGITALLY SAVVY CONSUMERS: The new consumer is digitally savvy and embraces interactions with organisations through digital channels with ease. Recent KPMG in India’s report titled ‘Time to open my wallet’ released in July 2020 reveals a comparative of pre and post COVID-19 scenario highlighting preference to online channels has increased 1.6X growth.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM IMAGES RETAILView All

Permanent Shift in Consumer Behaviour Pushes Retailers Towards E-Commerce, Technology

Global retailers to focus on virtual try-on experiences, AI, technology and e-commerce to provide seamless user experience while maintaining the highest level of accuracy to the consumers…

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Phygital Retail Convention: What's Next – CEOs Talk Strategies, Solutions

Consumption is an such an integral aspect of modern lives that even a pandemic of the catastrophic proportions of COVID-19 couldn’t abate it. It did, however, create a big dent in consumer behavior and consumption patterns. Industry titans talk to solutions and strategies which can used to abate the negative effects of the pandemic…

3 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

The Unexpected Opportunity: How COVID Accelerated the Digital Journey of Brands & Retailers Along with Customer Experience

COVID has accelerated the digital journey of brands and retailers across industries and catalyzed innovations to offer customers unparalleled assurances and conveniences. IMAGES Retail brings views of leaders in the digital space from across retail verticals on how their organisations found opportunity in adversity and created innovation benchmarks that will define their growth and leadership even beyond COVID…

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Pandemic Learnings: Upcoming Mall Developers Talk Consumer Behaviour, New Mall Design

The pandemic-led shutdown of all economic activity threw the Retail and Shopping Centre industries into chaos. Mall supply was severely impacted, and the future of many projects still remains ambiguous. Those who managed to overcome the worst of the pandemic spoke to IMAGES Retail Bureau about how different the future is for them – namely, building agility and resilience to face uncertain times, being fit for growth by aligning costs with priorities and investing in differentiated capabilities and digital levers…

10+ mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Rewarding Customers for Walking-In is the ‘IN Thing for Retailers Today'

Retail therapy is the best therapy to beat the blues. Post an overextended period of lockdown, as much as everyone seemed enthusiastic to go and shop to their heart’s content, there were many safety concerns. However, the retail community in India ensured that they not just addressed these worries but also designed enthralling marketing strategies to entice people back into their stores. Here’s a quick look at things that worked to create sales way above the expectations of the retailers…

10+ mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

IKEA Focuses on Stronger Omnichannel Play, Local Sourcing in COVID Era

As a purpose-led company, during this time IKEA focused on safety and security of their people, building digital capabilities, meeting customers in new ways as the home became the center of everything in everybody’s lives. The brand aims to reach 100 million people in India online by 2022…

6 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Why Building Omnichannel Capabilities are Crucial for Retail Businesses

In the wake of pandemic, as digitalisation accelerates and consumer buying habits constantly evolve, the need for a sound Omnichannel strategy seems more important now than ever before…

7 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

E-Commerce Order Volume in India Clocks 36% Growth in 2020 Q4

E-commerce as an industry saw a significant uptick in demand. The last quarter showed the real reflection of changing consumer behaviour, and highlighted the actual shift to online shopping even after the lockdown was lifted...

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

Fabric & Apparel Revenues Up In 2021, Other Sectors Follow Suit

While operating margins for spinners are likely to revert closer to pre-COVID levels, those for apparel exporters may remain marginally lower than the pre-COVID levels amid a competitive operating environment, wherein buyers could be expected to negotiate for steeper discounts…

5 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021

The Evolving Roles Of Gold Jewellery: Recent Trends & What The Future Holds

With its universal value and stature, gold is often regarded as the best investment for common people. Gold is, and will always be at the top of the pyramid, and therefore India’s appetite for jewellery is pretty considerable…

4 mins read
Images Retail
February 2021
RELATED STORIES

An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan

The Little Red Train

10+ mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

A Room for Dad

Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her

8 mins read
Guideposts
April 2021

THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1

YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.

6 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

WOUNDS AND THE WOMB

JULIE PETERS explores how to heal a relationship with the sacred womb, a place of death, life, and possibilities.

8 mins read
Spirituality & Health
Mar/Apr 2021

BE SQUIRRELY

Giant squirrels, giant lessons? Animal chaplain SARAH BOWEN explores what squirrels can show us about mindfulness.

4 mins read
Spirituality & Health
Mar/Apr 2021

E8 Caste and the Indian Tech Ivies

IIT grads are highly sought after in Silicon Valley. Are they bringing deep-rooted prejudices with them?

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 15, 2021

Life Changing

I was happily married, happily employed, just plain happy. Until the accident

8 mins read
Guideposts
February 2021

IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)

Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.

1 min read
Alternative Medicine
February 2021

When the Signal Goes Out

Government-ordered internet shutdowns are becoming more frequent

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
February 15 - 22, 2021

Giving More, Taking Less

FRANCOIS BOUDERLIQUE learnt about the basic principle of Nature – to give more than you take – when he left a high-powered banking job in Paris to live and farm in Kutch, India. He realized that his understanding of eco farming was colored by his past and he needed to open his eyes to a new reality.

3 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
February 2021