The shoppers of today want it all. They want to browse online, research offline, touch and feel the merchandise in the store, get the purchase delivered home, picked up from a store/nearby location, or reserved at a location of their choice.
The challenge for Online and Offline retailers today is to create a compelling shopper experience across channels.
We partnered with ETRetail to delve deeper, answer these questions and talk opportunities for Online and Offline retailers in a webinar. Our webinar, scheduled on Thursday, September 8 featured Mr. Raviraj Rodrigues, Supply Chain Head, Wildcraft, Mr. Niket Anand, Associate Director, Tolexo and was moderated by Mr. Venkat Nott, CEO, Vinculum.
Mr. Nott in his opening remarks observed, “The changing expectations of shoppers have changed how the retail industry is approaching customer experience. Brick and mortar retailers are going online, online retailers are collaborating with offline retail outlets to allow customers to touch and feel their products, marketplaces are collaborating with retailers, CPGs and Manufacturers are selling through multiple sales channels.”
He added, “These are multiple collaboration opportunities & new avenues for revenues for the entire ecosystem.”
Taking forward the discussion, Mr. Raviraj Rodrigues spoke of the opportunities that lie in partnerships between members of the eCommerce ecosystem. Using his organization, Wildcraft as an example, he commented, “Wildcraft collaborates with leading marketplaces to sell its merchandise. It leverages multiple sales channels – such as its offline stores, online store as well online marketplaces to sell to customers.”
Mr. Niket Anand spoke of how Tolexo has entered the B2B space by on-boarding 7000+ sellers, allowing them to increase their sales, get greater returns and improve customer experience.
He said, “For the customer, 4 things are very important for a great customer experience. First, price – the marketplace should price their products competitively. Second, the service provided to customers should be superior- both pre and post-delivery. Third, customers should be provided convenience – how easily they can find your products matters. Lastly, availability – the products that customers want should be available.”
Adding to this, he detailed what strategies Tolexo has undertaken to deliver customer experience, “To achieve this, Tolexo has undertaken a host of strategic initiatives – developed regional fulfillment hubs to ensure greater inventory holding capacity and better localized fulfillment, launched Tolexo speedy – to ensure superior quality and 24 hour dispatch to ensure faster, timely delivery, trained sellers via B2B seller panel, seller onboarding programs, seller training videos to enable sellers to fulfill orders from online and offline channels. We are trying to build experience stores to allow customers to experience products and their quality and then place orders.”
The panelists wrapped up the discussion by answering questions about how offline and online retailers can create new revenue streams.
QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE:
How can a customer ensure that he does not receive a counterfeit good from a marketplace?
RAVI – Customer awareness. Whether you are making a purchase online or offline, you need to look at buying products from authorized sellers. There are some authorized sellers for the products, also FBA, Flipkart Advantage are options that you should look at, for quality assurance. Just as in brick and mortar stores you would buy from an authorized seller, similarly in online purchases also you should check the seller before purchase.
How can sellers plan their purchase and put a proper price for their products?
NIKET – There are various tools that are available to do that. One of the things that marketplaces that try to do is help you be competitive on prices.
The marketplace will assist you to understand how much inventory you should stock, the sales you can expect, and a competitive price point/range you can target.
For a medium sized retailer, wishing to capture new avenues of revenue, do you think they should go on their own? Or they should tie up with an established marketplace?
VENKAT – Identify the correct marketplace to collaborate with, and then go for a partnership. I would say that partnering with marketplaces is a very effective option for a retailer.
RAVI – Collaboration is key. A medium sized retailer should look at collaboration rather than setting up one’s own stores. Wildcraft, for example, sells via a plethora of channels. There is no competition between the two channels, and retailers should not see this as a concern.
Missed our webinar? Watch the webinar replay here:
Key Takeaways of the Webinar:
Any tips or questions for us? Leave them in the comments below –