How Indians would like to shop, Retail News, ET Retail

How Indians would like to shop, Retail News, ET Retail

By Vivek Kaul

Online shopping trends in India are expected to continue to ride the waves of popularity, made easier and more convenient by the deep penetration of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Online shopping has increased rapidly in the country in recent times, and consumers in India indicate that they are likely to shop online more frequently in coming years.

A large majority of Indian shoppers anticipate spending more through both online and physical retail platforms in coming years. However, a much larger percentage (nearly 80%) of shoppers feel that they are likely to spend more via online shopping routes, in comparison to those who expect to spend more at physical stores. Quite expectedly, out of those who expect to spend more online, nearly 85% are in the age group of 18–24 years. Of those who anticipate spending more in coming years regardless of the retail platform, it is noted that most of their purchases are also expected to be online. What may be of particular concern for brick-and-mortar stores is that this trend is accentuated across consumers from higher-income households in India.

According to a consumer survey recently conducted by CBRE in India, almost 70% of the Indian shoppers interviewed felt that they were likely to shop more often from a desktop / laptop; while nearly 60% expect to use tablets / smartphones more often to shop online. With a large majority of the survey respondents preferring to use online platforms more often in coming years, it becomes imperative for retailers in the country to focus more on developing their online presence for a faster penetration into the Indian market.

It would seem that Indian consumers have been increasingly embracing online shopping, despite concerns regarding internet penetration in the country. Consequently, retailers would be advised to adopt a dual-platform business model, enabling them to leverage on the marketing value of physical stores while extending promotions and sales across internet portals. Meanwhile, retailers also need to grow and evolve their in-store experiences—perhaps concentrating more on visual merchandizing and/or enhancing the sensual aspect of shopping—to continue to stay relevant and compete with the convenience of online shopping.

Online retail strategies of global brands in India

Global fashion brands have created a beeline for India not only through the traditional route, but also via the e-commerce route. At least 31 new global brands entered the country in 2014 utilizing platforms offered by leading fashion e-retailers in the country such as Myntra, Jabong, and Koovs. These include brands such as Scotch & Soda, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Cheap Monday, Desigual and Asics, among others.

While several fashion brands have been making inroads into the country, European labels have been particularly keen on entering India. Retailers from the United Kingdom dominated the entry bandwagon in 2014, with almost 38% of all brand entries in 2014 originating from the UK. The current year has also witnessed encouraging movements, with nearly 20 new brands entering Indian marketplaces through the online retail route, including the likes of Supra, Fox, Tom Tailor, AX Paris, and Kas New York, among others.

In a bid to ensure greater penetration into the Indian market, particularly smaller cities, prominent global brands that were already present with brick-and-mortar formats across the country have begun to establish their online presence as well. At least 18 such global brands were seen to move online in 2014—including fashion brands such as Mango, Also, Superdry, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, Nine West and Steve Madden.

(The writer is Head of Retail Services India at CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd.)

  • Published On Jul 1, 2015 at 12:03 PM IST

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