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Omnichannel Marketing in India is Evolving Beyond Seamless CX –

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a remarkable surge in online commerce in India, as many brands swiftly embraced digital platforms. However post the pandemic, the concept of omnichannel marketing has gained momentum, with businesses recognising the critical need to develop strategies that encompass both physical retail and online presence, enhancing the customer experience and boosting sales.

For instance, during the height of the pandemic, established Indian fashion brands like “FabIndia” , M&S and “Biba” accelerated their online presence, enabling customers to shop for ethnic wear and accessories from the comfort of their homes. However, as the situation improved, these brands realised the significance of a holistic approach. 

Recent data from the customer experience company Bazaarvoice talks about  a notable consumer preference for discovering new products online as opposed to in physical stores. Globally, approximately 64% of consumers find it more convenient to browse and explore new items on online platforms, whereas only 32% express a similar preference for in-store shopping. 

However, the landscape in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in India, presents a different picture. Across 13 markets in the Asia-Pacific region, 53% of adults express that they find it easier to discover new brands and products when shopping in physical stores rather than online, and in India, this percentage rises to 77%. Even companies like Nykaa, a cosmetics and beauty products retailer, which experienced remarkable growth during the pandemic by providing an extensive range of beauty products online, are now setting up retail stores to address the desire of Indian shoppers to touch and see products. 

Similarly, many other companies like licious, Mama Earth, Sugar cosmetics and Boat, started as an online-only venture but has since expanded to retail stores across the country, allowing customers to experience their products in person before making a purchase. 

We are seeing an increase in touchpoints almost everyday, with many brands adding webchat, chatbots and AR/VR apps. At the same time, digital and physical environments are converging. Shoppers may be using digital technology such as QR codes on the shelf in a physical store or buying online from a curated collection in a physical store. Or shopping at a virtual store using AR. Or ordering online and picking up curbside.

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