Organized Retailing and Its Transformation through Technology

How technology is being harnessed to bring a new lease of life to the traditional brick & mortar stores.

Retail is one of the most demanding sectors scaling new heights with time. This fact, especially, holds true in the context of one of the emerging markets of the world- India. Due to the increasing consumer demands and changing behaviors, the anatomy of the retail landscape is experiencing a 360 degrees shift. The credit goes to the next-gen technology that has created a stir across the global retail sector. The recent report by bizcommunity has emphasized on how technology is being harnessed to bring a new lease of life to the traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

There are a host of different factors causing the new shift to the existing physical store concept, predominantly the consumer behavior, which is changing at a rapid pace. Tech-led innovations have had a catalytic effect in redefining the retail shopping concept. This space is now being resurrected with the introduction of augmented reality (AR), headless commerce, and relatively new and proven web applications (like progressive web applications or PWA) that can further enhance the consumer experience. Hence, it is now all the more important to implement such innovative ideas to explore the possibility of the expansion of physical stores across the length and breadth of a country like India.

As per reports, the Indian retail sector is one of the economy’s top five growing industries of the economy and has generated more employment opportunities than other sectors. However, when compared to the developed economies of the world, the organized retail penetration in India is much lower (12% as against 85% in other nations).

But the good news is that urbanization has influenced the scale of retail transformation in a way that has led this country’s (India’s) retailers to mark new frontiers in several Indian cities. Some of the most popular destinations that have seen a spike in new retail outlets in recent years include transit points (like metro stations, airports, etc.), industrial or IT parks, malls, and so on. 

Indian retail market is projected to grow at a rapid pace of ~11 percent CAGR by 2021, according to estimates. However, to achieve this, merchants, vendors, and shop owners (including small retailers) must adopt the latest tech-enabled omnichannel platforms.

So, how can a small retailer gain an edge in this sector by adopting a SaaS-enabled retail development platform?

Adopting next-gen technology is crucial for shop owners to follow a growth trajectory in a rapidly growing, organized retailing market as they contend with multi-storey malls and large entertainment and shopping complexes. Let’s explore some of the top benefits of such a platform and its applications:

Top 5 Benefits a SaaS-enabled Retail Development Platform must offer:

  • Speed – seamless information integration channel that expedites communication between retailers and vendors and assists in the on-time replenishment of a project.
  • Quality control – enables retailers with an automated platform to help track and monitor vendors to assess product quality and minimize defects.
  • Cost optimization– reduces pricing discrepancies and operational costs by providing a single-point access to multiple vendors.
  • Agility – allows retailers and vendors to make changes in a single workflow accessible to all.
  • Smart Technology – equipped with next-gen solutions such as smart carts, consumer analytics solutions, AR-enabled applications, digital sensors, etc.
  • Indeed the Indian retail landscape is ready to witness a boom with technological disruption, especially to help grow the organized retail sector. Usually, a small retailer in India is wedged between choosing the right vendor at a prominent location (in a town or city) and managing huge operational costs while building a new store. Managing several workflows and finishing a project on time is, of course, another major challenge to combat.  However, these challenges can be easily addressed with the aid of right retail development tools, for it will enable retailers, merchants, as well as vendors to manage operations across a single platform and, at the same time, carry out appropriate controls.

  • Despite many ups and downs, the Indian organized retail sector is one of the top GDP contributors and the country’s second-largest employer. It is, therefore, imperative that retailers implement better technologies to further develop this field in the years ahead. 

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