A Viral Push to Retail

The Year 2019 ended with the retail segment in India attracting private equity investments of near about US$ 1 Billion. This feat, sort of set the premise, for the coming year of 2020 with trade analysts setting an expectation on total consumption expenditure to reach nearly US$ 3,600 billion. But before the market could think about picking up its tempo, it was struck by an unlikely enemy, a Virus.

The novel Corona Virus or the COViD-19 as we know it has brought the world to a virtual standstill. With the world in quarantine, the retail industry, along with every other component that makes up the world economy, is looking at slow to almost no growth in the current year. In a matter of a few weeks, the focus shifted from profits to people and financial matters to health priorities. The only things, apart from hope, circulating in the current market landscape is essential commodities.

The Retail industry, one of the worst hit, is trying to keep up in any and every manner possible. While the small retail shops in India, catering daily essential commodities, are still working under strict guidelines, the major retail outlets have been looking for options to stay in the hunt. While they wait for the virus to be tamed by a vaccine, the retail industry needs to look for alternatives to keep itself afloat. Even when the pandemic is over, the fear is here to stay, and that changes a lot regarding how the retail industry will progress.

Once the lock down is lifted, the markets sure will be open, but the now aware citizens will not be thronging the malls and shopping complexes with the same fervour as earlier. eCommerce and doorstep delivery will be the new normal and favoured way of retailing. And the Retail Industry which is already looking for digitalization of its processes needs to ramp up its efforts the meet the demand that is pooling up.

In the post-Corona retail world, the focus will be no-contact retailing process. The concept is already in its nascent stage and is expected to become the way of business. Virtual retail shops and retail assistants will gain more popularity. The retail industry will rely more on software and digital service providers to reach and cater to its customers. With manufacturing processes still to commence, the focus will be on selling the piled-up inventory at the best possible prices. This will also bring long-term supply chain management in focus.

Overall, the retail industry is in for a makeover and the process has already begun with big retail chains taking up only online orders and delivering them to the customers with minimal to no physical contact. In such times of change, we bring you The 10 Most Trusted Retail Companies to Watch in 2020. These companies are equipped with ideas and are digitally powered to bounce back sooner than expected.

On the Cover, we have Hush India Pvt Ltd, a company which has been ideating and creating a wide range of innovative sleep solutions resulting in a special place in its customers’ hearts and minds over the decades.

This issue also features the stories of Angel Arts (Trinity), an online art and creative consultancy service company based in Mumbai, India, which showcases modern, Indian, and contemporary art; Kaya Blenders and Distillers, a rapidly flourishing alcohol beverage developing firm that provides the preferred taste and packaging to its customers; Rise Retail & Payment Solutions Pvt Ltd., a company established with a mission to enable small and medium-sized retailers (SME) with tech-based tools for better consumer engagement and process automation; and X5 RETAIL (INDIA) PVT LTD, a company that focuses on bringing India’s authentic craftsmanship to the center-stage of today’s retail ecosystem.

We would also like to applaud the efforts of Bombay Rayon Fashions Ltd, Nobel Hygiene Pvt Ltd, Polson Ltd, Visagar Group, and Zeba India Pvt Ltd.

This issue also brings forth viewpoints of Anand Asaithambi, Co-founder and CEO of Intuition Systems on Convergence of Technology in Retail 4.0: Reimagining Point of Sales (POS) and Samiksha Bajaj and Abhishek Bajaj, Co-founders of Samshék , on Personalised Tech Experience in the Fashion Retail Industry.

Do go through our in-house article that explains the connectivity between Digital Transformation and Customer Experience titled Digital Transformation to Drive Customer Experience.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did while creating it!!

Author's Bio: 

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