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Abhishek Bansal

Abhishek Bansal is Executive Director of Pacific India Group.

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Top Five Retail Trends in India for the Year 2018

Modern retailing is penetrating the Indian Retail market in the form of multi-storied shopping malls, large shopping centres, and supermarkets and hypermarkets offering shopping, dining, and amusement, under the same roof.

The Indian Retail Industry is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing industries with an impressive employment potential. A number of international brands are entering the Indian retail sector accounting for over 10% of India’s gross domestic product. The concept of shopping in India has dramatically transformed over years in terms of consumers’ preferences and attitude. Modern retailing is penetrating the Indian Retail market in the form of multi-storied shopping malls, large shopping centres, and supermarkets and hypermarkets offering shopping, dining, and amusement, under the same roof.

Here are the top five retail trends that will make a strong impact on the Indian retail industry in the forthcoming year—

  • Online Retail Market Poised to Boom: The data gathered from a survey conducted by market research firm RNCOS reveals that owing to the rapid expansion of e-commerce, the Indian online retail market is expected to grow more than 4-fold to reach USD 14.5 billion by next year. According to the survey, this growth is mainly driven by the need for shopping ease, growing number of smartphone users, higher mobility, and time-saving factor.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) to enhance Customer Experience: These revolutionary technologies will dominate the retail supply chain in 2018. Since the tech-savvy Millennial consumer demands speed and a culture of retail convenience, retail stakeholders will increasingly invest in intelligent tools to provide omni-channel service to their customers such as click-and-collect delivery service or same-day shipping and delivery. Conversational Artificial Intelligence platforms will be significantly utilized in 2018 for setting new standards of business intelligence and advanced analytics.

  • Inventory Optimization: In order to meet growing consumer expectation, delivery management will become the topmost priority for retailers who will take more deliberate and meticulous actions pertaining to delivery management. Retailers will embrace technology to lessen excessive inventory through artificial intelligence (AI) planning and precision inventory planning.

  • Hyper-Personalization for Boosting Sales: In order to survive 2018, personalization will be the topmost priority of the marketing strategy of Indian retailers. To enhance the shopping experience for consumers, the best-performing Indian retailers will leverage hyper-personalization models based on behavioral data, brands preference, demographic preference and pin codes of consumers.

  • Chatbots to Make Consumer Experience Interesting: Chatbots were at a nascent stage until now, but in 2018 they will be increasingly utilized by Indian retailers for interacting with customers via messaging apps. Brands which utilize chatbots will tap customers easily by initiating conversations with the customers, guiding them through the products or services, providing recommendations and updates, and processing orders.

The Road Ahead

Nevertheless, there are certain impediments that may obstruct the growth of Indian Retail Sector; for example, slow internet connections in rural India and apprehensions about the security of online transactions. Regardless of these hurdles, the future of the retail sector in India seems to be exciting as both organized and unorganized retail businesses along with the government are working collectively to revolutionize the retail industry while keeping the interests of the customers in mind.

All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that an exciting year lies ahead for the Indian retail sector with global retail giants entering the market, ground-breaking technologies revolutionizing customers’ journey by enhancing retail operations, and favorable government policies.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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