DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: A REVOLUTION OF TRANSFORMATION IN INDIAN RETAIL ENVIRONMENT
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DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: A REVOLUTION OF TRANSFORMATION IN INDIAN RETAIL ENVIRONMENT

Mukesh Kumar (Assistant Professor & HOD, Management)

Dronacharya College of Education, Rait Kangra (H.P.)

E.mail : mukeshkkumar86@gmail.com

&

Vikas Kohli (Assistant Professor)

A& M Institute of Management & Technology, Pathankot(PB.)

E. mail : devkohli794@gmail.com0

ABSTRACT

No matter the size of your enterprise, technology has both tangible and intangible benefits that will help you make money and produce the results your customers demand. Asia is primed for the transformative and disruptive impact of digital technology. The pace of business change is getting faster. Retail market in India is projected to grow from an estimated US$ 672 billion in 2017 to US$ 1,200 billion in 2021F. Online retail sales are forecasted to grow at the rate of 31 per cent year-on-year basis. The use of Digital technology through digital marketing is rising rapidly as they address the core pain points, or problems, of the retail industry. To meet those expectations, retailers need digital technology capable of tracking each customer’s buying and browsing histories, cross-referencing those data to the retailer’s inventory, suggesting discounts or other offers likely to persuade shoppers to buy, and then recommending which communications channels and marketing approaches are most likely to elicit a response.  Digital usage in India is rising day by day and number of smart phone user and total no. of internet users expected to reach 26.2 & 560 million till 2025. In order to face competition and better customer relation retail sector requires to understand the role of digital technology and start work with technical advancement like: IoT, SMAC, Big data and Omni channel adaptation etc.We can say that, Digital technology is the knight on the white horse that will ride the retail market towards prosperity and triumph.

Key words: Online retail, Retail market, Digital Marketing, customer relation, Internet of things (IoT)

I. INTRODUCTION

Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries due to the entry of several new players. Total consumption expenditure is expected to reach nearly US$ 3,600 billion by 2020 from US$ 1,824 billion in 2017. It accounts for over 10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and around eight per cent of the employment. India is the world’s fifth-largest global destination in the retail space.India ranked 73 in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2019. India is the world’s fifth largest global destination in the retail space and ranked 63 in World Bank’s Doing Business 2019. India is the world’s fifth largest global destination in the retail space. In FDI Confidence Index, India ranked 16 (after US, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Japan, France, Australia, Switzerland, and Italy). A digital edge has brought a new wave combined with digital information and physical resources to create a value based information for profitable revenues. Many enterprises seeking digital transformation processes, business models, and the customer experience by exploiting connections between systems, people, places, and things. The Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries due to the entry of several new players. Total consumption expenditure is expected to reach nearly US$ 3,600 billion by 2020 from US$ 1,824 billion in 2017.

1.1 Market Size

  • Retail industry reached US$ 950 billion in 2018 at CAGR of 13 per cent and is expected to reach US$ 1.1 trillion by 2020. Online retail sales were forecast to grow 31 per cent   y-o-y to reach US$ 32.70 billion in 2018. Revenue generated from online retail is projected to reach US$ 60 billion by 2020.
  • Revenue of India’s offline retailers, also known as brick and mortar (B&M) retailers, is expected to increase by Rs 10,000-12,000 crore (US$ 1.39-2.77 billion) in FY20.
  • India is expected to become the world’s fastest growing E-commerce market, driven by robust investment in the sector and rapid increase in the number of internet users. Various agencies have high expectations about growth of India’s E-commerce market.

II. REVIEW OF LITERATURE

 The emergence of technological evolutions and technologies is evident if we look back at the underlying technology, which was transformed from analogue electronic technology to digital electronics anywhere in late 1950s to late 1970s with the adoption and proliferation of digital computers and keeping digital records till present day. The organized retail market is expected to grow 25-30 % annually and would triple in size from the current US $ 390 billion to US $ 470 billion by 2012 & US $ 698 by 2019. Retail is contributing 10% to our GDP and is the largest source of employment after Agriculture. The Indian market has seen vast changes in political, Economic and Social environment which has a great impact on Consumption. The retail Market has been divided into traditional and the organized sector with the entry of both Indian and the foreign corporate.

In India , Online buying and selling is the most prominent and profound digital application, and it affects small and large retailers as well as end consumers in equal measure. According to the McKinsey 2019 Global Consumer Sentiment Survey, which surveyed 17,700 people in15 countries including India, online buying is already the second most heavily used buying channel for consuming-class urban Indians. The omnipresent mom-and-pop stores, by contrast, ranked a distant fourth, and just over half of consuming-class urban Indians reported shopping there.

This research is developed to overcome this gap. Organised retail segment has been growing at a blistering pace, exceeding all previous estimates. The fastest growing segments have been the wholesale cash and carry stores (150 per cent) followed by supermarkets (100 per cent) and hypermarkets (75-80 per cent). Further, it estimates the organised segment to account for 27 per cent of the total sales by 2017. Driven by changing lifestyles, strong income growth and favourable demographic patterns, Indian retail is expanding at a rapid pace. Mall space, from a meagre one million square feet in 2002, and to touch an estimated 108 million square feet by end-2017, says Jones Lang LaSalle’s third annual Retailer Sentiment Survey-Asia.

There is a drastic change in the customer’s tastes and preferences leading to radical transformation in their lifestyle and the spending patterns thereby giving rise to new business opportunities. This generic growth, driven by changing lifestyle and strong increment in income is to be supported by the favorable demographic patterns. The addition of a number of variety store, goods stores and shopping Malls with the availability of Multi-component products and Electronic purchasing capabilities have played a crucial role in widening the choice for Consumers and have complicated Decision Making( Halfstrom et.al., 1992)

III. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

  1. To explore the role of digital technology in transformation of Indian retail sector.
  2. To check Growth & Development of Indian Retail Industry.
  3. To explore the different innovative technologies revolutionised Indian retail sector.

IV. RESEARCH METHDODOLGY

4.1 Research Design

The research design for the present study was basically descriptive and exploratory in nature. The study started with exploratory research design in order to have a deeper insight of the changing retailing environment. This help the researcher formulate the research hypothesis for the present study. The descriptive research design was used to describe the relationship between various dependent / Independent variables which were explored during exploratory study. The concerned data and information is collected from various secondary sources like published journals, research articles, and official websites for the present work.

V. DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AND RETAIL SECTOR

It is projected that by 2021 traditional retail will hold a major share of 75 per cent, organised retail share will reach 18 per cent and e-commerce retail share will reach 7 per cent of the total retail market. Over time, retail technology has transcended from an aspiration to an expectation and has wedged itself securely between consumer and experience to create an everyday interface. While it has definitely made life easier for consumers, retailers in India have spent a better part of the last decade on their heels, reacting to profound changes throughout the sectors of the industry.

Over the past few years, a number of technology trends have evolved and dramatically altered the retail industry. The emergence and the transformational growth of the new economy has unleashed powerful forces which are eventually and successfully reshaping the retail industry at a transformational speed. In order to succeed, today’s retailers have to offer a seamless shopping experience across all channels – and should not lose track of their customers. Today, the entire retail ecosystem has smartened with technology. There are so many things one can experiment with if a retailer uses technology, for example: smart displays, in-store services, smart shelves, home delivery, brand optimization options, supply chain optimization, logistics automation to name just a few. Then there are wallets, point of sale data, social networking – where you can home in on complaints as well as get appreciated. All this is driven by the retailer into applications where the consumer sees, feels, asks the retailer questions and eventually buys the product.

VI. APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY

6.1. Digital Promotions

Digital promotions are dependent on customers’ attitude towards modern technology and its use in their daily lives; Customer data collection raises an issue of privacy infringement but is vital for a commercial success of digital promotions. Data analytics skills are necessary for discovering insightful information about customers’ shopping behavior and tailoring appropriate promotions.

Digital coupons became popular and widely accepted by customers on the onset of the economic crisis in 2008. Fueled by stagnating economies around the world and the growing number of mobile digital devices sold, customers have become accustomed to receiving promotional messages onto their mobile devices and to the practice of having digital coupons stored in their smartphones when out and shopping. Yet, even when the economic crises seem to be receding and growth returns, digital couponing still remains a favorite activity among customers.

Fig: 1 Digital Adoption in India

Source : Global Mckinsey Global Institutes analysis 2019

6.2.  Mobile Promotions

Customers make purchase decisions out of stores, e.g. by reviewing the retailer’s website and checking this week’s offers, by reading user and expert reviews on-line or by consulting their friends about recent purchases they have made either on-line or in a bricks-and-mortar store. Customers also decide what to buy when they are already in the store. On the contrary, modern technologies make it easier for customers to locate desired products on store shelves while, at the same time, can increase the distance walked by informing customers of special offers or complements through mobile promotions sent to customers depending on the specific location in the store. As a result, in-store mobile promotions create the potential for growing sales from more time spent inside the store and from unplanned purchase.

6.3 Mobile Point of Sale

Sophisticated applications for smart phones and other mobile devices form one area of opportunities for retailers to institute, nurture, and sustain long-term relationships with their customers. Mobile point of sale (POS), however, opens also other opportunities for creating customer value. Mobile POS, enables retailers the collection of sales data at the point of sale, i.e. on the shop floor where store assistants communicate with customers instead of at the traditional cash register where payments are processed. This gives the assistants not only a sense of mobility, but also the opportunity to sway the customer to buy even if a product is currently not on the shelf. Mobile POS frees store assistants from the cash register to accept payments for products anywhere  in the store and to spend more time with customers and to provide them with service directly on the shopfloor where they have a chance to influence their purchase decisions. Other crucial benefit associated with this technology relates to the time that customers spend waiting in lines and then at the cash register before the payment process is finalized. If the assistant can take the payment from the customer directly at the point where the customer interacts with the product, he/she can deliver additional service, e.g. recommend a complement.

Implementing mobile POS inside stores is a matter of promoting concern about customer satisfaction because customers, in general, tend to get anxious and even irritated if compelled to spend an unreasonable amount of time in the line (e.g. during peak hours) waiting for their turn at the cash register.

6.4. Mobile Payments and Digital Wallets

According to “India B2C E-Commerce market 2019” report, As this year began , less than half of the population of India could connect to the internet, and connection were often sporadic .Mobile payments have become a favorite means of paying for all kinds of services, such as travel ticketing (from bus to flight tickets), product purchase and, but not limited to, finalizing payments in physical stores using smartphone “wallet” or other payment applications. The multitude of products, services, and applications available for mobile digital devices is expected to increase enormously over the coming years and the same is anticipated for mobile payment technology .NFC technology enables a contactless, short-range, encrypted communication between NFC mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and NFC-terminals in retail stores such as checkouts or digital displays. This technology opens up the possibility of wire-less data transfers between devices that maybe active or passive. A passive device, such as an NFC tag on a piece of clothes in a fashion store, contains information that other devices can read but does not read any information itself. Active device scan read information and send it. An active NFC device, e.g. a smartphone, can collect information from NFC tags and also exchange information with other compatible phones or devices and can even alter the information on the NFC tag if authorized to make such changes. Hence, this technology transforms mobile devices into multi-purpose devices. NFC-based Google Wallet has evolved from a mobile-only solution into a digital wallet that allows its users to store payment information in the cloud and use their smartphones in stores with NFC terminals.

Figure : 2  Mobile Payment Trend in India

6.5. Personal Shopping Assistants

Personal shopping assistants could alleviate the issue of receiving quality service inside the store at the moment when the customer requires it. Personal shopping assistants are touch screens with built-in wireless connectivity to ensure mobility and they remind of tablets both in shape and functionality.  Apart from wireless Internet access, these devices offer UPC (Universal Product Code) scanning features, layout and navigation capabilities of the store which may become extremely handy in big box stores.Personal shopping assistants have been deployed in Real’s Future Store, part of the METRO GROUP, where loyalty card holders can try and test this technology. The customers activate the assistant by scanning their loyalty cards which immediately gives them an overview of the store’s promotions, past purchases, and suggested shopping lists accompanied by information of product location within the Future Store. Sales-promotion oriented and cost-conscious customers will appreciate the UPC scanning feature of the assistant. This feature keeps a running total of current product purchases so that the customers know at every point how much they have spent so far.

6.6 EPT (Electronic Price Tags)

There are several benefits to the technology of electronic price tags. The customers will recognize the benefit of accurate pricing that saves them the trouble at the cash register. Potential arguments between the customers and the cashier can be avoided while other customers, still waiting in the line, are not delayed by this inconvenience. This contributes to the overall pleasant shopping experience and also decreases the likelihood of returned products that customers either leave directly at the cash register or return later due to a higher-than-expected price. In addition, labor cost savings can be realized. The less mispriced products are returned, the more time the store staff can spend attending to other tasks at hand. Greater labor cost savings, however, are achievable by rolling out price changes from a centralized computer system across the whole store instead of replacing paper price tags manually by the store staff.

6.7. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology

Traditionally, RFID systems consist of three parts – a reader, a transponder and a computer network. The reader remotely identifies a small transponder by sending out radio signals on a continuous basis. The transponder is attached to a product and responds to the signal. This information is then communicated through a computer network that processes the data. Chip less forms of RFID tags that use material to reflect back a portion of the radio waves beamed at them are also in use. RFID technology, together with UPCs, benefits the retailers in several ways and presents them with opportunities whose potential is yet to be discovered. Firstly, RFID improves goods traceability within the whole supply chain which means that retailers can track the flow of goods in the physical distribution channel at any given point which should lead to reduced inventory levels. This functionality of RFID also decreases the likelihood that some products get lost in any particular location. Furthermore, it eases the issue of locating specific products in big warehouses and retail stores while, at the same time, the store personnel can check if each product is in its designated location. Walmart, for instance, successfully placed RFID tags on individual garments that can be read by a hand-held scanner.

VII. SOME TECHNOLOGIES SHAPING THE FUTURE OF RETAIL

  1. IoT (Internet of Things):

IoT has big implications for in-store marketing efforts of retailers and brands. Connected devices aren’t just changing the way consumers live, work and play – they’re dramatically reshaping the entire industry. The IoT movement offers retailers opportunities in three critical areas: customer experience, supply chain and new channels-revenue streams.

Leading retailers across the globe are already investing heavily in IoT. They are beginning to transform their business practices and recognize that, in time, IoT will touch nearly every area of retail operations and customer engagement. In the IoT of today, everything has the potential of coming under the IOT umbrella. From the lighting system in the store, the PoS (Point of Sales) system, to the electric switches and even garbage disposal unit. IOT is at the heart of retail transformation. It connects people, machines, items, and services to streamline the flow of information, enable real-time decisions, and heighten consumer experiences. Many companies like Reliance retail, Walmart India, Future group start to use IOT in order to take benefits of better customer experience.

2. SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud)

The relationship between consumers and enterprises has never been as intrigued as in the 21st century. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud or SMAC are the nexus of forces, which are reshaping how consumers experience a brand.

  • Social Tool:  The social tool of the SMAC platforms enhances knowledge sharing among members of social media platforms, providing them with a platform for rapid knowledge sharing. This exchange of collaborative information can drive better business marketing results.
  • Mobile Tool: Mobile devices like smart phones and tablets have improved the connection of retailers with their target customers. Mobile technology has rapidly changed the digital marketplace by enabling retailers to market their products and services seamlessly.
  • Analytics Tool: While the social and mobile tools provide an understanding of the consumer behavior and preferences, the analytics tool analyzes the data collected and draws insights from them. Retailers can improve marketing campaigns, retain customer loyalty and enhance products and services by studying the insights drawn from the customer preferences.
  • Cloud Tool: With a huge amount of data and overwhelming information, using cloud technology offers solutions for creating an organized IT ecosystem with improved data collection. Data can be made available on the cloud which can be accessed anywhere and anytime and hence helps retailers in cutting down costs of server maintenance and other geographical issues.

3. Big Data

Today, retailers are constantly finding innovative ways to draw insights from the ever-increasing amount of structured and unstructured information available about their customers’ behavior. Data gathering and analytics are playing a key role in evolving business models in retail. Usage of data and analytics to better understand consumers in the form of branding, product management, leveraging loyalty card information to tracking customer buying behaviour and making better pricing decisions are the key factors. Retailers – large and small – have been reaping the benefits of analysing structured data for years but are only just starting to get to grips with unstructured data. There is undoubtedly still a great deal of untapped potential in social media, customer feedback comments, video footage, recorded telephone conversations and locational GPS data.

4. Omni channel Retail Adaptation

Omni-channel retail refers to the multi-channel method that aims at providing the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the client is shopping online from a mobile device, a laptop or from a retail store near-by. Omni-channel provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience that multi-channel does not. Omni channel is about understanding and optimizing for the entire journey across all channels.Omni channel today is a necessity. Brick-and-mortar retailers have been left with no option but to add online channel to their offline  operations in a bid to reach as many customers as possible, and quickly. Omni channel retailing creates benefits for consumers and opportunities for retailers. For consumers, it empowers connected consumers by making it easier for them to access information and compare product details; by increasing choice; and by increasing convenience and the range of options for shopping.

VIII.   DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: STRNEGTH FOR RETAIL SECTOR

With growing competition, it has become extremely vital for retailers to innovate continuously and implement cutting-edge technologies to fulfill today’s demanding customers’ need. In order to stay relevant in a highly competitive market, every retailer needs to stay on top of technological advances and also learn how to exploit these technical innovations to forward their business goals. Digital is now an essential part of the whole shopping experience and the entire business of retail, inside as well as outside the store.

Digital technologies will make it easier for efficient mom-and-pop stores to scale up by enabling them to serve demand beyond their immediate service areas, giving them access to institutional credit for expansion, and integrating informal retailers into the formal economy.

IX. CONCLUSION

The study concluded that the no sector will remain untouched by the digital revolution. The Indian Retail Industry is considered one of the fastest growing industries in the world and technology has emerged as a helping hand to the industry. The world has seen a transition in retail planning –with the industry going from being product-centric to being customer-centric – and retailers are leveraging technologies to reach the modern shoppers. Many digital technology like Digital payment app, E -Commerce facilities, In store applications, media tools and other key drivers of digitization like Smartphone, social media, big data and the Internet of Things affect retail sector in positive way.

REFERENCES

  • Alex Koster, Bahjat El-Darwiche, Karim Sabbagh, Milind Singh, Roman Friedrich(2015) Digitization for Economic Growth and Job Creation: Regional and Industry Perspectives.
  • Osama Manzar. “Digital India: challenges and opportunities”
  • PayelChaudhdri(2015) Role of Digitization and E-commerce in Indian economic Growth: An Employment Generation Perspective by Payel Chaudhri
  • Mohammadi Begum (2018)digital technology and its impact on economy,society and business ; a review research in digital revolution and new India

Used Websites :

https://www.ibef.org/industry/retail-india.aspx

https://www.researchandmarkets.com

http:// www. MGI-Digital-India-Report-April-2019.pdf

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