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Current Needs Of Offline Retail With growing infrastructures and modern retail, shopping has changed its paradigm and entered into competitive landscape.

By Yogesh Huja

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It's been some time since technology has started to address the need of offline retailers, which is 90% of business worldwide. Until the e-commerce boom, offline retailers were comfortable with their conventional ways of marketing and it was working for them in Stone Age.

The understanding and connect of shopper–retailer was largely local. With growing infrastructures and modern retail, shopping has changed its paradigm and entered into competitive landscape. Loyalty is now challenged as price transparency & product portfolio is offered by e-commerce players in much more easier way.

The touch and feel mode in many categories cannot be eliminated, especially before making a final decision. In the present consumer-centric world, brands now understand that they should have the capacity to meet customers' smallest needs with spryness and push them to make a purchase in the offline medium too. Therefore, retailers and brands are progressively inching towards innovation to react to the smallest buying cues left by a potential buyer.

Essentially, innovation in technology is empowering retailers and the brands to fulfill the smallest needs of a potential buyer and align their marketing efforts accordingly by addressing the following pointers:

  • Discoverability: It means, being accessible to shoppers when they are searching for products/services in a market or mall. As per Google, 90 per cent of cell phone users aren't sure of the brand preference when they start shopping. Potential purchasers are likewise filtering different portals and apps online for various deals & offers. It is subsequently super imperative for brands to be discoverable on the web to build their credibility and aid buying decision.
  • Answering "Nearby' searches: Near-me queries have grown 34 times since 2011, according to Google's information. Brands need to appear exactly when buyers are looking for spots to search around them.
  • Being There When Customers Require You: Brands should have the capacity to tune in to the customers' needs and requirements all through his or her purchasing process. Given the limited capacity to focus and short blasts of activity that portrays today's customers, brands risks losing the purchaser's consideration by not being there at that time. These cues could entail coupons/bargain data, price/color accessibility or even how-to videos.

To distinguish and satisfy the pangs of a consumer, brands and retailers are grasping technological innovationsbased on Internet of Things ( IoT )such as:

Footfall Cameras And Wi-Fi Sensors

Footfall cameras are not new in retail but innovations that grasp outside footfall, zone analytics & map it in real-time with inside traffic & dwell time of shopper. The retailers can also use Wi-Fi sensors which when coupled with BI Tools provide a 360 degree approach for marketers to tap on to offline shoppers. How do you find an app triggering a retailer to create custom offer for recent footfall arrived at entry gate of mall & about to pass by in next 5 minutes from retailer's store.

Sensors &BLE Beacons

A study states that there will be 4.5 million active beacons by 2018, of which 3.6 million will be in offline retail. Retailers all around are embracing beacons to draw shoppers to their stores in a timely and convenient manner.BLE beacons are more based on the proximity of the shopper and work only when the Bluetooth connection is on. Whereas, the sensors work on various other parameters providing much detailed information about energy consumption, humidity, noise level, etc.

With these effective tools, brands and store proprietors additionally get the ability to seriously draw in with in-store customers& manage offline retail more efficiently. Empowered with 3Dindoor maps,these tools help shopper to understandlocation of retailer or brand and develop loyalty through reward focuses each time clients visit a store.

AI (Chatbots & IoT)

The integration of Chatbots in retail will be the easiest way to drive window shoppers or possible buyers to the outlets of their choice. The AI which is the stepping stone for IoT devices will help user to discover the best of the offers just by interacting with a bot thus, cutting the time span for making a decision and boosting the footfall for a retailer. In other words, we are looking at Chatbots helping people with venue, time & location preferences for planning a timeout with their loved ones.

Tech Savvy Stores

The reference points introduced again could transform a stupid touch-screen gadget into a brilliant, logical in-store advertising terminal. Envision a touch-screen respecting a customer venturing into the store with a customized welcoming; showing his/her desired items with deals & offers on any product, suggested items in view of client inclinations and history, and so forth.

The beacon/ WI-FI sensor attached to the store merchandize can speak with the Smartphone application and trigger focused, customized data on a screen in-store to drive sales. Envision a situation where you are taking a gander at a shoe in store, and the screen turns live with data around your size accessibility, value offers, and so on. It's a successful poke for the shopper to move into the purchase procedure.

Empowering Revelation And Purchase By Means Of Picture Inquiry

Visual search enormously save time and exertion for shoppers. Clients can take a photograph of the item or brand they are searching for, or even simply transfer a current picture from their gadget to seek comparative items. The picture would bring about the type of comparable items with rates and where-to-purchase information.


Retail in India, China & worldwide holds a bright future and the development we have seen so far is just the start. In India, be it the administration approach as far as FDI changes, the supported GDP development and other cheery financial elements or the detonating white collar class with rising transfer pay, the story is just set to get considerably more grounded.

Time has come for the retailer brands for some intense activities by using technology to meet the buyers during their offline shopping escapades. In-store shopping is not leaving but rather just getting redesigned, with innovation filling in as the scaffold between the retail locations and the advanced age purchasers. Innovation can make shopping more charming and customized for buyers.

Yogesh Huja

MD, Swaran Soft Support Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Yogesh Huja is currently MD, Swaran Soft Support Solutions Pvt Ltd. He has been instrumental in bringing the organization to Top 20 Valuable Mobile Application Providers in India. 
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