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A retailer cannot say I am a pure play offline or online player: Abhishek Ganguly

Abhishek Ganguly spoke to Indianretailer.com during Retail Leadership Summit 2017 happened in Mumbai.

Tags: Abhishek Ganguly, Puma, Sports, omni-channel, wear, inventory,

BY Sunil Pol  |  February 27, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Abhishek Ganguly

Abhishek Ganguly, MD, Puma India thinks that it is imperative for brands and retailers to integrate the entire consumer journey while acknowledging the fact that consumer is consuming brands content and communication in various marketing platforms and social media. He advises the retailers to have single view of inventory system to avail the products to the consumers from across online and offline stores. He believes that there is not pure play format exist in the market the retailers have to have omni-channel integration to offer seamless consumer experience especially in the current age of rapidly changing consumer behavior. Thus widely commenting on how retailers can integrate the consumer journey with deploying out of the box ideas Abhishek Ganguly spoke to Indianretailer.com during Retail Leadership Summit 2017 happened in Mumbai.

Why it has become imperative for the brands and retailers to integrate the entire consumer journey?

Today it has become very imperative for brands and retailers to actually integrate the entire consumer journey right from where the consumer is discovering the brand and the product, to coming in the store and trying out the products. Sometimes consumer is trying products in offline stores and may be buying it online or from different stores. Today the consumer is consuming brands content and communication in various marketing platforms and social media platform.

Also there are different communities which get built around brands. These communities include loyal customers with the loyalty program or a social handle which people follow. Consumer anyway is active across different platforms and challenge for the brand is to enable this to happen very seamlessly.

According to you how retailers can deploy out of the box ideas to offer seamless buying experience?

If there is a brand with eCommerce website and a physical store and if the consumer gets into a store and don’t have the opportunity to buy a product which is not available online but it is lying somewhere else then there is a single view of inventory which enables the brand to offer that product to the consumer to buy which is not available in the store.

Secondly if the consumer is purchasing online then instead of shipping the product from central warehouse retailers can deliver it through the store next to the person from where he is ordering. This will be the faster and better way of customer service because retailers already have a centre which is a store which can also be used like a distribution centre. Hence, there are various ways in which retailers can do the seamless integration.

So Puma is shipping the products from central warehouse or nearby stores?

We are already doing it so today if you are ordering product on Puma.com the consumer would not know where the product is coming from. But it would probably be shipped from our central warehouse always but may be from the store next to you. We have already integrated our channels to a large extent as omni-channel brand and we are doing much more on that.

Still there should be focus on differentiating offline online presence or on consumer convenience instead?

The brand and the retailers should endorse that this is imperative to believe and realize that they have to do the omni-channel integration. They cannot say I am a pure play offline retailer with stores and I don’t want to digitally access consumers. People have to understand that there are no two ways of doing it. A lot of online players also have realized that they need to have physical store or a consumer interaction.

First and foremost the entire activity is to help the consumer and help is convenience so that is the critical part for the retailers. Imagine a consumer is buying from a online store and then instead of having to return it through the online channel he can return it in the store next door. These are the core various ways of integration which is very imperative for brand and retailers to do.

How consumer behavior is changing with the growing access to mobile and social media?

Consumer behavior is changing a lot today with the advent of mobile. Consumer has the access to information on the go and that’s completely changing the way they are deciding on what to buy, when to buy how to buy and what price to pay. So that’s a huge revelation in the consumer behavior in the way they are discovering products, deciding on a product is changing and where they are  buying the product is changing immensely.

I would say the massive amount of change has happened in India in the last five years and not just because of eCommerce but also because of mobile and social media. The amount of changes that have happened in the consumer behavior in the last five years I would say hasn’t happened in the last 25 years.

Who will stay afloat with the change in consumer behavior?

Only those will be the fastest will survive and those who can adopt and change will be the people who will thrive in this condition. Those who will endorse that there is a need for change and not in denial mode and those who can adopt new processes, ways of working will be the ones will be successful. 

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