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#RJEF2023: Omnichannel retail needs uniformity between online and offline stores, says Nitin Jain

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For long, it has been believed that offline retail will become obsolete with the progress of technology and online sales. However, a combination of online and offline channels is essential as the integrated result – omnichannel retail – can be more effective in providing customers with a better shopping experience

Kolkata: At a time when the world is dependent on the Internet for shopping and other conveniences, a combination of offline and online retailing, i.e., omnichannel retail, has proved to be most effective, said Nitin Jain, Business Head, Non-Apps & Accessories Categories at Reliance Fashion & Lifestyle. Speaking at the Retail Jeweller East Forum 2023, he stated that the future of omnichannel retail depends on innovation, and like every other business, omnichannel business has no one-size-fits-all rule.

Jain said that physical retail has always been very powerful as experiencing the look and feel of a product is essential for customers and offline stores serve an important purpose of inspiring customers to consider a product. “When customers walk into a store and see a new product, they feel like trying it on, even if they haven’t made a decision to buy it. This is a very important factor in the jewellery segment where customers try the jewellery way before they even consider the purchase,” Jain explained.

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Refuting the buzz around physical retail going obsolete, Jain said that offline stores are here to stay, despite technological disruption. Hence, there is no competition between physical and digital retail. Rather, both the segments must work in tandem to make the most of the available opportunities, he maintained.

He pointed out how customers can now discover brands through social media, and actually buy in a physical store, especially in case of first-time buyers. “Until now, it has always been about brands inviting customers to the store. But the customer is present everywhere. Hence, it is more important to be where they are to enhance the customer experience. Offline and online channels need to communicate with each other to achieve this,” Jain said.

For customers to have a more seamless shopping experience, Jain mentioned that omnichannel retail also needs to focus on creating uniformity between the online and the offline stores, be it with regard to product design, brand colours, pricing, customer service and all other aspects, as far as possible.

Written by Aparna Bhowmick

Retail Jeweller India Exclusive

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