The New Normal Of Retail – Key Takeaways From The Web Series.

On May 20th, 2020 we were a part of a thought-provoking webinar, the IREC web series hosted by Franchise India and Entrepreneur. We say ‘thought-provoking’ because we managed to touch on questions that surely are of interest to anyone wondering how the contemporary retailers and consumer brands will keep up with the new normal.

Our founder and CEO, Amit Sharma’s keynote swiftly establishes the sharp abyss between the world we knew until COVID19 and the road ahead. This post is of value in itself, a 2 min read summing up the key takeaways from “The new normal of retail”.

But, first! A story.

Taking a walk through a metro in India we may not notice the traces of centuries of technological progress around us. From the cables stacked up on the poles to the metro rail above and the people, hooked to their smartphones. Getting here has taken a lot of innovation with trial and error. Whereas in developing countries, millions of people are leapfrogging straight to the modern fix. It happens to be more sustainable and cost-effective.

Leapfrogging, a concept that accelerates development by skipping the intermediary steps. The Indian telecom revolution was an example, skipping 3G technology and jumping directly to the 4th Generation was a cost-effective move that garnered global attention.

Let’s leapfrog!

Understanding the situation.
Breaking the pandemic into three stages:

Emergency: Largescale lockdown

The lockdown was a disruption for the disruptors (startups), and coping with the sudden change in consumption behaviors was the need of the hour. While most Startups were trying to stay relevant in the light of COVID19, it was an ideal time for them to innovate and build, from products to fundamentals and relations, We did!

Recovery: Current scenario

The country is still recovering from the emergency phase, with a few zones in the country that’ll open up soon. Now is the time for businesses to shine, 30-40% of the market share disruption is expected. The consumers are going to simplify their choices, the next few months are about simplification. Premiumization VS Value, this is our true-north.

The new normal

The new normal is about appreciating the Indian market and going back to the basics. We spoke about it in our previous blog “When patterns break, the best of the old worlds emerge”

The sunny side up!
The way people shop has already changed, here are two trends that may follow:

Direct To Customer
This trend has been around and evolved over the decade, selling direct to consumer will be a game-changer in a post COVID world. An opportunity for brands and businesses to make the most of the movement of information and of course, data! period!

Digitization of distribution
Now, the old model will survive, the local distributor will be relevant, but, in a different way. Offline value-chains have to accelerate digitization to build resilience. Brands will need to adopt new digital distribution chains alongside the traditional distribution channels to ensure uninterrupted supply chains.

Keep this in mind: At the crux of premiumization is knowing the new perceptions of consumers when it comes to value.

Know this: Companies don’t win or lose, its the ecosystems that compete with each other.

The act: Disrupting the disruption. Think sustainable and innovate because it’s important to think about people, now more than ever!

“Indian retail is not won as a solo race, but as a team” Amit Sharma

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