Shopping of clothes and accessories during the lockdown was a cumbersome task, as most retail outlets and nearby stores were closed owing to Government regulations. Baazar Kolkata, one of the oldest growing value retail formats in the Eastern Region, took it upon them to bring their apparel and accessories’ offering closer to their customers.
While many premium brands, in order to get customers into their store, are promoting attractive offers, Baazar Kolkata believes that a true shopaholic will look for value and will want to shop for exclusives at a decent price tag. With this vision, Baazar Kolkata recently rolled out an exclusive fashion truck full of comfortable and fashionable clothes. In fact, the brand carried out this innovation in Kolkata, making it the first city to bring a revolutionary change in the fashion retail format. This special vehicle will be moving at different locations of the city and will be bringing a fashion store closer to the customer right within their comfort zone.
Cracking the code
The brand pioneered this new retail format and brought it into the market just before the festivities. A wide collection of clothes with a starting price of just Rs.99 was brought to the customers to help them celebrate their special days with Baazar on Wheels. Value spending and convenience are becoming key aspects of online shopping experiences, Flipkart Head of 2GUD Chanakya Gupta mentioned in a recent company release, further reinstating the ideals of affordability that a consumer is trying to seek each time he/she shops in the new normal.
Further, Flipkart’s independent value-driven platform, 2GUD has recently launched the ‘2GUD Local’ aimed at extending the benefits of e-commerce to traditional retail businesses. The new format will offer offline stores, brands and shopping destinations an opportunity to unlock the benefits of technology and the social commerce hybrid retail model to reach millions of pan-India consumers, a statement from the company highlighted.
“We have launched 2GUD Local to help local brands leverage traffic on our already-popular marketplace and take their offerings to a pan-India market,” Chanakya Gupta further added.
Bringing offline retail to the online platform with technology push has been a constant during the lockdown and even post it. While making business viable has been a very important factor, another notable factor that retailers have been complaining about is high rent for their offline stores. Heavy real estate prices and store rents in many cities like Mumbai and Delhi made many to shut their stores during this time.
Also Read: Bringing up a brand during the pandemic
Born, a high-end baby and kid’s label, offering eco-friendly garments made predominantly with organic and natural fabrics, had to pull down the shutter of their exclusive store in Mumbai. Born has been serving a niche audience through its posh Bandra store, but with pandemic in town, the brand had to shut its offline operations and all through lockdown until now, it is retailing online through its website and social media channels. To further make shopping accessible to its customers, Born has now introduced a bespoke home shopping experience too for its Mumbai clients.
Video content for sales
From popular designers like Gaurav Gupta and the likes, who introduced their new collection on social media during the early COVID days, smaller homegrown brands like Viba Sarees by Vidya and many more announced their new collection and sales via Instagram live. The brand Viba Sarees, for instance, took to its feed to showcase its collection and offer 1-day heavy discount on certain pieces. This was an exclusive to the live session and customers had to book their pieces within midnight the same day. This one-of-a-kind ‘live sales’ is indeed a new way of creating that buzz around signature collections. Availing the offer meant the customers or followers remained hooked to the live session as no information of the same was shared anywhere else.
The idea of offering a free mask with a collection was again a common retail quick fix this year and many bigger brands and retailers like BIBA, Zodiac and the smaller homegrown ones, all used this value-addition tactics to make it count amongst their customers this year. COVID has and is erasing the gap between the consumer and the brand or the retailer and the newer formats or ways of retailing are going to be the future.
In the race to recognition, social media is going to be a hit and as per reports about 55 per cent of younger consumers who purchase from independent retailers discover brands via social media compared to 45 per cent of middle aged consumers. The onus is on the brand now to get closer to the customer with newer techniques and methods. Even if the consumer is shopping offline at the store, as per reports 82 per cent consumers will prefer making in-store purchases with digital/contactless payments.
Earlier almost 95 per cent retail sales happened offline while 5 per cent was dominated by the online space or other channels. However, COVID has accelerated the market and it is already clear that more than 80 per cent of brand sales are today happening through the omnichannel touchpoints for the brands and retailers, which is set to grow further via new retail practices.