Abhijith Vijayvergiya

The next phase of technological revolution in the customer experience front will be that of Chat-Bots. Chat-Bots are intelligent chat agents coupled with AI to engage the consumer in a much meaningful and engaging way mapping the exact customer needs.

 

Are there reasons to believe that omnichannel retailing is here to stay?

Omnichannel retailing in India is no more a hypothesis but a reality. With time, more and more retailers are realizing the importance of being Omni-present to serve an Omni-present consumer. As on today ~2% of the retail is powered by Omni-channel. This number will reach 8-10% by 2020.

With customers getting hooked to hyperlocal delivery, every physical store being turned into a distribution center. And, the same inventory can be linked to that of a brand’s own e-com site or a marketplace.

How has the retail ecosystem changed in the last one year when lot of consolidation happened in the online/offline space?

With all the consolidations, retail scenario has come out quite strong. Retail is going through one of the most volatile times ever. Retailers are slowly realizing the importance of being connected with the connected consumer and Omnichannel is the answer.

Now we see more and more tech investments happening to keep abreast with the consumer needs to be able to serve them better- whenever they want and whatever they want.

The second thing which we notice happening strongly is, discounting decreasing over a period of time. This is a strong indication of consumer loyalty.

India is still too far in using AI in retail and that creates limitation for brands and retailers. Your comments.

I don’t think that is true. The Indian retail scenario is slowly opening up to the idea of AI & AI-based systems. AI will be the next generation technology. You will soon see it integrated with everything, from a fan in your room to the way analytical reports/dashboards are done today in a retail environment.

We at Capillary, totally believe that Retail will be transformed with the advent of AI. So much so that we are currently working on AI-based systems for intelligent insight reporting.

The next phase of technological revolution in the customer experience front will be that of Chat-Bots. Chat-Bots are intelligent chat agents coupled with AI to engage the consumer in a much meaningful and engaging way mapping the exact customer needs.

When would India see technology-enabled shopping minus any handsets or physical presence around the stores?

Adoption of new idea has never been so quick in India. For example, India is now largest Facebook user base. It is number 1 country in terms of play store downloads.

Newer touch points for consumer other than a laptop / tablet / smartphone are Smartwatch, Xbox, TV, Google Home, Amazon Echo, Amazon Dash.

You can book a Cab even today with Google Assist. For the non-smartphone interface to work, there are couple of things needed. Availability of device, for instance is primary. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), though the wearables market in India is still at a nascent stage, over 5.67 lakh units were shipped in the second quarter of 2016, which is up by 42% in the first quarter. During the same period, India also accounted for about 1% of the global share of the smartwatch market as reported by IDC.

Even supply-side growth comprising sellers and marketplaces building an interface on top of infrastructure is picking up very well with the likes of HDFC ergo building an iWatch app for purchasing insurance, leading cab company enabling booking of cabs through iWatch.

In next 18 months, a chunk of early adopters will embrace non-smartphone based shopping in India.

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