Phygital Retail Convention 2023,

Mumbai, 11th May 2023:

At Phygital Retail Convention 2023, the Megaverse #Groupthink session on “100 Shades of Retail” was an insightful discussion with the participation of esteemed industry leaders from the retail segment. “Necessity is the mother of invention. It is through such challenges that we are compelled to come up with innovative solutions that can improve our lives and the world around us.” shared Sangeeta Pendurkar, CEO of Pantaloons. The fourth edition of India’s largest retail convention, Phygital Retail Convention 2023, began today in magnificent fashion at the Jio Convention Centre BKC, with more powerful and insightful panel discussions.

Despite the availability of online shopping options, customers are still flocking to physical shopping malls, as noted by industry leaders like Shibu Philips, Director of Shopping Malls at Lulu Group India. Even after the pandemic, footfall did not decrease as expected. As a result, retailers are placing increased emphasis on the importance of enhancing offline stores to cater to the evolving preferences of their customers. Rajneesh Mahajan, CEO of Inorbit Malls, highlights the need for dynamic infrastructure to create social spaces that cater to the needs of today’s urban consumers.

BS Nagesh, Founder of TRRAIN and Chairman of Shoppers Stop, shared his valuable insights on the strategies to attract new customers over the next decade. Having been with Shoppers Stop since its inception in 1991, Nagesh emphasises on the need of evolving in the retail landscape and how businesses can adapt to changing customer preferences and behaviors.

Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic in the news and it is set to transform the retail industry in the coming years. With the help of AI-powered tools and technologies retailers can streamline various processes, such as inventory management and supply chain operations, leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs.

During one of the sessions, Shireesh Joshi, CBO, ONDC talks about How ONDC is Paving the Way for Ecommerce Success. With ONDC, the entire ecommerce ecosystem is set to become more democratic and interconnected than ever before. This platform also empowers offline retailers to compete with major online sellers on a level playing field. By embracing the digitization framework that the government has widely advocated and implemented, ONDC is set to revolutionize the way we do ecommerce in India.

India’s Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) market is thriving and D2C brands are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach, integrating their online and offline channels to provide a seamless and consistent shopping experience to customers. Technology is transforming the way businesses operate, making it easier and more efficient to do business. With advancements in automation, AI, and cloud computing, businesses can streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve customer experiences.

Logistics has traditionally been viewed as a back-end function of the supply chain, but Ajith Pai, Chief Operating Officer – Operations, Delhivery, highlighted its significance as a catalyst for brand success. Talking about how AI is the next big shift, “Bhaskar Ramesh, Director – Omnichannel Businesses, Google India, shares, “As Google AI solves major societal challenges, a new era of retail productivity emerges. With AI rapidly advancing, it is set to play an even more significant role in the retail industry. Studies indicate that retailers adopting AI could see up to a 70% increase in revenue, highlighting the transformative impact it can have on the sector.”

The concept of “less is more” and “speed is the need” has become increasingly relevant in the retail industry. This means that customers are looking for simpler and faster experiences both online and in-store. When it comes to physical stores, retailers need to focus on creating an optimal UI/UX (user interface/user experience) for their customers. By embracing the principles of simplicity and speed, retailers can attract and retain customers who are looking for a hassle-free and efficient shopping experience.

Pramod Arora, Chief Growth & Strategy Officer, PVR Group, shares, “Tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India are witnessing significant retail growth, fueled by rising disposable incomes and evolving consumer preferences. By leveraging technology and innovative strategies, retailers can effectively tap into these emerging markets and unlock new growth opportunities.”

The PRC2023 Inaugural saw industry leaders from various verticals come together to share their insights and experiences on the evolving retail landscape. The discussions focused on the impact of changing customer behavior, the importance of AI, customer experience, and UI/UX in physical stores, and the need to prioritize hygiene and health. With continuous churn in formats, channels, and offers, it has become essential to build a cohesive depiction for the future of retail that fits the different avatars of India.