Saturday, July 14, 2012

India Independents' Day on 16th of August.

15th of August is the Independence Day & 16th of August is going to be the Indian Independents’ Day. 

Independents’ Day will fly the flag for local retailers across the country: the businesses and the people behind them, who help make our villages, towns and cities so diverse, colorful and so very special. It’s all about championing diversity and recognizing the skills, efforts & the free spirit behind the shop-front. 

The day will highlight the important role smaller, local, independent retailers play in our local communities they have been serving for generations, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole. 

The focus of the campaign is multi-fold: 

Encouraging consumers to shop local, to celebrate their favorite independent retailers, to remind themselves of the fantastic shops within their neighborhoods, and to go out there and bring forth that love.

Encouraging independent retailers to create a buzz to increase consumer engagement, footfall and sales. To let everyone know that they are proud of the contribution their small business makes. 

Encouraging suppliers and all those who serve the independent retail sector to spread the word. To support the retailers in delivering experiences, to add to the excitement; remembering that Independent Retailers are often a critical route to market for a wide range of product designers and producers. 

My organization (AaramShop) will support this initiative in multiple ways and would like to welcome supporters of the Independents to come together in various ways to show our appreciation and support. 

To get involved in the initiative as an individual, corporate, government or association; please write to me.

"Clicks to Bricks" integration for FMCG brands' digital campaigns.

The growing importance of digital marketing is not lost on anyone. However, most brand marketers in the FMCG / CPG space find it difficult to justify the high engagement cost per consumer, especially because most current digital assets are restricted to creating awareness. 

There is now an option to change that. AaramShop has digitized the FMCG brands' existing last mile, thus enabling an integration of a “purchase now” prompt option within all digital assets. 

The consumers can now browse through all manner of digital communication, have the additional option to click on a “purchase now” tab, enabling them to order a brand from their preferred neighborhood retailer, who packs up and deliver in a matter of hours. 

Here is a neat example of seamless "Click to Brick" integration by Saffola (Marico Industries) giving its consumers a “purchase now” option on its website and at the same time it helps build a stronger bond with its channel by helping generate direct demand and action specific to the retailer outlets.

All digital assets of the brand like its websites, social media presence on platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc, review sites, blogs etc and and digital marketing campaigns can be now made to perform harder for the marketing dollar spend, and go beyond the just feel good awareness.


The future of shopping.

Came across this wonderful article on HBR which talks about how every 50 years or so, retailing undergoes a kind of disruption. 

A century and a half ago, the growth of big cities and the rise of railroad networks made possible the modern department store. Mass-produced automobiles came along 50 years later, and soon shopping malls lined with specialty retailers were dotting the newly forming suburbs and challenging the city-based department stores.

The 1960s and 1970s saw the spread of discount chains—Walmart, Kmart, and the like—and, soon after, big-box “category killers” such as Circuit City and Home Depot, all of them undermining or transforming the old-style mall. 

 Like most disruptions, digital retail technology got off to a shaky start. A bevy of internet-based retailers in the 1990s—,, and pretty much—embraced what they called online shopping or electronic commerce. These fledgling companies ran wild until a combination of ill-conceived strategies, speculative gambles, and a slowing economy burst the dot-com bubble. The ensuing collapse wiped out half of all e commerce retailers and provoked an abrupt shift from irrational exuberance to economic reality.

Today, however, that economic reality is well established. The research firm Forrester estimates that e-commerce is now approaching $200 billion in revenue in the United States alone and accounts for 9% of total retail sales, up from 5% five years ago. The corresponding figure is about 10% in the United Kingdom, 3% in Asia-Pacific, and 2% in Latin America. Globally, digital retailing is probably headed toward 15% to 20% of total sales, though the proportion will vary significantly by sector. Moreover, much digital retailing is now highly profitable. Amazon’s five-year average return on investment, for example, is 17%, whereas traditional discount and department stores average 6.5%.

What we are seeing today is only the beginning. Soon it will be hard even to define e-commerce, let alone measure it. Is it an e-commerce sale if the customer goes to a store, finds that the product is out of stock, and uses an in-store terminal to have another location ship it to her home? What if the customer is shopping in one store, uses his smartphone to find a lower price at another, and then orders it electronically for in-store pickup? How about gifts that are ordered from a website but exchanged at a local store? Experts estimate that digital information already influences about 50% of store sales, and that number is growing rapidly.