Retail Industry Analysis & Trends

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 867 , Published on 18 May 2015

Retailing is shifting from brick & motor outlets to e-retail. Visual marketing is being accentuation which is about getting personality impart, captivating and rousing a buy. The client needs to experience the brand, its rich history & spark. Intuitive computerized signage helps advertisers successfully recount their story through rich intelligent substance. Feature, illustrations and intelligent touch focuses on enabling the client to experience and learn in a customized manner.

It is also observed that the size of shopping basket is reducing in all in a single roof big retails because of the introduction of specialized retail outlets for different segments offering attractive discounts (Decline of Tesco.)


1. Mobile adoption: Globally people on average spend 3 hours and 20 minutes per day on mobile devices like mobile/tablets. So many retails are shifting towards mobile based apps for sales of their products. Also since this is the future of the retail industry, many players are encouraging its customers to download, install and are giving special discounts on the first transaction using the mobile app(Eq:

However developing a mobile app of the firm is a major issue since the development cost of the app ranges from $500,000 to $1,000,000. Also development time of the app ranges from 7 months to a year. So this is made feasible only for larger players.

Pizza express has introduced a mobile app using which the customers can navigate through the page and place the order online and make payment using paypal.

2. I-Beacon: This technology enables the retailers to assess the time spent by each customer in a retails, products purchases by them. In addition to this, it helps the customers to find out the items they need in the retail and can make payment over mobile for bill payment.

This technology is further used by the retail outlets to properly segment the customers and place the items accordingly to make shopping easier and is also interlinked for inventory management for order replenishment. Apple for instance has implemented this in their outlets in 2014.

3. Geo-fencing: Using this technology, retailers send customised messages/updates on offers on various products based on the previous purchase to its customers. Much concern is given on this aspect since customers tend to block the messages from the respective retails. So analytics is applied to make the message service more personalised based on the understanding of their purchasing pattern.

4. Omnichannel retailing/Experience stores: Many online retailers started setting up experience outlets in major cities because customers wanted to have touch and feel of the products before making a purchase decision. For instance Caratlane, opened its diamond jewellery outlets in Delhi and other metropolitan cities after understand the needs of the customers.

UK fashion retail, Oasis capitalises this by giving its customers the flexibility of browsing inside the store and giving flexibility to customers to place the order online or vice-versa. Also if the size of the garment is not available, the staff help the customers by placing the order online.

5. Mark an offer: Amazon has introduced this feature which enables its customers to haggle around the price. It is being introduced on fine arts and entertainment items. In this feature, the customer can select the option – Make an Offer and can quote a price which she is willing to pay. Once the seller gets this message from the customer, he can accept, reject or negotiate the price quoted. Once the seller approves the final quote, the customer would get an email regarding acceptance and the corresponding item would be moved to shopping cart for purchase. This is considered as a means to increase sales.

6. Creating experience during purchase: Many retails are striving to create a unique experience during purchase by installing more interactive devices and larger displays creating a sophisticated environment.

Burberry invited its customers to the store and live-streamed London fashion week on large screen and provided iPad to its customers to browse through it and place order accordingly.

7. Personalised pricing: Home Depot did it based the gadget sort (tablets/ mobile/laptop). Orbitz demonstrated higher costs to Mac clients, maybe accepting they were lesser price sensitive in comparison to Android or Windows clients. Staples showed distinctive costs focused around the geo-area of the customer's IP address –if it is near their competitors, the products were priced lesser.

8. IT systems are being introduced in various e-retails to assess the price of its competitors across all categories and are adjusting their price before it is late.

9. Polarization in Retail sector: As the retail industry matures, to succeed in the industry, one has to be either an efficient cost player (Offering quality services at a competitive price by focusing only on core business service (Operational excellence) Eg: Star Bazaar, Big Bazaar) or a differentiator (By creating a shopping experience in retail and charging a premium on the service provided (Product differentiation)).

This article has been authored by Venkatesh K.G from Great Lakes Institute Of Management, Chennai 










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