Supriya Lahoti Posts

Offline vs Marketplaces: brands choose sides in retail war

banner-08 (2)

Brand Offline vs Online

India’s $500 billion retail sector seems to be in cold sweat due to a much smaller section of online retail.  Despite accounting for less than 1% of the Indian retail market, eCommerce remains by far the fastest growing channel. “Showrooming” – a concept where buyers examine a product offline and ultimately buy online is becoming increasingly popular in the Indian context due to heavy discounts and attractive offers. Moreover, electronics unlike apparel can be bought without touching and feeling as quality is assured by the brand you are buying. Hence, this heavy weight segment has seen a 60% annual online growth in India, a lot of which can be credited to heavy discounts and slashed prices offered by online retailers. However, these are starting to hurt the lifeline of manufacturers – offline retailers.

Is Bigger still better? A study of the largest (and loneliest) mall in China  

banner-05 South China mall in Dongguan, sprawling over 7.1 million square feet of space, holds the record for being the largest mall in the world. The optimistic builders dreamed of giving customers the ultimate shopping experience, with over 1500 stores to browse from, numerous eateries and attractions inspired from different corners of the world, such as the Venetian canal or the 85ft Arc de Triomphe replica. The mall wanted to attract customers based on the sheer variety of brands they would offer. However, to the dismay of the developers, the strategy did not go as planned. The mall was about 98% empty for the first few years, which means it just had a few dozen stores occupied in a giant sea of emptiness.

World’s biggest mall to be built within a futuristic city in Dubai


A world within a glass dome

In a place where summer temperatures go up to 104˙ F, a temperature controlled city within a glass dome would do nicely. The monarch of Dubai and vice-president cum prime minister of UAE, his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum announced the plans of “The Mall of the World” recently. This 50 million square feet mega development project would be home to an 8 million square feet shopping complex, 100 hotels, the world’s largest indoor theme park, cultural theatres and a wellness centre. The ambition of this project is to transform Dubai into a global cultural, touristic and economic centre to benefit the 2 billion people living in the surrounding regions. The completion dates for this futuristic and seemingly outlandish capitalistic fantasy has not been announced yet.

The new retail opportunity is within your hands


Literally. Smart phones are increasingly becoming an essential part of the overall purchase process. Consumers are constantly searching and curating products and services they are interested in through their tablets and smart phones. Empowering retailers with information through mobile apps/sites has the potential to enhance and revolutionize the whole buying process.