‘Big brands need to be experimental like startups that are increasingly winning omnichannel retail’

November 11, 2020 12:09 PM

Omnichannel presence empowers brands to reach consumers and provide them with relevant consumer experience at every touchpoint - online and offline.

Merchandise retail led by discretionary purchases is estimated to clock revenues of nearly $850 billion in FY20. (Representative image)Startups are going the extra mile in wooing customers and providing them with a great shopping experience. (Representative image)

By Rajiv Kumar Aggarwal

Startups are increasingly winning the omnichannel retailing game, arising the need for big brands to follow suit. According to V12 Data, brands with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain around 89 per cent of its customers, in contrast to the customer retention rate of 33 per cent for brands with a weak commitment to the omnichannel presence. Omnichannel presence empowers brands to reach consumers and provide them with relevant consumer experience at every touchpoint – online and offline. It goes beyond optimising each sales channel individually and instead focus on ensuring a unified consumer experience on social media, in-store, on your website, and anywhere else they encounter your brand.

This is important as today’s consumer is using multiple channels to shop. A 2017 Harvard Business Review report revealed that 73 per cent of consumers use multiple channels during their shopping journey. Therefore, big brands need to start thinking from a new perspective and go experimental like startups that are disrupting the market.


The retail landscape is becoming vaster, more competitive with plenty of choices, and shoppers’ inboxes are loaded with spams. Despite such intense competition, there are various startups and budding brands that are successfully rising above the marketing fray. These brands are defying the status quo and creating a new retail world by following the direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategy. This signals the need for big brands to go DTC by starting their online brand stores instead of waiting for customers to come to them.

 Mobile Commerce

Smartphones continue to be the most important and necessary assets among consumers. According to Statista, 67 per cent of the global population owned a mobile phone in 2019. This is the reason why flourishing brands are leveraging smartphones for m-commerce. It helps them to personally engage with consumers and also, provides them an omnichannel presence. The share of m-commerce in all e-commerce is expected to rise to 72.9 per cent by 2021, according to Statista. Just like startups, big brands should also go aggressive with mobile commerce which can bring them better traffic from Tier-II cities through mobile apps and PWA sites which work like apps.

Hyperlocal E-commerce

Hyperlocal e-commerce is becoming extremely popular due to the positive response of the consumers and therefore, several startups are leveraging this opportunity. It allows the customers to connect with local stores of a particular geographical region and offer them a better shopping experience by providing fast delivery. It is another area that can help big brands build a strong base in the local market.

Also read: Delhi HC seeks Amazon response to Future Retail plea

Same Day Delivery

Startups are going the extra mile in wooing customers and providing them with a great shopping experience. From flash sales and unbelievable discounts to speedy delivery and 24*7 customer care service, they are offering more than a customer can imagine. Big brands should ideally follow this strategy to sustain in the ever-evolving market. They need to streamline delivery with same day deliveries using trusted delivery partners who can go a long way in gaining customer confidence and delivering items faster especially during the pandemic when people are avoiding meeting in person but want to send gifts to dear ones.

 Multiple Customer Touchpoints

Just like startups who are leveraging digital technology, big brands need to become technologically advanced to enhance customer satisfaction. Omnichannel retail can be successful only if these brands create multiple customer touchpoints through headless commerce and more personalized shopping experiences.


Localization should be taken a few notches higher by going multilingual especially in a country as diverse as India where one region is completely different from the other. Many startups are already adopting this innovative strategy and big brands can follow them for this and more strategic plans.

Omnichannel retail is already turning big and big brands can learn a lot from startups when it comes to leveraging opportunities and think strategically. Since its festive season, what is the better time than now to expand, boost sales, and enhance the customer experience?

Rajiv Kumar Aggarwal is the CEO & Co-Founder of StoreHippo. Views expressed are the author’s own.

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