With COVID-19, consumers are more likely to click their way to shopping from within the safe confines of their homes, hence, retailers across India are planning to double their investments in e-commerce. They are attracting consumers with various promotional offers and special pricing schemes. Meanwhile also on the cards is shutting non-profitable stores and carry forward inventory as loss of over a month of business has prioritized conservation of cash.
The e-commerce boost
Siddharth Bindra, Managing Director, Biba affirms his company’s focus on e-commerce as it offers convenience of contact-less delivery. The brand also plans to increase the share of e-commerce in overall sales to about 30 per cent in the next three months. He expects business for the brand will be tough for the next 12 months and it may have to close some of its stores where landlords are unwilling to support. Nearly 80 per cent of its markets are in the red zones and 15 per cent in orange zones as of now.
To attract consumers, the brand may offer its customers discounts and end-of-season once they are confident enough to step out for shopping, it currently plans to give promotional offers like add-ons to in-store customers once the lockdown is lifted.
Attracting customers with low prices, promotions
Nikhil Mohan, Founder and Director men’s apparel brand Blackberrys noted that the brand plans to open about 10 per cent stores in green zones on high streets as of now. It also plans to introduce ‘special pricing’ for customers wherein products will be priced lower than what it used to be in regular times. To cut looses, Blackberrys plans to shut non-profitable stores, prune product portfolio and check the size of its autumn-winter inventory.
Westside, too plans to continue offering new collections to customers every week though sales will be tougher compared to previous seasons. Metro Brands CEO & Managing Director Farah Malik Bhanji will work on facilitating home delivery and giving offers to the elderly to make brick-and-mortar stores relevant to the new COVID customer. The company will focus more on casual, basic and washable footwear at attractive price points.
Mumbai-based Viviana Mall has already moved its on-ground events and activities online. The firm believes its social media campaigns and promotions will drive footfalls even when malls reopen. And DLF Shopping Malls will communicate with its customers as contact-less shopping and serving will be the new normal. The company is also setting up norms on the number of people entering the malls. Ankit Mehta, co-founder at The Walking Tree Group that owns premium jewellery brand Her Story, says they are investing heavily into digital mediums to drive sales.