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The Road Ahead for retail in 2015

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We live in the Social Age. “Social” refers to the cultural communication climate –– the way we receive information.

The Indian Retail has come forth as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries with several players entering the market. It is one of the most vibrant and is in the process of gradually becoming the next boom industry in the country. India is undergoing a retail revolution making a gradual shift from traditional to a more organised sector. This is owing to various factors such as changing consumer behavior, growing middle class, higher disposable income, and preference for luxury goods, urbanization and change in the demographic mix, etc. The purchasing power has seen a marked improvement over the past decade in the country.

Retailing is an important prerequisite for modernizing India, which can facilitate rapid economic growth. With an ever expanding domestic market and a good forecast growth rate, the Indian retailing scene seems extremely attractive for stakeholders and investors alike. Even today, India continues to be among the most attractive investment propositions for global retailers. With the growth observed in the market and the government policies becoming more favorable, the future of the Indian retail industry looks very promising.

Furthermore, the online retail market has been striding leaps and bounds over the past few years on account of digital revolution. With the trend of e-commerce picking up, there is a wider choice of channels for purchase and allowing consumers even in the remotest parts of the country to buy goods easily. Online retail market is definitely expected to grow at a blistering pace. According to PWC, it is estimated to reach $6 billion in 2015. Considering the acceptance for online retail in the country, there is a tremendous growth opportunity for retail companies, both domestic and international.

Today, there seems to be a lot more confidence among local businesses to invest in brand building than before, which is a positive sign for the industry. Advertising is a growing business in India today and plays an important role in promoting goods and services. It has become a very crucial tool for any industry allowing manufacturers and distributors to get closer to the heart of the people who purchase the products and the goods they are producing. Even the Indian government has given continuous backing to the advertising and marketing industry.

As per a recent report on the advertising spends, once again the ad business will be growing. But a new media and marketing order will be taking hold. In measured-media terms, in 2016, TV will still own the biggest piece of the marketing pie (36 %), but just barely. Online advertising, at 31%, is sure to be hot on its heels. Further behind but growing fast will be mobile, whose share will have jumped from about 1% today to 5% as marketers chase a wholly mobile consumer reveling in constantly improving gadgets and services. The rise of mobile, coupled with an evolving, more web-like TV market will present a vastly different communications landscape.

Today, retailers adopt a mix of marketing and promotional strategies to withstand competition. Increasing digitization and higher Internet usage over the last decade has largely driven the industry. The FMCG sector, which has always been a dominant category in advertising, is expected to witness increased expenditure this year. Penetration of smartphones coupled with the popularity of online video is making the segment spend more on digital. Within digital media, video, mobile and social would be the biggest growth drivers apart from traditional media channels including print, television out-of-home, radio and cinema etc. We perceive a change in the retail advertisement scenario in the years to come. With more players entering into the food and beverages segment, e-commerce gaining more popularity and domestic companies testing out the waters, a growth is also likely in retail advertisement expenditure. More multinational entrants under the single-brand retail category may also add to spending in the retail category.

Outlining the growth prospects of the Indian advertising sector, what is expected to lead the charge in 2015 is the e-commerce segment; with its aggressive advertisements in terms of ad spend growth, although it is from a relatively smaller base than more established categories. With the government focusing on growth of the Indian economy, positive market sentiment, upbeat consumer confidence and India once again attracting global attention, it is sure that these fundamental reasons will double the growth forecast for retail advertising in India. The outlook for the advertising retail sector in India is positive and is expected to enjoy a healthy year in 2015.

The next five years should be a time of intense experimentation to recalibrate the relationship between marketing and IT. This is a call for more cross-disciplinary teams of marketing and IT pros and this isn’t just a conversation for tech companies. It’s pretty clear that in the future every company will be a tech company, as consumers become more gadget obsessed and marketers of all stripes deal with tech-enabled tools. Cohabitation won’t be easy; both marketing and IT can be obstinate. But the stakes are high. There’s a tremendous need to keeping up with the customer who it’s safe to say doesn’t have time for your silos. And, remember, user experience will be everything in our brave new world.

As we see ad spends increase, remember that the way you communicate and the message you present will always be more important than the platform you’re using or the size of your ad budget. And there’s a tremendous need to keeping up with the customer who it’s safe to say doesn’t have time for your silos. And, remember, user experience will be everything in our brave new world.

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Neeta Nair

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