Retailing is one of the oldest professions in the world.

It creates employment at the grass-root level and is instrumental in fueling consumerism which is the backbone of economic growth. Retailing in India accounts for 10% of the GDP and 8% of the jobs in the country. As per Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University: “Growth of the retail sector will make a sustainable difference to the life of India’s Poorest.” If you are in the retail business, we are proud of you. Rolling Banners, which is India’s first tech-enabled retail development company, is sharing its insight on developing an edge in retailing with this article. 

Nowadays, the improving quality of education and free-flowing information on the Internet, has resulted in a refinement of taste amongst Indian consumers. Moreover, the relaxation of FDI norms and a relatively low share of organized retailing in India (10% in India compared with 85% in all developed economies) has made the country a hotspot amongst international retailing destinations. This is driving a lot of competition amongst the local retailers. As a retailer, one must try really hard to find his edge and when the edge is found, the best one must move fast enough to make the most of it. 

The competitive edge in retailing comes in many forms. When it comes to staunch retailing business, the edge can be attained through a range of products and pricing options. However, from the point of view of a retail-oriented brand (Fashion, Food, Luxury, Lifestyle, Electronics etc.), the edge is generally linked with a product’s quality, and the experience delivered around a point of sale. This article explores the process of creating an edge in retailing for the retail-oriented brand by refining the experience around the POS. 

With our experience of working with a couple of renowned brands in lifestyle, food, and Fashion segment; the following elements seem to be making the baseline:

  1. Abstain
  2. Nurture
  3. Improve

Abstain

A retail-oriented brand must fight the temptation of catering to every consumer available out there. The more you try to do that, the more difficult will it become to manage the store. Bad stock will start clogging the shelf space without coming into notice and the store will eventually lose its lustre. By offering a product range and carefully crafting an experience tailored to the refined taste of consumers, brand can elevate its pricing strategy by hitting a right spot with consumer aspirations.  

Nurture

Nurturing means fixing the essential components of retailing. It includes training of the floor staff, setting up store manager’s KPIs, creating SOPs for daily store operations, setting up a monitoring system, deploying right fixtures to suit product personality, touching down on the smell & sound aspects of POS experience, and maintenance of branding assets like Signages, frames, decals etc. Nurturing also means clearing the dead stock from the POS and fixing the production distribution channel across your network. 

Improve

From time to time, retailers must take the focus out of micro-operations happening at the shop floor and look at the macro forces shaping their product segment and retailing in general. While the day-to-day decisions around abstain and nurture aspects of retailing are naturally occurring and should be a feature of the retailers operating culture, the decisions around “Improve” aren’t really intuitive. The retailer must have a wider perspective to view the dots and connect them. The decisions around adoption of emerging technologies, branding revamp, category expansion, launching new formats, VM projects etc. falls under this category. A retailer must always be cautious of not stretching too thin on Abstain and Nurture aspects while pressing the lever on improvement

Developing an edge in retailing is not a one-shot success phenomenon, it’s a continuous process. It helps when you have some agility and control while nurturing/improving your existing stores or setting up the new ones. Rolling Banners is helping retailers develop an edge and reap the advantage fast enough. Please reach out to [email protected] to know more.

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Amit Bansal is a serial entrepreneur with expertise in the retail and technology sector. He is known for co-founding Quifers (A logistics automation platform) and Rolling Banners (India’s first tech-enabled retail development company). He is currently serving as CEO of Rolling Banners to enable brands to launch new stores 4x faster by organizing the supply side.

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