Here's what will drive the retail sector in 2016!

Here's what will drive the retail sector in 2016!
The retail industry, which includes the rapidly booming eCommerce sector also, is all set for growth in 2016 as well. Digital disruptions has completely changed the dynamics of the retail industry in the past few years. And so, gauging the current situation in the industry, here’s a list of four trends that will dominate the sector in the new year!

Mobile wallet and Payments

This ain’t a secret! Since the second half of last year, industry players and experts have been betting big on mobile eCommerce. And this primarily because the mobile penetration is expected to increase substantially in the Indian market!

“Many retailers are partnering with mobile wallets to increase their customer base and offer more convenience. These tie- ups are expected to help retailers set a strong foothold in the digital payment ecosystem and ease the payment process for customers who increasingly prefer to go cashless. Apart from a convenient payment option, mobile wallets bring in cash-back offers and additional discounts for consumers,” said Gunendra Patil, vice president – Retail, Travel & Entertainment at Happiest Minds Technologies.

IoT based consumer engagement

The consumer adoption of IoT is expected to increase in 2016 and this will be a game changer in the retail industry too. “It will give tools and insights for the retailers to transform their business. In the IoT- enabled world, retailers should get more opportunities to communicate and engage with the customers through interconnected devices,” noted Patil.

He suggested that even though the IoT technologies is still evolving in India, smart retailers must start adopting it in order to enhance their consumer engagement initiatives. “Beacons, the micro-location-based technology devices that can be used in-store for tracking and communicating with the potential and existing customers will be playing a very crucial role in the retail solutions arena. This provides an opportunity for retailers to provide a much engaging customer experience by sending contextually relevant, hyper-local, significant messages and advertisements on their smartphones,” noted Patil.


“Personalized engagement has become the key to increased customer experience in this age of social media, smart phones, tabs and widespread access to internet. Tailored promotions and personalized communications regarding offers can have a great impact on the purchasing decisions of the retail consumers. The new age customer knows that his/ her purchasing behavior is available to the retailer and they have become more demanding in terms of getting a much personalized engagement with the retailers,” he said.

Omni channel for retailing

Retailers took fancy to the Omni channel since 2015. And this is expected to further grow in 2016. With the advent of technology in the retail sector, retailers are left with no choice but to explore multiple channels to interact and engage customers. It brings in seamless customer experience, regardless of the channel or device a customer uses. In the Omni channel retail world, customers can engage with a retailer via a physical store, an online website, a mobile platform or through social media. More retailers are expected to be entering into the Omni channel world in 2016.
“Be it online, offline, mobile, or brick and mortar, the digitally empowered retail customers are expecting a seamless customer experience irrespective of the channel. Retailers who are able to adopt the right technology/ trend to enable the right data at the right time to the right customer and at the right context are going to stay ahead of the competition in the retail space,” said Patil.