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  • Writer's pictureVrishali Kekre Deshmukh

The Comeback of the Retail Industry in India: Navigating the Age of Online D2C Brands

Updated: Jul 14, 2023


Age of Online D2C Brands
Image by: Nykaa Luxe Store

The Indian retail industry has undergone a massive transformation in recent years, with the rise of digital technologies and the growth of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. While many traditional brick-and-mortar stores have struggled to keep up with the competition, others have found ways to adapt and thrive in the new landscape. In this article, we will examine the comeback of the retail industry in India, in the face of the growth of online D2C brands.

The Growth of Online D2C Brands One of the biggest challenges faced by traditional retailers in India is the growing popularity of online shopping. Customers can now easily purchase products from their favorite brands without ever leaving their homes, and this has led to a decline in foot traffic and sales for many brick-and-mortar stores.

However, the Indian retail market is unique in that it is still largely dominated by traditional brick-and-mortar stores. While online shopping is growing rapidly, it still accounts for only a small percentage of total retail sales. This provides a significant opportunity for traditional retailers to win back customers and regain market share.

Also, the tide may be turning for traditional retailers. In recent years, many consumers have become disenchanted with the impersonal and sometimes unreliable experience of shopping online. They are looking for a more personal touch, and this has created an opportunity for traditional retailers to win back customers by offering a better shopping experience.

One example of a successful online D2C brand in India is Nykaa, which has become one of the largest beauty and wellness e-commerce platforms in the country. After garnering significant growth online in recent years, they also have moved to traditional branded stores. Another example is Amazon-Go, Amazon's cashierless retail store. While it is still in its early stages in India, it has the potential to revolutionize the retail industry by offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience. Untapped Rural Market One of the biggest untapped markets in India is the rural population, which accounts for over 70% of the country's population. This market is largely untouched by online shopping, as many rural residents do not have access to the internet or the necessary devices to shop online. This presents a significant opportunity for traditional retailers in India to win back customers and gain market share. By investing in infrastructure and technology in rural areas, traditional retailers can provide residents with a convenient and accessible shopping experience, which will help to grow their business and reach new customers.

Trends in the Retail Industry One of the biggest trends in the retail industry in India is the growth of "experiential" stores. These stores offer customers an interactive and immersive shopping experience, with events, workshops, and other activities designed to keep shoppers engaged and entertained. This type of store is particularly appealing to younger customers who are looking for a more interactive shopping experience.

Another trend is the incorporation of technology into the shopping experience. For example, many stores now offer augmented reality tools that allow customers to try on clothes virtually or see how furniture would look in their homes. This type of technology enhances the shopping experience and can give customers a reason to visit physical stores.

Traditional retail as dark stores for online Finally, many traditional retailers are embracing the rise of D2C brands by partnering with them. This allows retailers to offer customers a wider selection of products while still maintaining control over the shopping experience. They become the hub for dispatch and stock-keeping. In turn, helping online sellers to reduce shipping and return costs. With the e-com SAS platform offering convenient drop-shipping features, these traditional retailers can enjoy the best of both worlds.


Conclusion The retail industry in India is undergoing a transformation, as traditional brick-and-mortar stores face increased competition from online D2C brands. However, the market is still largely dominated by traditional retailers, and the untapped rural market presents a significant opportunity for growth. By embracing technology and offering an experiential shopping experience, traditional retailers in India can win back customers and thrive in the digital age.

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