Online Shopping with that In-Store Feel

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“Just let me know if I can help you find anything.” That approach is generally regarded as the least obtrusive greeting a retail store associate can offer a potential customer upon entering a store. By not immediately being too pushy, the store associate helps the shopper feel comfortable – yet still feel assured that there’s someone there who will provide personal customer service – if requested.

That discomfort is one of the main reasons many younger shoppers are making less instore purchases today. If they do happen to make it inside a physical store, many potential customers will still consult their smartphones for comparative shopping. These buying behaviors are now a way of life in the retail world.

With the continued exponential growth of e-commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar stores continue to lose business to online shopping options. The reasons why younger shoppers don’t go into stores -besides the obvious convenience offered by online shopping – include quality of life and comfortability. Many millennials would simply rather engage in activities other than spending time in malls and using store fitting rooms.

It’s easy to understand why anyone would prefer spending time in the great outdoors as opposed to inside a formulaic mall but what’s the deal with fitting rooms? Well for many younger shoppers fitting rooms have a claustrophobic feel since they’re so cramped. In a 2106 survey by Body Labs, almost half of respondents said they abhor fitting rooms. Additionally, 64% of instore apparel shoppers returned clothing because despite the use of a fitting room, the clothing didn’t fit properly.

These are just a few of the challenges that traditional retailers now face, and its forced them to search for new ways to retain the business of millennials.

A New Paradigm

Ashutosh Pandey, CEO, Tata CLiQ, believes the company has struck the precarious balance necessary for retail success in the digital age.

India-based Tata CLiQ recognized the huge opportunity to offer a shopping experience that combines the convenience and privacy of online shopping with the reassurance of being inside a brick-and-mortar store. They are optimizing a technology-driven shopping experience known as phygital. This new approach synergizes the physical and digital marketplace and delivers a seamless shopping experience to customers.

According to Tata CliQ CEO, “We are all customers and would like to feel special. We would like the experience to be hassle free and simple. We would like to believe that the place we are shopping from understands us as a person.”

With SAP Hybris, the company can connect 1.25 billion people from 900 cities and 10,000 villages to modern retail. Succinctly, Tata CLiQ offers hundreds of brands and thousands of items on a single platform.

Tata CLiQ is now an omni-channel marketplace with the highest amount of web traffic occurring through a company app that doubles as a virtual “fitting room.” The Tata CLiQ marketplace offers men’s and women’s clothing, footwear and accessories, watches, and a wide selection of electronics that includes cameras, laptops, and household appliances.

After a customer shops and places an order, stores within or closest to the zip code of the order are notified through “click-and-collect.”

Additionally, since customers pay only on delivery, data is secure since there’s also no need to store any credit or banking information.  Pandey added, “This flexibility is particularly attractive to the many Indians who prefer the pay-on-delivery model, and who want to pay for their purchases in cash.”

SAP Hybris solutions has enabled e-commerce to become the order-taking mechanism – while physical stores are the order-servicing and fulfillment mechanisms. Phygital has quickly resulted in a multiplicity of product options, convenience, and enjoyment for a growing number of Tata CLiQ customers.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends 

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