The New Retail Revolution
Indu Perepu
The term ‘New Retail’ emerged from China when the Chinese retailers like Alibaba,, and Tencent started coming up with retail models that combined the traditional brick and mortar retail with e-commerce in 2000s. Alibaba pioneered the concept when its founder Jack Ma came up with the concept of OMO – Online Merge Offline. Broadly, new retail can be defined as integration of online and offline shopping experience.
Previously, the offline and online channels co-existed. Omnichannel, in a way tried to provide customers seamless shopping experience by offering delivery services across physical stores, websites, and mobile apps.The new retail is more encompassing and focuses on customer experience and shopping without boundaries.
The Chinese retail industry was at the forefront of this phenomenon due to high penetration of mobile phones and digital commerce in the country. Chinese use mobile phones for all types of payments and scan dozens of QR codes every day. This helped the companies gather data about customers, follow them through different contact points and provide personalized shopping experience.
The new retail is expected to evolve further where all the purchasing channels would converge and consumers would use them for learning about the product, compare it with other products, and buy online or offline as per their convenience.  The new retail is all set to transform the in-store experience too. For example, the customers could try out new clothes virtually, fill a virtual cart, pay without going to the checkout counter, and have the products delivered to them.
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