Indian Institute of Foreign Trade: Tradewinds 2018

Trade Winds

National Marketing Summit


Future of Retail: Machines powering Consumer Buying Behavior


Imagine a shopping store where there are no queues at the payment counter and there is no need to carry a wallet when going shopping. This is what Amazon strived for when it launched its first Amazon GO store in Seattle in January. With digital becoming the new norm, the relevance of “Customer Comfort”, has become more important than it ever was. With the businesses going digital and the number of transaction over the internet skyrocketing, big box retailers have been coming up with out of the box strategies to provide consumers with something new every time they visit. Carrefour, a major retailer in France, has launched a phone application on which users can load the money and use a tagging device at their store to buy items, with the amount getting deducted automatically from their account.

Data Analytics has been at the helm of this new phase where machines will power the consumer buying behavior. Use of user’s data gives companies better understanding of customer’s buying preferences and their buying behavior. The ability to deliver a delightful customer experience has become a key differentiator for most organizations. The advancement of people-tracking technology offers new ways to analyse store behaviour and measure the impact of merchandising efforts. By analysing the consumer behaviour in the stores, platforms are being developed that help retailers make sense of the data to optimize merchandising tactics, personalize the in-store experience with loyalty apps and drive timely offers to incentivize consumers to complete purchases with the end goal being to increase sales across all channels.

Apart from enhancing the consumer experience, data analytics and big data are being leveraged in a big way for advertising and promotion of product and services.

Machines and applications are being developed to realize the dream of making consumer buying experience in a retail store as smooth as possible. Hence, it is pertinent to understand what the future of retail entails with the machines powering the consumer buying behavior. It is in this regard that we wish for the discussion to focus on the following key points during the National Marketing Summit 2018:

1. The disruptive impacts of technology in various key areas of Retail; like payment counters, consumer buying preferences and merchandising.
2. With the increased adoption of application-based payment gateways like Paytm, MobiKwik, etc., is it expected that cash payments would become obsolete in the coming future?
3. With data analytics and big data, machine learning is being boosted and this has further lead to automation, what views do you have on marketing automation?
4. With Amazon Go bringing a new wave of change in Retail, what is the possibility of such a move in India?
5. What are the key factors that need to be taken into consideration when considering a future where the machines power the consumer buying behaviour? 
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Indian Institute of Foreign Trade: Tradewinds 2017