Sarmistha Banerjee, Head of Solutions, Appearition talks on AR in Retail & Advertising, brand building and the future of ads:
Retail is a very competitive industry. How can one survive the cut-throat competition? (Especially in today’s time when an idea/product can spread easily, how does one manage to retain the unique selling point?)
- There is a big difference between shopping and buying. Pause and consider it. Shopping is largely “EXPERIENTIAL” whereas buying relates to a “TRANSACTION” activity.
For example, an online e-commerce transaction i.e. buying function is the end outcome of the in-store, online or personal browsing / shopping experience which can be tactile, fun, interactive or whatever. If retailers and marketers can hone in on this one thing: Moments that Matter, they are likely to generate a competitive edge over their competition by engaging customers in a meaningful way.
- A cloud-based PoS and retail management platform for running retail business operations seems like a no- brainer. The system would allow tracking of sales and inventory, in real-time and enable that data to be used intelligently to make faster business decisions. For example: What product sells on a weekday / weekend or during seasonal /promotional events; there is no need to wait until end of day / month to determine what’s hot and what’s not. In a nutshell, the Sales Cycle becomes short and compressed; this leads to less wastage of resources.
Digital Transformation is the tech talk of the hour. How do you think retail sector is reacting to it? (Are they adopting, are they cautious etc)
- Actually, Amazon has aced it. The rest are playing catch-up everywhere else. Balancing web-rooming and show-roomingis a journey for most retailers. This is highly dependent on the digital maturity of the business – how they overhaul and adapt their operations. Doing nothing will lead to inevitable demise.
- For those who delve into luxe, integrating innovation, customer experience and brand value is synonymous. The “BRAND IS THE EXPERIENCE.”
Retail is largely a B2C industry. For those businesses supplying B2B2C, what are the challenges in supply-chain?
- In retail, consumers on one side and providers/suppliers on the other (typical B2C) can be limiting. However, to achieve scale in a B2B2C scenario, the wholesaler must adopt business practices that connects them with multiple vendors seamlessly. Technology can therefore, be an enabler to build a retail centric ecosystem that leverages channels and community needs. With data intelligence, time to market and stocking products on shelves could be drastically reduced. B2B2C needs to compete hard for the ON-DEMAND economy and even capitalize on the SHARING ECONOMY.
How will AR/VR/MR help in branding and digital marketing?
- The immersive / interactive mediums allow infinite possibilities to capture human attention and provide sensory experiences that are quite unique. We are only limited by our imagination as to how AR/VR/MR can exploit this technology medium to connect with customers in an intimate way with their psyche. First movers, and early adopters have obvious advantages if the marketing strategy is executed well.
In your opinion, how should one work towards audience engagement through advertisements?
- Advertisements have become annoying and their messaging do not resonate with respective audiences any longer. That’s why people deploy Adbloc online in their browsers; people flick channels on television during Ad breaks; Print media needs innovation to keep up with new media ads; People are switching to paid streaming to avoid pop-up ads.
Clearly, marketers need to engage people and brands differently which makes the products /services/information relevant for the consumer.
Thus, advertising will become increasingly personalised in 2018. We’ve been on this trajectory for several years, but the use of audience data is now pervasive in all modes of digital advertising. In tandem with ad personalization, new interactive ad formats will aim to break through the noise and increase user engagement.