Creating a seamless customer experience

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Retail & E-Commerce

Creating a seamless customer experience

“Ensuring right inventory availability at correct node is critical to ensure reliable fulfilment with optimal cost. We have developed very strong pull-based inventory placement framework across our fulfilment nodes (DCs/Stores), which is the nerve center for merchandise procurement and its placement,” stresses Kumar Gaurav, Head - Supply Chain, Infiniti Retail (Croma), during this exclusive interview…

What role do people play to ensure that omnichannel is successful?

Kumar Gaurav

It is difficult to deliver true omni-channel customer experience at scale considering multiple moving parts in the ecosystem. With changing retail landscape, we need to keep up customer has many alternatives to choose from as per their discretion. Normally customers do their primary and secondary research on the attributes suited to their requirement before visiting stores to buy any product.

For stores, enhancing knowledge and skill set of the staff is a clear edge against competition (Online/Offline). In this scenario, it is very important to provide right value add in the purchase experience of the customer. With continuously evolving technology and products, this learning goal post keeps shifting as store staff needs to constantly unlearn and relearn. Merchandise category-based training and assessment can help in improving depth of knowledge to store staff. Once knowledge of the staff starts contributing in customer purchase easiness, this results in sharp increase in its NPS (net promoter score) driven primarily by the customer’s satisfaction of getting right guidance for theirpurchase and helpfulness of staff.

Can you enlighten us on Croma’s ‘Responsible Consumption’ philosophy?

Croma believes in the philosophy of ‘Responsible Consumption’. Responsible consumption is at the core of our mission statement. We are working on three key areas now — recycling of e-waste, energy conservation and utilization of sustainable materials. We started our e-waste program long back and already scaling this. We use recycled materials wherever possible, like for our carry bags etc. We launched sustainable materials for our digital channel deliveries as well.

Our stores are fitted with LED lighting and our Fulfilment Centers will operate on Solar Power. We firmly believe that we can extend the life span of gadgets by maintaining them. All these sustainability initiatives are aligned with Tata Group’s Project Aalingana, 'embrace' in Sanskrit, embodies the Tata group's vision for a greener, cleaner, more sustainable and equitable future for the planet, by innovating today.

How do you constantly juggle between striking the right inventory mix?\

In Consumer Durables, we generally face the issue of bestseller SKUs being out of stock, with availability of regular SKUs. For retailers like us, striking the right balance amid such scenario is the key to run a consumer-oriented business. Ensuring right inventory availability at correct node is critical to ensure reliable fulfilment with optimal cost. We have developed very strong pull-based inventory placement framework across our fulfilment nodes (DCs/Stores), which is the nerve center for merchandise procurement and its placement.

What are the key trends in omnichannel space?

Omnichannel space is all about creating a seamless customer experience across multiple platforms say stores, online, etc. It always revolves around customer centricity and what customers are looking from the retailers. Customer must be agnostic of the retail channels. The solution that the retailer is intending to offer should complement the convenience of the customer. An effective business model is profitable only when the two pieces of the puzzle – the customer centricity and business strategy converge to deliver the right customer centric solution. That’s when the things move forward in the right direction.

At Croma, whenever a customer makes a purchase (stores or online), we ensure that their experience is consistent with us because every touch point is connected, and their data is always unified (independent of their movement between physical and digital spaces). Our Supply Chain works consistently to delivery reliable customer fulfilment as per their requirement.

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