Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A brand is basically defined as a niche area earned by a product in the market for which it is known among the consumers. It is something with which a consumer is able to identify himself with. Usually, it takes decades for a particular company to get the status of a brand. This is because the market is highly consumer driven. For creating a specific niche area for oneself in the market, the economic and cultural factors play a very important role. The segmentation, targeting as well as the positioning of a brand, or in short – the STP, plays a very important role. Branding offers customer loyalty which is easy to retain than finding new customers that requires a lot of initial investments and costs.

Although when it comes to branding in retail, mom and pop stores are a brand in itself. Nothing can match the services provided by them, since they are the oldest of all other mediums of retail. The main reason behind this is the flexibility that is being offered by these stores. However, giants such as Reliance, the Aditya Birla Group etc. are already a big name in the country, which gives them easy access to venture in to a new domain.

Also, in India, the retail industry is the largest with an ocean of employment opportunities for the youth in the country ( it contributes to the country's GDP generating more than ten percent of it) And these brands are already well – known and are also offering good deals and discounts.

Branding is also important due to the stiff competition in the industry. With branding comes an identification in the form of a logo or a punch line. These logos or the punch lines define the company and what it stands for. For instance, the retail venture of the Aditya Birla group is known as More, hence giving an impression that the consumer will always get more by purchasing from here.

Online shopping, the latest trend among shoppers, is also a victim to the fad of brand recognition. However, the fact to be remembered here is that trust does not come easily when it concerns the internet. Hence, online branding is of utmost importance. With brand building comes trust and loyalty and the assurance that the a particular e – store could be trusted upon with our money in return to the commodities we purchase. It is easy for a customer to identify himself with a brand, even though it is on the net. For instance, Amazon.com, Ebay or RetailsDirect etc.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Convenience Stores – The Next Level in the Indian Retail Industry

The retail industry has taken a new turn in the form of Convenience Stores or the C – stores. Many a times, we feel like grabbing a sandwich or buying an ice cream while travelling, but don't find a joint for miles, particularly on a highway. C-stores, or convenience stores, are the answer to this need. On a grass-root stage, a convenience store or a C – store can be defined as a small shop consisting of consumer durables or an eat out, which caters to certain basic essentials which are required by an individual while he is travelling. The purpose of these shops is to provide for instantaneous services. With the passage of time, it can be said that a demand has been created in the market for these stores.

Even though it was seen as a rather trivial concept at first, with the passage of time, it has been accepted with utmost enthusiasm, primarily due to its utility. The retail outlet 'In & Out' can be seen in almost every petrol pump in the city. Similarly, in bus terminals and railway stations, small cafes and restaurants are a common sight where in people either go and eat or pack some food for their journey. With such retail stores, customers do not have to search for food on the verge of missing their buses or trains. Further, it has also generated a higher number of employment opportunities and given a chance to retail brands to reach out to the people. Also, the revenue generated through these stores could be shared with the petrol pumps or the railway authorities etc. which are providing them with the space.

Basically, these stores have increased the number of options for the buyers. With people being loyal to certain retail brands, it also gives a chance to extend the brand loyalty through the word of mouth. A satisfied customer would spread positive vibes about a product which would lead to more customers who would want to shop from that particular store. Therefore, it can be said that these convenience stores provide an opportunity to all the established brands to extend their services to the community.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


The online retail industry in India has been booming for quite some time. This has been aided partly due to the blogging culture on the net. Today, blogging is definitely on a high with more and more people keeping their latest posted through their blogs. It can be considered as an aid to connect with people and collect information.

Industry blogs are a common platform for share views and opinions on a specific industry by many professionals belonging to a particular one. When it comes to the retail industry in India, blogs have been playing a major role in its growth. Updates such as the recent developments, latest trends, the growth chart, its impact on the economy etc., can be found. Also, corporate blogs are another feature which are specially posted by companies to give an update of the company status as well as a general overview.

Now, with almost every website having its own social networking community, blogging has become a common phenomenon which has led to the constant flow of information for those who are searching for a purpose and also for those, who want to keep themselves posted.

Today, with many online stores having their own set of blogs and other social communities, the feel of actual shopping is being brought about, since networking involves a lot of interaction and sharing of opinions, it can be considered as an alternative to actual shopping.

Also, many blogs help out with tips and measures to cater to a hassle free and safe online shopping. In addition to this, a visitor can also share his views and opinions on the products and services being offered by the online store or a particular website in general.

For instance, popular shopping portals such as Amazon, Ebay or other less common ones such as RetailsDirect provide a forum for the buyers to interact as well as share their viewpoints on a particular product which can be reviewed by a user. These can either be movie reviews or product reviews etc. which would give a general feel to a buyer before actually investing upon it.

An internal blog is another important aspect which provides information regarding the various commodities and the different genres of products available on a particular e – store. This can be considered as an easier way out instead of searching for information or browsing through the various pages of a site.

In other words, it can be said that blogging simply makes the task easier. Hence, it can be defined as a more user friendly interface on the web to get informed. This is especially important with shopping portals since it is one of the massively growing sectors in India.