Vishal B. S is the Marketing Head of Viveks, one of the largest retail chains in South India. He is the third generation business person in the family business who has initiated new campaigns such as “Anbudan Viveks’’ to actively engage with the consumers in the age of e-Commerce.
In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U, Vishal talks about the recent experiences of Diwali, Dussera Sales and their initiative. Also the consumer insights, future of retailing and other growth initiatives of Viveks.
How was the festive season of Diwali and Dussera in terms of market response and what is your forecast for the upcoming events, New year and Pongal?
Post-Covid 19, the sales was good and the average selling price for the products went up by 10-15%. The Cashback promotions offered by Banks and Finance houses such as Bajaj FinServ and IDFC helped consumers to plan their purchases better and purchase better ticket items.
Upcoming events are Christmas, New year and Pongal. All 3 festivals are different set of consumers and shoppers with different requirements. The bigger event New year and Pongal look positive.
Restarting business post lockdown was a challenge to everyone, What was your strategy to reconnect with consumer?
Reinstated confidence to customers on the safety and various protocols to help shop with confidence. Our medium of communication to our customer was our Call Centre, Social Media, SMS and Whatsapp. Customer could buy from the following mediums
- Walk-into stores
- Book through call centre and get it delivered
- Whatsapp – Assisted Selling
- Salesman connecting through Video calls
Was there a noteworthy shift in Consumer behaviour, could you brief us on some interesting insights that you have witnessed?
Yes, there was spike on Kitchen and home appliances. Kitchen items included- 2 burners to 3 burner gas stoves, 190 Litres fridge to 300 Frost Free Refrigerators as they need to stock up food, Microware and OTG were in huge demand as they wanted to bake and cook different cuisines. Personal grooming such as trimmers, Shavers and Hair straighteners were hot-selling gadget to keep them well-groomed. Large Screen LED such as 43/50/55” grew well as customer wanted to have a better experience at home. As such many categories, the demand was good.
How do you chart out the outlay of your Media spend, which is your primary Media Vehicle and why?
Covid 19 has transformed or made consumers adapt to digital media. Average screen time on mobile, tablets, OTT platforms apart from regular TV consumption has gone up by 60% as per our understanding and this will continue for a while. We have also adapted and ensure our spends have substantially increased in the digital space.
Retail is inevitable, Retail is immortal, However, the challenges from tech platforms are real, what is future of retailing, is there a scope for converting challenges into opportunities?
Answers are there in your question. However, we need to ensure that customer experience is enhanced and it is something customer looks forward forever. We need to have the O2O model- online to offline and offline to online. As long as the customer journey is met in terms of their experience and expectations, retailing will survive. We need to be available to close sales in all formats, be it showrooms, on the mobile, on the web, call centre, Whatsapp or physical visit.