Harnessing Technology to Transform the Indian Retail Sector

Posted on October 11th, 2023

As a retailer, imagine if you could accurately determine exactly what your customers want, and when they want it. What if you could get real-time updates that tie this information into order placements and inventory levels? The bar seems to be set too high, right? Let’s take a look at how this applies to the retail sector in India.

The Indian retail sector is riddled with issues relating to accurate predictions. About 73% of retail organizations in the country had difficulties in demand-planning owing to a lack of accurate, timely, and updated information. Anticipating consumer demand is another common issue.

This problem is bigger for kirana stores. They face several legacy issues, including minimal or zero-digitisation. For these mom & pop stores, demand forecasting and inventory management have always stemmed from gut feeling or intuition.

This problem is bigger for kirana stores. They face several legacy issues, including minimal or zero-digitisation. For these mom & pop stores, demand forecasting and inventory management have always stemmed from gut feeling or intuition.

Getting deeper into the numbers, India houses around 12 million grocery outlets and thousands of wholesalers and distributors. Adding to the voluminous number of players is the multi-tiered structure.

The past decade has seen an overhaul of the Indian grocery ecosystem with e-commerce and cash-and-carry stores increasing with every passing day. However, the issue of fluctuating demand stands unresolved.

Another factor was the COVID-19 pandemic that forced everyone to remain indoors. Consequently, the last few years have witnessed uncertainties for Indian consumers and grocery retailers.

The tectonic shift in the Indian retail sector

Addressing the acute challenges faced by the Indian retail sector, WayCool is creating a revolution with its Retail Tech stack.

WayCool has developed an all-inclusive app that fulfils every need and requirement of retailers. The retailer tech includes hyper-localized order placements, instant order tracking, and customized offers and discounts. The idea is that the order screen gets curated according to the retailer.

WayCool’s Retail Tech stack facilitates customized service for every single retailer, enabling them to fulfil their business needs with utmost efficiency. Gone are the days of complex procedures and cumbersome scrolling for order processing.

The portal tracks real-time information on inventory while placing orders. This enables them to track the exact time of arrival (ETA) of the purchase requisition. The app also has provisions for contingencies such as traffic levels and other logistical aspects.

Another crucial aspect of WayCool’s Retail Tech is personalized pricing.

How does this work?

The founding parameter here is the purchase history. Depending on the frequency and volume of purchases, retailers can avail of different rates. Yet another consequent avenue is the special offers and discounts. These, too, vary from retailer to retailer, depending on their purchase background. The more frequent and voluminous the transaction, the steeper the discount.

The app keeps a tab on purchase history. No longer does the retailer need to go through the entire process of finding the right product. Doing so helps with ensuring repeat orders in the future.

The Retail Tech solution is powered by advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. The crux of these algorithms is data and actionable insights. Customer purchase history and user preferences get fed into the system. The algorithm then evaluates and studies every piece of data, further leveraging the information to provide them with better and personalized services.

The platform offers product suggestions and captures trends based on demographic and socio-economic parameters, the gateways for hyper-localisation. For instance, the rice variant suggested to a retailer in Mumbai’s Matunga will be closer to those consumed in Tamil Nadu since Matunga has a sizable Tamil population. Similarly, the product recommendations will be drastically different from those ordering from Dadar, Juhu, and other pockets in Mumbai.

Essentially, through the WayCool app, retailers are now well-informed across the entire customer journey, thus helping them make better decisions.

The way forward

Technological prowess and its progress are inevitable. Aspects like Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence are quickly making their mark on the retail sector. Robotics and IoT have transformed the entire food value chain, from seed to harvest to retail logistics and the customers’ doorstep.

While AI, ML and DL take care of insights and data, robotics sets out to contribute heavily to day-to-day operations. Especially in warehouses where automation caters to material handling, cleaning, sorting, grading, and other manual tasks. Cumulatively, these assimilate data across processes, from production to consumption, into a cohesive interconnected digital ecosystem with data on demand at every touchpoint.

As India’s leading Agri-tech and Agri-commerce company that moves over 900 tonnes of fresh agricultural produce every day, WayCool is already reaping the tangible benefits of infusing technology at every stage of the agri value chain.