Retail Industry Changing From Product-centric To Customer-centric: Rohit Khetan

As several brands are striving to figure out how to stand out on the digital panorama, an ever-increasing street of rush hour traffic 24/7, the media is simply no longer social in our fiercely agile world, he said.


The Indian retail industry is considered to be one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world. Evolution in retail has invariably been about improving the shopper experience, said Rohit Khetan, Head, Marketing and Strategy, Ginesys in an interview with BW Applause and BW Everything Experiential. Edited excerpts: 

Give us an overview of Ginesys and its journey so far. Tell us about Ginesys’s suite of offerings?

Ginesys is a fast-growing complete retail tech company working with around 1200+ customers and 30,000+ users with a wide reach across India. We are a technology solutions provider for retail businesses and have been powering retail businesses from startup to IPO for more than a decade now. We have made our mark as a premier, ‘Made in India’ solution for ERP and POS, serving the needs of small and medium businesses, with a focus on the fashion industry. 

We have recently introduced Ginesys One a scalable cloud-based tech suite to power online and Omni retail. It is a complete retail management suite for brands and multi-brand retailers, ranging from fashion, and supermarkets to various niche segments. Ginesys One suite includes Ginesys ERP on the cloud, cloud and desktop POS, e-commerce order management system, customer relationship management, marketing automation for online and offline, GST compliance, and business intelligence apps. The entire suite works together, seamlessly, to ensure a single view of inventory, accounts, customers, orders, and much more. Ginesys One goes beyond normal integrations to provide omni workflows like buy online and dispatch from any store or buy offline and get rewards for shopping online. 

What is your outlook on the retail technology sector in India?

The Indian retail industry is considered to be one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world. Evolution in retail has invariably been about improving the shopper experience. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report, India was ranked 63rd and is the world’s fifth-largest global destination in the retail domain in the world. 

The retail industry is going from being product-centric to being customer-centric and retailers are leveraging technologies like AI, ML, Data Analytics, etc. to reach the ultra-modern-day shoppers. As the retail sector is on the brink of an uprising, technology has been an essential ingredient of the vast advancement the retail sector has accomplished over the years. 

Presently, the whole retail sector, right from Kirana shops to large corporate franchises, has gone digital and is adopting the revolution to stay ahead in an increasingly robust market. India’s retail sector has come on a long journey from offline, in-store shopping to providing tech-led services to enable an entirely digital way of shopping. Even against the background of a global pandemic, retailers have reinvented their processes to be leaner and efficient and responsive to consumer needs.

How do you think brands can provide a superior experience to the digital-first customer?

Brand-customer interaction is increasingly active online. There has been a ‘digitalization of buying’ with greater usage of e-commerce touchpoints. Technology and digital media platforms are being utilized to play a greater role in reaching out to consumers, creating a buzz, stimulating transactions, and retaining buyers. As more and more buyers peruse digital platforms, they invoke brands to follow them across numerous channels while giving a frictionless experience. Digital customer experience is the sum total of all the experiences consumers have when they interact with a brand across digital channels. 

A 'wonderful' digital buyer experience infers delivering a fast, responsive and frictionless experience for customers as they switch between channels in their path towards becoming clients.  Post-pandemic, consumers are expecting quick purchases, a wide choice of products and the possibility of social shopping. i.e. shopping via or inspired by social media trends. 

There has also been a major transformation from the multi-channel into the omnichannel approach providing a single connected brand experience at multiple touchpoints. Consumer priority has shifted towards an era where the need for hyper-personalization is prompting retailers to utilize disruptive technologies.

To stay pertinent in today’s time, the retail industry needs to invest in targeted and personalized marketing that can influence modern consumers. At Ginesys we help brands with the completely personalised campaigns for each target buyer and products that can also work at scale. 

What do you think about experiential marketing, do you think that will be the future of retail?

Experiential marketing not only pertains to customer engagement but also often expands it in the process. In today's business landscape, retail brands cannot succeed if they don't take into consideration the customer buying experience. 

Retail marketing today has become less about savings and more about the experience. Experiential retail involves creating a wholesome, well-rounded, and memorable experience for consumers when they interact with a product or service, immerses consumers in a brand, a culture; it showcases what makes it unique.

A study from Harris Group found that 72 per cent of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than material things. The real benefit here, from a business perspective, is that consumers that are willing to spend money on experiences, in turn, are more likely to purchase products the company sells!  The goal of experiential retail is engagement. We believe the future will belong to brands and retailers with enthralling experiences.

How has the retail sector evolved post-pandemic?

While retail has had its share of challenges in the past two years, the pandemic has also resulted in the chance for a long-overdue considerable retail reset that may encourage many retailers to move into a more stable—and profitable—position. The technology in retail has helped integrate online and offline business, promotions and inventory across the locations and has helped the sector transition from being a product-centric and location-driven business to a customer-centric business. 

There is an enhancement in the ease of operation, raised consumer experience, delivery and forecasting. Furthermore, as we know, things like IoT, AI & ML play a major role in retail tech too.  At a time when consumers are empowered with choice, and market conditions are increasingly volatile, new technologies like cloud retail software and POS software for retail, AI-based marketing automation and e-commerce and GST integrations, are helping brands and retailers drive valuable business efficiencies and customer experience. 

Where does retail management software fit in the entire customer experience journey?

At Ginesys, we optimize retail business with in-depth know-how of how retail works. Our software empowers brands to achieve growth and profitability with ease. Retail management software usually comprises POS, inventory management and user and customer management. With the customer experience journey accelerating towards a true convergence modern POS systems are playing an important function.

In today’s time retailers need to have full visibility of not just customers but also their own inventory too. Also, out-of-stock is no longer an option for retailers today. 

Stores have a critical role to play in the fulfilment, returns and discovery process, but without smart, joined-up store systems goods can often fall into an inventory 'black hole.'  We are now offering all our solutions on the latest cloud and mobile technology so that it is future-ready and can be scaled easily so that retailers do not need to invest heavily in infrastructure. 

Why does the need for experiential marketing become even bigger?

As several brands are striving to figure out how to stand out on the digital panorama, an ever-increasing street of rush hour traffic 24/7, the media is simply no longer social in our fiercely agile world. 

Experiential marketing builds a whole world for the shopper – a quick moment in time where they can take a role in something recent, something exciting. It builds emotional relationships with consumers. Through experiential marketing, one can more effortlessly connect with the audience, allowing buyers to experience the benefits of the brand rather than just read about it. 

Experiential marketing proposes to the customers the alternative to telling the brand’s story live. It communicates authenticity. An experiential marketing event delivers a unique opportunity to establish a controlled environment for consumers. 

Any future trends or market segments that you think will evolve shortly? 

The speed with which consumer behaviour is changing has made it more crucial than ever to ensure Omni channel experiences. Single-channel and multi-channel retail are slowly fading away. 

Moreover, many retailers stated they plan to boost their investment in omnichannel commerce in the future, compared to their plans before COVID-19. An omnichannel approach can aid in the growth of sales and revenue. Faster digital experiences, curbside pickup, and touchless check-out can lead to incremental revenues in the face of changing consumer habits.

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