India’s retail market is poised to cross $2.2 trillion by 2030, with approximately 90% of sales expected to occur offline, according to the report by Accel, Fireside Ventures and Redseer Strategy Consultants. The report also finds that a substantial portion of all purchases are to be influenced by what consumers see online across categories.

The report titled ‘The Decoding Omnichannel: Strategies for D2C Brands’ that Indians conducted nearly 24 billion online searches in different categories annually to learn more about a product before purchase, while 60% of the total value concentrated in food and grocery, followed by fashion and lifestyle.

The report stated that consumers are moving across various channels at different stages of the purchase funnel. They are increasingly searching across categories before making a purchase online, and brands must be where their customers are. For instance, in sectors like jewellery, customers browse online, but ultimately make their purchases offline, in stores, after accurately assessing factors like fit and style in person.

“We’ve seen the journey of Indian consumer brands over the last decade and a half where a lot of pioneer brands and platforms established online as a viable channel. With that accomplished, the players are evolving towards the next step of broadening their focus by serving consumers where they are, be it online or offline. One prominent example of this would be Mamaearth, which having started as an online D2C brand, is driving a significant chunk of its topline from offline retail stores. While some brands have shown the way, brands/platforms will have their unique journeys as they move omnichannel/multi-channel and that’ll include nuanced decisions on channel strategy across the consumer journey based on the product category and consumers’ maturity,” said Anil Kumar, founder and CEO of Redseer Strategy Consultants.

D2C Brands are also suitable for leveraging omnichannel strategies across different consumption categories. They have already nailed online retail, and can now use product innovation, data-driven marketing insights, and technological prowess to further scale offline channels, said the report.

“The fusion of online and offline presence is distinctly Indian, reflecting the unique preferences and behaviors of Indian consumers. It bridges trust and convenience barriers, accommodating a shopping journey characterized by a mix of traditional values and modern conveniences. Agrostar, for instance, delivers an omnichannel experience to farmers in rural India, who both embrace the convenience of online ordering and still value the tactile experience and personal interaction of in-store pickups,” said Prashanth Prakash, Partner at Accel. “While the first generation of omnichannel brands focused on building omnichannel technology, the next generation will introduce new, uniquely Indian business models and solutions.”

Although there is no one size that fits all, the need for a combined online and offline experience is uniquely Indian. It bridges trust and convenience barriers and standalone approaches and provides customers with a shopping experience tailored to their needs.

Kanwaljit Singh, Founder and Managing Partner of Fireside Ventures, said, “For every Sweet Karam Coffee that leverages q-commerce as a discovery channel, there’s a boAt that uses it to drive e-commerce bestsellers front and centre. While no single formula works across categories, we have several learnings to share. We believe consumer brands should be omniprepared for omnichannel. The report, ‘Decoding Omnichannel strategy for D2C brands,’ in collaboration with Accel, includes frameworks and learnings from digital-first brands who have done this before, and blind spots to avoid before taking the plunge.”