In new e-comm FDI policy omni-channel retailers see $40-b opportunity by 2021

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on January 10, 2019 Published on January 10, 2019

The recent FDI guidelines for e-commerce, which provide a fillip to brick-and-mortar retailers to up their omni-channel game, has opened up a $40-billion opportunity for companies such as Ace Turtle, SnapBizz, Vinculum, Shopmatic and Fynd.

These omni-channel retail enablers offer in-store solutions such as endless aisle, click and collect, ship from store, merchandising and promotions; apart from inventory, order, warehouse and logistics management.

Eyeing higher sales

Ace Turtle — an omni-channel platform company powering over 1,200 brand stores for over 50 retail customers including Puma, RayBan, Fossil, Max Fashions, Arrow, VIP, Aldo, Gant, etc — expects its turnover to grow eight times in fiscal year 2020 as the FDI guidelines for e-commerce provide a level playing field for all retailers (offline and online) prompting them to leverage the omni-channel opportunity.

“We have received a lot of enquiries from brick-and-mortar retailers because they need our technology to enable omni-channel retail as well as fulfilment capabilities because, warehouses have to be designed differently to ship out single orders as against bulk shipping. We also help some brands that are offering ‘ship from store’ facility to customers, which we enable for them through our technology. Now, we will see the adoption of ‘ship from store’ happening much faster,” Nitin Chhabra, CEO, Ace Turtle, told BusinessLine.

Ratan Tata-backed SnapBizz expects a ten-fold boost in revenue in the next two years with a surge in demand for omni-channel retail solutions. The company’s solutions are currently used by over 60 FMCG companies, their distributors and over 5,000 medium size retailers. “While there is a serious tailwind in the omni-channel retail space, it will take time to play out as the larger market is yet to fully understand the implications of the e-commerce guidelines. When that happens, our business will boom further,” said Prem Kumar, Founder-CEO of SnapBizz.

Market growth

As per eMarketer Research, the retail e-commerce market in Asia-Pacific is estimated to grow to $203 billion in 2021, of which omni-channel enabling platforms are expected to facilitate $22 billion in sales.

The organised offline retail market is expected to grow to $357 billion in 2021, of which omni-channel enabling platforms are expected to facilitate $18 billion in sales.

The retail e-commerce market and the organised offline retail market together present a $40-billion addressable market opportunity to omni-channel retail enabling companies. “For instance, we have piloted ‘Endless Aisle’ solution, that uses in-store kiosks to allow customers to order products that are out of stock or not sold in-store and have them shipped to their homes, in Bengaluru last year. However, we are yet to scale it up across all our stores. In order to meet the expectations of regular online customers, we need to address a lot of issues including wider assortment of merchandise, connecting inventory, providing fast fashion, leveraging last mile delivery, and so on, all of which takes time as we are wired differently compared to e-commerce marketplaces,” said Kumar.

Fynd, which powers over 8,500 brand stores pan-India with a real-time store inventory of over 800,000 products, has introduced tech solutions that enable retail stores to look beyond their offline territory and venture into online sales, including their online portal.

Published on January 10, 2019
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