Managing Brand Equity in the Digital Age: Croma’s Omni-Channel Retailing
“The beginning of the 21st century saw the advent and rapid growth of the mall culture. People abandoned traditional markets in droves to press their noses against fancy windows of stores with unpronounceable names and scarcely recognizable merchandise in plush air-conditioned comfort. It took a while but both retailers and shoppers grew to love this new way of shopping. Yet, just a decade later, the mall is yesterday’s phenomenon and e-com is the way the India of tomorrow is shopping. Our belief is that the premise of a click versus brick narrative itself is flawed.”1
– Ritesh Ghosal (Ghosal), CMO, Croma
Croma, the multi-brand retail chain of Tata Group, has always been in the forefront of innovation and customer service. It is the country’s first retail chain to launch a webstore, www.croma.com in the Consumer Durables and Information Technology (CDIT) segment. Croma’s omni-channel features added benefits to consumers’ shopping experience, through which it started having a deeper understanding of customer behavior and preferences, which transformed the way it offered an omni-channel shopping experience to its customers. For instance, with the omni-channel approach, consumers had the option to choose among online and physical stores, social media, customer care/call centers and emails to make their purchases. Consumers had more options to shop and interact with, more information about products or categories of products that interest them and greater range of product availability. For Croma, the consumer is at the center of its strategy and allowed them to decide when, where and how to shop. The consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group in a paper stated that, in omni-channel retail – “the consumer can order anytime, anywhere, and from any device. They can get their purchases in the store, at a separate delivery location, or through home delivery; to determine their own shopping and delivery or pick-up windows to fit their busy schedules; and to be able to return items at any of the store’s retail locations without any hassles.”2 Can Croma’s omni-channel retail strategy successfully balance both type of channels used for selling and the varying customer needs based on super personalization?
1 “Interview conducted with Ritesh Ghosal by Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary”, ET Cases, http://www.etcases.com/croma-omnichannel-retailing.html, April 25th 2016
2 Sapna Agarwal, “Are Indian retailers ready for omni-channel?”, http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/z2nwNNENt9emx6YCdI1UuI/Are-Indian-retailers-ready-for-omnichannel.html, April 13th 2015 (accessed date: April 3rd 2016)