ReTechCon 2023: Charting the Future of Retail in a Digitally-Augmented Era
Mumbai, September 28, 2023: The Retailers Association of India (RAI) hosted the 17th edition of the Retail Technology Conclave, ReTechCon 2023, a premier assembly of retail CEOs, CIOs, technology service providers, and experts, on the 26th & 27th of September 2023 in Mumbai.
ReTechCon 2023 aims to assist retailers in comprehending multifaceted technology trends. It sheds light on areas such as sustainable solutions, global tech patterns, and innovative disruptions to tackle operational challenges promptly. The conclave’s discourse covered the advanced stages of Digital Transformation, D2C brand strategies, the Omnichannel Experience, and the burgeoning influence of AI in Retail.
RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said “In the vast and dynamic landscape of retail, every stakeholder plays a crucial role. The technology committee of RAI has meticulously curated ReTechCon 2023 to be the compass for this collective journey. From insights into Digital Transformation and D2C strategies to the nuances of Quick Commerce and the transformative power of AI and ML, this conclave serves as a testament to the potential that awaits every retailer. As we embrace an all-digital format, the essence of ReTechCon remains: it’s about empowering each one of you with the knowledge and tools to flourish in a digitally-augmented world.”
Discussing the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), Thampy Koshi, MD & CEO of ONDC, remarked, “India boasts a vast multitude of sellers but many remain untouched by the digital wave. Drawing inspiration from our nation’s achievements like UPI and AADHAAR, ONDC’s commitment is to catalyse an inclusive e-commerce transformation, bringing millions more into the digital fold. At this year’s ReTechCon, we want to emphasize that our initiative is not just about expanding the e-retail landscape, but also about fostering an environment where startups thrive and collaborative growth is the norm. With open protocols and the combined energy of all stakeholders in the retail technology ecosystem, we’re poised to redefine India’s e-commerce trajectory.”
Delivering an insightful Special Address at the ReTechCon 2023, Dilip Abse, MD & CEO, NPCI, said, “Real consumption today is largely credit-driven rather than reliant on one’s own money, which has contributed to economic growth in developed economies like the US and Europe. Despite the progress in digital payments like QR codes and FinTech initiatives, traditional credit availability was limited until recent developments like the Rupee Credit Card on UPI and RBI-approved credit lines on UPI. These developments now allow a broader segment of the population, including small merchants, to participate in the credit ecosystem, moving beyond cash transactions, which means more sales than the yield payments.”
Speaking about Customer Experience, Rajiv Nair, CEO, Kaya Limited, said, “We have been harnessing technology to anticipate customer needs and satisfaction, using metrics such as NPS over time. We understand that true success extends beyond a single transaction; it’s about nurturing lasting customer relationships. Our commitment to post-service human interaction and continuous feedback collection ensures we’re not just a service provider but a trusted partner. The ultimate measure of our triumph lies in the long-term value our loyal customers bring, staying with us for years as a testament to our dedication to excellence.”
Speaking about customised approach Manish Kapoor, MD & CEO, Pepe Jeans London, said, “While self-checkout thrives globally, we acknowledge that in India, our customers prefer the warmth of personal assistance for an enhanced shopping experience. We advocate for wise and selective tech utilization, emphasizing automation and simplification where applicable, all while ensuring that technology enhances, not hinders, the customer journey.”
Over 100 speakers offered their invaluable perspectives at ReTechCon 2023. A major attraction of the conclave was the Day 2 sessions, which delved into the universe of digital-first brands. It showcased prominent D2C brands such as CaratLane, Bombay Shirt Company, Campus Sutra, Naagin, The Moms Co., and Urban Platter, among others.
In an engaging dialogue, Naiyya Saggi from The Good Glamm Group, which leads as India’s pioneer unicorn in DTC beauty and personal care, shared, “We witnessed the seamless interplay of content, community, and commerce unfold remarkably. Consequently, we embarked on an acquisition journey, securing remarkable content and community assets—a formidable feat in today’s landscape. This has enabled us to engage with a vast audience, conveying information to cultivate trust and garner consideration. Through the ensuing process, guided by our optimized E2C stack, individuals embark on a journey encompassing retention, engagement, and consideration, enriched by peer communities, ultimately propelling them through the conversion funnel. This strategic approach has not only positioned us effectively on smartphones, where our audience resides but has also enabled us to smartly establish a digital native presence in the retail outlets where we operate.”
Noteworthy discussions emphasized various pivotal facets of retail technology, including:
§ Customer Experience – The Core of Retail Evolution
§ Personalization in Retail – Responding to Customer Demand for Customized Products
§ The Retail Renaissance: How Generative AI is Redefining
§ Digital Transformation – Enabling Business Success Through Innovations
§ The E-commerce Equation: Balancing Tech and Tradition
§ Logistics Revamped: Reinventing Supply Chains for Unparalleled Efficiency
§ Data-driven Retail: Leveraging Advanced Analytics and BI
§ Creating Value vs. Valuations in a Tech-Enabled World
Additionally, the conclave presented the ReTech Startups Awards 2023, honouring top retail technology startups with the potential to revolutionize retailers’ ventures.