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Indian retailers set to rewrite the rules for ‘new retail’ consumers: Deloitte-Mapic India report

Technology, convenience, and customer experience (CX) play a critical role in transforming business strategies

  • Retailers rapidly adapted to the “new normal” through resilience and realigned their business models using technology
  • Accelerated adoption of the omnichannel strategy, digitised operations, and a strong focus on sustainable business practices
  • New technology and increased connectivity led to innovation in shopping trends, such as contactless delivery, curbside pick-up, Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS), and Try On In-store and Ship to Home (TOSSH)

National, 7 December 2021: Against the backdrop of major changes in the retail sector after the pandemic, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (DTTILLP) and Mapic India unveiled their joint report called “Rewriting the Rules of New Retail” at the annual edition of the MAPIC India (formerly known as India Retail Forum) 2021 conference.

The ‘new normal’ has created the need for retailers to constantly evolve. They need to constantly transform their strategies and operating models to become more adaptable to technology and enhance consumer and shopper experience, thus being resilient in their desire to succeed.

The modern retail era is being redefined by evolving behaviour, where business is being re-imagined with a ‘home cocooned consumer’ being habituated to ‘subscribe’ services and consider ‘convenience’ as a critical element to have many-a-things being delivered to their doorsteps, from food and drinks to razors, candles, medicines, and more.

To cater to the ever-demanding ‘new Indian consumer’, retailers are accelerating adoption of the omnichannel strategy, digitising their operations, and focusing on sustainable business practices to operate efficiently. At the same time, they are making efforts to be authentic to thrive in a new business landscape.

While the world continues to flip between lockdowns and phygital presence, companies are adapting to a new avatar of a modern-day shopper where Retail 4.0 will be the ultimate convergence of the traditional and online channels.

Speaking on the launch of the report, Rajat Wahi, Partner, DTTILLP, said, “Today’s consumer is a convenience-craver, who is looking for value, instant gratification, range, and assortment across any channels he/she shops at. COVID-19-induced lockdowns over the past 18 months have dramatically changed shopper journeys and behaviours.

From online research and buying to increased preference for comfort and digital payments/e-wallets, home delivery and ease of returns, internet-based shopping trends are likely to continue even as malls and shopping centres open up.

Technology acceleration and adoption across the consumer and retail industries will continue to play a critical aspect for surviving and thriving in the new normal and coping with the rapid changes. In addition, retail businesses will need to continue to focus on the in-store and online customer experience-led engagement to cater to a new, tech-savvy, and conscious consumer. Successful brands will have to maintain the right balance between the online and offline channels as we move ahead in a data-driven economy.”

The report talks about seven key trends fueling the evolution of ‘new retail’

1. Commoditisation and premiumisation
2. Digital success likely to require more efforts in the next few years
3. Smaller and closer stores
4. New models, increasing impact
5. Convenience as the new battleground
6. Health and sustainability
7. Fragmentation and consolidation

The report also highlighted how more retail and consumer brands can connect with customers directly (D2C), bypassing existing distribution models and creating new ones. With the addressable market under D2C expected to reach US$100 billion in 2025 (according to various studies), it offers several opportunities for brands to innovate and accelerate their growth.

The report also talks about how large technology platforms are enabling the rapid transformation of retail, from Google Cloud and AWS to Sales Force Commerce. This makes it easier for retailers to leverage these platforms to expand their online businesses through advanced analytics, better forecasting and demand planning, deeper understanding and connect with their shoppers and business partners, etc.


Notes to the editor for reference purposes only:
This press release has been issued by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.

Media contact
Mou Chakravorty
Deloitte India
Tel: +91 8454042392

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