How COVID 19 is changing the face of the Indian retail industry

covid-19 impact on Iindian retail industry

The coronavirus has affected businesses worldwide, and the Indian retail industry is no exception. The country is experiencing one of the longest and the most stringent lockdowns in the world, posing unique challenges for stakeholders across the retail value chain. Ergo, issues such as shortage of labor, over-stocking, and transport and logistics restrictions have put a serious dent in retail revenues. According to the Retailers Association of India (RAI), around 95% of non-food retailers have shut shop during the lockdown period, reducing earnings to just 40% of what it was last year.

Supply- and demand-side disruptions

COVID-19 impact on the Indian retail industry’s ecosystem

Bridging the online-offline divide

Stakeholders across the retail value chain are realizing the need to revisit existing business models to keep customers coming at this time of crisis. With the pandemic impacting both e-commerce and physical stores, retailers have started leveraging technology to play off each other’s strengths.

For instance, online food delivery platform, Zomato, has announced partnerships with NIVEA, FieldFresh Foods and Grofers. Amazon, following the footsteps of Reliance’s JioMart, has partnered with hundreds of local grocers. This provides an opportunity for traditional stores to digitalize their operations quickly, and e-tailers to expand their product selection to meet the consumer demand.

Meanwhile, organized retail stores, such as DMart, have started scaling up their online presence.

Redefining business models of Indian retail

Changing business model of the Indian retail industry

Recommendations for retailers to survive the COVID-19 tide:

  • Evaluate the short- and long-term impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on rapidly-changing consumer behavior
  • Future-proof business by digitalizing supply chain processes and building a robust omnichannel presence
  • Explore partnership and acquisition opportunities to mitigate losses
  • Adopt an omnichannel approach to stay connected with consumers and address evolving communication modes and experiences that they expect
  • Plug gaps in your e-commerce site—simplify the addition of new customers, quicken online purchasing, display products that are in demand, and scale quickly on cloud infrastructure

How Netscribes can help

The coronavirus pandemic has landed most businesses in uncharted territory. To stay relevant and profitable, adapting to the changing market scenario and customer behavior will be vital. Netscribes helps businesses understand the changing environment through timely market intelligence and consumer insights. Furthermore, our e-commerce solutions are designed to help scale your digital presence quickly and cost-effectively. To know more, please contact us at

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