26 October 2022 15:17:09 IST

Sai Sathweek is an MBA student at SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) Bengaluru.

Gamification can be used to engage online customers

Rewards excite online shoppers and keep them coming back for more | Photo Credit: Getty Images

W hat should Vishal Mega Mart do to grow in the competitive and dynamic retail sector? Vishal Mart can look for ways to collaborate with e-commerce brands such as Flipkart, Amazon, and Big Basket, in order to increase their sales and also increase the brand awareness across India.  

This would give them a competitive advantage as most of the retail stores are yet to have their branches spread across the tier 2 tier 3 cities.  Since there’s no “one-stop shop” alternative for the e-commerce sites, they would prefer having a collaboration with the company for the delivery of groceries, and so on, in those cities. 

Following the idea they used before, like guaranteeing the lowest possible value to their customers and bringing back the regular offers they used to provide to the customers, can be brought back as that would drive the majority of the market towards them since the market is price sensitive and highly competitive. 

Once they get the recognition, they can concentrate on expansion of their branches to the tier 1 cities and the prime locations in the tier 1 cities as they would then have built an image and that would drive more footfall in these branches and make them profitable.  

Would you recommend to Vishal Mega Mart that it opt for an omnichannel strategy or should it continue to focus on offline expansion as a value brand? 

I believe that omnichannel retailing is the future of consumer markets and Vishal Mart should definitely invest in building their own omnichannel as that would definitely help them increase its overall sales and profits. 

While continuing to focus on offline expansion as a value brand might seem like a tried and tested method to drive the company forward as it has given them glory in the past, it is evident that having offline markets is no more a mandatory thing to taste success in this day and age. 

Instead, Vishal Mart company can invest the same amount in having product inventory storage areas in prime locations of all the cities in order to deliver the goods being ordered by their customers. This would ensure a more seamless and comfortable way for the customers to enjoy the benefits the Vishal mart as a brand offers. 

This can also be executed in such a way that the customers will be receiving the delivery within hours or even minutes from the time they order their goods. Currently, very few retail brands have executed this successfully, and having this system in tier 2 and tier 3 cities would definitely give them the first-mover advantage. 

This step would also be saving a lot of human capital costs and having fewer offline stores and more investment in their online services would ensure lesser requirement of human resources. 

How can Vishal Mart expand its consumer base across India? 

Having a strong consumer base is essential for the growth of the company as consumers are ultimately the driving force of a company’s growth. 

Introducing a more attractive membership scheme and letting the customers know the benefits and rewards they would be gaining from having the membership can build a large chunk of loyal customers for the brand. 

What would also help is coming up with an app which has a great user interface and a gamification feature in it which the customer earns a few rewards every time an order has been placed and the game has been played. This would attract more customers towards them. 

Regularly conducting sales fests and ensuring the lowest possible prices for their products, like they used to do before, would definitely attract a lot of consumers as the market is cost sensitive and consumers are always on a hunt to find the retail store which offers them the best value. 

Creative advertising and guerrilla marketing strategies would catch the customers’ attention as they are both attractive and unique. Investing in social media marketing is also a cost-effective way to increase the reach of the brand as social media has now become a widely used platform and has delivered stunning results in multiple occasions.