In the rapidly evolving world of retail, the integration of online and offline channels, known as omni-channel retail, is becoming increasingly important. This was the central theme of a recent talk given by Saurabh Agrawal, Senior Vice President at Lenskart, at MachineCon India 2023.
The Omni-Channel Retail Landscape
Agrawal began his talk by outlining the blurred lines between online and offline retail. The consumer purchasing cycle starts with learning and getting inspiration, which often happens online. The actual shopping can take place in-store, on mobile apps, websites, or social media. Finally, the purchase is made at the most convenient place for the consumer.
While online retail has many advantages, such as ease of discovery, pricing, delivery experience, and returns, offline retail still scores higher in two categories: the ability to try and touch products and getting personalized assistance.
Lenskart’s Omni-Channel Journey
Lenskart, India’s leading eyewear retail chain, started its journey as an online platform in 2010. However, they soon realized that eyewear is not a very online-friendly category. Customers need to get an eye test and see how the frames look on their face. To address this, Lenskart opened physical stores and introduced home try-on services, where customers can get an eye test at home and try on 150 frames.
Five Key Areas of Lenskart’s Omni-Channel Strategy
Agrawal highlighted five key areas where Lenskart has leveraged analytics to drive its omni-channel strategy:
- AR and Personalization: Lenskart uses Augmented Reality (AR) to help customers find the right size of the frame and recommend the right frames based on their face shape. Customers can also try on frames virtually.
- Data-Driven Store Expansion Strategy: Lenskart uses both internal and public data to determine where to open new stores. This has helped them expand from 650 stores to over 1400 stores in three years.
- Managing Online Reputation: Lenskart recognizes the importance of online reputation for physical stores. They optimize their marketing money to drive store footfall and manage their online reputation on platforms like Google Maps.
- In-Store Traffic Measurement: Lenskart partnered with TangoAI to build a low-cost tech to observe the footfall of the store in near real-time. This helps them understand whether a decrease in sales is due to a footfall problem or a conversion problem.
- Infinite Aisle Concept: Lenskart uses QR codes in stores to help customers continue their browsing online, essentially bringing the infinite selection of online shopping into the physical store.
In conclusion, Agrawal’s talk provided valuable insights into how Lenskart is leveraging data and analytics to enhance customer experience and drive business growth in an omni-channel retail environment. By focusing on areas like AR and personalization, data-driven store expansion, online reputation management, in-store traffic measurement, and the infinite aisle concept, Lenskart is ensuring it offers a seamless shopping experience to its customers across all channels. As we move into the future, this approach will be crucial in harnessing the full potential of omni-channel retail.