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Engagement with customers, RPA and surging digital activity lead to growth for retail, e-com

On the third day of retail/e-commerce/QSR track of Digital Tech Senate 2020, leaders from Titan, Myntra, NetApp and Western Digital shared that extensive adoption of automation, better safety and hygiene standards, cloud and storage solution, can give an edge to retail and e-commerce companies in Covid-19 times

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Emphasising on the need of aggressive adoption of digital technologies amidst Covid-19, Krishnan Venkateswaran, Chief Digital & Information Officer, Titan at Digital Technology Senate (DTS) of the Express Computer on June 26, 2020, said that Titan was the first company in India to merge the role of modern digital and technology.

While addressing the viewers on the third day of retail/ecommerce and QSR track of the virtual DTS, Venkateswaran added that Titan’s loyalty program was one of the largest programs in the country with 20 million customers.

“The combination of loyalty program and data enrichment results in the magic of personalisation. The company crossed INR 800 crore of attributable revenue of analytics,” he said.

Krishnan Venkateswaran, Chief Digital & Information Officer, Titan

In his presentation titled “Covid and beyond: Reimagining Retail through Technology”, he stated thay the company is witnessing increased digital activities across all Titan brands and in retail there are trends of incremental use of technology which would continue in the future.

“All our sites have increased digital activity in the recent months. We are emphasising on video selling, virtual ‘TryOn’ and home visits to ensure continuous engagement with our customers,” he said, adding, “AI has helped us decide the location of our upcoming stores.”  

Venkateswaran further said omni channel is about being able to seamlessly merge every channel of customer engagement and the priority of omni channel within Titan has gone up.

Cloud cuts down time to build apps 

Meanwhile, Amit Pahwa, Technology Evangelist, NetApp India remarked that cloud has significantly brought down the time to build applications.

Amit Pahwa, Technology Evangelist, NetApp India

Pahwa talked about the role of hybrid cloud and how it provides a single pane view to customers. He said hybrid cloud gives one the ability to move applications seamlessly. 

“The need of the hour is to have security like on-premise data centres on cloud. Efficient computing is needed along with the ability to scale up faster. Organisations need hybrid cloud today for cost optimisation,” Pahwa stated.

He said NetApp’s Cloud Volume product provides scalability of storage on cloud and Data Fabric allows customers to develop applications anywhere, deploy anywhere and secure everywhere.

Myntra sees 86 per cent jump in tier 2 and 3 cities’ customers 

Raghu Krishnananda, Chief Technology Officer, Myntra pointed out that there will be a permanent baseline shift in some industries post Covid-19, including e-commerce, fintech, OTT, edtech, collaboration tools, and gaming.

Raghu Krishnananda, Chief Technology Officer, Myntra

Krishnananda, in his presentation, titled, “How Tech Prepares E-commerce for Post-Pandemic Times”, spoke about a meagre five per cent of e-commerce penetration in India that translates into vast opportunities for various stakeholders.

He said e-commerce penetration in USA rose to 20 per cent from 16 per cent in the initial months of Covid-19 whereas China saw it growing from 25 per cent to 32 per cent.

“We are witnessing emergence of new e-commerce users, especially from Tier two and Tier three cities. Myntra have had partnerships with government agencies to extend support in Covid response,” he said, adding, “Customers from Tier two and Tier three cities at Myntra have increased by 86 per cent”.

He stated that overall, the industry is looking at 75-80 per cent of recovery in the fashion e-commerce space and Myntra has even hired 100 people virtually in the last couple of months.

He spoke about a couple of initiatives like Myntra Studio, Myntra Masterclass and Myntra Move for which the company has collaborated with influencers to keep customers engaged with the brand.

Myntra had introduced automated packing and automated sorting machines to ensure safety. That apart Myntra also used machine learning to provide size recommendations to customers, said Krishnananda.

The e-commerce giant is also using AR and VR for Virtual TryOn program.

WD is fourth powerful company in terms of patents globally

Harsha N, Regional Sales Manager (South), Western Digital on his presentation titled “Enterprise storage offering to increase data efficiency and better the total cost of ownership”, stated the company was the first to introduce portable external hard drives in 2007.

Harsha N, Regional Sales Manager (South), Western Digital

He said in 2013, WD was the first to introduce helium HDD and it is the fourth powerful company in terms of patents.

Limton Xavier, Principal Engineer, Western Digital

Meanwhile, Limton Xavier, Principal Engineer, Western Digital mentioned that the company is actively present in the data centre devices space. He agreed with the fact that the consumption of storage devices has gone up because of e-learnings in the education domain.

Xavier said data growth is among the common challenges in the e-commerce industry today and data availability is one of the biggest concerns at present.

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