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RA Chandroo

HIGH FIVE

"Offline experience can be made compelling by using mobile apps"
K Jayakumar, Vice president and Managing Director, WalmartLabs India, on five ways to transplant a great offline experience online

Endless aisle: At the store, there are occasions when a product is in stock but the specific model or size is not available. The concept of an endless aisle — set up, for example, as a brand-specific kiosk at the store — allows customers to immediately order the products they want online. 

Click and collect: Usually pressed for time, customers don’t have the luxury of going to the store and enduring the long checkout lines on a regular basis. Instead, they can compile and save a list of items to be picked up from a specific store at their convenience. Stores can make this experience easy for customers by designing elements like mobile notifications that inform them their order is ready for in-store pick-up. 

Grocery home shopping: Customers can order their groceries online and store associates can put together the order. A delivery van could then drive to a convenient location for a number of customers to come and pick up their orders. The entire process would be smooth, convenient and frictionless. 

Returns experience: In the offline world, when customers are unhappy with their purchases, they have to return it to the store they bought it from. An online returns experience allows customers to just put the product back in the original wrapping and schedule a reverse logistics operation.

Mobile apps: Offline experience can be made more compelling through the use of mobile apps. Whenever customers walk into retail stores, they can ‘check in’ using an app, which will allow them to access the latest discount coupons and offers. Whatever is not available at the store can then be ordered online. The final payment at the checkout line could also be through mobile payments.

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