C-Tailing & Omni-Channel Commerce

Future of Retail

At the recently concluded NRF’s (National Retail Federation‘s),  BIG SHOW 2013, attendees were introduced to an emerging concept in customer engagement by NCR, (the National Cash Register Company).

I actually liked how they positioned this new paradigm – they call it c-tailing (or Converged Retailing) for a C2B marketplace. While traditional business models revolved on either B2B or B2C businesses, C2B lays down that starting now, it is the consumers that will reach out to businesses and enable transactions, rather than the other way around.

Some key highlights:

  1. Digital Discovery through ‘Experiential’ stores – guided by real-time social media reviews, etc.
  2. Take on Showrooming head-on, by enabling WiFi inside the stores and matching online prices
  3. Converged retail models including ‘Buy Online, Pick up at Store’
  4. Personalized web portals for a more relevant online buying experience
  5. Use Social + Mobile to enable Collaborative Shopping

Will be interesting to see how this space evolves. I’m watching closely!

Related links:


LinkedIn on B2B Marketing: An event at Mumbai

Last evening I was invited to attend an event on “B2B Marketing”: Innovative Series – organized by IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) and LinkedIn India at the ITC Grand Central in Mumbai.

While it led to some interesting insights, I figured that there were a few ways to engage consumers in a B2C environment as well – especially if you are into ‘concept selling’ or marketing to Ultra-HNIs. Since these are more ‘influence’-based purchase decsions and typically have longer sales cycles (longer information search periods from a consumer behaviour perspective), B2B marketing principles could be applied here as well.

Gyan apart, a couple of interesting facts were pointed out by Mr. Hari Krishnan, Country Manager, LinkedIn India:

  • The US B2B Market is 129 Billion USD in Size; Out of which 8 Billion USD (6%) is conducted online
  • The Indian B2B Market is 1 Billion USD in Size – Roughly INR 4500 Crores – We didn’t have an accurate statistic about the share of the pie from the Online space here
  • LinkedIn has a total of 11 Million Indian members – that’s approximately 1.1 Crore indians on LinkedIn!
I also discovered a couple of other snippets which might interest a casual reader:
  • Tata has come out with a new portal http://www.tatab2b.com – catering to the SME segment
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto is an interesting book which came out way back in early 2000 about “conversations” that will start happening on the internet!
So much for looking into the future!