Retailing Trends

I came across this excellent McKinsey China podcast on e-tailing trends and thought would share the highlights and the links with my readers. I have also added my insights into the blog post:

The super-charged growth of online retail is changing this dynamic and creating incremental consumption. Millions of newly minted shoppers can now log on and purchase goods they could only dream of acquiring just a few years ago. By 2020, China’s e-tailing market may reach $420 billion-$650 billion in sales and add 4-7 percent to the nation’s private consumption. – McKinsey China

Retailing moving from location based to occasion based: With real estate getting more and more expensive, retailing has pivoted its focus from location driven business operations to occasions-based business focused on weddings, birthdays, etc etc.

Logistics & Delivery centers: With the growing e-commerce retailing space and upcoming smaller players in the market, the logistics and delivery centers market has a lot of potential for growth.

Payment gateways: Newer payment gateways need to be introduced for different market sets. Regional or Country-driven systems would emerge and then hook up with the global payment gateways. The importance of foreign exchange management and treasury operations would rise.

Mobile based solutions: With mobile penetration growing in developing countries as well, there would be a higher need for mobile based solutions for retail sales, advertising, consumer need assessment and market reach.

E-commerce platforms: More and more players would emerge, smaller ones of which would focus on niche markets with product differentiation as their key to growth.

Supply Chain Management professionals and solutions: There is going to be more need of supply chain management professionals who would likely have a degree in language as well. A good chunk of products would manufacture in China and knowing Chinese would create a definite connection with the suppliers. Also, more organized supply chain solutions would need to emerge, systems catering to the SME end of the market, not just the big players.

Less jobs for women in retailing; more jobs in logistics (mostly for men): Since traditionally, retail has been a major employer of people, especially women, there will be a decrease in jobs in the traditional retailing sector as companies reduce their square footage of retail space. This could lead to growing number of women entrepreneurs in this vertical with the requisite experience, but energies would need to be channeled in accordingly for that to happen.

Lifestyle change from routine jobs to unstructured enterprises: The nature of work would change for a vast majority of people who would now not expect to work in the safe, secure 9-5 shifts that are time-focused, but instead work on a flexible, results-based (efforts-focused) working model.

Clearly, the retailing landscape will drastically change in the next 15 years with several new names emerging and leading the show.


Thoughts become your Destiny


“Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits build your character. Your character determines your destiny.”

Lessons from Life


Here are few of the lessons that I learnt over the years about life:

  1. You can never make everyone happy, and you’ll be far happier not even trying for that.
  2. Family is not just a group of people you live with, it’s much more.
  3. Friends are an integral part of your life and good friends are often realized after testing times.
  4. Education and literacy are two different concepts. Classrooms won’t teach you everything to become educated.
  5. Life is not in the magnanimous goals, but the little moments that one often takes for granted.
  6. You would miss your school life as soon as you get out of school, and the yearning would only increase.
  7. Money can’t buy everything, but many people that come in your life would struggle to understand this concept.
  8. No matter how much you care about them, few people will be ungrateful and unfaithful – you would have to move on.
  9. The two most important words in any language are ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’.
  10. If you want true happiness, give someone your genuine help without thinking about any reward.
  11. You have to keep your business/profession separate from your personal/social life – and know when it’s either.
  12. Compromise may not be a beautiful concept, but it isn’t as ugly as people tell you it is. It helps you remain humble while keeping your aim high.
  13. If you want wisdom, an easy route is to talk to people under the age of 7 or over the age of 70.
  14. The art of asking the right questions is half the knowledge.
  15. Moderation is the path of safety.
  16. When you’re a ‘nobody’, most people would almost always ignore you; as soon as you’re on your way to growth, success or prosperity, most people would almost always give you more attention than you would expect. Don’t think too much about them – just learn from their behavior. That’s how the world works.
  17. Always be thankful to God for both what He gave you, and what He didn’t.
  18. Get on terms with ‘failure’ – if you accept it faster, learn from it and move forward, you’d be better off.
  19. Long run is not always so long. So keep investing some time, energy and money for the long run.
  20. The ability to keep things in perspective will take you places. Most of the things that happen to you won’t matter in a decade’s time or at least in the perspective of an entire lifetime.
  21. You should gel in with all kinds of people, but never lose your own color because if do the latter, you are no longer you, but just another one of them.
  22. Accept your mistakes. Correct them and apologize quickly, if needed.
  23. Learn from wherever and whomever it is possible.
  24. Travel would broaden your mind, but only if it’s open in the first place.
  25. Don’t accept what everyone tells you at ‘face value’ – most things you hear would need a discount factor before they come near reality.