ShopClues: E-commerce has not killed physical stores, but created a balance with omnichannel: ShopClues’ Ghai

A question that was on everyone’s lips as the e-commerce craze swept across the country during the pandemic – does this mean the end of offline stores as we know them? Interestingly, this never happened. And that’s unlikely to happen, said Radhika Ghai, co-founder of ShopClues and founder-CEO of

Just when everyone thought horizontal e-commerce platforms like Amazon would completely take over offline retail, omnichannel popped up and created a new balance, she said during an interview. a speech at the virtual TiEcon Delhi-NCR Unstoppable India event held on March 24-25.

Speaking about his experience at ShopClues, which was founded in 2011 and became one of the first unicorns in India, Ghai said that back then, e-commerce penetration was practically negligible at 1-2%. Organized retail in India was also less than 20% and it was a very fragmented market. For Ghai and his co-founders, the thought process was that there is no platform that has both supply and demand. This is what they decided to do and therefore targeted level 2, -3 cities.

Over the years, a whole new generation of consumers has emerged, as have other e-commerce players. “Now there is still a generation gap of five years. Back then, everyone said that Amazon was going to eat everyone’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. This time almost all vertical platforms were written off before they even started. But companies like FirstCry and Nykaa have survived because they identified specific customer needs and played their omnichannel presence so well,” she said.

She explained that in Nykaa’s strategy, the consumer could go for the touch of a product, then go back and buy it online or in a store. “We kept talking about how e-commerce was the future until vertical stores FirstCry and Nykaa came along and said no, omnichannel was the way to go. We are now in the next generation where brands like Mom & Co are popping up. We’ve gone from fragmented retail to horizontal space to vertical space and now to highly organized brands and platforms. It’s been a phenomenal retail transition in India,” she added.

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