India is a very interesting emerging market, and it reached 1st place in the A.T.Kearney 2005 analysis on the Countries that offer the most developing opportunities in the retail field. In spite of its “young age” in the modern distribution field, it is already possible to observe some innovative retail concepts, useful both to better understand the rapid evolutions of the local market, and to collect some interesting reflection stimuli.
Even in India the theme of global experience of the client in his/her purchasing process is becoming more and more important, influencing the sales planning of the settings. The case that we study today is linked to the home and decoration world, a sector that deeply involves the emotional spheres of the customer, and that, however, often – even in our market – become discouraged by the shopping experience. In India, the market of varnishes and paints have reached the value of 1.5 billion dollars, with an increase of over 10 % a year in the last five years. An interesting market, stimulated by the real estate boom, both quantitative and qualitative: growing population groups aim at high living standards, both for extravagant dynamics, both for the self-realisation behaviour in the domestic sphere. Influenced by the most modern cultural models, and stimulated also by the cinematographic imagination and by the films of great success of these past years (Bollywood current and thereabouts), the Indians are those who spend more for home decorations, and they want to be more and more involved in the choices related to the interior setting, starting from the colours and the wall decorations.
From the recent research on the behaviour and attitudes of the Indian population, it has resulted that the process of the apartment paintings is considered complex and difficult, and that the great majority of people is lacking the techniques on the different types of paint and painting possibilities. Moreover, a strong interest in global solutions, that could simplify the decision-making process, orienting the most indicated choice of colours and shades has been revealed, for the type of habitat in respect to the tastes of those who live in the home.
A scenario of expectations that contrasts with the current Indian reality, characterized, above all, by varnish retail shops very undifferentiated, that sell the product commodity of the settings that are more of warehouses than of stores. Only one innovation has characterized the recent market: the arrival of specific machines for wall painting, that offer the possibility to supply a higher number of tonalities. The concept of the interaction of the customer with the product (varnishes, ranges, finishings) is practically inexistent, and often the purchasing process becomes an experience to forget.
ICI Paint India is the national division of the ICI group worldwide leader in the production of varnishes and paints, that has decided to develop a new concept in order to reinforce the importance of the brand in the sales channel of varnishes, creating a place where to facilitate a profound relationship between customer and product, emphasising the pleasantness of the purchasing experience. Deciding to create an experience space and not that of sales, the company has aimed to a reduced area (80mq), in a modern and highly trafficked location, in the Metropolitan Shopping Centre, in New Delhi.
The innovative intention of the shop-showroom already transpires from the outside of the location, from the pay-off, close to the sign, “Color Inspiration”, and from the image in the window of a genie, that recalling Aladin’s lamp, promises to make every wish of the customer come true. It is enough to go into the store to look around and express your needs and tastes; it would even be more effective if you brought pictures of your home as suggested by ICI. The layout of the showroom has its dynamism, being articulated with some niches that the customer can see and touch several finishing typologies in their tangible realisation. There is informative material that moreover illustrates the characteristics and the advantages of each product. Several wall typologies are represented, and a digital totem allows to virtually illustrate the effect of the different finishings, and the infinite range of possible variations.
The soft lighting in the main ambience and accentuated lighting in the niche, is designed so as to emphasize the product. The customer assistance area, with the experts and further information tools on the product (material, demo samples, etc.) is intentionally placed at the back of the store, in order to give the customers great freedom while exploring the offer.
Here the consultant supplies practical suggestions and indications, and invites the customer to make an appointment with the ICI person in charge to come to his/her home, so as to evaluate in detail how much paint is needed after the precise measuring of the surfaces, and to establish the definitive ordering. As a complementary service ICI also offers the possibility to contact an artisan in agreement with ICI to carry out the work. And the magic of the genie, maybe a bit naïve to us, but effective for the Indian context, seals and excellent purchasing experience for the customer.
- Innovation Keys
Space dedicated exclusively to the sensorial and consulting involvement
- Competitive and discrete assistance
- Reassurance ability and guidance in the choice
- Complementary services: Virtual Rendering, integrated services with artisans, …
Partner Kiki Lab
Photos by Ramms India