Retail Trends

How PUMA Used Tech To Dominate The Sportswear Market In India6 min read

August 11, 2021 4 min read

Customer Marketing Associate

How PUMA Used Tech To Dominate The Sportswear Market In India6 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

PUMA credits its rise to being the numero uno sportswear brand in India to tech. The brand has gone the full mile — mining data on a day-to-day basis, investing in marketing automation and digital marketing, making the eCommerce site more intuitive with AI, building product collections to suit search trends on Google & social media — to bring tech to the very core of its operations.

In 2020, PUMA generated a global revenue of roughly 5.23 billion euros. And its eCommerce revenue increased by more than 60%. We recently spoke to Shreya Sachdev, Head of Marketing at PUMA in The Retail Podcast by Vue.ai. The podcast has some interesting insights on how Puma is leading the sportswear industry in India by betting on tech. We thought you should know this!

Here are the top 4 takeaways from the podcast:

DATA EQUALS CURRENCY

Understanding the shopping intent of each shopper requires the use of the right data to be analyzed and put to good use. That’s the only way brands can scale customer experiences. Having said that, Data is currency. It’s important for retailers need to be front and center in its creation, its management, and it’s deployment. PUMA has jumped on the bandwagon in understanding what shoppers are looking for. They are now able to identify what shoppers need, when they need it and how they need it and provide it seamlessly.

Again, it’s true that data forms the very basis of inventory management. Analyzing the right kind of data and making adjustments can never be one size fits all approach. It certainly is an iterative process to fit every customer persona. ‘Every week you look at the data and say, this is what’s working well this is is not working well. This is what is turning out to be a consistent trend and we must do something to capitalize on it. And that’s really how we operate’ says Shreya.

That essentially means that retailers should be looking to invest in tech that can help them not only transition to online rapidly, but also become smarter about their merchandise mix. Onboarding tech can enable digital teams to extract and analyze every ounce of data. It then helps in getting meaningful insights and driving businesses to grow.

DIGITAL FIRST; SOCIAL FIRST ROUTE

At a time when brands were solely focusing on physical-offline branding, PUMA took the plunge to choose digital channels that were almost completely nascent. Understanding the audience, refocusing and accelerating digital marketing strategy was certainly the need of the hour for brands to succeed. And PUMA capitalized on that very aspect . We invested in marketing automation and ensured that it’s not just about the consumer that we have captured, but also about how we reach out to new consumers. We thought we’ll experiment with this and see how it goes.’ says Shreya. Today, the brand drives a large chunk of their revenue through digital marketing.

‘We rationally look at who our consumer is, where they are, what they want to hear from us, and then go ahead with how we do marketing’ added Shreya. It’s certainly not about just being present on these channels but about how curating content that’s new and interesting can yield an engaged audience. Following your audience to a place that they ease into is how brands can build their cult following – 11.7M followers says a lot about their strategy!

INTUITIVE SHOPPING PLATFORM

Did you know? 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.

More often than not, e-tailers do not have direct access to the consumer’s exact shopping intent. But it’s imperative for brands to be intuitive and thus, offer an experience to shoppers that will make them come back again and for more. ‘Typically, with every product launch that we do on social, we mirror it on puma.com as well. And I would want to engage with them in a way that I engage with my audience on social media.’ says Shreya. PUMA has elevated this experience for their shoppers by onboarding tools to make their site spontaneous, educative and engaging. 

Brands should be able to provide a unique version of their eCommerce site which is specifically personalized right from the first click to each consumer. Offering the right kind of products at the right time can result in higher engagement and higher conversions. At the end of the day, personalizing the entire journey to match each customer’s intent is an indicator of a retail success. It’s safe to say that having good data is a prerequisite to personalization in retail. And today, e-Commerce businesses are steadily amping up their sales by embracing tech and data that creates personalized shopping experiences for shoppers. Want to know how? Take a look at the Ultimate Guide on Retail Personalization in 2021.

KEEPING UP WITH THE CONSUMERS!

Tapping into the current trends is a key business move for any fashion apparel brand. It is the only way the brands can stay relevant in this ever changing world. PUMA has been at the forefront of having an innovation-first culture and welcomes newness with open arms. It’s evident from their overall approach with catering to customer demands. ‘That is no lag time between what they’re experiencing (right now) and how that translates to their shopping behavior. So it goes without saying that eCommerce saw an exponential growth and this growth is not something that has slowed down.’ says Shreya. Digitizing their retail business certainly laid down the pathway for them to make better decisions in buying and forecasting.

Overall, brands are constantly looking at maximizing productivity and efficiency. So the question is, how can brands stay on top of their game even when things change so rapidly? High quality, in-depth product data can help brands better understand the split of categories, how they are performing, what’s trending, etc. This way, retailers can prioritize products for better marketing decisions. It also aids retailers to promote each of their products in various channels based on how different categories and products are performing. Here’s an example to help you understand what this exactly means, here’s an example. Click here to learn how Finding The Perfect Pair Of Workout Shoes Revealed eCommerce’s Biggest Problem. 

TO SUM THINGS UP

Meeting consumer demands is not something that can be achieved overnight. It needs to be planned meticulously. Using actionable data and insights to improve business operations will boost technological capabilities, and increase organizational agility to deliver more quickly. It’s not just about digitizing, it’s about staying relevant and be with the consumers in every step of their journey. Companies must look to reimagine customer journeys in order to accelerate the shift to digital channels. PUMA has been able to drive this innovation-first culture in every way possible and fulfill the ever-changing consumer needs.

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