After the experience of exhibiting at an industry expo, we felt it important to reflect on some of the learning from the event. We all know that in the last few years, retail has been at a critical juncture: The rapid growth of online shopping has driven structural changes in the retail model. The proliferation of specialist online stores has driven traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ stores to not only improve their online offerings, but also to improve their customer experience and brand presence.
Here are our 5 key take-aways from the Festival of Retail Ideas 2018
• FOR LUXURY BRANDS, HUMAN CONTACT IS STILL A MAJOR FACTOR.
Key speaker, Fashion Designer and Retailer Amanda Brisking Rettiq is the founder of Mimco, but these days Amanda runs luxury leather accessories label A-ESQUE.
Amanda discussed that in the luxury market, human contact is still a major factor. She points out that with luxury brands, it is not about need, but about creating desire.
Selling luxury products means selling a dream, which is certainly something that goes beyond mere functionality.
You need the human element – a program or piece of technology won’t provide the full level of care, attention and assistance that a shop assistant or customer service team will give. This interaction and engagement is an essential component of providing a luxury experience.
Amanda Brisking Rettiq
• BRANDS AND RETAILERS MUST GEAR TOWARDS MOBILE
Lin Lin Jacobs is the CEO of China International Beauty Expo. She is also the Head of International Relations for All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce Beauty Culture & Cosmetic
Lin Lin spoke about the habits of Chinese consumers and noted that they had almost completely bypassed the PC shopping stage, and had moved directly to mobile. By 2020 forecasts show that more than 70 per cent of Chinese e-commerce purchases will be through mobile.
One Australian study indicated that 65% of time spent shopping online occurred on a mobile device, and much of that product research: Although they may not buy immediately, they will buy in the long run.
Keeping your online retail website mobile-optimized is now crucial to reaching customers effectively.
Lin Lin Jacobs
• CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING!
Unless you are Amazon, you’ll need a good customer experience.
Sean Sands spoke about the importance of the Customer Experience and Experience versus Price.
“Most businesses can’t compete with Amazon on their price proposition and need to create a ‘customer experience’ to make the consumer want to spend time with you”.
Sands says retailers need to think in terms of the customer journey, including everything from online experience to in-store set-ups.
One of the best ways to create a positive customer experience is in policies such as refunds and returns. Delivering this can be a competitive advantage for retailers that can provide customers with something extra.
• WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BE PROFIT OBSSEESSED
For most of us, the bottom line is the bottom line.
However, The Iconic COO Anna Lee, explained that The Iconic measures its success on its Net Promoter Score (NPS) which is currently 88-90, an extremely high score.
Most companies these days are striving to focus more closely on their customers. With web savvy customers blogging and tweeting about customer experience, having a positive NPS means customers are more likely to recommend you to friends and give positive online feedback.
Companies with high NPS, tend to experience sustained growth and good profits: A company earns good profits when it so delights its customers that they willingly come back for more.
• CREATING A GREAT CULTURE, CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE GREATNESS
Happy, productive workers create great customer experiences!
Ross Judd, managing director of Team Focus, delivered a keynote on workplace culture in the retail sector.
Judd starts with the contention that greatness is really the only thing that’s standing out in retail these days, and that culture is at the centre of any attempt to change an organisation to achieve success.
“The first step is aligning your culture with your purpose, then the second step is you need to define the culture you need to achieve your purpose,”
“Align your culture with your purpose, if you haven’t done that, ask yourself what is defining your culture.”
You need to give your people a vision or a dream of where the business is heading – this is where inspiration comes from.