With so many challenges facing physical store owners, managers and teams, it’s difficult to see what are the truly critical issues. Retail influencer and Forbes writer, Andrew Busby, lifts the lid on what’s really going on in the shopping marketplace and shares tips on how to survive and thrive in retail.

Listen to this episode to hear:

  • How brand stores are changing high streets and the retail market.
  • Examples of how to become more customer focused.
  • Andrew Busby’s advice to retailers about how to reinvigorate shopping.

Introducing Andrew BusbyAndrew Busby

Andrew is a retail analyst, writer and keynote speaker. Vend have ranked him as one of the top 20 global retail influencers.

He’s the founder and CEO of Retail Reflections. A prolific writer and engaging speaker, he’s regularly writing about the latest retail industry developments on Forbes. He is an IBM Social Commerce Futurist and is a founder or contributor to several retail advisory boards.

Find Andrew on Twitter – @andrewbusby. Or you can find him on LinkedIn or on his website, retail-reflections.co.uk. You can email him at andrew@retail-reflections.co.uk.

Also, be sure to check out his articles on Forbes, with new articles being published regularly.

Previously on the Retail Transformation Show

In episode 35, I started the conversation with Andrew Busby. He highlighted a number of different challenges facing retailers right now. Why some stores and retailers are doing well. What’s the secret sauce that helps define success.

If you’ve not listened to this, go and listen to that now.

Listen to episode 35

A challenge to the whole retail model

What value does the retailer actually bring. A lot of what we’re seeing now is rooted from when retail market expanded in the 1960s and 1970s. Back then, the retailer to customer relationship was very much a “parent child” relationship. 

However, today, the majority of consumers are digitally enabled – with the internet or with smartphones. This offers a challenge about what role does the retailer play – compared to the manufacturer or the wholesaler.

With branded goods, there are so many options available for consumers. With lower barriers to entry and more direct access to consumers than ever before, competition is through the roof. And with branded good, there is a trusted quality and set prices, which removes the biggest points of difference. So, retailers need to really have a reason to choose them.

“What we’re seeing now is a complete shake up of the whole consumer landscape. And again, I think it’s another reason why we’re seeing some retailers really struggling – because they’ve been caught out.”

What should retailers do to make stores successful

You need to give your customers a reason to return to your stores. That reason needs to excite us. It needs to intrigue us and inspire us. If you’re not doing this, why should people come in.

Everyone believes that they are customer centric… but very few actually are. However, there are some exceptions – companies that are really customer centric. Timpsons are a good case study. For example, they empower their teams to resolve issues which in turn, creates a customer focused culture. They are giving their store teams more autonomy. They’re the ones continually meeting customers on a day to day basis.

“Technology is not in itself the answer. You can throw all of the shiny baubles you like at a store. But without that human element then it’s simply not going to work.”

Key takeaways from Andrew Busby

Key actions that you can take to make your stores more successful.

  1. Understand your brand and what relevance it has for customers – why should your customers choose to shop with you. 
  2. Retail is first and foremost a people business – make sure that you empower your people to serve customers in a human and personable way.
  3. Understand your brand and what it stands for – and that will influence your technology decisions.
  4. Don’t let the CFO run your organisation – financial based decisions don’t always result in the best direction for your customers.
  5. Don’t be wedded to out of date KPIs – metrics and measures that were useful aren’t necessarily a good fit in today’s world.

Share your biggest takeaways

So, I’d love to know your thoughts on this conversation. What were your biggest takeways from both episodes with Andrew Busby? What do you think are the biggest challenges in retail today? As a result of listening, what are you going to do differently? 

I would LOVE to hear from you. It would be great to connect with me on social media – just remember to personalise the invite on LinkedIn and let me know that you’re a listener.  

Connect with Oliver Banks on LinkedIn     Follow @ollie_banks on Twitter

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