The retail market is moving at such a pace right now and there is always so much going on. The latest trends can happen quickly, can come from anywhere in the world and from a wide variety of sources. So, in this episode, I, Oliver Banks, share my most valuable resources to stay up to date with the latest in the retail industry.

I find these resources are a rich source of intel when combined with conversations and discussions – both offline and online. However, I know there are a whole load more resources, so feel free to suggest more in the comments or by emailing me at oliver.banks@obandco.uk. I’ll look to update this page with your suggestions too.

Why is it so difficult to stay up to date?

Firstly, it is worth recognising why it is so hard to stay up to date in the modern world. Surely, with the power of the internet and the convenience of smart phones, it should be easy to discover and consume information?

Well, it is. But, there is a lot of information to consume! And that is only increasing, so I think you know what will happen to this particular challenge.

Plus, the retail market is moving and evolving at a super-fast pace. And the next big innovation could come from any corner of the world and from either big companies or small ones. You need a big net to listen and see what could be happening. So there is a lot to consume and even more to filter through. All in all, it becomes that extra little bit of friction so, what I’ve seen happen before, is that nothing gets consumed. It’s too overwhelming and always ends up near the bottom of the to do list and rolling over from week to week.

So, in this episode, I wanted to share some of the sources and resources that I use. You’ll find 7 different categories below and I’m launching my new transformation update email with this episode. Essentially, this can be an easy way to get the latest retail innovation and transformation news direct to your inbox every week. It’s free to subscribe and receive and you can unsubscribe at any moment in time.

1. Reading the news

Let’s start with perhaps the easiest one. Retail always features prominently in the news as it affects so many people – either throught the large workforce or the fact that everyone engages with retail as a shopper. So, we all have an opinion and vested interest. So, you’ll see that the biggest stories or the most distruptive innovations regularly find their way into newspaper columns or the business news.

You can also set up Google Alerts to continually trawl the internet and send you new content and news articles that get published. This way, you can be notified of news on your particular focus.

2. Getting retail news email newsletters

I recommended 3 options to subscribe to the hot retail news.

These sources are particularly useful for staying in touch with company results and headlines. With lots of struggling retailers, there is plenty of news here, with senior leaders leaving and swapping companies as well as profit warnings etc.

Niall Carter mentioned on LinkedIn that he really enjoys the informative digest sent out by Retail Week, in particular, the long reads which are packed with insight and ideas.

In addition to these, Mo Aly also suggested two sources on LinkedIn which he finds useful and insightful. Thanks for sharing Mo.

3. Be on social media and follow retail influencers

There are loads of social networks to look at, but I would recommend Twitter and LinkedIn for retail transformation. Perhaps your niche is slightly different but I think these 2 networks are best for retail as a whole.

In terms of retail influencers, I’d suggest that you check out and follow:

  • Andrew Busby – gives his opinions with a broad view of the retail market.
  • Natalie Berg – shares on the changing retail market and consumer habits.
  • Miya Knights – who has a particular retail technology focus.
  • Steve Dresser – gives insight and observations on the grocery market.
  • George MacDonald – of Retail Week gives the latest UK based news.
  • Ed Armishaw – creates and shares his a weekly roundup of retail headlines and people moves on LinkedIn.
  • Steve Collinge – is a leading voice in the DIY and home improvement market with insight and news.
  • Steve Dennis – shares his opinion on the latest retail trends.
  • Neil Saunders – looking at hot news topics from the UK and US.
  • Bryan Roberts – with the latest news from the whole market.

4. Read insight from market research agencies

Market research agencies share useful secondary research about retail, consumers and the latest changes. You may find it useful to stay in touch with:

  • Ipsos
  • GfK
  • Kantar
  • Plus many more

Plus, if you need more specific insight, these companies can help you get the intel that you need to help drive your retail transformation and your business forwards.

5. Read insight and reports from big consultancies and other businesses

The large consultancies share research reports and insight on hot topics. You can access these reports for free and they can be good to help give you a different perspective.

You can find interesting insight from (but not limited to):

  • PWC
  • Capgemini
  • Deloitte
  • Bain
  • Accenture
  • And many more too.

You can also get more data from other companies. These will be more specific to their niche and focus area. Examples include recent reports by Ring Central and Geoblink.

6. Listen to podcasts

There are so many podcasts now so do check out others too. Oh, and remember to subscribe to get new episodes of the Retail Transformation Show every single week.

7. Attend conferences and events

There are loads of events. Some are focused on retail. Others have more of a functional focus with insight from various industries. Events can give you access to 3 sets of insight all at once:

  1. Networking with other attendees
  2. Speakers share their insight and opinion
  3. Exhibitors are keen to help out with specific problems and challenges.

Smaller niche events can also be very useful and actionable to help progress your retail business and your retail transformation programme.

Bonus 8. Reading books

Books are a great source of retail thinking by true experts. There are plenty of brilliant retail books, including recent releases:

Please do suggest your favourite retail books in the comments.

And what else…

There will be plenty of brilliant resources that I didn’t cover off in the show. So, why don’t you share, either by commenting below or sending me a message on social media or by email: oliver.banks@obandco.uk. All great recommendations will be included and attributed.

You can connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter (@ollie_banks).

Sign up for weekly transformation briefings

To celebrate this episode, I’m also launching a weekly, email with the latest news – this is your retail transformation briefing. It will include hot discussions, the latest innovations and retail transformation news and links to interesting retail research from around the world.

It’s free to subscribe and you can unsubscribe at any moment in time.

If you need to be thinking about retail transformation, then you won’t want to miss this.

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