In the Winter 2017 issue of Total Retail, we asked our editorial advisory board what advice they would give to retailers to help them have a successful year. Below are some of their answers (click here for a full list of of our editorial advisory board, including their titles and companies):
Peter Cobb: Pick five to six key strategies that will turbocharge your business and be relentless in carrying them out.
Richard Last: Embrace a culture of analytics throughout the organization. Behavioral data, customer data, financial data, product data, web/mobile analytics, social data, and socio/demographic data all play an important role in top-line and bottom-line success. Big data should drive not only marketing plans, but also merchandise assortment plans, inventory plans, customer experience and customer care. Successful retailers will treat customer information with the same rigor and discipline that they have long applied to financial information.
Brian Schultz: Find your unique value proposition in a crowded market and go after it through the lens of your customer’s experience.
Jim Garlow: Here are a few things I suggest:
- Invest in in-store technology.
- Use print as your core framework/foundation, but expand your digital marketing.
- Continue to expand your social media presence.
- Continue to use data as a key driver of business decisions. As our election polls highlighted, poor data can lead to unexpected outcomes. Therefore, know what your customer is looking for and map their journey so that you can provide the appropriate product at every milestone.
Lauren Freedman: Start with the customer experience, always keeping the shopper top of mind. Understand their shifting behavior from desktop to mobile. Be diligent in looking at the data to explore their interests in functionality so your road map reflects those desires. Continue to build experiences across all of your channels that reflect parity and empower shoppers to make decisions that are most convenient and compelling for their needs at any given moment.
Mark Friedman: The devil is in the details. You can have the best ideas, but you need to be able to execute on those ideas.
Jenn McClain-De Jong: Stay focused on what’s important to your business. There are so many vendors out there, and there’s going to be a lot of noise during the early quarters of 2017. Remember to put the customer first in all decisions because they’re the ones that matter.
Aubrie Pagano: Focus on technology and a unique value proposition for attracting customers in-store. It’s not to visit your new internet cafe; the experience has to be something more compelling to get them there.