• Masters failure doesn’t come as a surprise, but what’s next?

    25 August, 2016 Company

    Masters failure doesn’t come as a surprise.

    Australian​ consumers already had a successful, established offering from Bunnings yet Masters failed to deliver a point of difference that appealed to the market.

    Their aggressive store rollout, paired with an inability to differentiate the business, presented a number of challenges and this week Woolworths has confirmed the closure of its Masters stores by December 11.

    A consortium of private investors (including Aurrum Group, Spotlight Group and Chemist Warehouse), will buy the 61 Masters stores and 21 development sites, and has voiced plans to turn the sites into multi tenant large format centres.

    It’s not surprising that they have taken this approach. As retailers with different businesses, the multi tenant format allows them to house their own brands whilst providing customers with the convenience of other complimentary retail offerings.

    It’s an existing formula that makes sense. However, it’s important to acknowledge that Australians don’t want more of the same thing. Customers crave new brands and experiences that raise the bar and exceed expectations.

    After much of the same, hopefully we will see the centres house some new brands that customers can get excited about.

     

  • Retail Winners and Losers – who will come out on top?

    15 April, 2016 Retail

    It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride for Australian retailers.

    Over the last two years, one of our most iconic and longest standing department stores has been privatised, resulting in a South African retail group taking over the reins.

    We’ve witnessed the demise of the Dick Smith chain, then it’s online resurrection, seen Woolies pull the plug on its homewares business Masters, and now there’s speculation about a deal which will see another South African retailer purchase our third largest consumer electronics chain.

    Increased competition and an uneven playing field has been a matter of contention for retailers over the last decade, and it’s only just heating up. Amazon, the world’s largest and most powerful retailer, is eyeing Australian shores – a move which has everyone, from the independent book store down the street, to Wesfarmers, one of Australia’s biggest retail stocks, worried about the impact this will have on the retail landscape.

    Being a fourth generation family retail business, it’s upsetting when Australian household brands change ownership or worse, go into receivership resulting in devastating flow on effects for Australian jobs and families. Yet the reality is that it’s a challenging market, especially within the consumer electronics space and all Australian businesses, no matter how big or small, are facing increased offshore competition.

    There are testing times ahead, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going and in many ways, the current climate is the wake up call the broader retail industry has so desperately needed. But who will come out on top?

    Here are my top predictions for tactics needed to win the retail war:

    Man power - I recently read an article where a retailer boasted that no​t a single staff member manually interacted with an order. Running a lean and efficient system is a must for any online business, however​ ​if no employee ever interacts with an order, the said retailer is clearly outsourcing its customer support; an important window of opportunity where online retailers can put a face to their brand.

    Underestimating the power of human interaction is a recipe for disaster. At the end of the day people buy from people; the biggest fallacy about online retail is that you don’t have to deal with your customers. Invest in your staff and create a culture that breeds exceptional customer service.

    Make lasting impressions - First impressions last, but when it comes to the user journey the last impression trumps; it’s what your customer will remember about your business and likely share with the rest of the world. Retailers that successfully invest in the last leg of the customer journey will leave a lasting impression and reap the benefits.

    Customer Intelligence – Whilst utilising customer data is nothing new, we’re yet to see retailers successfully augment CRM, analytics and telephony data sets. Adopting a scientific approach to all data will help forge closer relationships with customers and lead to more tailored and streamlined user experiences.

    Greater Transparency - Trust is key. Retailers that are upfront and honest with customers will earn respect and repeat business. Compare the Market’s decision to disclose the fee it receives through selling health insurance is just one recent example highlighting the growing importance of transparency.

    Instant Gratification – Whether it’s communication, delivery or post sale customer support, retailers need to scale to cater to heightened customer expectations. This won’t be an easy task, especially considering Australia is one of the most geographically difficult countries to operate in, but the speed at which orders are fulfilled will be a top consideration for consumers.

  • Apology note

    17 April, 2015 Company Marketing

    This week we made the decision to end our partnership with Stencil (a third party social media agency who Appliances Online has used since 2013) after we discovered that they had been using content on Appliances Online’s Facebook page and not crediting the original source nor asking for permission.

    We were of the belief that this content was being created originally or purchased from 3rd party websites and image libraries such as this post which uses a stock image from shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com/s/hot-cross-bun/search.html

    As a blogger myself (albeit in a very small league of my own) I respect the importance of original content and myself and Appliances Online are truly sorry that some bloggers have had their content inappropriately used on our page.

    I want to also mention that we fully respect the importance of original content. We employ our own full time Australian based copywriter team, content creation team, photography team and videography team in house who all do an amazing job creating original content for our blog, website and many of the other posts for our social media channels.

    Whilst we weren’t aware that this was taking place, we are taking full responsibility for the lazy actions made by the agency we employed. We are in no way trying to pass the buck and are in the process of reaching out to the bloggers involved so that we can work with them to try and make this situation better.

    We would like to rectify this and are open to suggestions by those affected as to how we may be able to do this. I am personally involved and working with my team to work with these bloggers to resolve the situation. Some we have spoken to already, others we have reached out to and some we are trying to get contact details for.

    Hopefully this post will assist us in making contact with those impacted. My email is john@winning.com.au for anyone who would like to get in touch with me or pass my details onto anyone who has been affected. I will also be happy to provide my personal mobile number on request to those involved.

     

  • My 50 rules for life that I try and live by, put on paper for the first time

    28 October, 2014 Company

    1.  Be Cheeky, have fun with whatever you are doing – just try not to offend anyone.

     

    2. Try to know when you are welcome and when you are not.

     

    3. Think before you speak. I was told this a lot growing up and I feel that since leaving school I have become better at it and it has really changed the way I am perceived. 

     

    4. Always try to treat people better than they treat you and watch at how they change the way they interact with you over time.

     

    5. Start relationships with everyone equally; whether they are the cleaner in your office or your favourite actor on TV. Do this and you will be surprised at how often you enjoy getting to know one as much as the other.

     

    6. Hug a friend rather than shaking hands, it just feels better.

     

    7. Surround yourself with people that you want to be like and you will find that you naturally will.

     

    8. Speak to strangers in elevators and queues, you will be surprised at the little joy it will give you and the interesting people you will meet.

     

    9. Help those that want to be helped, as you will find it a better use of your energy than those that don’t.

     

    10. Shock people by changing things in your life, it feels good to keep them guessing and I think they enjoy the surprises too.

     

    11.  Know that you can do anything you want to. If you think you can’t do something just remind yourself that it’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just that you have chosen not to dedicate the time it would take to do it. This has been something I have been doing in my life for as long as I can remember and it has worked wonders over the years and I have noticed that most people I respect carry a strong ‘can do’ attitude. 

     

    12.  Break rules, just not ones that will get you in too much trouble, offend or insult anyone.

     

    13.  Enjoy what you do and if you don’t, change what you’re doing today not tomorrow.

     

    14.  Don’t make excuses and admit when you’re wrong.

     

    15.  Put yourself outside of your comfort zone deliberately and regularly. Whether it’s talking to someone you are attracted to or wearing a piece of clothing that you think you can’t pull off.

     

    16.  Take calculated risks and lots of them. Just measure them and make future risks more calculated as a result. A good friend of mine calls this failing forward. 

     

    17.  Don’t try to be perfect; close enough is more often good enough. The last 2% normally takes the longest and returns the least. Obviously there are exceptions such as if you are sending a man to the moon or doing brain surgery but in general life I find doing lots of things well is more rewarding than a few things perfect. 

     

    18.  Trust people, you will get burnt and let down, but over time you will get better at knowing who to trust and all the time in between feels so much better.

     

    19.  Don’t dwell on your mistakes, learn from them and move on.

     

    20.  Try new things, I promise there are better things out there than what you currently know, you just need to find them.

     

    21.  Make new friends, there are great people out there and you are passing them everyday wherever you go. Talk to someone and see what you have in common.

     

    22. Listen to music when you get a chance, it can inspire great thoughts, can make a good time feel better or cheer you up if you’re down. Plus it opens up parts of the brain that otherwise don’t get used.

     

    23. Partake in random acts of kindness; it’s amazing the feeling you get by doing nice things for people that don’t see it coming.

     

    24. Worry about what people think about you, not everyone but the people that you are close to and respect because if they think less of you then it’s probably time to take a look in the mirror.

     

    25. Opportunities are all around you, look for patterns in the things that you are most happy with in your life and how they came about and you will start to see trends of how to recognise and create these opportunities.

     

    26. Take opportunities when they present themselves, even if it doesn’t seem convenient at the time.

     

    27. Always keep moving forward, you might get set backs but don’t stop, just pick yourself up and keep pushing forward.

     

    28. Set bigger goals for yourself; whatever goals you have set are not big enough, I promise you that you are selling yourself short. Set some goals so big that there is no way imaginable that you could ever possibly reach them. By doing this you will be surprised at what you will be able to achieve by reaching higher than you currently are.

     

    29. Try not to always have an agenda.

     

    30. Spend less time watching TV and on social media.

     

    31. Spend more time outside, the sun is good for more than a tan.

     

    32. Try to exercise at least twice a week. I struggle with this but when I do I feel noticeably better. 

     

    33. Gain the respect of the people you work with, if you don’t then your work life will be miserable and won’t go far.

     

    34. Be confident all the time, even if it has to be a fake confidence. You will eventually find yourself not needing to fake it.

     

    35. Ask dumb questions, not only will you get the answer and quickly become more knowledgeable but you will be surprised how often others were also wanting to ask but didn’t have the guts. Plus if it’s a really dumb question you might make people laugh and you can join in, sometimes it feels good to laugh at yourself.

     

    36. Don’t take life too seriously.

     

    37. Don’t lose sight of what makes you happy, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine chasing something that isn’t that important and lose years of your life.

     

    38. If you feel that you aren’t good enough for something just act as a person that is and over time you will find that you aren’t acting anymore.

     

    39. Take holidays and make an effort to reset, re-evaluate and re direct what path your life is on.

     

    40. Be the best at what you’re doing, there is no point in doing a job for the sake of it even if you feel it is below you. Plus it’s more fun being the best or striving to be the best at something. You will find that it will open many doors to things you might prefer doing.

     

    41. Help out a co-worker even if it isn’t your responsibility.

     

    42. Try to be the most knowledgeable person in the room on the topic you are talking about and if you are not, think hard before you speak.

     

    43. Work with friends and if you don’t, make friends with work colleagues. Not work friends but real friends you would enjoy spending time with outside of work. If they aren’t your cup of tea try a new tea or change jobs. Work without friends would be miserable.

     

    44. Actions speak louder than words but intentions are far more important than actions. As time goes on I find that the people with the best intentions prevail.

     

    45. In life always pick the secret prize behind the curtain rather than the known prize that’s shown, unless of course you are at a casino.

     

    46. Simplicity is the greatest form of sophistication.

     

    47. Coincidences are rarely that.

     

    48. At your lowest lows stay hopeful and at your highest highs stay humble.

     

    49. Realise that you can influence the world around you, just don’t live within your surroundings.

     

    50. Ask yourself everyday, if I was gone tomorrow how would I be remembered. If you don’t like the answer then change how you act.

  • Reflecting on 30 years

    Company

    Part 1 of 2

    I wrote this blog whilst sitting on a plane from Sydney to Paris on my way to attend the Oracle World Retail Awards. The Winning Group were finalists in three out of the nine categories and Appliances Online won the award for Best Customer Experience for any retailer globally online or offline.

    It’s a pretty fulfilling achievement when your company’s mission is “To provide the best shopping experience in the world”.  It is only now that it has hit me at what we have been able to achieve in the past nine years.

    When I look back at the team that we have and the passion and hard work that has gone into getting us to this point it is easier to believe but when I look at the bigger picture it absolutely blows me away at where we are today and I would have never thought 10 years ago that we would be in this position a decade later.

    To give some background for those that don’t know me well, I grew up in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and went to what is probably one of the top schools in the country however I was probably one of the worst students at the school and would be a classic case of the student that just didn’t apply himself; you could have said school wasn’t for me. I never really did homework if I had any possible way of getting out of it, my Dad, who is a carpenter by trade, was aware and had always said to me that he was okay with this as long as I learnt what I needed and realised that life starts the day that school ends.

    University wasn’t an option for me after how I had treated school studies but that was fine with me as I didn’t really want to go anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time at school and I had a ball and made some great friends. I was definitely the class clown but I think that teachers for the most part understood my humour and realised that I wasn’t trying to be disruptive to others or disrespectful to them but more brighten everyone’s day a little with occasional humour. Of course I was normally punished for such cheeky actions or remarks but never anything too serious.

    I really tried to enjoy my time at school first and learn what I needed along the way. I don’t remember putting much effort in during my final year and I think I left most HSC exams before even getting close to finishing them, I guess I just knew somehow that if I was relying on my HSC mark for my future then my future was not going to look very bright so I think subconsciously I did this to not put a grade on myself.

    It is interesting to look back 13 years on at the kids that had applied themselves and almost given up a good portion of their school and teenage years to do what they are doing now. Some obviously quite successful and on their way to impressive careers and others that have worked out that there is more to life and doing some really humble jobs that make them happy. I’m not saying that by my definition I am any more successful or happy than any of my peers, I just think it is really interesting to be able to observe where they are each at and who seems the happiest.

    From school I applied for a job advertised as a direct marketer, which I quickly found out, was a door-to-door salesman role. This was really what broke me into working life. It was tough, you worked long hours and a lot of the time you could work a 12-hour day and have lost money due to making no sales and having spent money on public transport and lunch. It was tough but it was also a really great time in my life where I met some amazing people, almost all of whom I regret not making more of an effort to stay in touch with. It really taught me some great skills and life lessons that I have kept with me to date. I eventually quit this job after being attacked by a dog and ending up in hospital in Newcastle, but that’s a longer story.

    At this point I found myself at home unemployed and with a little money saved up that I figured could last me a month or two if I watched what I spent. This unfortunately was not something that I got to enjoy as my Dad had given me a deadline of Monday to find a job or join the family business and sure enough come Monday morning he woke me up and I was working in the warehouse for my family’s company Winning Appliances. I might point out that I had always said that I didn’t want to work for Winning Appliances as I had grown up at school reminded by others of how easy my life is because I can just go into the family business. Years of this made me determined not to join the family business. I remember always thinking that I would do something creative like photography, not that I had ever taken this up or shown any signs of artistic ability, I just thought it would be more stimulating than working in retail.

    So here I am 30 years old, the class clown from school that had grades so low I truly can’t even remember what they were. I had never thought I would go into the family business or any type of retail for that matter and I am sitting on a plane about to speak about retail at the World Retail Conference in Paris and running businesses that are nominated for three of nine awards. Mind you, it is extremely rare that any Australian retailer be nominated for a World Retail Award let alone have three nominations and win a major one.

    So I have just asked myself what I think has led to me being in this position and I believe that it is obviously partly a case of the right place at the right time as with many success stories. In saying that, I also truly believe that if you look at the most successful people in the world they were not always the brightest students but in many cases they just had their own way of doing things which seemed to work for them.

    This has led me to try and put on paper what I believe are the little life lessons, rules and other things that I may have heard along the way. These are things that have resonated and worked for me in my life to date and led me to where and who I am today. I am sure also that if I revised this list in another decade it will look completely different but I guess that is growing up. Many of these have come in recent years, some I have come up with myself, some I have picked up from family or friends and others may be more well known, I apologise for not stating any sources as I truly don’t remember where and when I have picked each of these up from.

    Refer to my next blog post for my personal 50 rules for life.

  • Street Talk

    11 June, 2014 Company

    Well it has been an interesting day for me waking to many phone calls, emails and texts about an article that ran in today’s paper. After actually reading it I can now safely say that the information contained within the article is speculative and has a few errors.

    For starters my family’s business is called Winning Appliances not Winnings Appliances, the business is 108 years old not 107 years old and no, we have not appointed Macquarie Capital, Goldman Sachs or any other brokers for IPO. Like any growing business, we examine our options from time to time however speculation that we have made a decision to IPO is incorrect.

  • Knowing your target audience

    15 April, 2014 Company

    Whilst driving home this week an advertisement on the back of a bus caught my attention and not because of its smart positioning, but because it completely demonstrated the brand’s lack of understanding of its target audience and relevance in today’s world.

    The ad included images of a mobile phone and a touch pad device, but then offered the complete opposite, a book, as a solution to its customers needs. Although the execution of the ad tries to draw attention to what it thinks is an advantage for who would use their product, positioning a book next to the smartphone and touch pad device, it more draws attention to its own shortcomings; an inability to adapt to an increasingly technology led world. It also in my opinion targets the wrong market, as it appears to be trying to convince existing smartphones users that the technology has flaws and a book is a better option.

    Even if the brand is targeting baby boomers, they have made an assumption about the interests of this market not engaging with technology. I only have to look at our own company, pure play online retailer, Appliances Online, to know that it counts to do your research and get the message right, as a significant part of our customer base is over 55 years of age. My dad never thought the business would work, he used to say to me who would buy appliances online? Well times change… and quickly, so retailers and brands need to keep up.

    I would argue that our traditional bricks and mortar competitors would have a far better chance of success in advertising to their existing customers that have not yet shopped online or even to renovators, rather than trying to win back someone who has made a convenient, quick and well researched replacement appliance purchase with us. In this instance I would think that we would win every time, and so we should because our business model was originally built specifically for this niche and we have a clear advantage here over a traditional retailer.

    Understanding your potential customers is fundamental to business success. If you miss the mark, you clearly need to go back to the basics.

    Researching the right channels to reach your target market — not every channel will be worth the investment to connect with your customers. It will take time, but will save you a lot of money and resources, to pinpoint what mediums your customers are accessing and engaging with and where they are located.

    Know your strengths – and advertise them. Even better know your unique selling points and strengths that are unique to you if you have some. If not then maybe start here.

    Utilising the right messaging and content to connect with customers — once you have an understanding of who your customers are, it’s important to gain a deeper awareness of their profiles to ensure that you tailor your content and messaging to meet their current and future needs and interests. The advertisement I saw on the bus included messaging and imagery, which would have no impact on their target market and could hurt their brand reputation.

    Building brand reputation through ethical marketing– in an age of fast consumerism and an abundance of advertising opportunities, the brands that understand their target audience and take care and consideration into how they promote to customers and how often, will build brand reputation and loyalty. It is key to wisely invest time and money advertising to potential customers rather than non-potential customers. In this example, it’s fair to say that people driving behind a bus would be potential customers, but also that a bus spends plenty of time in bus depots, at bus stops and points of transit between different forms of public transit. Not to mention that this bus was in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, where I would assume the penetration for smartphones and technology devices is quite high.

    Assessing whether your customer base changes over time – while you might have outlined to target a specific market in your original business plan, you need to constantly engage with your customers to ensure that you are using the correct messages and products for who is actually buying from you.

    Offering your customers opportunities to provide you with feedback - it will be obvious from your sales figures whether you are hitting the mark with consumers or not. Offering customers numerous opportunities and ways for them to provide you with feedback about a product, service or your company in general, will enable you to have a clearer understanding of who your audience actually is and what they need and want.

    Try market research - Market research can help with almost all of the above points and is an invaluable tool if used correctly and with the right purpose. It can certainly be expensive and sometimes not cost effective, but it also does not need to be done every month or even every year. Any long established business that has never done market research would benefit from the results even if they think they know their business and customers inside and out. I believe that in this example it could have even been better executed if they asked five random smartphone users in the street what they thought of the ad.

  • How to navigate the online retail obstacle course

    11 February, 2014 Company Online Retail

    With online retail sales continuing to rise at double-digit levels towards the end of 2013, there will be an abundance of growth opportunities for online retailers in 2014, if they can handle the pressure.

    Navigating your business around the challenges that this year will bring requires a focus on service, technology, stock and logistics – 2014’s holy grail of online retailing success.

    There were a lot of online retailers last year testing the balances of investment and support across these areas, resulting in wins and losses and some that had no impact at all. The businesses that can fine-tune this mix and leverage it will reap the rewards.

    Some of the obstacles that online retailers can expect in 2014 include:

    Increasing logistic costs

    Predicted growth will make it difficult for online retailers to efficiently manage inventory levels and increased delivery demand, as they scale up and attempt to meet the growth. Long-term investment in logistics is required to handle the more demanding times of the year without impacting other parts of the business and your bottom line.

    Pressure on service levels

    Service is king in retail and ‘taking your eye off the prize’ will be one of the greatest challenges in 2014, as other priorities become more demanding. Service levels will be under pressure as online retailers bear the brunt of increasing overheads in the areas of logistics and technology.

    E-complicated

    Technology departments and resources will be stretched to keep up with the business model changes that the market will demand of online retailers to remain competitive and industry leading.

    The agility of a business’s technology platforms and programs, in addition to the talent of its technology staff will be tested and online retailers that have been investing in customisation over the past few years will come off better than those who have been slow off the mark.

    Being accurate with inventory

    One of the biggest challenges any retailer has is ensuring that they have the right product mix and stock levels at all times. The pressure of being price competitive and having more competitors in the market in 2014 could lead online retailers to broaden their inventory in an effort to capture more of the market.

    But there is a smarter way to compete. Online retailers that invest time and money in getting to know their customers will have the right product mix creating invaluable inventory.

    Rising offshore competition

    Australia’s strong economy will attract more international retailers to target Australian consumers. This could have a positive and negative impact on the industry – while the influx of offshore retailers will see increased online options for Australians, local online retailers who fail to stay ahead of the curve in regards to delivery and technology could also be left behind.

  • How to handle rapid online growth

    2 October, 2013 Company

    Looking around at the industry it’s hard not to notice that many online retailers are currently facing a fork in the road moment due to achieving strong growth. How to handle growth on this scale is one of the biggest tests I’ve faced as a CEO.

    For the first years of business the challenges of our growth were met easily with simple solutions. Then came a point when we knew we had really made an impact on the market – we had found success, but also issues.

    At one point we had to put a stop on all national marketing, as we simply weren’t able to deliver anymore orders during a pre-Christmas period. When you suffer from growing pains like this, you have to make some defining decisions.

    Whether you are a small business just starting out on your growth path, or a larger business either looking for external growth partners or trying to handle growth internally, there are a few crucial things to take into consideration that could lead you down a more stabilising path.

    • It’s time for your role to change - Business owners faced with rapid growth will need to shift their focus towards opportunities and let go of all the facets that makes your business grow. You need a senior executive team that you trust to run different business segments.
    • You need to be connected to the future of the business - How many times have you heard the phrase ‘business isn’t personal’? I do agree with this to a certain extent; however you can’t be disconnected from your business if you want your business to flourish – even if you have an exit strategy. Your business has a personality, values and behaviours, which need to be nurtured to ensure it handles growth and can be set up for the rest of the company’s life.
    • Transparency becomes more important than ever - Being transparent and communicating with your employees throughout rapid changes of growth will help make any transition smoother. A united team is more likely to fend off any issues and rally together to overcome growing pains.
    • Don’t overcommit yourself, stick to your original offering - One of the most appealing things for a business owner to do when facing rapid growth is to commit to something new to solve issues. Remain true to your business’s original offering, to what got you to this point of growth, because it will be the same thing to grow you into the future.
    • Assess your operations and infrastructure - More often than not, the operational side of your business is where the cracks start to appear. Whether it’s the size and capability of your warehouse, your office location or reporting lines you should assess all facets of your operation and see how it can be improved.
    • Do your homework and plan - When I started out in business, planning wasn’t one of my strengths, but I’ve come to rely on how crucial it is. Not only should you review your business plan on a consistent basis, long-range planning can do a lot to relieve issues associated with growing too fast.
  • Inspiration is at the heart of the new retail experience

    20 August, 2013 Company

    There’s lots of “doom and gloom” retail stories floating around, and if retailers can’t see that they need to wake up, mix it up and start experimenting, they will be left behind to smell the roses.

    New retail is about creating unique experiences and something that has its advantages despite the platform.

    To engage Australian consumers who have an abundance of choice, you must inspire them and give them an experience. Whether it be in a shop front, through the experience of touching and feeling and getting wowed by amazing displays and the aromas of food cooking in a kitchen; or whether it’s online and having the convenience when your fridge dies at any time of the day and night that at the click a button you will have a new one delivered before your food goes off.

    It’s about pushing the boundaries at every angle and that’s what is going to change retail around the country and across the world. It’s something where we will also see some retailers survive and some fall by the wayside.

    US fashion house Kate Spade and eBay are examples of retailers pushing the boundaries and offering consumers a retail mash-up with the introduction of a 24-hour touch-screen window-shopping experience and with delivery of the goods anywhere in one hour.

    This is genius as it offers consumers a mix of online and in-person shopping through its 24-hour window shops and confirms that consumers can shop anytime, anywhere.

    Tesco in the UK is about to unveil a new store that’s focused on offering shoppers a leisure experience, inviting them in to experience different stores within the store, such as a nail bar, a baby area which will host baby singing classes and food concept areas. Tesco is going above and beyond the product offering and focusing on building a community.

    Both of these examples demonstrate the importance of targeting the senses, but also highlight that new retail is about exceeding customer expectations and creating compelling retail experiences.

    So how do you evolve and become part of the new retail?

    Ensure you’re agile – agility is important in the innovation process, as tweaks to concepts will need to be made and you will have to make changes to your business quickly and efficiently.

    Be guided by your customers – listen to what your customers want; they are your source for new concepts.

    Invest in technology – technology will bring efficiency to your business and it will be the backbone of your innovations, whether that’s an online offering or development staff working on the next big thing.

    Don’t discount the mash-up of retail – I often talk about not being able to distinguish between offline and online retail, as good value and good customer support are not platform specific.