For retail leaders, the current climate should be like adrenaline for insight.
Exposure to life outside of our own four walls has for many all but evaporated for over twelve months. In that context some will feel apprehensive about in-store decisions that are looming. How do you move retail delivery forward from here, without exposing the business to unnecessary risk? Perhaps it would be better to take the seemingly safe option of waiting until something becomes a visible threat (and hope by then it’s not too late)? The pandemic has led to many changes. Some are clear to see, some less so. Many know they cannot simply operate as they have in the past. Old assumptions about “the way things are done” that supported years of decisions, are being challenged.
However, rather than delaying until “there is more clarity”, retailers need to actively pursue clarity by sourcing insights that will help them to build a deeper understanding of what needs to be done, and how to do it best. To land in-store initiatives successfully, with confidence.
Future retail success demands a methodical and systematic scrutiny of your current proposition, in-store execution and retail team. The context is dynamic, and every touchpoint in-store is a new opportunity to learn and do better.
There is truth, however, to the adage that too much advice can be a dangerous thing. Right now, retail leaders don’t need loose talk, but support in the ‘right’ actions. Focused and relevant insights are invaluable for this—the kind that get the business (and its people) out of old and fixed thinking, to identify how to confidently move forwards with plans that re-engage shoppers and increase in-store performance.
Top-line insights that can help retailers improve customer-facing activities in-store. Bottom-line insights to optimise brand execution, in-store presentation and retail team capability. Vital insights to improve and build performance and get a business back on track.
The use of in-depth retail insights enabled O2 to gain a clearer understanding of what its customers sees and wanted to see in-store; by conducting detailed store reviews, trends analysis and customer depth interviews, O2 was able to stimulate internal thinking and add focus to retail plans. Similarly, Unilever Premium Beauty used insights to inform its strategic thinking on retail excellence initiatives – a process that saw over thirty retail locations visited as part of plans to reshape the future of its in-store beauty spaces. Other retailers in sectors from fashion to homewares, grocery to automotive, engage and rely on our insights to give them trusted answers to shape and execute better retail activity.
The right insight will touch most, if not all, parts of your retail operation. Probing what does (and should) make your stores different and better from the rest. Assortment, range and space, VM policy, store team capabilities, competitors, and much more.
The best retailers are very deliberate in getting ahead, with relevant insights the lifeblood of clear, informed plans and better decision making. Find the sweet spot between in-store presentation, team engagement and the overall customer experience, and you’ll be well-placed to not only bounce back stronger but lay the all-important building blocks to maintain a position of strength and drive post-pandemic growth.