Blog post

The top takeaways from New York's Retail Breakfast Club

Don’t worry if you missed out, here’s our top takeaways for you.

  • Topic
    Retail trends

The first Retail Breakfast Club of 2020 has taken place in New York as part of NRF – Retail’s Big Show. The Retail Breakfast Club concept was launched back in 2014 and brings together talented retail leaders from around the world for a breakfast networking event full of inspiration, insight and ideas.

Serving up the inspiration in New York (alongside coffee and breakfast!) were Anton Granlund, from Slash.ten, alongside Jens Levin and Tim Larcombe, from Sitoo. Together, the three speakers gave their unique perspective on how the industry is changing and what ambitious global brands can do to stay ahead of the competition.

Don’t worry if you missed out, here’s our top takeaways for you:

1. Create brilliant relationships with your customers

Relationships – and the loyalty that comes from building great relationships – are what make the best brands successful. From Nike through to Apple, it’s the brands who have the strongest emotional resonance with their customers who win. The strength of the emotional connection is what lies behind great customer experience which, in turn, drives loyalty.

There’s a huge number of factors in play which help brands build brilliant relationships with customers. Purpose matters as does having strong brand values, with customers becoming ever more discerning when choosing who they buy from. Customers also want to be seen and appreciated, they want smooth and easy shopping, they want personal guidance and suggestions, and they want to be able to ask questions.

Deliver on these four points and you’ll make giant strides towards having happy, loyal customers.

2. Your associates are your superstars

An outstanding customer experience is made infinitely easier by turning your store associates into superstars. They are the heroes in your tale. As Anton Granlund said, having a fantastic culture where your employees can thrive, turning them into your stars, and giving them everything they need to excel at their jobs will empower them to be your brand champions and deliver a first-class service.

From making employee engagement a top priority through to investing in technology which simplifies life for your associates and gives them more time to focus on the customers, there’s many different ways you can invest in your staff and then see the benefits of having happy, engaged, and knowledgeable employees.

3. Real-time retail is essential

From the customer’s point of view, there’s no difference between online and in-store. They expect them both to act and operate in the same way and together – whether that’s for payments and promotions, delivery, loyalty programmes, or inventories.

This means, as an ambitious retailer, you need to have the right systems and technology in place so you can meet these expectations. Real-time data – like the kind you can get when you have a cloud-based mobile point of sale platform in place – gives you the power to sell everywhere and fulfil anywhere as well as transforming other aspects of your business like inventory management and employee engagement.

This is the key piece of the puzzle when it comes to delivering true real-time retail and unified commerce.

4. Avoid ‘the sea of sameness’

Too many retailers fail because they become lost in the sea of sameness. There’s nothing to differentiate them from their competitors and – without a compelling proposition – consumers are more inclined to turn to places like Amazon for their shopping needs.

That’s why, according to Tim Larcombe, retailers have three things to get right: they need a strong point of view, a compelling story and they need strong execution. Success stories and some of the most respected brands in the world, like Patagonia, do this exceptionally well and because they get their point of view and story spot on, execution becomes much easier.

What’s more, the best brands need to be consumer obsessed, asking themselves what the consumer will do, act and feel at all times. The best technology in the world can solve many problems but it won’t change the fact that, at the end of the day, we’re all still human and it’s the human touch which will always set the best brands apart.

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