Blog post

Top tips for retailers from the best in the business

We've collated some of the best tips from some of the most innovate brands, and retailers working in the industry, right here.

  • Topic
    Retail trends

One of the best things about what we do is the opportunities we get to speak to some of the most innovative brands, businesses, and retailers working in the industry.

From our amazing customers through to our partners and in-house experts, we have access to some of the best and brightest minds working in retail today. They share their insight with us and now we’re sharing it with you.

We know in retail that, to be successful, you have to stay ahead of the game. If you standstill, you’ll get left behind. There’s always the challenges to work smarter, deliver better CX, streamline operations, keep store associates happy, and much more.

To help you meet these challenges (and give you a healthy dose of inspiration), we’ve pulled together some of the best tips, advice, and ideas we’ve been given so far in 2023. 

Claus Thykjær – Head of Retail at Hummel

1.The future depends on omni capabilities. Invest in the right tools and tech that will make life easier for your store associates and make your stores run more smoothly. Yes, we’re living through a time of some economic uncertainty but now is the time to act. If you stand still and don’t invest in solutions for the future, you’ll get left behind. This is especially true when it comes to omnichannel. You absolutely need to make sure you have omni capabilities because your future will depend on it.

2. Put your people first. People are one of the three Ps of our Company Karma. The more you give to your people, the more they’ll give back to you. Train your employees and give them the right tools so they can provide fantastic shopping experiences for your customers.

3. Physical shopping experience is key. Make your stores the coolest stores – with the coolest shopping experiences – there are. They should reflect your brand, look great, feel great and your customers should love spending time in them.”

Learn more about the unique business ethos of Hummel here.

Sebastian Juul Jensen – CX Manager at Shaping New Tomorrow

1. Think outside the box. The most important thing is to dare to do things differently and think differently. Don’t be afraid to invest in doing these things.

2. Use the store as a gateway to the online experience. Going to a store has been the same for many years but make sure people recognize that it’s more than just a purchasing experience, that it actually becomes something that improves their day. And tie everything together. Make everything more seamless and use stores as more than just stores because they are more than places just to sell – use them as inspiration and a gateway to the online experience (and vice versa). 

3. Don’t underestimate the human experience. Also remember that real interaction is always going to be super important. People are increasingly going to want human experiences and your stores are the perfect place to give them these.”

Bård Kvamme – Director at Norrøna

1. Be clear on your concept and be true to your strategy. Have your finger on the pulse with the tech you use and get as close to your customers as you can. The time when associates had to phone tech support ten times a day is thankfully long gone. Invest in systems you know are going to make you and your associates better – and that benefit your customers.

2. Stay agile. Being agile with your systems – and having systems in place that can react quickly to market changes or customer behavior – is really important for the future. It gives you the ability to be agile which is what you need to be successful. It’s changing the way we work and has already proven to be a huge benefit for us.

Discover Norrøna’s secrets to success here.

Rod Kilgour – Chief Operating Officer at Sitoo, former CIO at Tiger of Sweden

Don’t forget about the generation to come. Retailers should invest in solutions that are intuitive and simple to use. Gen Z and future generations who are going to become store associates don’t know what a user manual is because they’ve never had to use one. They expect to pick something up and know instinctively how to use it. It’s another reason why retailers need a best-of-breed mindset when it comes to retail solutions.”

Learn more about customer experience with Rod here. 

Kasper Obel – Retail Director at Les Deux

1. Give your customers a reason why. Customers crave convenience and, with this, you need to give them a reason why they should invest time in going to your physical store – especially when it’s so easy and cheap to buy everything online. Figure out the reason why you exist and how you can tell this story to your end consumers.

2. Every detail counts. Everything you do adds up to creating the end experience for your customers and every detail counts. Retail is one of the toughest industries and it’s why you need to constantly be looking at the details because that’s where it really counts. Everyone running retail for the past few years knows it’s not easy and you’re not going to have everything handed to you but never give up.

3. Constantly be with the consumer. Finally, be where your customers are. You need to always be in touch and in tune with your customers wherever they are. And you have to give them a convenient, fun experience.

Nikos Delinikos – Global Operations Manager at Eton Shirts 

1. Understand the next generation. If I was a CEO today, the most important thing I’d be doing is trying to understand the next generation and the new customers – because they don’t shop like our parents did. Ask yourself: “Where are they? What do they think? What do they want?”

If you don’t connect with these customers then, eventually, you’ll be out of business. Understanding new behaviors is key and one of the ways of doing this is to open locations in the best places where these people are – then you’ll be able to understand them better.

2. Understand that retail is about building relationships. Take the automotive industry as an example. Polestar, the Swedish electrical car company, opened a store on the busiest shopping street in Stockholm. It’s something no car retailer has ever done before. It’s a showroom, with one car in it, but every other car is offered digitally. But they are where their customers are rather than being 20 minutes outside of the city in a warehouse with 500 cars. Tesla and Ikea are now doing the same thing. They’re focussing on building smaller locations in higher footfall areas and this is what I mean when I say retail is about understanding the environment and building relationships.

Read more about Nikos’ views on the latest retail trends here.

Jörgen Ingelström – Chief Strategist at Sitoo

1. Experiment on both ends of the pendulum. What retailers are realizing is they need to find a way of combining the two sides of the pendulum so customers can have an incredible in-store experience (if that’s what they want) but they can also have the convenience of a seamless transactional experience too.

And the best way for retailers to deliver positive shopping experiences every single time – no matter what the customer wants – is to experiment on both ends of the pendulum to see what works. This experimentation coupled with innovation and the ability to adapt and change quickly is much easier to do with the right mindset to retail software.”

Read the interview with Jörgen on how to unlock the innovation in retail tech here.

More reading

Alongside this advice, we’ve also put together two different guides which you can download for free.

You can learn how changing your mindset to retail software can transform your CX here.

And discover all the benefits of hardware flexibility here.

Let's talk

Find out what makes Sitoo a game-changer.

Related resources