Words to Remember

9 Memorable Quotes from the Festival of Retail Ideas

The Festival of Retail Ideas 2017 was full of inspiring presentations, panels and debates. In fact, we found it was hard to keep track of all the illuminating ideas shared on our mainstage. Unfortunately, it proved even harder to put them all in this blog. In the end, we could only choose a fraction – keep reading to catch up on 9 memorable quotes, each showcasing a profound insight into the retail trade.

“It’s not about the product, the product just enables our self-actualisation.”

On the third day of Inside Retail Live, which was dedicated to the future of retail, futurist Anders Sorman Nilsson took the stage. One of the cutting-edge ideas he shared with the audience was the redesigning of the customer journey. He argued that physical and digital channels have to merge in order to create a seamless experience. While shaping the future of retail, the stories you tell about your products are more important than ever.

“If you start with fear, you are only going to end up with conservative ideas.”

John Lewis’s Innovation Manager John Vary gave revealing insights into team building. At John Lewis, he created an innovation kitchen, which enables creative minds from different areas to share ideas. His emphasis is on breaking down the fear people feel in their work environment in order to stretch the limits of what they can achieve.

“When you have an upset customer that’s your opportunity to get a loyal customer for life.”

In a panel on Customer Engagement Post Purchase, Julie Stevanja, founder of the online activewear retailer Stylerunner, admitted that her company cherishes unhappy shoppers as an opportunity for customer services to prove itself. Stevanja believes that a business can set itself apart by the way it handles complaints: “Customers expect good service when things go well, but when we bend over backwards when things go wrong, we get a really positive response.”

“Diversity makes it feel like people can come to work, feel like the can be themselves – it creates a community in your business.”

LUSH Australia’s Director Peta Granger has an uncompromising attitude when it comes to hiring: “If it’s not a f*** yes, it’s a hell no!” Granger found that passionate people are key to delivering great customer service and LUSH tries to help them by creating an engaging community they can thrive in.

“Whether or not the next 12 months will go well for you will be about how closely you connect with your customers.”

Kate Morris, founder and director of Adore Beauty, sums up one of the most popular pieces of advice given at Inside Retail Live: In the end, it all comes down to the customer, so great customer service and experience should be at the heart of every retail business going forward. Moreover, Morris stressed that it’s essential to provide the staff with information they can rely on to offer an amazing experience to their shoppers on a daily basis.

“Looking forward to 2027 is futile.”

The last day at Inside Retail Live was dedicated to the future of retail but when Jerry Macey, retail industry expert at the Commonwealth Bank, took to the stage, he explained why he thinks no one can predict what retail will look like in 10 years: “If we went backwards in time to 2007 to a time before smartphones, to a time when Australian companies were the big beasts in shopping malls – I wonder whether we would have understood the change smartphones or international competitors would bring”. However, Macey seemed to be sure of one thing: The retail industry will continue to undergo drastic changes, which can only be managed if retailers position themselves to overcome bumps ahead and drive innovation.

There are tremendous winds of change right now in the retail industry and I tend to want to build windmills rather than walls.”

Jim Fielding, President of Consumer Products and Innovation for Fox Television Group, refers to challenges brought about by changing customer demands and the entry of big players such as Amazon into the Australian market. However, he also advises retailers to take advantage of new opportunities, thus creating invaluable marketing strategies to promote their products, especially by embedding consumer products within experience. If you’ve missed Fielding’s insightful presentation, you can catch up on some valuable advice here.

“Today, if you want to build a retail business, you build an app.

Martin Barthel, Head of Retail and eCommerce Strategy at Facebook, outlined the importance of apps in today’s retail world, stating that mobile is the new shop window. He also urged retailers to tap into the possibilities Facebook offers, as he affirmed the company’s commitment to help retailers target customers based on location criteria and to provide information on when and where customers spend their money and which products they choose. “This is the marketing holy grail,” Barthel concluded.

“Retailers need to think ageless, urban consumers in a perennial environment.”

Stefaan Le Clair, who was one of the driving forces behind making Etam an established name in China and is now the managing director of Berenike global fashion management, proved himself a visionary in his fascinating presentation on the Next Generation. As the global population becomes older, Le Clair predicts the rise of so-called “megacities”, which will be the “epicentres of consumption in the future”. He affirms that retailers cannot only look to young generations but must be equally concerned with older generations. According to Le Clair, lines will get more and more blurred as old people become younger and the younger generations grow more mature, since they have easy access to information, setting them apart from preceding generations.

We will be back with more inspiring quotes from the Festival of Retail of Ideas. To make sure you don’t miss out on any new entries, follow Inside Retail Live on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Meanwhile, have a look at what else went on at Inside Retail Live 2017 and be among the first to express your interest for 2018.

Inside Retail Live on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InsideRetail/
Inside Retail Live on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/inside-retail-live
Inside Retail Live on Twitter: https://twitter.com/insideretailive