We interviewed Ainhoa Oyarbide Mendieta, Brand and Communication Director at Eroski.
Don’t miss this opportunity of learning a little more about the current situation of the retail sector and what Ainhoa expects for the future.
We start by assessing the current context of the retail sector. Will offline retail disappear?
I honestly think this is highly unlikely to happen. And I say this with the uncertainty with which we live in recent times. In any case, I believe that there will always be a way of doing business where people interact in an increasingly rewarding, efficient and secure context.
What are its defects and virtues in front of online retail?
I think it’s a matter of preferences and timing, of relevance actually. It’s good to think of hybrid models, which are convenient or opportune for each one, depending on different factors such as time, motivation, situation or need. I would highlight the virtue of the trust of those who you know and serve you well in a physical store and, in turn, the productivity for the consumer when making the purchase online.
There will always be a way to do business where people interact.
What is the biggest problem or weakness that offline retail has to face?
I would say that achieving its distinction from other formulas that, covering the same need, cause a higher level of satisfaction in consumers.
In the current context, what role does technology play in retail? Highlight a current technology or innovation that you believe is setting a trend.
Technology has always been essential in Retail. What happens is that now it also plays an essential role in people unlike in the past. What accelerates and raises the expected standard of service and experiences by customers.
I would highlight in our sector and focused on today, the interest in technologies that facilitate hybrid experiences and are integrated into the consumer’s day-to-day life in an agile and natural way. Sophistication is increasing every day also in the world of data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotization… at the service of the consumer and operations, to name a few.
Technology has always been essential in Retail.
What does it take for a store to work? Is there a magic recipe?
I think there can be a number of reasons why a store might work. Being the probability of success greater if, faced with an opportunity in the market, it better covers that need than other alternatives or commercial formulas. And better, it means three things; that offers a product or service that is most appreciated by a sufficient volume of consumers, that is easily accessible and always at an appropriate price for both the buyer and the seller.
How is customer loyalty achieved?
Avoiding customer efforts, generating positive sensations and trust, and adding creativity and your own personality in the relationship with them, can be key to getting them to come back. But this is ephemeral if you do not work with a look, in addition to the present, of the future. And here, observation and innovation come into play in the front row to maintain, grow or evolve in the market.
In the future I see a more collaborative, diverse and dynamic Retail.
How do you see the future of retail?
In the future, I see a more collaborative retail between and with other sectors, more diverse in business models and formats, and more dynamic in commercial proposals and service formulas. And a technology at the service of this constant renewal of Retail thought, rethought and directed by people.