Do not miss our interview with Giulia Massera, Fashion Management & Marketing Lecturer. Performance Leadership Expert with a focus on Retail. She is very optimistic about the future because, in her opinion, “COVID gave us an opportunity: we can’t go back as it was before COVID, we have learned a lot”.
What do you think the post-COVID retail landscape will look like?
I see Covid as an opportunity to rethink our retail strategy. It is neither about selling nor about storytelling anymore. It is around building a 360 degrees Experience for each client, omnichannel, moon included! I always say that retail means Real-Time, and now, more than ever, we have to engage, interact but mainly listen, explore and observe deeply our customers behaviour to create loyalty. To do so, we need to start with our employees, each one of them is essential: they are not simply our first potential client, but our ears, eyes, hands, nose, therefore the ones able to share with us what truly a client need and want to experience to feel special.
The human touch within technology is what we all learned to be essential during those long lockdowns and communication on screens
What will be the biggest problem or weakness that the physical store have to deal with?
I would reverse this question: how can we make the physical store complementary to online? And so essential for a client to complete the 360 degrees experience that we design? Gen Z looks for values and uniqueness when buying, therefore how can add value by creating a unique experience in the store complementary to the online? There are plenty of opportunities if we listen, ask our clients and so involve our employees!
What role will technology play?
We are learning a lot every day from this experience, which is amazing. From VR to AR to gaming to NFT, fashion reacted amazingly to the new challenge to embrace diversity and be more inclusive. Those are all tools that we need to keep using to create the experience that I mentioned earlier, but adding on the human touch is essential. This is true not only for Millenials but also to address social topics relevant to GenZ like, isolation, mental health, well-being, anxiety, meditation, coaching for performance … the human touch within technology is what we all learned to be essential during those long lockdowns and communication on screens. A smile, a hug, a shake of hands from a famous designer could never replace a NFT picture!
We are ready to embed the new with the old, to build what I call “Futuristic Nostalgia!”
Are you optimistic about the future of retail?
Very optimistic! As I said COVID gave us an opportunity: we can’t go back as it was before COVID, we have learned a lot. We are ready to embed the new with the old, to build what I call “Futuristic Nostalgia!”, a mixture between advanced technology and human love, a mixture between the UFO and the ’70s!
What do you think about our Flame analytics tool?
Analytics tools are now essential to integrate different realities. I have never used Flame before, but I saw a lot of good reviews online and in particular, I find this definition on HuB Spot interesting: “All the contacts obtained through the Guest Wifi will be automatically incorporated into your CRM and you will be able to contact them in a personalized way and at the right moment.” it sounds great!