Steve Dennis: “Brick & mortar stores will remain relevant. Vast majority of retail sales will be done in physical stores for many more years”

Today we speak with Steve Dennis, President of Sageberry Consulting & Forbes Contributor.

Steve, what is going on in the retail sector?

retail sectorNowadays, retail sector is going through a seismic shift with many disruptive models emerging (digital technologies, new competitors, consumers who incorporate multiple shopping approaches into their everyday lives, etc). Likewise, a fundamental changes in consumer behavior are occurring. In general, we could say that the middle parth of the market is collapsing.

Do you think brick & mortar stores will disappear?

No, not even close. In my opinión, physical retail will remain the vast majority of retail sales for many years to come.

Retailers need to have a better understanding of their customers journeys

What are Brick & mortar stores´pros and cons?

online storesFirst, retailers need to have a better understanding of their customers´ journeys and understanding where there are friction points to eliminate and experiential aspects to amplify. Second, retailers need to get away from channel centric thinking and realize that the customer is the channel. Third, good enough is not good enough anymore. Retailer need to work to create truly memorable experiences.

What is the biggest problem or weakness that the offline retail has to face?

The two biggest problems are thinking that a slight better version of mediocre will be a winning strategy and an unwillingness to adopt a culture of experimentation.

Good enough is not good enough anymore

In this context, what role does technology play in retail?

customer experience

From my point of view, technology plays an important role in retail. In fact, it is a very useful tool that can help retailers a lot in their daily. For example, technology can be used to make the customer experience more efficient, more effective, or both.

(*Hotel marketing, increasingly personalized thanks to technology).

Highlights a current technology or innovation that you believe is setting a trend

The use of artificial intelligence is starting to have a major impact. Right now it is mostly about automating tasks, but increasingly it will be used to create more personalized marketing and experiences.

Retailer need to work to create truly memorable experiences

What does it take for a store to work? Is there a magic recipe?

What does it take for a store to work

No. In my opinión there is no silver bullet. But, there are many things retailers can do to improve theis business and their management. For example, in my blog you can read the post “8 Essentials of Remarkable Retail” in which I provide a framework for retailers to go from being boring to remarkable and thrive in the age of digital disruption.

How is customer loyalty achieved?

We must understand the difference between customer satisfaction and loyalty. Loyalty is an emotion and it earned when a retailer consistently delivers a remarkable experience that provides meaningfully positive outcomes for the customer.

Customer satisfaction and loyalty it´s not the same thing!

How do you see the future of retail?

future of retailShift will continue to happen and the best retailers will deeply undertstand their customers, stay on top of the changes, accept the implications and be willing to take smart risks to become and stay remarkable.

Thank you, Steve 🙂