In today’s interview we talk about the retail sector with Javier Lebrato, Regional Retail Strategy at Grupo MASMOVIL who claims to be very optimistic about the future of the sector, since “currently there is a rate of evolution that will create many improvements and novelties in the short term ». Although he has no doubt that brick-and-mortar stores will continue to be an important value in store sales, he believes that changes should be implemented that create a greater connection with online commerce.
Do you want to know more about Javier’s opinions on retail, technology and the formulas to have a successful store? Keep reading and enjoy this great interview with a professional in the sector.
We begin by assessing the current context of the retail sector
We should divide it into two large groups; large chains and small businesses. Each of them has a different idiosyncrasy. They don’t play in the same league or have the same goals and therefore we shouldn’t compare them.
- In the case of large chains, there is a grouping movement, larger stores with a greater customer experience and unifying ON and OFF.
- In the case of small businesses, greater specialization and exclusivity, opting for a highly personalized level of advice and attention and with a chosen product.
The physical store will not disappear but there must be a substantial change in it
Will the traditional/offline store disappear? What are its strengths and weaknesses compared to the online store?
Absolutely NO, but it is true that there must be a substantial change in it. Perhaps the paradigm shift is that it should complement online sales, offering a plus that this other one cannot give.
As for the defects, I would highlight the immediacy and, in many cases, the diversity of the product on display as the main one. And as for its virtues, without a doubt, the closeness, the real interaction with the client at the moment of the decision and the treatment of live objections.
To build customer loyalty, quality of service is necessary, there is no other way to achieve it
What is the biggest problem or weakness that the traditional store has to face?
In my opinion, the adaptation of the shopping experience. The journey should be closer to the digital world regarding the level of ease of purchase and elimination of friction points, such as queues, payments… but, on the other hand, it should be more immersive to generate that extra difference compared to the on-line.
In the current context, what role does technology play in retail? Highlight a current technology or innovation that you think is setting the trend.
Currently, technology is fundamentally focused on two areas; in providing a much more agile and involving shopping experience and, on the other, in being able to obtain all the associated behavior metrics that will allow you to modify and improve it.
I would highlight the flow controls, for example, it should be a “must” in any store, be it a small business or a large chain. And as a technological trend, probably 3D content on outdoor screens, or the application of AI.
What does it take for a store to work? Is there a magic recipe?
I read in your Blog, the formula that Jordi Farre gave, it seems very successful to me, although I would include a good survey of the area and a bit of luck.
As Jordi Farre said. Location: accounts for 40% of success, team: 40% and product: the remaining 20%.
How do you achieve customer loyalty?
Quality of service, there is no other way to achieve it.
How do you see the future of retail?
With optimism without a doubt, but, at the same time, with a lot of curiosity about all the changes that must take place, I am convinced that in 5 years with the current evolution, we will not recognize (the older ones) the physical channel service model and the value added that it would contribute with respect to the online channel.
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