We spoke with Paolo Cirella, Retail Store Manager at Fratelli Rossetti. We spoke with this retail professional about the survival of physical commerce, and the importance of adaptation and flexibility for this business model. Paolo also mentions that “technological progress and the development of new technologies are essential aspects”, and highlights the need to use technological tools to analyze customer patterns and behaviors in order to change strategies based on that information.
Enjoy this interview!
Retail Interview – The importance of technological tools for retail
Will offline retail disappear?
My experience in retail makes me say with certainty that OFFLINE RETAIL cannot disappear and, indeed, will continue to play a decisive role.
What are its defects and virtues in front of online retail?
In an increasingly global economy, ONLINE is a fundamental tool for business development, especially to penetrate new markets, better map the tastes and buying habits of customers, customize the offer and speed up response times
What is the biggest problem or weakness that offline retail has to face?
Certainly offline retail has some limitations, which depend mainly on its nature.
For example, the development of offline has problems of economic and organizational that depend on high costs of structure (leasing, people), the difficulties and logistical complexity of some countries, external variables such as the geopolitical instability of some areas of the planet, etc.
“The correct management of the product and people are the main aspects on which we must work”
In the current context, what role does technology play in retail? – Highlight current technological tools or innovations that you believe are setting a trend
Technological progress and the development of new technologies are essential aspects.
In an increasingly global economy, the use of advanced technological tools becomes a fundamental element that allows companies to compete and differentiate themselves.
The help of technology has allowed retail companies to improve and streamline their production processes (resulting in an economic return), to learn more about the behavior of their customers, develop and increase some markets, survive external variables like COVID, etc… In this regard, I believe that the digitisation of processes is an element on which a lot of investment will continue and on which companies will compete more and more.
What does it take for a store to work? Is there a magic recipe?
Ensuring the functioning and profitability of physical shops is something difficult and that, especially in recent years, is increasingly complex.
As mentioned above, the variables that affect the trend of stores are multiple and heterogeneous, for this reason there is no magic recipe.
However, there is a virtuous “modus operandi”, which minimizes risk variables and increases the profitability of stores. This way requires effort at all levels (not only in store) and consists in effectively and efficiently managing the main assets of a store, such as people and the product. The correct management of the product (in addition to pricing strategies) and people are the main aspects on which we must work.
“Variables that affect the trend of stores are multiple and heterogeneous, for this reason there is no magic recipe.”
How is customer loyalty achieved?
Customer loyalty is achieved by adopting a customer centric strategy at all business levels.
Beyond the product (companies aim to maximize the value created by each product), companies are increasingly interested in maximizing the value given by each customer, in the present and in the future.
At the base there must be a deep knowledge of the needs and habits of customers, through a careful and constant analysis of the market in which it operates.
The next step is to develop products and services that are more and more personalized, which respond directly to the needs of customers.
Last but not least, there must be the ability to communicate correctly with customers, trying to use their language and through an honest and transparent attitude, with the aim of not disregarding their expectations.
How do you see the future of retail?
Retail will see an increasingly customer centric development, where the end customer is put at the center and through an omnichannel strategy.
“Companies are increasingly interested in maximizing the value given by each customer, in the present and in the future.”
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