I had a very interesting conversation with a retailer yesterday where I learnt fist hand what’s really hindering their growth. I wanted to share my reflections.

We also discussed the future of retail and agreed on some key themes, these were:

  • The future of retail must embrace experiential encounters
  • The gap between the big and small is widening more than ever 
  • Personalisation & Tailored Shipping are the two key battlefields
  • Selling on Marketplaces should be a top priority

All very exciting and important.

However the challenge I see starts much further up the line. To reach the future we first must deal with the present:

  • Retailers more than ever need help to create a strategy then build a team internally or hire an agency that will help to execute that plan – not the other way round 
  • Retailers need to have the appetite and confidence to break the ‘herd mentality’ and make calculated risks – copying thy neighbour won’t work anymore
  • Retailers must make more informed and balanced decisions with a long term view in the face of a global pandemic – where flexibility is key

My worry is that if the strategy is unclear, confidence is low and short terms decisions are being made, the future of retail may look very different to what we would like it to be.

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