That’s a wrap on the 2023 RCCSTORE conference! A great 2 days of learning and networking with Canadian retailers.
Here are 5 key takeaways by the JCWG team :
Experience continues to be important.
Throughout many sessions of the conference, there was a focus on experience within every touchpoint with the customer. Doug Stephens shared how “Experiences are an immersive form of storytelling” and using the five senses. Lisa Hutcheson, our Managing Partner, talked about the 15-minute city “Doing all facets of life…within your ecosystem. Where you work, shop, where you kids go to school…within a 15-minute radius” and quantifying “experience per square foot” – a new metric.
Retailers must be able to clearly articulate their purpose as a company and to the customers.
Articulating the purpose of a retail company internally and to customers is crucial for fostering employee engagement, attracting loyal customers, and differentiating the brand in a competitive market. By clearly expressing their purpose, retailers can connect with their target audience on a deeper level and build strong, enduring relationships based on shared values and aspirations. Retailers and employees using their work for good was connected to the extension of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, shown in the following image.
Self-transcendence refers to a higher level of personal development beyond self-actualization, where individuals strive to find meaning and purpose by going beyond their own needs and connecting with something greater than themselves. It involves acts of altruism, compassion, and service towards others or a larger community, leading to a sense of fulfillment and a deeper sense of purpose in life.
At JCWG, we take our clients through a series of questions, including: What is your story? How are you different and unique? These questions can support our clients as they merge their noble purpose, story, and sustainability within their strategy.
With data there can be a “paralysis from analysis”. We create a story using data.
Data can be used to tell stories that are relevant to the retailer. The integration of data into the retail environment allows retailers to leverage insights and create stories that are relevant, personalized, and engaging for their customers. By utilizing data analytics, retailers can enhance the overall shopping experience, both online and in-store, and strengthen their connection with their target audience.
4. Diversity and Inclusion
Think citizens, not customers.
Afdhel Aziz emphasized the significance of inclusivity as a powerful global growth strategy. This notion holds relevance not only for customers but also for retailers themselves. In Jarvis Sam’s keynote address, the spotlight was on the importance of operationalizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies. This involved granting front-line employees a voice in the decision-making process to ensuring their perspectives were considered. Furthermore, during Eric Morris’s discussion on the transformative impact of AI in retail, the need for multicultural collaborations was highlighted. It was pointed out that retailers should embrace newcomers as a fresh growth lever to unlock new opportunities.
All the ideas reinforce the importance of inclusivity as a growth strategy for retailers. By embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally (within the organization) and externally (in collaborations with diverse communities and customer segments), retailers can foster innovation, improve decision-making processes, and cater to the evolving needs of a diverse customer base.
AI is everywhere, is it still a scary concept?
Artificial intelligence has been a common buzzword for retailers. With the increased use of technology, retailers must be more in tune with how they use analytical and generative AI within their organizations. Eric Morris from Google, shared concepts such as conversational commerce and how customers are searching more through questions and product for activities, versus the best product. During Kostya Polyakov’s keynote, he mentioned Arwin Admin, which creates forecasts based on many factors, including the weather and how impact it has in a dollar amount. The use of AI enables data-driven decision making, enhances customer experiences, improves operational efficiency, and provides a competitive advantage in the dynamic retail landscape.
RCCSTORE23 highlighted the significance of immersive experiences, purposeful branding, data utilization, diversity and inclusion, and effective implementation of AI technologies for achieving success in the retail sector. By incorporating these key insights into their business strategies, Canadian retailers can effectively adapt to the ever-changing retail landscape, satisfy the evolving demands of their customers, and thrive in the industry.
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