SPOS #731 – Steve Dennis On The State of Retail And Shopping

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Welcome to episode #731 of Six Pixels of Separation.

Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation – Episode #731 – Host: Mitch Joel. If you want a glimpse into what this pandemic can do to business, look no further than the state of retail. Some retailers are experiencing great growth, while many are filing for bankruptcy. The winners are digital-first (think Amazon, Shopify, etc…). How do we make sense of consumer’s today, how they shop, and what they will want from this day forward? Enter Steve Dennis. Steve has over three decades of experience as a strategic advisor, board member, general manager and C-level executive at two Fortune 500 retailers. He has worked with dozens of retail, luxury, technology and social impact brands to design more profitable growth strategies. Steve’s signature “tell is like it is” style and ‘8 Essentials of Remarkable Retail’ framework makes him one of the industry’s most in-demand thought leaders. He has delivered keynotes, led management workshops and consulted across six continents, sharing what it takes to win and keep customers in the age of Amazon, Alibaba, and digital disruption. Steve recently published his book, Remarkable Retail – How to win and keep customers in the age of digital disruption. Steve is also one of Seth Godin‘s oldest friends. Enjoy the conversation…

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels of Separation – Episode #731 – Host: Mitch Joel.

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  1. Good podcast Thank you. Interesting that Steve and most retailers continue to say that the critical thing is to understand the customer to better align with what they do,need and want. I actually think that this notion of the customer at the center of decision making, the key unit of measurement, is outdated. Because consumers are promiscuous, they shop everywhere going to different stores for different things, the real focus needs to be the customer TRIP or VISIT. If retailers were to better understand the different types of trips customers take to shop, the nature of the shopping trip, in terms of the “when”, “why” “who with” dynamics they would be bettered able to be the go to place for those types of trips. On the surface one might not think this is a big shift but indeed it is. For example, many women make 3-4 beauty trips each year coinciding with seasonal changes. They do so to get “seasonal refresh” and do so at very specific times, But do you see any retailers — department stores or even beauty specialty stores actually developing a promotional calendar and product launch strategy around those trips? Nope.

    1. I have often said that there is a big difference between “buying” and “shopping.” And, while I would never disagree with your logic and insight, I’m left wondering: How would I capture and act on that level of information and data? How would that type of data be captured? What would be the result from the retailer based on that data? Would consumers offer up that level of detail to a retailer? So many questions…

  2. Fair q.s. Many large retailers already have that data on their own customers. It can be supplemented by the likes of panel data or through research co.s like NPD. Merging that data in a safe harbor like Acxiom protects customer privacy but allows you to run clustering algorythm s to identify the major trip types and your penetration (market share) to determine which ones are opportunities (you don’t get your fair share. Knowing this and the profile of people that are not coming to you allows to develop targeted messaging. For example, using my breauty example a retailer might discover they do well in Holiday, March and June seasons butdon’t get their fair share of September beauty trips for Fall seasonal refresh; they might also discover that this is particularly pronounced (weak) in west coast among Latino women. Developing a fall refresh beauty campaign featuring latinos (possibly in language) heavying up on the west coast would likely then drive more business to them. Make sense?

    1. Makes sense to me from a marketing/retail perspective. Does it makes sense for the customer and do they care? An entirely other question… 😉

  3. Of course it makes sense from a customer perspective — the insight is based on conscious consumer behbior and desire.

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