When the top investors, start-ups, movers and shakers in the tech field gathered together for seminars, panels and talks over two hectic days in early September at STHLM Tech Fest, of course Doberman were there.
Specifically they had asked our intrepid CEO Lisa Lindström to moderate the session entitled “Future of retail”, due to the experience we have in this field. The panel consisted of The Absolut Company’s Director of Trade Marketing, Telia Sweden’s CEO, the Head of Banking at Nordea, the CEO of Qliro Group as well as McDonald’s Chief Digital Officer globally. “The breadth of the panel made this a great opportunity to glean super interesting insights from ‘ground zero’ of the retail industry” said Lisa before taking to the stage and leading the discussions.
So what did we learn?
Physical stores. There seemed to be some consensus on the continued but evolving role of the classic brick-and-mortar stores where in the future it will shift more towards providing experiences and conversion. McDonald’s restaurant employees, for example, are asked to focus more on hospitality than convenience.
All-pervasive changes. The whole panel also seemed to be in agreement that the changes in future retail, brought about by data optimization and new digital tools, need to resonate throughout the entire company for it to work.
Future service. This was also touched upon in a discussion on the importance of service. The key for McDonald’s for example, is to discover what ‘convenience’ looks like tomorrow as more and more power is put into the hands of the consumers. Finding ways to make the transition between digital and physical truly effective in everyday situations was deemed to be a general concern for all panel member companies.
Mobile retail. The Qliro CEO also talked about how growing mobile use is affecting retail, with ever-growing number of mobile e-commerce visits but still lagging when it came to conversion. The change is very rapid and he felt that everyone needs to get better at integrating all platforms.
Omni channel. There was a general agreement that the old omni channel idea needs to be fully realized in the future. All available channels need to work seamlessly together without necessarily doing the same job, and the Absolut panel member also talked about how new channels need to be developed as old ones evolve and change.
Customer and staff journeys. At Telia Sweden, they are already using customer and staff journeys to influence the daily work of their entire organization.
Afterwards, one audience member said: “It was a great session. I especially liked how Telia talked about organizing their offerings more clearly around the lives of their customers, but also how everyone was so focused on service”.
It seems the future of retail is bright!