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Take a look in the mirror

Chris Field
Chris Field

Take a look in the mirror. What do you see? What you want to see? What you think others see? Or what you know is really there? Forgive the psycho babble; my point is that we, the retail industry, have to start separating fact from fiction.

I’ve seen headlines that say the store is in trouble, AND the store is the future, AND the store will disappear. Every day we get a different point of view, so it is getting pretty hard to understand what is really happening to the store in a multi-channel environment.

The only way to get to the truth is to talk to retailers.

Some very successful companies are indeed concerned about their store estate’s future. They may not be worried about the short-term, but beyond that they are really trying to understand how many they stores they will need, in what kinds of format and layout. And of course, they are worrying about who will run these stores if staff levels decline, as the BRC predicted back in February.

What does this mean for vendors? Certainly greater patience is required with some retailers, as they embark on a complex and quite long journey to transform the store. This will be a little consolation to those of you who need more predictable and immediate sales performance, but over time it will position you much more securely with customers and prospects.

It also means that vendors must put greater investment in thought leadership. Great content won’t always generate the short-term conversions you crave, but it will keep you on retailers’ radars while they’re planning for the future – and ensure you’re at the forefront of their minds when they come to choose the technology that will underpin their future.

To find out what great content looks like, sign up for our free webinar – From Boring to BOOM!: How to Write B2B Marketing Content that Packs a Punch – next Wednesday at 11am.

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