Retail Executive

SEP-OCT 2017

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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Syncing The C-Suite Mindset revenue growth is only about 1 percent. While the "Retail Apocalypse" is absurdly overstated, change is necessary. Retailing today is all about relevance, and the most rele- vant retailers are the ones whose C-suite comprises people who eat, sleep, and breathe the dire need for digital savvy. Take Neiman Marcus, for example. From CEO Karen Katz to CIO Sarah Miller to Head of Innovation Lab Scott Em- mons, the executive team is rich with knowledge of and appreciation for digitalization. The luxury retailer's Snap, Find, Shop feature on its mobile app speaks to the retailer's understanding of a mobile strategy, but more importantly, the executive team's understanding of a mobile strategy. Let's continue with the mobile strategy theme. Ask your- self, "Is your executive team on the same page regarding, for example, a mobile site? Are the stakeholders in agreement on the capital expenditure, development, design, innova- tion, and creativity necessary to build a robust mobile site?" If the answers are anything other than yes, consider that 26 percent of PwC's respondents state that mobile sites are simply not easy to use; ergo, therein lies retail executives' opportunity to empower their mobile team to execute and deliver a user-friendly mobile site with responsive web de- sign that accounts for screen size (PwC states among daily and weekly shoppers, a higher percentage of respondents say they are shopping more frequently with their smart- phone than with a tablet). As a stakeholder, consider what it takes to effectively execute mobile site implementation— and what's at stake if you don't. Lose the mobile app in favor of developing a robust mobile site. According to Forrester, users have 200 mobile moments per day, and retailers take up just 5 percent of those moments. Big box brands or large CPG companies may afford the capital expenditure for app development, but if funds are lacking, advise your team to skip the app and invest in improving your own mobile site. Optimize for mobile and focus on responsive web design, or quickly fall behind the retailers that do. The mobile app versus mobile site discussion is just one of the countless examples that require a unified C-suite. The executive teams who succeed with any of the aforementioned strategies are the ones who stop thinking about sales and instead work together to iden- tify other ways to determine value. That's a promise. R ased on its 2017 "Total Retail Survey," which surveyed more than 24,000 shoppers, PwC developed 10 areas retailers should consider investing in to stay ahead of the competition: ▶ Mobile Site ▶ Talent ▶ Big Data Insights ▶ Amazon Strategy ▶ Telling the Brand Story ▶ Secure Platforms ▶ Loyal Customers ▶ Showrooms ▶ Authenticity ▶ Health & Wellness This list, or portions of it, likely matches your list of short- and long-term strategic objectives. Everything on this list requires its own thoughtful strategy, but for the sake of this article, let's focus on the ways the C-suite must sync its collective mindset in order to tackle any one of these strategies. PwC advises retailers to strengthen the digital and op- erations talent within the C-suite to manage shrinking store networks, complicated supply chains, and digital in- novation and launch new services to keep currently loyal customers. While U.S. retail sales are expected to grow 3 to 4 percent in 2017 after 3.8 percent growth in 2016, most of this growth is coming from online sales, as store sales B E R I N H A R R I S Editor in Chief @ErinOnRetail linkedin.com/in/ErinHarris VIEWPOINT REX By E. Harris SYNCING THE C-SUITE MINDSET RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 6

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