Primesight partnered with Mediatel for another unique breakfast briefing on 12th June. The subject of this briefing and debate is the changing nature of customer interaction with Retail.The exclusive, invitation-only 50 guests were a mix of clients, advertising agencies and outdoor media specialists who have an interest and influence in how their business compete for and react to customer trends in the retail space.
Derek Jones (Mediatel) welcomed all guests at Haymarket Hotel where the event took place. Following his brief foreword, Mungo Knott (Marketing and Insight Director at Primesight) set the scene with interesting retail statistics revealing remarkable changes in consumer behaviour and talking about the disrupted path to purchase and consumer journey. His intro and comments served as reference points during the discussion and sparked exciting conversations between the panellists.
The panel was chaired by Dominic Mills, journalist and Mediatel columnist. The panel itself consisted of four exceptional experts in their fields: Bill Grimsey (former CEO of Wickes, Iceland and Focus), Guy Douglas (Digital High Street Programme Manager, ATCM), Steve Smith (Head of Thought Leadership Research, Starcom Mediavest Group) and Rob Sellers (Director at Dialogue).
Many topics became the subject of passionate discussions between the panellists, exciting the audience to take part with questions and comments. Starting off with a comparison between the past and present of Retail and the High Street, the panellists delved into topics ranging from the ‘endurance’ of click and collect (Bill Grimsey forecasted its death in 5 years), brands as a focal point of our culture today and natural extensions of ourselves, the substitution of ‘customer service’ for ‘customer experience’ etc. Further, some of the panel contributors questioned the survival of ‘show rooming’, others predicted its evolution into stock-free shops, meaning we as consumers will browse in-store but make the final purchases online (in the past we used to browse online and purchase in-store).
Rob Sellers claimed that we have transformed from a nation of shopkeepers into a nation of ‘bargain hunters’, constantly on the watch out of value-for-money propositions. Steve Smith added that it is ‘food and leisure calling the shots at mall and the High Street, not Retail anymore’ and that in order not to fail ‘the High Street needs to entertain and inform’. Guy Douglas contributed with his invaluable thoughts about high street infrastructure, many retail leases coming to an end causing occupancy issues, the importance of the community and other factors in overcoming the repeatedly predicted death of the British High Street.
Bill Grimsey’s input into the negotiations was associated with immense knowledge served with good humour, both highly appreciated by everyone attending the thought-provoking event. The author of the Grimsey review excited the audience by maintaining that the shift in consumer shopping and brand experiences we are about to experience is incomparable to anything we have seen up to this point that only begins with town centre WiFi connectivity making the showrooming activity a seamless experience, extensive use of iBeacons etc.
Primesight would like to thank all of the panellists and attendees for the great morning. For more information, you can access the articles discussing Bill Grimsey’s views on Click & Collect and 'customer experience' as opposed to 'customer service'. A more detailed report by Mediatel on the event will follow shortly.
We are looking forward to hosting our next thought-leadership event very soon. Stay tuned!