NRF12: Five traits retailers must possess to be future proof

Jan. 19, 2012

NEW YORK — Brick-and-mortar retailers looking for ways to stay relevant to tech-savvy consumers got some advice on the topic Tuesday at NRF's Big Show in New York.

In his session called "The Future Shopper: How Offline is the New Online," Bryan Eisenberg, managing partner of Eisenberg Holdings and a published author, told retailers that although technology has changed the way consumers shop, the recipe for success in retail is still the same. It boils down to companies being able to innovate to please their customers. He stressed that being stagnant will ruin any good company.

"Companies will continue to be slowed down by their slow corporate metabolisms. Their inability to collect the right data and act, analyze, react and optimize based on the data continues to provide opportunity for those companies that have a faster metabolism. I no longer wonder how dinosaurs became extinct," he said.

Eisenberg shared five traits he believes retailers must possess in order to become agile, respond better to their customers, improve customer satisfaction and foster a learning culture.


Amazon, Eisenberg said, is a great example of a company that understands its shoppers. Its excels at measuring what customers buy and then offering them similar products.


Companies like Virgin and Apple have this trait down pat. Both offer fun, interactive shopping experiences that set them apart from competitors.


Customers respond to honest companies like Zappos that don't hide flaws. The company gained consumer trust by responding to complaints posted to its social media sites and fixing problems.


Best Buy is an example of a nimble company. It's not afraid to take risks and was one of the first to embrace mobile phone technology. Eisenberg shared this video about how important the mobile device has become to Best Buy's business model.

Testing and tweaking

A retailer's culture must enable testing and tweaking customer experiences on a daily basis. Google, Eisenberg said, is a company that's not afraid to develop applications and change them based on customer feedback.

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Topics: Customer Experience , Customer Service

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