In this male-dominated world, women are carving out a place for themselves in the retail sector. Paris Retail Week is throwing the spotlight on five influential women in retail who will be giving talks during the event. These visionary women reveal their perception of tomorrow’s retail world between agility, artificial intelligence, omnichannel, big data and data security.
Laurence Paganini, Managing Director of Kaporal since 2013. A visionary from the large-scale retail sector with previous experience with Carrefour, Marionnaud and Les 3 Suisses.
“With the development of big data, data use and security is a key challenge for retailers. Firstly, these data enable retailers to learn more about customer behaviour, to anticipate needs, to manage points of sale in real time and to reduce the time to market. All keys for ensuring customer loyalty and the long term survival of one’s business. However, guaranteeing the security of consumers’ personal data is crucial, especially as new payment methods are implemented.
Moreover, and in line with the focus on the customer relationship and consumer experience, the creation of new services for the consumer is essential: self-service checkouts, salespeople equipped with a tablet for faster payment, virtual changing rooms. It is becoming imperative for e-retailers to invest in innovative solutions in these areas.”
“The main challenge for e-retailers is to remain agile in the face of a fast-paced world of equally rapidly-evolving consumer trends. Retailers must once again tailor their business model to focus on customer satisfaction. Sales teams are therefore at the heart of the strategies and must fully assume their function of supporting the customer. Likewise, omnichannel must favour the permeability of the channels with the aim of maintaining constant contact with consumers.
Consequently, inspiring innovations can facilitate the gathering and processing of data to develop this agility in a personalised relationship which must be played out both on- and off-line.”
“Omnichannel is the main challenge for e-commerce. It is essential for brands to offer a unique and coherent consumer experience which is consistent across all channels. Also in terms of the customer relationship, payment and delivery services are an important area for development notably in different cultures. Indeed, all retailers must be able to adapt to the characteristics of the different countries in which they want to develop.
Finally, it is important not to forget that employees are the heart and soul of every brand. Therefore, the skills and expertise of the salespeople are as important as the innovations which must be available to these qualified employees who ensure the long-term success of the stores.”
Cécile Delettré, President and founder of the international network #IntFem, a mixed network of almost 800 members who place an international approach, agility and empathy at the heart of their professional and personal priorities.
“Retailers must be aware of the growing importance of ‘mobile centric’ and the use of smartphones, in particular retailers’ apps and the whole related universe (geolocation, beacons, instant marketing, social networks, etc.). Phygital is another important evolution for e-retailers. Consumers must now be able to go from a website to the mobile to an app or to a store. The store is a living place and must evolve: the key is to offer customers an ‘experience’ with a strong added value. The tsunami of data means that messages must be increasingly personalised and high quality to ensure customer loyalty and win over new customers. It is essential to reassure them on the use of data to gain their trust and not to give the impression of a ‘Big Brother’ world, which could lead them to reject the brand. In this context, the human capital will make all the difference. Brands must invest in this capital.”
Sophie Lubet, a woman at the head of the Retail division of one of the most prestigious event organisers, Comexposium. As the driving force behind Paris Retail Week, Sophie is in a good position to observe the market and contribute to its evolution.
“Retailers are aware of the strategic and organisational changes taking place. It is essential nowadays to bring together the operational and commercial sectors. The use of data, changes in delivery services or the customer experience are driving companies to rethink the way they work and their distribution model. Technology is thereby at the heart of this adaptation process. Whether it be on the level of the supply chain, the customer relationship, payment or store layout, the proper integration of technological solutions will enable brands to remain competitive and successful over the long term in an ever more competitive market. Therefore, it is also essential to support the sales professionals with training to use these new tools and to be better equipped to serve the ever more demanding customers.”