The Future of Retail

What’s the future of retail?  Retail, like many other industries, is undergoing a profound transformation as digitization and the pace of change accelerates.  Retail may change—or look different—over the coming years but at its core retail is about providing product and services to customers.  Technology will enable that to happen in many different ways while leaving retailers behind that aren’t able to adapt to the new world.

 

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Carlos Castelán
The rise of B2C CRM & personalization: Retailers combat convenience

In The Future of Retail, Loup Ventures laid out a vision for the future of retail amidst the continuing consumer shift from offline retail shopping to online.  To combat the shift towards pure convenience, and provide an enhanced in-store customer experience, retailers have started implementing business-to-consumer (B2C) customer-relationship management (CRM) programs to more effectively tailor product offers and services to its customers and drive traffic to their brick-and-mortar locations.

 

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Carlos Castelán
Dealing with the Emotional Negotiator

We understood they had a strong need to grow sales in a flat market and we had a strong need to lower costs to help drive those sales.  We explained how a new program would almost triple sales over the next two years and we wanted them to be part of that program.  We even offered to commit to a three-year deal – if we could get the needed reduction in cost to make it work.

In response to our request, the supplier became very emotional, lashing out at us for requesting the cost decrease and questioning the value of our partnership.  He became very heated and used some unfortunate words.  We understood that if we responded in the wrong way, it could either lower the value of the deal or kill it completely.

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Retail and CPG’s consumer conundrum

Much has been written about the over-reaction to the changing landscape in retail but the fact of the matter is that retail is stronger than ever.  In fact, retail industry spending through the first third of 2017 rose 3.6% compared to the same period last year.  So, what is causing so many store closings and a general cloudiness over the industry?  A shifting landscape in how consumers define convenience – driven largely by Amazon.

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Carlos Castelán
Retail Buyers: Getting what you want AND keeping your salesperson happy!

It is no secret that retail is changing and increasing pressure to “win” is causing tension between buyers and sales teams, particularly as margin pressure hits both sides.  In addition, lower profits are causing both sides to cut their teams’ size, putting more work on their plates and less time for successful value–creating negotiations.

In this atmosphere, buyers should consider flipping the traditional model of engagement and take the lead in driving negotiations – this will help you get what you need AND even make the salesperson happy.   

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Marco Castelán
Negotiating a service? The best deal doesn’t always mean lowest price.

One of the most frequent questions we get from our clients is “how do we get the best deal for [XYZ] service?”  The conversation naturally moves to price given that it’s often the easiest way to measure the success of a deal: “we got the best price for our CRM software!”  However, negotiating a service and selecting a provider often involve more complex decision-making criteria where the ‘you get what you pay for’ maxim often holds true.  While it’s not as fun to say, “I selected the third-lowest priced ERP software on the market but got all the features we identified as critical to the organization,” running a strong negotiation process can ensure you get a great deal – however you define success.

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Retailers & Suppliers: A Time for Cooperative Engagement

Market forces, including ecommerce and private label growth, store consolidation and an overall slowing of sales, are putting significant pressure on Retailers to continually cut prices to remain viable. They are in turn demanding their suppliers fund these cuts, take on new expenses and keep them margin whole. Naturally, this is causing significant tension in relationships. However, instead of working together to ease tensions, address market forces and bring stability to the downward spiral of price-cutting, they are engaging each other as adversaries, using competitive tactics and power plays to beat the other. Eventually both will lose.

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Daniel Duty
Coalition of Uncommon Allies can unite to solve Pressing Societal Issues

Without vibrant, living oceans, we are not likely to survive.  Even though oceans cover 71% of the planet, provide over 50% of our oxygen, heat the planet to sustain life and moderate our weather from extremes, their wellbeing gets relatively little attention.  We are letting our oceans die – quickly – and we’re not even putting up our best fight.

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Building Successful Coalitions for Greater Social Impact

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was formed in July 2013 to raise safety levels in the ready-made garment industry. In that time it has inspected over 600 factories and trained over a million workers with measurable outcomes. It closed unsafe factories and is leading remediation of many more. It is collaborating with partners to increase government capacity and has provided access to tested and approved safety equipment, while lowering costs to owners. This success can be attributed to forming the Alliance under several key principles for success that should be applied to any initiative designed for collective impact.

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