The April [edit]

What determines a customer’s shopping destination?

This is our April [edit]: a bite-sized round-up of some of our recent work. Look out for the [edit] around the beginning of each month.

As communication and engagement specialists, we want to inspire you by sharing projects from our six areas of expertise: Insight & Strategy, Digital & Social Marketing, Copy & Content, Employee Engagement, Video & Motion Graphics, and Design & Branding.

Each expertise is aligned to our purpose of creating lasting value for our clients and their customers. With collaboration hubs in London, Amsterdam and Milan, our team are immersed in European retail and are continually in touch with the world’s most exciting retail markets.

It’s not online or physical stores…

Insight & Strategy: Our belief – It’s not online or physical stores, it’s not online and physical stores, it’s online with physical stores. During April we continued our work for the High Street Review 2 – an alternative future for the UK High Street. The review team are presenting to UK government on 4th July so we’re reviewing what worked, what didn’t and what was never tried. One success was a reduction in business rates – brought forward by two years. At last some progress on biz rates! UK folks, do remember business rates are a key reason European retailers give the UK a miss – read more here.

TRP’s contribution is led by our digital strategist Eva Pascoe and will include a look at how digital skills – particularly for store teams – are now essential. Your customers are now Omni-channel by default so your store teams need to be too. Long live (a new) UK High Street!

Top tip: World-class performance needs World-class service needs World-class training.

One shopping list item can determine the shopping destination

Continuing with the UK High Street Review we’ve looked back at history to learn about the future. High Street change is nothing new; during the 80s the out-of-town land expansion by Tesco (and others) was a wave of change that challenged the UK High Street. A second wave followed in the late 80s and 90s when hypermarkets (eg: Tesco Extra) began to sell more non-food. A key learning from Dunnhumby (the data people behind Tesco Clubcard) was that one item on a customer’s shopping list can determine their shopping destination. This made the draw of the new hypermarkets significant. Today of course the destination could well be a digital store. As we re-imagine a new role for the UK High Street and indeed some of the retail parks who now find themselves being disrupted, this insight shines a light on how our town centre and High Street future will be all in the mixNow what could that new mix look like?

Do you really know your customers?

Insight & Strategy: As part of our Insight work for premium Italian fashion brand Twinset Milano, in April we began creating a visual representation of the Twinset bullseye customer, with the objective to align all Twinset stakeholders (including HQs, stores, suppliers, investors, and even potential employees) on who the ‘Twinset Lover’ really is. The first stage will be the creation of a booklet combining text and visuals which will provide a 360 degree overview of the Twinset customer persona – painting an accurate picture of her personality, lifestyle and behaviour. Is she a hardcore fashionista, or are trends not her top priority? Does she get her inspiration from Instagram, or is she more likely to read print magazines?

Our work will help ensure that all functions across the brand are aligned with the customer – which will in turn help increase customer retention and sales.

Top tip: Your store managers and teams can provide valuable insights on who the ‘real’ customer is.

Getting Bluebella GDPR ready

April at TRP was also about General Data Protection Regulation and preparing retail clients for the soft landing on 25th May. Our work with Bluebella and other clients including the Help For Heroes charity has been focused on audits of the locations of data storage for each company. This was a tough task as companies use cloud services for everything, from Holiday Scheduling to Payroll to Taxes, and that is just regarding employees.

The second part of our work was focused on negotiating new agreements with Data Processors (companies that provide third party marketing services). Finally, once the agreements with partners are in place, it’s time to communicate the new legal rights to the customers and ensure that they can access data, port it to alternative providers or request deletion altogether. Being GDPR compliant also means not storing personal data of customers or employees longer than absolutely necessary, so negotiating the timing of those periods was another element of our work.

Putting in place processes for what happens if the breach occurs is now underway, with a strict regulation on how long the company has before the breach of data protection is communicated. What happens if this occurs during the weekend? How to get hold of the people who can sign off the breach notification email – all those niggly bits need to be worked out before 25th May! For more info visit www.eugdpr.org/, or get in touch with TRP at hello@theretailpractice.com.

Putting the fun into employer branding

Copy & Content: We’re collaborating with Hunkemöller to create powerful and engaging employer branding. A key work strand is content marketing where a first step was to create a library of inspirational shots to achieve stand-out, share the brand values and be used across media channels. From creative concepts to delivery our team led by Shelly Tweed helped Hunkemöller’s HR team create a photographic library designed to attract the best retail talent.

Top tip: Having clear direction before a shoot is important, but sometimes on the day, it’s the spontaneous shots that work the best.

Until next time!