For this article I've picked up on a couple of trending stories. 

My focus is to stimulate the industry to continue to recognise that you are in the centre of an opportunity to reimagine the future of retailing as we continue into the 21st Century.

Without a doubt Supermarkets have been the beneficiary for some, saviour, and for many other retailers the envy during this pandemic - however!

Here's a couple of awkward question for you, especially if you operate in the Supermarket and, or FMCG business;

1- How will consumer adoption of online grocery shopping accelerate in the next several years?

2 - Will the leading companies in the grocery business in the U.S. and UK right now be the leaders in the online grocery business in five to ten years?

Something for all Supermarket chains to consider maybe, but most definitely a huge opportunity for all retail sectors to embrace this pandemic and get back to engaging with the consumer first and transaction second - what do I mean by this?

Do you remember when you could go to a luxury store and 'get served' - do you remember when you could go to that fancy expensive restaurant to celebrate something special?

In times gone by we defined 'luxury' as a way to enjoy something that made us feel special. It was an experience that managed to lift us because in the luxury sector how you 'experience' the brand is what makes you feel special - the focus was/is very much on the how that brand could not only connect to us to provide access to what was for many an exceptionally good experience.

There are two main reasons for reviewing what you assume is your 'customer centric strategy'.

First, customer expectations after a downturn are much higher than when a market is in steady growth. After all, one of luxury’s primary roles is to function as an ultimate treat. 

So, brands will need to provide superior experiences to connect with customers better than their competitors. 

Second, the retail demographics are changing rapidly, and younger, highly-empowered customers are much more discerning than they were in previous generations.

It is quite different to sell to a customer who already knows what they want than to sell to a customer who needs significant guidance. 

The store of today must shift from a transactional sales approach to a relationship approach.

Customers don't see themselves as part of your funnel, they're not interested in how you do stuff - they want you to make them know you truly understand who they are, and make them feel special.

The most successful brands in 2021 will be the ones that can create extreme value for their customers that goes far beyond selling desirable products. To repeatedly create memorable moments requires radical customer-centricity. It should be “about them and not about us.” The needs of the customers should be at the center of all those brands. 

Today there are very few places left for brands who want our attention to go to if this pandemic continues to decimate revenues, particularly as the subsequent brand marketing budgets that companies have gotten used to are at best a fraction of pre-Covid spending, or at worse non-existent.

'Social Media' can be a life saver for brands if they understand that social media is about being social first, and selling second.

The cost don't increase because being social means you measure 'engagement' over reach. 

You don't need a database, so no GDPR issues, if you operate an 'employee advocacy' strategy your outsourced 'social agency' could pretty much become redundant.

What are your plans to get closer to the customer for 2021?