The retail business is a constantly evolving industry, with new challenges and opportunities arising all the time. To succeed in this fast-paced environment, it's important to stay ahead of the curve and continuously educate yourself on best practices. Here are some tips and insights from our team on how to thrive in the world of retail.
1. Understand the Customer
It's crucial to continuously conduct research to understand the customers for each category or retailer you're working on. This is because the moment you think you understand the customer, they change. By staying up-to-date on customer insights, you can make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
2. Never Stop Learning
Jacob Snelson, VP of Brand Marketing and Strategy, believes that no one is an expert in retail due to the fast-paced nature of the industry. Therefore, it's important to always be learning and expanding your knowledge base. This can involve learning the foundations of cross-functional roles, understanding the latest industry trends, and continually developing your skillset.
3. Embrace Change
As Jimmy Barber, VP of Growth and Innovation, points out, the playbook for retail is currently being rewritten, and there are no experts. He advises to assume that you could be wrong and to always assume that your opinion has value. By being open to change and new ideas, you can stay agile and adaptable in the face of industry disruptions.
4. Get to Know Excel
Riley Beirise, Director of Insights, stresses the importance of becoming an advanced Excel user, as it is the gateway to much deeper data platforms. Additionally, he advises to never approach decisions without testing them in theory, highlighting the importance of data-driven decision making.
5. Develop a Well-Rounded Skillset
Anna Bever, Sr. Director of Advertising, believes that well-roundedness in retail is key to being really good at your job. For example, if you're a buyer, you should know the basics of replenishment, or if you're in product development, you should learn how planners forecast. By having a broad understanding of the industry, you can make more informed decisions and work more effectively with cross-functional teams.
6. Physical Store Experience
Joseph Hunt, Sr. Ecommerce Lead, recommends working in a physical store at least part of your career, as it allows you to be closest to the customer. While e-commerce is great, there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction with customers.
7. Leadership Development
In addition to the above tips, it's important to focus on leadership development in the retail planning and business world. As Pat Bryant, Managing Director of OneStone Consulting notes, it's important to "just do it" and embrace opportunities to learn and grow. By taking on new challenges and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, you can develop the leadership skills necessary to succeed in the industry.
The world of retail is constantly evolving, and success requires a combination of ongoing education, leadership development, and adaptability to change. By embracing these principles and taking a strategic approach to working with key players in the industry, you can position yourself for success in this exciting field.