We recently invited all of our global partners to an exclusive webinar with Purple WiFi investor and former CEO of Best Buy International, Bob Willett.

“Bob Willett is an example of an executive who started on the shop floor.He began at Marks & Spencer in his native United Kingdom in 1968 and would leave that company a decade later as a store executive. Before taking on the role of chief information officer of Best Buy, he had been the CEO of one company, head of Merchandise Operations for another, and then global managing partner of the Retail Practice and a member of the executive committee at Accenture. He advised many of the best retail operations around the world about matters of strategy.” Forbes Magazine 2013

Bob was on hand to deliver his own insights on how to position your products or services to the retail industry. If you weren’t able to listen to the webinar, we recorded the session which you can view below.

For those who prefer to read the summary, our Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Eric Lawhas given us his five key takeaways from the webinar.

1. Thinking through the customer experience.

  • Consider the mindset of a business operations leader, understand that they will centre all of their plans around the customer.
  • Anything which will directly enhance the customer experience will make you immediately relevant to those business leaders.
  • Before you meet with the business leader, you should visit the premises and experience it as a customer. Eat at the restaurant, shop in the mall, understand how it works and as a result, consider how you can enhance it.

2. Use the language of the retail outlet.

  • Do your research. Lots of suppliers will visit that same customer and you need to stand out from the crowd. Demonstrate- just like an interview – that you’ve read up on them, and that you understand them.
  • Understand the metrics and language the business tracks, by talking in their language. Your solution will become immediately more relevant.

3. Make comparisons between the online and offline experience.

  • How can your solution make the offline and online shopping experience work together seamlessly?
  • Online you have a better idea of stock and choice, so think about how you can provide the same level of engagement for the offline or ‘in store’ experience.

4. Provide actionable insights.

  • Every company has data and insights but how do companies use them to differentiate themselves?
  • Make sure you are using any data that you can provide or access effectively, providing positive actions and outcomes for the business.

5. Connect an IT process to a business process.

  • It’s very easy to lose a customer, so anyone working with a retailer needs to make their product or solution an intrinsic part of that retailer’s business, so that the customer becomes reliant on it.
  • Once an IT process becomes integral to the business process, the solution is a highly attractive opportunity.
  • If you are able to make that connection, the relationship will become a longer and more productive one for all involved.