Saturday 19 October 2019

THE READY BUSINESS PODCAST: 'It's a scary time for retailers' Find out how tech is changing the retail experience

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On this week's show, Brian Purcell finds out about the future of retail in Ireland and why tech and the 'experience' are vital in ensuring customers keep coming back.

Ahead of the Retail Ireland Summit on Oct 12th, Andrew Busby, a retail consultant with Retail Reflections, and Willie O'Byrne, Chairman of Retail Ireland and MD of BWG Foods, joined Brian to outline the huge disruptive changes of the last few years and how business owners can best adapt to the increasing impact of technology.

“The industry is going through an incredible period of exciting change,” says Busby. “But it’s a scary place for retailers to be. The trick for retailers is to invest wisely and appropriately in technology so they retain their brand values and authenticity. 

“Experiential retail does not have to rely solely on technology but retailers need to start challenging the boundaries of what retail really means. By and large the model hasn’t changed much in over 150 years.” 

The retail sector employs over 285,000 people in Ireland, which, incredibly, is more than those in IT, finance, insurance, agriculture, farming and fisheries, combined.

“If there’s an advantage that bricks and mortar have over online retail, it’s the five senses can be brought to play with the customers,” explains Willie O’Byrne. “To survive we have to focus increasingly on the experiential aspects of retail.

“People buy from people and we have to reconcile that with technology but at the same time to still have the human touch. Retailing is not just about replenishment. There is a social aspect to it as well.” 

The Ready Business show, in association with Vodafone, is available via iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher or subscribe to the RSS feed of the Ready Business Podcast using your favourite podcatcher.

You can check out the full Ready Business Podcast series here.

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