The Art of Retail event was held on April 17, 2013 at Archeo in Toronto’s Distillery District. This event brought together executives from large Canadian retailers, including Canadian Tire and Shoppers Drug Mart, to educate on how to optimize mobile, social and web technology while growing their businesses.
Two experienced and prominent speakers offered their insights into the ever-changing world of retail. The first of these speakers was Doug Stephens, a retail expert, founder and President of Retail Prophet, and author of The Retail Revival. Stephens educated attendees on how demographic and technological changes are affecting customer bases, how companies can stay current and how new technologies are transforming how we shop. He also shared his belief in a coming retail revival that is only possible if retailers embrace technology.
The second speaker, Scott Stratten, focused his presentation on the social aspect of retail. Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing and author of the book UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.. Stratten is also an expert in Viral, Social, and his own style of Authentic Marketing: Un-Marketing. His presentation covered topics such as why people spread some business content and not others, what fractional reaction means, what tools are useful and what are fads, how to improve corporate social media, and how to transform a negative situation into a positive situation. Stratten told attendees that passionate and knowledgeable frontline employees play a larger role in selling than the logos found on the product itself. He also stressed the importance of social media and creating a product that people want to talk about online.
In addition to the presentations by Stephens and Stratten, Michael Griffiths, Global Managing Director of Retail at Microsoft led a customer panel featuring Longo’s, Microsoft Store, and Ideaca’s longtime client, LS travel retail North America. The three retailers discussed their ongoing journey to become connected through the implementation of fully-integrated Microsoft retail solutions. They shared their experiences with the audience including, what brought the need for them to adopt a connected and agile solution, lessons learned during the implementation and the improvements in their retail operations since go-live.