Antonia Hock of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center: The Future Of Retail In The Post Pandemic World

An Interview With Jilea Hemmings

Jilea Hemmings
Oct 19, 2020 · 14 min read

Omni Channel is connecting physical and digital: Consumers are consolidating the number of retailers that they visit, and as we enter the next stage of transformation with COVID, physical and digital elements of the shopping experience are converging more than ever before. Many large (and small) retailers have historically viewed omni-channel in a narrow digital platform way, and most are working hard to fully integrate the digital experience with the physical experience to deliver on new age experiences that consumers demand.

  1. Acceleration of real estate change: Companies are rethinking investments here, reconfiguring space, divesting of real estate, and moving to new concepts like pods. Maybe the concept of a physical headquarters is dead.
  2. End-to-end employee experience vs. discreet services: This is a big change to how companies think about the life and work of an employee. Historically companies would offer “dining services” or “AV or conference room services”, “mail services”, “computing services”, but now we are seeing a rapid transformation to a fully integrated experience. We do “customer journey” mapping all the time in CX, but now it is time for “employee journey” mapping in TX/EX as well as a full reimagining of the services offered and how they are delivered and consumed.
  1. Enhanced digital that extends ecommerce: Big retailers are moving beyond ecommerce capabilities to embrace the full digital customer experience, and consumers love this enhanced experience. Features like online delivery scheduling, detailed online order tracking, a dynamic customized homepage, personalized recommendations, simplified search and navigation and an expanded online product offering are all big hits with online consumers.
  2. Supply Chain Improvements: The pandemic has required large retailers to substantially evaluate their supply chain agility. Many are reconfiguring their delivery terminals, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers to ensure that they can pivot with the speed required in the new pandemic economy. While these changes require configuration over months, every major profitable retailer is quickly moving to address ways to maximize and improve their supply chain.
  3. Omni Channel is connecting physical and digital: Consumers are consolidating the number of retailers that they visit, and as we enter the next stage of transformation with COVID, physical and digital elements of the shopping experience are converging more than ever before. Many large (and small) retailers have historically viewed omni-channel in a narrow digital platform way, and most are working hard to fully integrate the digital experience with the physical experience to deliver on new age experiences that consumers demand.
  4. Buyer Persona Engagement: Large retailers are homing in on their critical buyer personas and working on strategies to engage these loyal consumers. Many large retailers have focused on understanding the buyer persona for their products and by deeply committing to this model, they have been able to deliver strong profit throughout the pandemic. Whether the retailer focuses on yoga products, beauty, home furnishings, or home improvement, disciplined buyer persona modelling has never been more important.
  1. Client-centric focus: Lululemon has enjoyed a profitable ride through the pandemic fueled by their longstanding relentless focus on being client-centric. Their commitment to target personas, active social media presence supporting these personas, collaboration with influencers who understand these personas, and the client-oriented approach is driving their successful strategies. This important concept is utilized by most of the profitable pandemic retailers.

Authority Magazine

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Pop Culture, Business, Tech, Wellness, & Social Impact

Authority Magazine

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Jilea Hemmings

Written by

Founder Nourish + Bloom Market | Stretchy Hair Care I Author I Speaker I Eshe Consulting I Advocate For Diversity In Beauty

Authority Magazine

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.