Interview • 04.11.2019

Advice for small and medium-sized retail businesses: “Be a part of the change!“

A quick market analysis by Professor Rüschen of the DHBW Heilbronn

View of a smiling man listening to two other men talking....
Prof. Dr. Stephan Rüschen, lecturer in food retailing at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Heilbronn, moderated the event Trendforum Retail.
Source: Trendforum Retail

Prof. Dr. Stephan Rüschen, assistant lecturer in food retailing at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Heilbronn presented the second part of the Trendforum Retail 2019, which emphasized the challenges and opportunities for brick and mortar retailers. As a follow-up to the lectures and discussions, he summed up the findings for iXtenso.

Professor Rüschen, what is your takeaway from this event?

Prof. Stephan Rüschen: The event has shown that stakeholders across the industry are taking topics like digitization and artificial intelligence very seriously, but that they should also be cautious about being too euphoric. Those who want to use technology should examine very carefully what fits and matches their identity and strategy.

What is your advice for retailers?

Some digitize their processes more, some do it to a lesser extent. Either way, a spirit of change is in the air, which is why my advice to retailers is to be a part of the change! Keep up and stay well informed to make smart investment decisions. After all, there are so many options, making it impossible to implement everything all at once - not just because of the size of the investments, but because retailers would also need too much staff to get it all done.

What advice would you give to your students if you lectured about this event?

I would encourage my students to learn about big data and data evaluation. One issue that kept coming up was how you can translate data analysis findings into areas like marketing communication, digital signage at the POS and shopfitting. You shouldn’t have to make decisions based on intuition and emotion alone. That’s why I would urgently advise my students to learn how to deal with data. We don’t have information scientists who model data, but we have business economists who should have the ability to make decisions based on data.

Man with glasses speaks into a microphone and gesticulates....
Source: Trendforum Retail

In other words, data analysis is the way to achieve success?

It's a step in the right direction, but it can only yield success if you also have a vision and business strategy. Technology assists with strategy, not the other way around.

There was a lot of talk about strategies at this event. What was your takeaway pertaining to this subject?

There are only two successful strategies that work. The first one is a discount pricing strategy engaging in cost leadership, though this one was actually not the subject of conversations. Pursuing a differentiation strategy is the second option. When it comes to non-food retail, this means creating better customer experiences. Any path in between is very difficult.

Are you hopeful about the future of small and medium-sized brick and mortar retailers?

Yes, of course, I’m hopeful! The small and medium-sized retailers we featured at the Trendforum Retail prove that small and medium-sized businesses can still compete and survive if they play to their local strengths. The deep roots of SMEs in their community is a significant advantage and opportunity and something that’s somewhat more difficult to achieve for national retail chains. Despite the digitization of everything, it is critical for stores as an employer and contact to be an integral part of the city and community and highlight their distinct personality and character.

Interview: Julia Pott

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Smile please! How to showcase products with amazing photos...
31.05.2019   #online marketing #product presentation

Smile please! How to showcase products with amazing photos

Quick guide to product photography

There is one fundamental difference between online and brick-and-mortar stores: Customers cannot touch, smell or try out the products. Essentially, the eyes decide whether something is ordered or not.That’s why product images and descriptions ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Rewarding customers for sustainable shopping...
29.07.2019   #sustainability #loyalty cards

Rewarding customers for sustainable shopping

Koin Rewards & Fidel bring loyalty and card-linking together

Koin Rewards, the ethical rewards platform built on the blockchain, announced that it has partnered with card linking API Fidel to build a responsible and sustainable rewards program for shoppers.Koin Rewards is working with Fidel to build a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Distract or divert!
10.09.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

Distract or divert!

How to engage customers at the checkout

Retailers and retail designers spend a considerable amount of time discussing and juggling a crucial aspect of the customer experience at the point of purchase: the checkout.To be fair, it’s not easy to turn the moment when customers have to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical...
25.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical

Survey about online customer reviews on platforms

Uberall, Inc., a location marketing solution for businesses, released new data on how small- and medium-sized businesses feel about online customer reviews across platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Instagram, Google and more. For the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Innovation in sustainable packaging design and materials...
08.07.2019   #sustainability #packaging

Innovation in sustainable packaging design and materials

Bosch Packaging Technology and BillerudKorsnäs intensify collaboration

The demand for sustainable packaging among consumers and brand owners all over the world is growing at an exponential rate, which in many cases drives a strong need to replace plastic packaging. Strong partnerships are required to bring about the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: GfK study: Brick-and-mortar retail in the EU...
14.06.2019   #marketing research #trend research

GfK study: Brick-and-mortar retail in the EU

Highest 2019 growth in Romania and Lithuania

The majority of European consumers are currently subjected to opposing forces. On the one hand, this consists of uncertainty over Brexit, trade conflicts and weaker growth prospects in important export markets such as China. But on the other hand, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: British consumer behavior: ethical and Instagrammable...
06.08.2019   #marketing research #customer analysis

British consumer behavior: ethical and Instagrammable

Report tracking spending across major consumer markets

As Brexit rumbles on, British consumers continue to spend on brands and businesses that successfully tap into the Holy Trinity of current consumer behavior: the ‘experience economy’, the booming health and wellness movement, and the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Overspending is common when shopping online
25.06.2019   #online trading #customer analysis

Overspending is common when shopping online

Report on digital spending and its impact on American's credit card debt

About 2 in 5 (42 percent) of consumers admit blowing their budgets while online shopping in the past 6 months, according to new research from CouponFollow, an online couponing platform. The new report surveyed over 1,700 American consumers on their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: SPAR continues European expansion with entry into Kosovo...
02.08.2019   #brick and mortar retail #business developement

SPAR continues European expansion with entry into Kosovo

6 store openings in 2019 and 7 more planned for 2020

The voluntary food retail organization SPAR International announces the brand’s entry into the Kosovan retail market, the 27th European market, in line with their expansion strategy.SPAR Kosovo is a new entity set up by a consortium of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Leveraging the smartphone – mobile shopping...
13.06.2019   #mobile shopping #mobile couponing

Leveraging the smartphone – mobile shopping

67 percent of consumers are likely to shop with a retailer that offers mobile coupons

The proliferation and convenience of mobile devices has completely changed shopping behaviors and elevated customer expectations.Mobile shopping will continue to grow as 41 percent of consumers in the BRP Consumer Study indicate they plan to ...

Supplier

iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
CCV Deutschland GmbH
CCV Deutschland GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
HappyOrNot
HappyOrNot
Innere Kanalstraße 15
50823 Köln