In order to compete with online retailers, traditional retailing must consider offering products, services but also experiences to encourage consumers to come to the store (Kurutz 2015). Despite the benefits of shopping online, which include lower search costs, wider choice of merchandise and lack of temporal or spatial barriers to browse or purchase, a visit to a physical store enables consumers to touch and try on the product, feel the brand come to life and engage with trained employees who can help them achieve their shopping objectives (RSR 2016; Fujitsu 2016). The consumer journey through the store presents many opportunities to engage with the retail brand, and may involve numerous touchpoints before the final transaction. These touchpoints increasingly involve new digital media and links to the online channel, such as social networking or electronic and mobile device channels, including blogs, communities, video, and location-based services. As more fashion retailers adopt technology-based innovations in-store and online to communicate with consumers throughout their shopping journey, the key to success lies in exploiting synergies with the online channel to drive footfall to physical stores (McCormick et al. 2014). Some of the benefits of the online channel can now be brought to the traditional bricks-and-mortar store via the capabilities of consumer-facing mobile technologies such as QR codes, RFID tags, provision of in-store Wi-Fi, retailer or staff use of mobile devices, beacon technology, mobile payment tools, mobile apps, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). As the most commonly found consumer-facing mobile technologies, these will be discussed in further detail in the following subsections.
Originally designed for industrial uses, QR codes are increasingly used in consumer contexts to provide a direct link between offline and online marketing communications. Consumers use their mobile device as a QR-code scanner, which displays and converts the code to some useful form (such as a standard URL for a website, thereby obviating the need for the consumer to type it into their web browser). QR codes may be found on in-store marketing literature, signage and shop windows and allow the consumer a fast and convenient way to access further brand-related content. For the retailer, the importance of this capability is that it increases the customer conversion rate by encouraging prospective customers to move further down the conversion funnel without delay or effort, bringing them to the advertiser’s site immediately, where a longer and more targeted sales pitch may continue. It is a pull mechanism for already-interested consumers to find out more and engage with the brand, rather than a push communication to the mass-market. Several fashion retailers have utilised QR codes to provide a connection between their physical and digital offerings, for example Diesel put QR codes on product labels which then took consumers to the brand’s social media platforms, whilst UGG put QR codes on its shop window to enable consumers to purchase the season’s most popular items digitally (Giorgetti 2014). However, the effectiveness of in-store QR codes depends on the willingness of consumers to scan them. Current evidence suggests males are more likely than females to use their mobile devices to scan QR codes in the UK (eMarketer 2014a). There are regional variations too; Giorgetti (2014) noted that QR codes are more likely to be scanned in China than in Europe, since consumers already use them on key social media platforms such as WeChat, which allows consumers to seamlessly scan a QR code and pay for the item on their mobile device.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology has been used upstream in retail logistics and supply chain management for some time, but their application to improve the consumer’s shopping experience is more recent (McCormick et al. 2014). RFID tags are tiny microchips hooked up to miniature antennas which contain a unique ID number that identifies the item to which the tag is attached (Ustundag and Tanyas 2009). They can be used to enhance customer experience by targeting consumers and providing more useful and personalised real-time information through push communication (for example customised recommendations) sent by the retailer, thus saving time as well as customising consumers’ in-store shopping experience (McCormick et al. 2014). This can be done by integrating RFID tags into mirrors, labels, shopping trolleys, scanners, products such as shoes or bags to track the consumer’s movements during and after purchase (Albrecht and McIntyre 2015; Lee et al. 2012; Kowatsch and Maas 2010). Implementing an RFID-enabled system can alter the service offered. It can result in an organisation relying completely on self-service, whereby the consumer enters the store, selects products to purchase, then exits the store through a system reader that automatically recognises all the products and charges the consumer’s credit card or store account, avoiding checkout queues (Lee et al. 2012). Department stores have introduced self-service technologies equipped with RFID systems for self-checkouts (Pantano 2015). In this way, the consumer-employee interaction would be entirely removed, or else this system could enable the retailer to utilise its employees in the form of roaming customer service representatives, thus providing a one-to-one experience with consumers to serve individual consumer needs more effectively than having them stand stationary at checkout counters (Lee et al. 2012). US fashion retailer Rebecca Minkoff installed interactive digital dressing room mirrors into its flagship store, where RFID tags recognise each item brought in by shoppers and when placed close to the mirror, show the item styled with different looks and other sizes and colour available, making recommendations and giving style advice (Greenwald 2015; Zaryouni 2015; McCormick et al. 2014; Milnes 2015). This consumer-facing technology is used not only to enhance the in-store experience but also to gather data and keep track of consumer behaviour in-store, by finding out which items are taken into the fitting rooms, and which ones are purchased or rejected (Milnes 2015).
Integration of RFID tags into the store environment can provide consumers a window into the retailer’s inner workings. In this way, Burberry used tags to create imaginative and personalised experiences. Customers can walk up to magic fitting room mirrors with items in hand and receive pop-up information about its craftsmanship; moreover, if the item is in a fashion show, a catwalk show appears, showing consumers how to style the item (McCormick et al. 2014; Ascharya 2016). Although RFID could help retailers target consumers and offer a better in-store experience, Boeck et al. (2011) noted that perceived intrusion is a resistance to adopt this technology; consumers were concerned about privacy issues, which could be due to misunderstanding how the retailer can access their location and thus perceiving it as an invasion of privacy. Further, consumers were happy to be identified from a distance from the store and also to have their movements and behaviour tracked in-store, but their identification on entering the store was perceived to be intrusive. This suggests that consumers are open to RFID tags that identify them from a distance, but more discreetly in-store. Lee et al. (2012) also stressed that the tagging of individual items could raise privacy issues, as although the tags can be removed from clothing and packages, they can still remain active and be tracked. Privacy concerns are therefore a significant barrier for the adoption of this technology (Turri et al. 2017).
professional goals examples
As a CEO, you should not want to be loved or even liked, but if you can’t earn the respect of every single person, you should quit. As leader, you are a failure. So how do you get respect? The answer is through fairness. And how do you get fairness? The answer is through the amount of time that you take to share the information to get to consensus, the time to share the information until everybody gets it. When everybody gets it, then we can all buy into it. And when we can all buy into it, we pull in the same direction. If we all get the right baseline information, then we all have an opportunity to get to the same answer. It takes time to share enough information, information that leads to a decision so that those people can think of themselves in your position and say, “Given this situation and this and this and this, I would make the decision this way; and now, that I see what position you were in, I think what you did was fair.” So, time spent sharing information is the key to getting respect and to being a great leader. Thought Leadership screw up by not understanding respect, by refusing to sit down and take the time with the team for that. That’s where they fail.
Never set your sights too low. You may hit them.
The leader’s rule No. 1 is “Never raise your voice” because nobody will follow a raving lunatic. When you yell at them, you show you don’t respect them and you don’t appreciate that they make money for you. Where did I get the lunatic phrase? I was CEO in a Radica board meeting when a new board member raised the issue of Rule No. 1: never raising your voice (actually, I think you can raise it once, for dramatic effect only). This new member pushed me to see if I had ever “slipped.” I paused a moment and, “No, I had never slipped.” He said: “Come on! You mean you never slipped?” I asked Lam Siu Wing (whom I placed on the board as the Chinese culture expert) who had been with the company since the first day and told him to be perfectly honest if he had seen me raise my voice. He thought a minute and said: “No, not in 13 years, never.” The new member said: “How is that possible?” I then off the cuff asked him if he would follow a “raving lunatic.” The Chairman said: “Next subject.” If I heard someone in the company raising their voice, I would say, “You are speaking so loud, I cannot hear you.”
Never create a false deadline. If you are found out, you will lose your credibility. Once you set a false deadline, they’ll never trust you again. And if they don’t meet the real deadline then you have a “come to Jesus talk” to learn why we missed.
It’s about ownership again (who owns the problem), about honesty and about whether you’re going to lead by manipulation or by giving someone else ownership of that deadline. You have to build a culture where everybody trusts everybody. But if they know that you are giving them a false deadline, then they can no longer trust you. They have to learn that everything you say is true. Because the first time they catch you in a lie it’s over. You’re no longer a leader.
Making a Person Better
My job is to make every employee a better person. If we can’t hold them in our company, we shouldn’t have them. If they find a better opportunity, I’ll send them the best wishes. But, I do all I can to hold them.
Marketing Your Creativity
Creativity is a subset of talent. I have not seen people who can create creativity. It is innate. That does not mean that it cannot be developed and nurtured (like giving confidence to use it); it needs discipline. Also, your creativity has to be communicated: There’s no value if it remains in your head. As stated earlier, communication is the foundation. Communication is a sub-set of discipline and is critical for success. Charisma is also a subset of communication, charisma is the ability to get people to listen to you, whether you are selling your idea or being a leader. Those people with charisma are candidates for leadership. To be a great leader, you need “all the ingredients in the cake”.
As a trained Industrial Designer, I believe that to be successful, you have to have creative skills that are purely natural; I have not seen creativity taught. At Art Center College of Design, they told us that they could only shape and polish our talent, not teach it to us; in fact, they simply disciplined us. At the Art Center, I saw many people arrive with many varied skills; the people who made it through the program and became successful had creativity coupled with discipline. The size of the success was proportional to the risk they took and the luck they found. I saw many with talent fall by the wayside because they could not harness, communicate, and market their talent. Very few became leaders. They lacked charisma. Is creativity important? Yes, it is important no matter what your discipline! Creativity is the seed of growth.