Steve Dennis’s book Remarkable Retail.
The retail sector, by nature, must be one of the most innovative in the market. Retailers have always been innovators, which makes it a fun segment to follow. That made the NRF 2023 Retail’s Big Show the perfect event to see where the trends are heading. And there was no better time for HCL Commerce to host an exclusive briefing by Steve Dennis, best-selling author of Remarkable Retail, for our customers, prospects, and partners.
For those who don’t know Steve: he is a Senior Retail Contributor at Forbes, founder of SageBerry Consulting, and was recently voted a top retail influencer (again) by Rethink Retail. In a former life, Steve was also an SVP Strategy for Neiman Marcus.
Steve took us on a journey on how the major digital disruption in retail has eroded the competitive advantage, from key elements of differentiation. We briefly reviewed the seismic disrupters of the recent past, from e-commerce to multichannel, as well as omnichannel and e-commerce fulfillment models. Here, we saw a blurring of lines between physical and digital customer experiences.
The bottom line is this: the future of retail is healthy. The only collapsing segment of the market are the retailers that don’t stand out among the competition, that don’t give the consumers what they want! According to Steve, we are at the point where even being “very good” may not be enough to thrive. According to Steve, you need to be “remarkable” to survive the shift. Without revealing too many of Steve’s secrets on how to survive and win in the age of disruption, we can tell you that he walked his attendees through the eight essential qualities of being “remarkable.”
The pace of the presentation was intense, and the questions came rapid-fire as the attendees remained engaged. I saw lots of nodding heads at every last one of the eight essentials as Steve presented them—the message was that he gets us. Because he has lived it. One of my favorite of Steve’s examples of the essentials was the story of Restoration Hardware in New York. This gem is hidden in the gallery in the historic Meatpacking District in NYC. This was a familiar friend, as it was also one of the stops on a fantastic HCL Commerce Retail Tour at NRF 2020…the last one before the pandemic.
As I reflected on all the changes of the last three years, I’m leaving you with this…retailers think they have time to make changes and lean into the shift. But the truth is, every day that you delay, you fall further behind the competition. Some of those competitors may not even be on your radar yet—disruption comes fast! Don’t be left behind. Join the digital transformation now. Click here to talk to a retail expert on harnessing digital disruption—for your consumers.