29 October 2019

4 top tips for staying relevant in retail

With a number of clients in the retail sector, we like to make sure we're keeping up to date with challenges and issues facing the industry.

Georgia and Gary from the Synergy team recently went along to a talk at one of our local universities, UWE Bristol, to learn more about the changing landscape of the retail industry and how organisations can stay relevant in these shifting times. 

The talk was led by guest speaker Andrew Jennings, a Global Retail Advisor, who has a wealth of retail experience spanning 45+ years and has worked with the likes of Selfridges, Harrods and SAKs, to name a few. In 45 minutes, Andrew shared his expertise and experiences with the audience on how to manage the unprecedented change the retail industry is currently facing and what businesses can do to keep up.

Andrew’s formula for success in the retail industry is to stay relevant and that starts with employees. His advice is that if you want to transform your business from good to great, your employees are key. And this advice rings true for most sectors in business: investing in engaged workforces helps to make employees happier and more productive and ultimately, makes for good business. 


We’ve had a think about Andrew’s 4 key points to being relevant in retail and put an internal comms spin on it:

Know your customer

Knowing your customer and knowing your employee are both equally important. Knowing your employee inside out – how they like to receive and consume comms, when the best time is to reach them and what they want to know – is crucial insight in ensuring your communications land well. Most organisations will do this for their customers; it’s worth turning that effort inwards and treating employees as customers too to achieve the best levels of engagement. 


Innovate with excellence

Trying new things is important in retail and it’s a vital part of keeping your communications fresh too. In a world that is always innovating, retailers are having to keep up with constant change and shifting expectations from customers. In a similar way, keeping employees engaged and motivated relies on innovating how you communicate with them. Whether it’s introducing a new digital platform or launching a wellbeing initiative, keeping your comms channels and campaigns up to date and exciting will help to engage your internal audience.


Hire talented and passionate people

As a consumer, being served in a shop by someone who is uninterested and bored can make the experience unenjoyable. It’s vital to ensure that your people are passionate and talented and want to provide a good service that will stick in the mind of a shopper. In all industries, employees who are passionate about a brand will become advocates and be more invested in the success of the organisation. Tailoring your communications and recruitment campaigns to reflect your internal brand and values is key to attracting and retaining the right talent. 


Keep change at the centre of everything you do

Change, as we know, is inevitable and in all industries it’s the only constant we can truly count on. It’s important that you have the right measures in place to support your employees and ensure that they feel informed and involved through times of change. This is particularly key in retail at the moment, as the industry continues to change and adapt to consumer needs. 


If you want to catch up on Andrew’s advice on the changing landscape of retail, check out the full recording here: 

Andrew’s talk was a brilliant insight into the world of retail and the challenges that the sector is facing.

We’re helping retail clients like Aldi and DFS to remain relevant with their internal communications. If you’d like some inspiration on how to tackle one of the 4 points above, whether it’s audience segmentation, running a change masterclass or giving your recruitment campaigns an overhaul, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to help! 

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