Prior to What’s going on in Retailing?! we’ve interviewed Justin Goes, Sr. Area Development Manager North Europe, Subway International b.v.. We have asked him about future developments, innovations and trends.
What is the most interesting development that you are seeing with regards to consumer behaviour and customer engagement at the moment?
Consumers are every changing and so should retail organizations. This is no rocket science, but you need to be able to listen to your customers. One to One marketing, feedback & review systems, Loyalty scheme’s and value for money remain key factors in engaging with customers. A retailer should be prepared to listen and act upon customer feedback. Look at online purchasing. Customers will look at reviews & ratings before purchasing something online. This applies to (offline) retail organizations as well. What is your organization doing to listen and learn from your customers?
Which new innovations in the retail industry are of greatest interest to you and why?
NFC payments, like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc. These new and fast ways of payment will start to take shares in the digital payments. Banks aren’t too happy about this development, but this (in my view) is mainly coming from the fact that they have not invested in such platforms. Transaction costs will be minimal and speed of payment will go up, which is important for any retail organization handling massive amounts of peak traffic.
Which future trends are you keeping an eye on?
There is an ongoing trend in the foodservice sector around offering healthier choices and menu’s, sided with a growing importance of local sourcing and sustainable sourcing. All trends that will become increasingly important to follow for any retailer. Larger retail organizations understand the importance of offering food to consumers. The question is whether they are able to do this with their own brands or that we are following the US trends of having larger (global) brands being present in their facilities. Think about Foodservice Catering companies teaming up with companies like Starbucks and Subway to generate more brand equity and customer appreciation of their offerings. Think about BP introducing Marks & Spencer’s in their petrol filling stations. Big brands bring big crowds of people, it is proven throughout many different branches. Take the example of Gamma/Karwei DIY stores, looking to introduce Subway restaurants in their facilities. Intergamma is a retailer that knows how to sell home improvement & décor items, they are not foodservice specialists, while Subway obviously is.
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