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La Minute Retail : the future of retail and the impact of digital technologies

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When you manage a blog about marketing you necessarily have to cover many different areas of interest. Retail is one of them. And what do you do to get new ideas, insights and keep up with the latest news in your field? You read others’ blogs. Laminuteretail belongs to my shortlist of blogs to follow. It was launched a little but more than a year ago by Anthony Leroy, a young and passionate marketing enthusiast living in Lille, in the north of France.

Being myself located in Brussels, after a few emails exchanges we decided to bypass virtual correspondence and meet up in person.

The good thing with such encounters is that you can share and compare points of views on at least two topics : the very subject of the blog (retail in that case) and the reasons to blog.

Over the months Anthony has developed an interesting perspective when dealing about digital marketing aspects in stores. It’s certainly one of the most important trends in today’s retail and keeping up with all future novelties is a challenge that Anthony tackles very well. Enough with this introduction; let’s ask Anthony a few questions …

IntoTheMinds : Where does your interest for retail come from ?

Anthony Leroy : I would say that it comes from a lot of different factors. As you can see in my blog La Minute Retail, I am mostly interested in how technology can be integrated in brick and mortar stores and how it can positively impact customer experience in general.

On a larger scale, I am really interested in how retail brands try to develop a better and stronger relationship with their customers. Digital technologies allow new kinds of creativity from the brands which brings new experiences to the customers. I think it really is fascinating to look at how all of this is evolving through my posts.

IntoTheMinds : which aspects of today’s retail do you find the most exciting ?

Anthony Leroy : Tough question! Many aspects of the retail landscape as we can see it today are exciting. One of the things I find the most interesting is the way retailers are adapting to the “omnichannel commerce”.

Of course, there is not one single answer or one single way to deal with it. Many components of the customer experience (and beyond) have to be taken into account. For example, we talk a lot about how the store and the retailer must be connected to the customer in order to initiate a much more personalized experience but it is not the end of the road.

No doubt, omnichannel commerce is something that has to be done but it brings about a lot of smaller complexities that retailers need to overcome before starting to provide a real connected experience to their customers.

IntoTheMinds : what are the retail topics you covered in your blog that amazed you the most and why ?

Anthony Leroy :  Actually, La Minute Retail is focused on one general topic : the digital in retail. So everyting I cover amazes me in some ways! 🙂 Of course, this general topic can be divided in multiple sub-topics but it’s not easy to pick only one of them as they are all really interlinked.

As I mentionned above, the personalization of the customer experience is something I find of prime importance in today’s retail, as well as the possibility for the customer to co-create something with their favorite brands. For example, in my blog, I dedicated posts to Topman  and Converse, two brands which really empower the customers whilst in store by providing them the digital tools to make these brands their own.

IntoTheMinds : Is there still a future for physical stores ? What will physical stores look like in 10 years ?

Anthony Leroy :  Of course there is! I am not going to talk about the fact that customers largely prefer to shop in store rather than on a web site as it has been said a million times now and because all the studies lead to the same conclusion. One thing that is also true : the store is already changing and it is being enhanced by all the opportunities carried out by digital technologies.

In ten years, I think that physical stores will be much more than the stores as we conceive them today. They will be spaces where we can be entertained, spaces where we can really feel something as we shop, spaces where we can be moved to another place in a matter of seconds (I am thinking about technologies such as Oculus Rift). Actually, they will be spaces where we like to go and spend time.

 I am pretty sure that La Minute Retail will have plenty of things to deal with in the future! 🙂

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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