Empowering the shop floor

04/05/2023 | by Blair McVicar

Empowering the shop floor

Blair McVicar, Proximity’s Customer Success Manager EMEA knows only too well the challenges and opportunities that arise on the shop floor. Beginning his retail career at a prominent Australian department store, Blair spent 10 years working directly with customers where he honed his deep understanding of the customer journey, and the ever-changing demands retailers face.

After using the Retail Super-App in his previous retail roles, Blair joined the Proximity team in 2021, and now helps empower the brands we work with to deliver remarkable customer experiences and produce exceptional results.

As a retail veteran with experience in different roles and countries, we asked him about the pain points retailers face today, why the employee and customer relationship is so important, and how brands should be using customer data to breed loyalty and lifetime value.

What are some of the biggest challenges retailers are facing today?

“We saw a real transition over the COVID years where customers expectations completely changed. We see brands we work with really trying to personalise the connection with their customers more and more because that is what customers respond to now. It’s no longer good enough to blast out a marketing email to your database and hope that’s going to drive the sales you need… it’s about how you personalise the relationship more and more with those customers.”

What challenges are store associates facing? 

“Most retail team members want to do a good job for the brand they work for. The challenge for brands is how do you make that as easy as possible, and when you don’t make that easy, that’s when you see the experience for the customer start to fall down. When the team member has to go to one system to transact, another system to look up my previous appointment and another system to look up a previous purchase… it’s just such a broken experience that frustrates the team member, which then in turn frustrates the customer.”

Why is collecting customer data so important?

“Retailers see conversion rates of 15-25% of customers that walk into the store and purchase that day, and most retailers capture data at POS, but there is such opportunity there because not every customer makes it to POS. So where brands are able to capture customer data who aren’t transacting and don’t make it to POS that day, that is where they can unlock so much value.”

How do store associates use customer data?

“The Retail Super-App is there to consolidate and amplify the ability for employees to take that customer data and information into their own hands and use it to outreach in the best way possible… not every customer wants to be connected with in the same way or in the same rhythm, so it allows team members to make those decisions using the data available to them to really make sure they build and nurture relationships in a way that works for their customer.”

How are retailers using our app to get the best results?

“The more personalised the outreach the better – that’s where we see the most success. Where you can have a simple thank-you to a customer that is really personalised… things like that have remarkable success rates.

Other examples of successes comes from rebuilding relationships with lapsing customers. We help brands navigate how to target those customers and diagnose the best way to manage that.”

Blair McVicar

Written by Blair McVicar

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