RETAIL A FUTURE IN RETAIL

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1 RETAIL A FUTURE IN RETAIL

2 WHAT IS RETAIL ABOUT? The world of retail has moved far beyond the bricks and mortar of shopping malls or upmarket specialty boutiques. Retailers no longer simply offer a product or service; they also facilitate and engage with customers by offering advice, solving problems and building relationships. Successful retailers in the 21st century have embraced technological change, social media and online channels to connect with customers. They use technology, psychology and design to enhance the shopping experience and convert browsers into buyers. Social media is playing a particularly important role. If you have a strong interest in looking at retail from a business perspective, such as shopper behaviour, store management and merchandising, retail advertising and promotion, and love the idea of enhancing the shopping experience, then this could be a great career path for you.

3 OUTLOOK AND TRENDS IN RETAIL Omni-channel retailing There is a significant focus on seamless interaction for customers, regardless of how the customer connects. These integrated shopping experiences extend from the shop floor to Facebook, Twitter, marketing, texting, television, radio, direct mail, catalogues etc. It is often simultaneous and increasingly interchangeable. Online sales The opportunities to sell online is growing exponentially as consumers browse on smartphones throughout the day. To stay relevant, retailers have to deliver online as well as instore and elsewhere. This includes the development of Bluetooth devices that send tailored information to customers near or in the store and encouraging loyalty by strengthening relationships with customers through social media and other devices. Customer experience The physical space needs to provide a compelling customer experience rather than be simply a place to transact. Vision stalls with couches, coffee and TV screens are becoming more common. Retail atmospherics, such as the use of scent as well as visual cues, are also being used to influence the customer s experience. Customer relationships and brand loyalty There is a real challenge in developing a retailer programme that connects fully with shoppers and encourages a commitment. Significant and valued points of difference, such as exclusivity of a brand, will be critical to retailers wanting customers to stay brand loyal and not be fixed in the price end of the market. Leveraging data Retailers will collect more information from customers, made easier through technological advances, then use it to provide a more tailored marketing approach. Retail design Retailers are trending towards storytelling and giving shoppers a full experience within their store and online environment by using instore design, merchandise selection and salespeople. The trend aims to combat showrooming (people checking out stores then buying elsewhere online), and encourage webrooming (people doing internet research at home, then making purchases instore). Global connections Competition is not just coming from the local store next door, but from international sources due to online channels. Human interaction There will be an increased focus on engaging with customers by offering advice, solutions and building relationships. Hard sell is becoming less effective. Very strong customer service skills will be essential for a career in retail. (Sources: New Zealand Retailers Association Retail Market in NZ 2013, An Analysis, and AUT Senior Lecturer, Marketing and Advertising, Helene Wilkinson). CAREER ROLES Retail careers are developed in a variety of ways, but often graduates will start on the retail floor to get a thorough grounding of the business. They usually quickly work their way up to more senior roles and eventually reach roles with high levels of responsibility, such as a senior buyer. Omni-channel Marketing Manager Responsible for developing, directing and controlling the company s traditional and digital marketing strategies and activities to achieve sales and profit targets. This is done via a comprehensive omni-channel marketing strategy that services both the online and retail side of the business, involving high level of knowledge of merchandise, customer behaviour and production processes. Retail Buyer Manages the planning and selecting of the product range. Buyers source new merchandise and conduct regular range reviews of existing items to ensure products remain competitive. Responsible for keeping up-to-date with market trends and reacting to changes in demand. Retail Marketer/Marketing Assistant Assists the retailer in developing content and media to connect with shoppers and activate them to purchase. Involves understanding of customer/shopper data, media vehicles and shopper segmentation. Buyer s Assistant Assists in preparation for range reviews, collating information for sales analysis, liaising with suppliers and agents, creating, maintaining and tracking orders and assisting with product advertising. Store Manager Responsible for reaching sales targets and maximising store profitability, managing and motivating staff, ensuring high levels of customer service, dealing with customer service issues and complaints, visual merchandising, and supervising and organising training.

4 WORK SETTINGS The initial point of interaction with customers in a retail store is only one part of the retail world. Office-based roles include working in teams to do merchandise planning and buying for department stores, planning and developing retail designs or analysing customer behaviour with senior buyers, and activating and developing retail strategies at head office level. Visual merchandisers, planners and analysts often travel from store to store within companies or chains/franchises around the country. SALARIES Pay ranges from $30,000 to six figure salaries, depending on the role, sector and experience. Salary ranges listed are indicative of the New Zealand job market at the time of publication and should only be used as a guideline. Usual salary (per year) Omni-channel Marketing Manager PERSONAL QUALITIES $80,000 - $120,000 Retail Buyer $65,000 - $105,000 Retail Marketer/Marketing Assistant (Marketing Assistant s will start at the low end of this salary range. Salary increases with experience and position progression) $45,000 - $120,000 Buyers Assistant $42,000 - $65,000 Store Manager $30,000 - $60,000* *Some companies offer profit share and other incentives, meaning in some cases a store manager can earn over $150,000 per annum. (Salaries sources: Salary ranges based on information provided by Hudson Salary and Employment Insights 2014 Report, Retailworld Resourcing, CareersNZ and the Trade Me Jobs Retail Salary Guide as at June 2014). Effective listener and communicator Listens and communicates effectively in a variety of situations with people from a range of backgrounds. Leadership Able to lead others, delegate and work well in teams. Engagement Has the people skills to engage with a wide range of people. Insightful Has the ability to perceive clearly and read complex situations or problems. Practical and hands-on Shows initiative and the ability to be effective in a number of different situations. Efficient Well-organised and competent. Competent Able to absorb knowledge learned and apply information and solutions to real-life situations. Creative Able to understand how design elements influence shopping behaviour and develop creative solutions. RANGE OF SKILLS Sound knowledge of shopping behaviour and how to apply it to every area of retail. Ability to turn data and metrics into sales and ROI (return on investment) through understanding the position of the company, then selling to expected or required rates of return. Ability to use shopper information to the retailer s advantage through giving consumers relevant, personalised and convenient information that leads to higher customer engagement and conversion rates. Expertise in omni-channel retailing to provide a seamless approach so customers can research and shop at their convenience. This involves connecting with, then tracking, customers across all available shopping channels e.g. mobile, internet devices, computers, television, radio, direct mail etc. Awareness of where the opportunities are to influence shopping behaviour through various tools and resources e.g. changes to atmosphere, store design etc. Understand social media and it s rapidly changing effect on consumer purchasing behaviour. Customer-focused approach to every aspect of retailing, whether visual merchandising, assisting a customer or working with online channels. Open to innovation and able to experiment and break new ground in pursuit of commercial objectives. FURTHER STUDY OPTIONS Further study in retail and business is available at postgraduate level, including the Master of Business, Master of Marketing, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy. Research areas include store windows and shopper behaviour, instore shopper engagement strategies and its impact on shopping behaviour, and scent and the retail environment. UNIQUE TO AUT Real business experience through a compulsory applied business project or industry placement (recent placements included Noel Leeming, Farmers and Pumpkin Patch). Industry links with large retail organisations, such as New World, PAK nsave, Noel Leeming Group, Farmers and The Warehouse Ltd, that offer work placements and/or research projects for students. The opportunity to join an international retail tour that provides a first-hand view of very large or very niche leading edge retailers and their strategies within an overseas marketplace; an experience that is rare to gain within New Zealand retail.

5 Skye Turner Marketing Manager at Flooring Xtra Bachelor of Business in Retail and Marketing While studying I worked as a marketing coordinator at Flooring Xtra and also did my co-op here. Since then my job has evolved from helping stores with ads and creating website content, to designing large scale campaigns, building new websites and planning the brand s direction. Nurturing and growing the Flooring Xtra brand is at the heart of my role. A typical day I could be working with media buyers looking at TV placements, designing catalogue campaigns, walking through a new store advising layout or participating in a board meeting and the planning of the company s direction for the next 10 years. When a new store comes on board or it is time for a refit of an old store, with the knowledge from my degree I can do a walk through, suggest layout options, identify where top selling spots are, the type of lighting to use for tasks, ambience, the positioning of counters and so on. RECRUITER COMMENT An intermediate level of Microsoft Office skills is assumed of graduates with many clients requiring advanced Excel skills, particularly in roles that require reporting, planning, buying, category management. In creative roles proficiency in Photoshop and Illustrator is often a must. Digital experience and understanding is also in high demand particularly when it comes to e-commerce, digital marketing and social media. Having retail experience as a graduate is important. Utilise your social networks to find work. Post that you are about to graduate and what you are interested in doing it shows initiative and a proactive nature. A LinkedIn page is also a great way to strengthen your online presence in a way that you control. Retailworld Resourcing

6 RETAIL USEFUL WEBSITES For the most up-to-date retail information visit our website: You can also contact the AUT Student Centre team for help and advice: 0800 AUT UNI ( ) CITY CAMPUS 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland Central NORTH SHORE CAMPUS 90 Akoranga Drive, Northcote, Auckland SOUTH CAMPUS 640 Great South Road, Manukau, Auckland AUT MILLENNIUM 17 Antares Place, Mairangi Bay, Auckland Connect with us now: The information contained in this career sheet was correct at time of print, November 2014

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