You joined during a period when stores were closed. What has changed since stores opened again?
It's definitely different, and also difficult sometimes. About 85% of our employees are fashion consultants who can't relate as much to logistics. When our stores were closed, they were all set up like warehouses - no one was interested in how they looked, it just had to work. Now, we need to create a nice ambience again so that customers like coming to us, while handling the logistics at the same time.
How do you integrate it into your business?
Up until now, we have integrated Connected Retail on our shop floor and make it transparent for our customers. We try to manage the selection processes before store opening hours, which works well during normal times. Unfortunately, this doesn't work during sale periods because, fortunately, there are more orders then. Managing all these orders on the shop floor will be challenging - therefore, we are thinking about moving Connected Retail operations to the back of the store to make things easier.
So, will you continue to use Connected Retail during peak season and Cyber Week this year?
Absolutely! Connected Retail marks a great addition to our business. You can sell different articles online rather than in the physical store, which makes our buying process bolder than before. Our stores are located in a rural region, so the very fashionable items do not perform so well in stores, but sell very well online. This encourages us to be a bit bolder when ordering for the new season.
What's one tip you want to offer potential new joiners of Connected Retail?
Don't aim to make everything perfect, but just do it, get started and then see how it works. There are so many surprises that you'll discover later. Our philosophy is to just start things, and not to think it through to the smallest detail. And so far, this has worked pretty well.
Thank you, Christian and have a successful holiday season!