April Sabral, Founder and President of retailu is an accomplished retail executive with over 25 years of experience in the retail space. Sabral recognizes the importance of building team leadership within companies as it will alter the effectiveness and willingness of employees within all branches of the business. She believes that by building teams that are able to work together effectively with the same goals in mind, revolutionary changes can be made within an institution. A successful business starts with the people building it, and that’s what Sabral focuses on. With Sabral’s expertise in the field, the following information she shared with us can be extremely helpful and resourceful when looking to build your company.
Firstly, Sabral identified the most important success factors in omnichannel experience. She recognizes that most importantly, you need to listen to your customers. She identified that this is a field that is often forgotten about because retailers are often so concerned about their product. If the customer journey component of your product experience is ignored, your product will begin to not matter anymore. Companies put so much work into different branches in order to build their business but if the user experience is forgotten, the other departments are wasted. You can understand your customer journey better by understanding how they move between in-store and online. This method will be useful because it allows us to determine where there is room for improvement.
In a time where the relationship between buyer and seller is fragile, we also asked Sabral what ways she thinks retailers can deliver their in-store customer experience online. Sabral explained that, “navigation is key” and that every interaction should be flawless. She exclaimed that, “if you can get the journey and the checkout experience right, then you’re in the business”. When looking at the statistics, she noted that there is 7x more friction checking out online than in-store so it is very important to not have any errors. Another important component to delivering the customer experience online is having plenty of knowledge on the product. This understanding can be developed through knowing your products origin and your own company’s background story. Customers are able to feel a greater connection when they feel the retailer is being completely transparent and honest about the product and the company’s identity.
Additionally, we were curious to know what Sabral thinks the next 5 years look like for both brick and mortar and ecommerce. She believes that brands who do not change their in-store experiences will continue to close. Although stores that are only online will likely open their own brick and mortar locations to help execute their customer experience. Regardless, companies will need to evolve in whatever ways necessary to fit the needs of their clients.
Sabral notes that the biggest change she’s seen in consumer behaviour in the last 5 years is that people shop online more than ever. With online shopping, the opportunities are endless so people are much more knowledgeable on products that are offered across the market so they have higher expectations of brands. With this switch to online shopping, many people have lost their patience. They want their product as soon as possible so your website needs to be easily accessible and effective.