Retail and customer experience

Download Thinking Heads Global Trends report with experts in retail and customer experience



Small retail’s future

According to Dimas Gimeno, “small retail has always seen larger retailers as city competitors. This relation should be rethinked and transformed into a collaborative one. Cities cannot be understood without stores are the main pillar of their movement. The accelerated growth of tourism makes essential for cities to create and conceive an adequate retail offer, crating shared logistic infrastructures and promoting potential alliances that could generate new opportunities for both business models.”

“The most important challenge small retail faces is its culture. Amazon and Alibaba have created a culture based on innovation and continuous evolution. Most traditional retailers have a culture that relies on maintaining the status quo, on doing what they have traditionally done. It is true that they have decided to do it a bit more efficiently by placing incremental adjustments, but fail to add radical changes to their business models”, states Sterling Hawkins.

Under Dimas Gimeno’s view, “the human factor can play a crucial role; it is the differentiating factor that is needed to counterbalance cold sales experiences. Through technology, tools can be provided to employees, freeing them from non-essential tasks and boosting their capabilities to build a better customer experience. Sellers should spend less time browsing warehouses or at the registers and use their time to accompany customers and generate experiences customers would like to repeat.”


An experience in line with the brand philosophy

Juan Carlos Alcaide about retail consumer experience: “it has to be emotional, entertaining, and even educative. The customer needs to leave the store having learnt something new.

Similarly, the experience should be more collective than individual, it should have a holistic social concept that represents the essence and philosophy of the brand. It should be possible to touch and have a full sensorial experience, looking to boost positive engagement: when leaving the store, the customer should be willing to recommend others this experience.”



Dimas Gimeno

Business leader in the retail sector. President of El Corte Inglés (2014-2018).


Juan Carlos Alcaide

Expert in marketing, customer experience, digital business and social and technology trends.


Sterlin Hawkins

Businessman and expert in emerging technology and commerce, founder of the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology (CART).

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