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World Retail Congress: Changing customer behaviour will create new roles

Changes in the way customers shop will create new roles in retailer organisations, said Martin Newman, chief executive of consultancy Practicology, at the World Retail Congress today.

In his presentation, Newman said he believes all retailers will start to introduce a chief customer officer role with responsibilities including driving customer experience and marketing across all channels. The role will also encompass customer service and fulfilment operations.

Newman also said that a second role of chief marketing technologist could be introduced as businesses see a merging of marketing and new technologies.

Newman said “Businesses need to change their mindset from ‘we have products we want to sell you’ to ‘we are a customer centric business that has some products you might like to buy’.”

To deliver this Newman said retailers will need leaders who understand customers and their shopping behaviours and who embrace change rather than stick to a fixed annual roadmap. He believes many of these new leaders will come from digital backgrounds and cited John Waldon (chief executive, Home Retail Group) and Mark Newton-Jones (chief executive, Mothercare) as two current examples.

Newman went on to list some “leaders of the future” including Laura Wade-Gery (currently executive director of multichannel at Marks & Spencer), Robin Terrell (multichannel director, Tesco) and Andy Harding (executive director, multichannel, House of Fraser).  ​

Readers' comments (1)

  • Personally, I don't see any leaders in UK fashion retail who are genuinely championing the consumer.

    Big Data feels more like Big Brother to top it.

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