Consumer experience is brick-and-mortar’s secret weapon

The Retail Doctor has a big hug of encouragement for grocery retailers, but he delivers it with a big face slap to re-invent customer service or risk becoming irrelevant. Bob Phibbs, the U.S.-based retail consultant, encouraged attendees at Grocery Showcase West in Vancouver on Sunday to worry less about the disruptive explosion in e-tailing and […]

The Retail Doctor has a big hug of encouragement for grocery retailers, but he delivers it with a big face slap to re-invent customer service or risk becoming irrelevant.

Bob Phibbs

Bob Phibbs, the U.S.-based retail consultant, encouraged attendees at Grocery Showcase West in Vancouver on Sunday to worry less about the disruptive explosion in e-tailing and to focus more on the personal customer experience to stay relevant.

“People buy people first,” Phibbs told a crowd of several hundred at the event. For all the buzz over the rise of Amazon, it’s still only 1% of sales and 85% of retails in general will still take place in physical stores in 2025, he forecast.

“You are not going to be able to compete on price. The only thing retailers are going to be able to compete on is experience,” he said.

Phibb encouraged attendees to actively engage millennials, a consumer segment that expects to be constantly given a reason to maintain any connection with retailers or brands.

The best way to sell your products, he stressed, is to concentrate less on the product and more on overcoming customer indifference.

Brands Articles

Pepsi eliminating aspartame from its flagship diet pop

Decision in response to customer feedback

Holt Renfrew expanding its downtown Vancouver store

Retailer ups its game as competition heats up in the luxury goods market

How Apple defines ‘available’ (Column)

Apple Watch pre-orders delayed until June

Struggling Sears partners with ‘The Great One’ on fashion line

As competitors up their fashion game, Sears partners with a retired NHL star

Who’s ready for the Apple Watch?

A look at the Canadian brands that couldn't wait to get on consumers' wrists

General Mills selects Hunter Straker as design AOR

Account win follows the Hunter Straker-assisted launch of Old El Paso Restaurante

BMO emphasizes its human touch

Online video brings brand promise to life

Paradigm to steer communications for UK’s Ingenie

Car insurance company looking to build brand awareness in Canada

Procter & Gamble’s 3Q revenue weighed down by strong dollar

Sales decline in beauty and personal care, and feminine and family care segments