By Aimee Chanthadavong

Creating an experience and providing a unique offer to customers was the advice that founder and managing director of The Retail Doctor Group Brian Walker offered during his discussion at the Retail 2010 Conference.

“It’s now all about providing that 24/7 experience where you’ll be guaranteed that your customers will be loyal to you, where you’ll build a relationship with them while also providing them a unique offer,” he said.

“You need to develop a unique offer by asking yourselves ‘what are you known for?’ and ‘what are you offering?’. Until you do that you can’t contemplate innovation.”

Walker added that in order to keep a customer loyal “there always has to something fresh” and this can be done by “re-visiting, remodelling and refining”.

“For example, Apple has created experiential retailing through its visual merchandising and it takes its customers on a journey by wrapping a story around the product they’re offering.”

He also noted the positive impact that eCommerce is now having on the success of retail.

“Social media provides the idea of social shopping and helps create an integrated community,” Walker said. “Ultimately, there is a seamless integration of online and offline shopping that is currently helping small local markets move to the global market.”