Panasonic Australia managing director, Paul Reid has shared his predictions for the future of doing business and how the retail landscape will continue to evolve in an exclusive video interview with Appliance Retailer.
“We have seen a lot of media attention lately about the growth of online retail at the expense of bricks-and-mortar. But as an industry, I think we need to stop using terms like ‘online’ and ‘offline’ as mutually exclusive channels to the consumer and those terms should be consigned to the dustbin of history,” he said.
“The two channels to the market are very much merged today and as an industry I think we need to focus on cross-channel customer experience and think about how we can ensure a seamless customer journey and deliver an authentic brand experience. Both retailers and manufacturers have a part to play in that.”
Reid believes the COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the importance of supply chain efficiency and fulfilment capabilities.
“Consumers want it now and they want it cheap – and what I mean by cheap is that they don’t want to pay a lot for delivery. As an industry, there is a lot we can do to improve our capability in the areas of supply chain and fulfilment,” he said.
Supplier and retailer engagement will also continue to evolve, according to Reid.
“Our frontline team at Panasonic has done a great job to support our retail customers in an environment where face-to-face visits simply haven’t been possible. We have received good feedback from our customers about how professionally our team has conducted themselves despite the challenges. In the future, I think we will be utilising technology more effectively to supplement face-to-face visits and improve our overall service to our customers.”
In summary, Reid said that as a consumer electronics and appliance industry, regular disruptive change is, to some extent, the nature of the business.
“While this year’s disruption has been enormous in anyone’s terms, I think our industry will use this as an opportunity to be resilient, to learn, to adapt. We will try new things and we will move forward. The questions we have to ask is, what will Australian consumers value in the future and what should we do to re-invent ourselves to meet their expectations?”