​​​​​​​Keynote Takes a Tour Through Retail Industry

Dan Hodges takes the maxim “know your audience” seriously. The founder and CEO of Retail Store Tours and The World Retail Forum, part of Consumers in Motion Group, describes his organizations’ mission as “connecting retailers and brands to the trends in the marketplace ... and visually explaining the lessons of retail.”

P2PX Keynote

Retail Store Tours: Disruptive Trends and New Models at Retail

Keynote Speaker: Dan Hodges, Retail Technology Futurist, Founder, and CEO of Consumers in Motion Group

When: 12:45 p.m., EST, Nov. 11

More info:

Hodges will present these concepts in a Nov. 11 keynote address during the Path to Purchase Digital Expo. His presentation, “Retail Store Tours: Disruptive Trends and New Models at Retail,” is a practical “executive summary” of trends and use cases from all channels across the industry, with an emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic’s short- and long-term effects on retail as stores and all businesses continue to reopen.

Retail Store Tours focuses on delivering targeted and immersive retail experiences through curated store visits – either virtually or in person – to help participants gain a broader perspective about consumer behaviors and shopping patterns that they can adapt for their own business.

Hodges’ methodology is based on eight factors and a framework for ranking retail performance called the Consumer Engagement Index.

The eight factors are:

• The Human Touch, a critical ability to empathize with customers;

• The Use of Technology, a key to the in-store experience;

• Store Design, matching form with function;

• Brand Story, a key to cultivating customer loyalty;

• Employee Training, hiring for attitude and training for skill;

• Change, adaptability to evolving consumer behavior trends;

• Unique Value Proposition, offering distinctive products; and

• Shopper Safety, the No. 1 priority.

Stores are chosen for a tour based on all or a combination of these categories. “Every person we meet, every second of a store tour, whether it’s virtual or physical, is planned to provide maximum learning,” Hodges says.

At P2PX, Hodges will present examples of tours conducted at stores ranging from CAMP, Sephora and Apple to B8ta and the American Dream entertainment complex.

The learning from each tour is fed into the index, “a real-time measurement of consumer engagement and a predictor of a company’s financial performance.”

Retailers that deliver on more of the factors identified by Hodges have a higher CEI. “If you rank highly, then it’s directly correlated to brand, store or chain performance,” he explains.

The impact of COVID-19 will be a cornerstone of Hodge’s keynote. “COVID has made everybody equal. Instead of being a retail owner in China or a retail owner in the United States, you’re a retailer on Earth, and we’re all dealing with the same thing,” he says.

The World Retail Forum is a network of 1,000 retailers in 50 countries “where we share best practices,” he says. “If we learn together, we’re going to recover much stronger.”

Noting that many human interactions have moved to the virtual world during lockdown and both professionals and consumers conduct their lives on Zoom or Skype, Hodges says he also plans to cover the blending of technology with the retail business, especially the use of augmented and virtual reality in the shopping experience.

“You’ll be in your house trying on clothes through augmented reality with a sales associate, and he or she will guide you: ‘That color isn’t good for you. You really need more of a yellow look.’”

Hodges echoes what most experts predict about the coronavirus pandemic ending “at a time of its own choosing.” He will outline that, for retailers to adapt and succeed, the most effective game plan is to embrace the eight factors outlined above. Describing the change needed across retail as a new mindset, “How they’re thinking about it is probably more important than what they’re doing,” he says.

At P2PX, attendees will learn a combination of Hodge’s approach, his vision for store tours and his strategy for helping retailers transform their businesses, “so you can basically get back to work and say, ‘I have a broader view of the world.’”