Interviews

Interview with Ricardo Rustarazo, founding partner of the Retail & Trade Marketing consulting office

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Ricardo Rustarazo is a founding member of the Retail & Trade Marketing company, specialized since 1986 in retail-oriented marketing consultancy, and co-founder of the Retail Club, an institution for the development and improvement of retail trade in Spain and Portugal. In this interview we will talk about the importance of controlling the points of sale and analyzing the right KPIs to improve the profitability of the commercial establishments.

  • Hi Ricardo! It is a pleasure for us to meet you. Could you explain us what is Retail & Trade Marketing, what the company does and who its customers are?

Retail & Trade Marketing is a consulting office specialized in the Retail market, whose goal is to understand the interaction between consumer/buyer, commercial establishments, territory and economic geography.

The mission is to understand and decipher the behavior of the customer/buyer, to allow retailers to adapt their commercial and logistics strategy based on their personal performance indicators, generated through the participation of customers in a “collective intelligence” in the context of Club Retail Iberia, a group where more than 50 brands collaborate to optimize their decisions and monitor Spain and Portugal’s the commercial landscape.

Through this type of analysis, we also help other entities (cities, promoters or real estate investors) to understand the equilibrium and level of commercial attraction (customer profile, area of influence, market volume etc.), in order to develop the best marketing strategies, identify strengths and weaknesses of commercial tactics and share parameters for improvement (accessibility, commercial mix, animation, participation, etc.).

  • What exactly is Mystery Shopping?

Traditionally, it was the way to know how “contact points” with the public (stores, in the case of retail) were providing customer service and how corporate directives are integrated into the store, as well as merchandising, promotions, window dressing, etc.

These checks are usually carried out by different service agency from the company itself, only after the evaluation criteria have been jointly established. Some of the analyzed variables for monitoring and adopting new corrective measures are, for example: lighting, shop windows, service provision and personal attention, presence of POS devices, etc.

  • What are the “store audits” useful for?

Managing a large number of points of sale is complicated by timing and logistics, and remote control of commercial actions or new strategies is even more unreliable.

Much more important than obtaining a mere information on the implementation of directives or strategic actions from the headquarters or on the profitability of the points of sale, is to relate this information with the results obtained in the stores, in order to propose corrective actions/improvement or to make decisions about the internal organization and the store staff.

  • What are the most important KPIs to measure and what kind of improvement can be done with this information?

The parameters can be very numerous and accurate, according to the format, the type of service, the objectives and the company’s needs. But, fundamentally, we could list them like this:

  1. External conditions of the shop (façade, shop windows, sales area, service points, cash desk, customer care etc.)
  2. Corporate Identity (signals, lighting etc.)
  3. Internal environment and product presentation (posters, promotions, flyers etc.)
  4. Service provision (customer service, personal attention, etc.)
  5. Other interesting aspects for the organization

We already know the simplicity and the enormous potential of this tool: having a scorecard about the adequacy level of the improvement directives that have been implemented in the network of retailer‘s points of sale is essential to make decisions that allow the company to keep up with the short retailing timings.

  • What kind of advantages could this tool bring to professionals?

Essentially, it helps retailers to bring the entire portfolio of their shops in the desired direction, and to take the right improvement measures as quickly as possible. On the other hand, it allows the development of management profiles of different levels, with more decision-making power depending on their specific role.

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