My career began as a retail space planning analyst looking after the product planograms across multiple categories such as stationery, furniture, alcohol, make-up and groceries items. On a daily basis I would think about maximising the product flows to ensure customers could easily find what they wanted while maximising profits and managing inventory levels. To master how to do this required regular research into trends, sales numbers, inventory requirements, customer behaviour and matching this with my observations of what I saw happening in the physical space across multiple retail environments.
Retail space analytics lead to my role as a project manager working with store owners to build and design their stores to ensure customer flows and efficiencies, small decisions had big impacts on revenue and customer satisfaction. Working with the Telstra store owners I would define the project plan, engage all the stakeholders and communicate regularly with all areas of the business to ensure that the opening date was met on time and under budget.
I transitioned from project management into a visual merchandising, where I was responsible for finding areas of opportunity on how to engage with customers from a visual point of view. I developed a strategy which not only built on visual connectors but also sensors including scent, touch and sound. We can recall smells with 65% accuracy after a year, in contrast to only 50% of visuals after three months. With this in mind it was important to widen my scope to be able to create meaningful customer experiences.
For a customer their experience is more than the physical space around them it can also be impacted by service, time and brand perception just to name a few. Looking at creative ways to delight the customers experience we looked at integrating technology into staff uniforms and creating packaging which would provide a signature customer experience.
My recent roles have seen me research, develop, design, prototype and build strategic projects working with innovative technology for the intent of creating engaging and customer centric retails spaces. The Telstra Sydney Discovery Store has been reported as a World class example of innovation in a retail space: