Beyond customer complaints to a skilled workforce - 24 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] In a must-read for any business, Wynand Smit, CEO at INOVO writes about slick complaint resolution tactics. His top tip is to implement customer satisfaction surveys to nip these in the bud before they're taken to the social media realm where thy risk going viral. Leigh Andrews also rounds out her #BeyondRetail2016 conference coverage, with an overview of the final panel session. read more

Can retail save the South African economy? - 17 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Growth in consumer spending makes you wonder, 'Can retail save the South African economy?' This was in question at last week's #BeyondRetail2016 event, covering a range of views and kicking off with 'the economist's view' of Dr Azar Jammine of Econometrix. Leigh Andrews will share more of these over the course of the week. According to developer Pareto Limited, the redevelopment of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre was driven by strong demand from retailers seeing robust trade results year-on-year. read more

Sustainability is the theme - 10 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] As promised, I interviewed Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth on being named both Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur and Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur at the recent PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards, while Leigh Andrews investigated how your website could be driving away customers. Big news in the fashion sector is that Country Road Group is acquiring Australian menswear brand Politix, adding to Woolworths Holdings Limited's existing stable that already includes David Jones, Country Road, Witchery, Trenery and Mimco. In other international news, Facebook launched a new online 'Marketplace' allowing over-18 users to buy and sell items with their online community. What's more is that from tomorrow MasterCard will enable its new biometric payments option, whereby shoppers can make online payments using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition tech by taking a selfie. Sustainability is the theme this month, and I gave it a green light for Retail featuring a truly inspiring interview with Lush co-founder and product inventor Rowena Bird. read more

October is #SustainabilityMonth - 3 Oct 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Famous Brands has made its first foray into the food service leisure sector, acquiring a 49.9% stake in the award-winning commercial catering company, By Word of Mouth. The intention is to expand the business' existing presence in the premium corporate market and establish its footprint in Cape Town and Durban. read more

Showcasing visionary e-commerce innovators - 26 Sep 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] PriceCheck's inaugural Tech & E-Commerce Awards showcased pioneering new entrants and visionary e-commerce innovators, seeing scoop the coveted Overall Winner award, in addition to Best Customer Service and the People's Choice Award. Zando received two awards for Best Shopping Experience (Mobile and Overall), and Aisha Pandor of SweepSouth won Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur and Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur. read more

An app for almost anything - 19 Sep 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Realising that the future of online shopping lies in mobile, Spree implemented a mobile app-first approach to improve the overall mobile user experience, thereby driving engagement and shopping on mobile devices, and increasing the mobile conversion rate. While Zeekit, an app that allows you to virtually (from your mobile device) try on outfits before buying online or in-store, launched last week. read more

The coffee business - 12 Sep 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Last week Vida e Caffè announced its development plans to expand into four more African countries. "Understanding that each country and culture is unique is imperative," comments Craig Gravett, business development manager for International and Corporate, on what he believes is the key to success. read more

The future of business - 5 Sep 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Famous Brands has acquired 100% of the UK's Gourmet Burger Kitchen for £120m (approximately R2.1bn), marking "the biggest deal the group has ever concluded and one which will transform the future of the business", says Kevin Hedderwick, the company's group strategic advisor responsible for M&A activity. Speaking of the future of business, this year's FNB Franchising Leadership Summit was about disruptive innovations, the key takeaway being: if you don't disrupt yourself, someone else will disrupt you. Go to our #Innovation Month special section to learn from people that are getting this right. Sarah Collins of Wonderbag launched the Coalition of Action, using the product as a catalyst to unite communities and leaders across the globe to address many of the world's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and collaborate to end poverty by bringing a total solution of a better life to women in the rural world, connecting brands with data, lifestyle and prosperity. Then for a more light-hearted take on how to find a 'right fit' between you and your business partner, Andrea Kleinloog, co-founder of Anatomy Design shares her and Megan Hesse' experience at the Johannesburg version of Business of Design. read more

Insights to create more impact - 29 Aug 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Last week saw the Cape Town version of Business of Design 2016, one week on from the Johannesburg event. Leigh Andrews summarises Day 1 of #BODCT here, saying that a strong message for all attendees was to use these insights to create more impactful designs than ever before, in any industry. read more

Recognising the women in business - 22 Aug 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] #WomensMonth is well under way with the winners of the Fairlady Women of the Future Awards 2016 having been announced on Friday. Congratulations to Sarah Collins of Wonderbag and Moyin Oloruntoba of The A1, who is this year's Rising Star, and all the other extraordinary finalists for being an inspiration to the women of South Africa. Leigh Andrews covered #CEMAfrica, where she learnt more about the value of customer experience (CX) in emerging markets. read more

Adapt or disrupt - 15 Aug 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Taste Holdings has announced the location of its third Starbucks store in South Africa, where coffee people in Menlyn Maine, Pretoria can look forward to 100% Arabica coffee and some of the rarest single-origin, small-lot coffees, prepared through a variety of brewing methods, such as siphon, pour over and the Clover brewing system. In response to the waste epidemic that sees 100bn single-use coffee cups thrown away each year, local brand Ecoffee Cup launched in SA today, offering a stylish range of reusable and recyclable takeaway cups. Nidal Kamouni of PCCI Group explains how self-service improves customer satisfaction. He believes that "the customer experience landscape is ripe for disruption, with companies slowly making progress toward more seamless and simpler customer experiences," as well as increasing their focus on making self-service easier. read more

“Strong women – be them, hire them, mentor them.” – Kate Schrire - 8 Aug 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] With one week to go until the Johannesburg leg of Business of Design, I interview the inspirational Kate Schrire of The Creamery Ice Cream Company. We talk about the importance of slow food and sustainability, why community is important for business owners, what it means to be a woman in business, and ice cream of course. Amazon launched its first Prime Air-branded cargo plane last week to speed up shipments between its distribution centres and ultimately delivery for its Prime subscribers. read more

Skinny legs and all… - 1 Aug 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] This weekend's Good Food & Wine Show brought together some of the country's most-loved chefs, as well as Australia's George Calombaris and Matt Moran, where I had the opportunity to speak Greek with Calombaris on his new cookbook. Following last week's Instagram post by The Kiffness addressed to Woolworths, suggesting that the retailer should be ashamed of itself for having skinny display mannequins, the retailer responded by saying that it's committed to take their concern into consideration when they next order mannequins, and claiming that the bodies are built to universal specifications. And with everyone talking about Pokémon Go, Leigh Andrews explains how the phenomenon could benefit your business from an O2O (online-to-offline) perspective. As #MandelaMonth drew to a close, I interviewed Sphiwe Reggie Skhosana on Africa's first Ronald McDonald House to open at the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Parktown later this year. This month we're focusing on women in business, as featured in our #WomensMonth special section. read more

So much more than a brand - 25 Jul 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Focusing on the customer, Nick Paul looks at customer engagement from a social media perspective, based on a recent report from Unmetric. One of the most notable trends is that supermarkets generate by far the most negative sentiment. read more

'Businesses are ready to pay for customers' - 18 Jul 2016

[Jessica Tennant, Retail Editor (@Biz_Retail)] Pokemon GO has taken the world by storm, a week in and already looking to influence retail in a big way. With its 'lure module' feature, restaurants, coffee shops and small retailers are able to attract virtual Pokemon characters to the store and therefore new customers too. read more

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