50 Episodes of The Retail Tea Break Podcast

50 Episodes of The Retail Tea Break Podcast

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Listen to Episode 51

To celebrate the first 50 episodes of The Retail Tea Break Podcast, I take a look back at 4 key retail topics that appear time and time again:

  • Customer Experience
  • Loyalty and Omni Channel Experiences
  • Sustainability and Conscious Consumerism
  • People

Customer Experience

On episode 3 Cristiane Ross from Sparc Consulting explained that the emotional connection with your customer matters. She said, “as the customer’s relationship with your brand deepens, they become more valuable to you”. They spend more, shop more frequently, they tell other people about you and they are loyal. 

She loved the idea of ‘Serving from the Heart’.

She explained “Do you have tonnes of product knowledge? Well, if you aren’t able to connect on an emotional level with your customer, you’ll never get to share that knowledge. Shoppers buy based on emotions, feelings and dreams. Then then justify with logic! Fact. Show your customers that you are trustworthy and engaged. Serve from the heart, show genuine interest and build a rapport. Then get selling!”

In episode 22 Dr Denis O’Hora from the University of Galway asked the question ‘do you do what you say you’ll do?’ He explained that understanding consumer decision making can enable companies to effectively serve customers better. Denis paints an incredible picture of how you can turn consumers into paying customers.

We kicked off season 2 speaking to the legend Ian Scott! Episode 14 is about the new era of physical retailing. He asked if your physical store speaking to your ideal customer? He broke it down into four parts:

1. Do you understand your customer: who are you selling to and why?

2. Do you understand how to present an idea/ experience/ product that is different to your competitors?

3. Do you understand how your customer wants to find and engage with you?

4. Focus on your customer- put them at the centre of every decision you make for your business.

Listen back to Ian’s episode here. 

You can’t have a wow experience instore or online without getting the basics right and no one speaks more clearly about this then expert Chris Igwe! His vast knowledge of, and experience within, global retail is absolutely mind blowing! In episode 29 Chris declared “Leave a lasting impression… to keep me coming back”. He talked about physical retail stores, destination shopping and raising the bar with retail basics:

· Meet

· Greet

· Share

· Engage

· Invite them back

It’s so simple, but often these simple steps aren’t met. As a consumer, what would you add?

This episode is full of examples of best practice, as well as a clear message to get back to retail basics. And of course, Chris returned to the Retail Tea Break Podcast just a few weeks ago to talk about his new book Breaking down Barriers. Listen back to the episode here.

Loyalty and a true omni channel experience

In Episode 44 with Scott Kennedy from Salesforce describes the impact that the unprecedented digital growth and the physical store renaissance is having across the globe. We discuss what a true customer centric, omni-channel experiences should look and feel like. Scott also gives us an insight into what Salesforce Commerce Cloud can do for retail businesses. He explains how brands could be utilising their customer data to personalise communication and experiences, ensuring customer loyalty.

In episode 34 I’m joined by 3 very special guests as we discuss consumer data and customer loyalty. Alongside Salesforce I speak to some incredible Irish retailers, Jennie McGinn from Lifestyle Sports and Paul Gillart from The Skin Nerd as well as Gurpreet Kaur from Salesforce: 

We discussed:

· data strategy and the importance of gathering the right data.

· different types of loyalty programme.

· how to build one and how best to use the information.

This is an episode packed full of useful tips and ideas. And in episode 28 Gurpreet blows my mind by describing the importance of hyper personalisation- it’s well worth a listen.

Sustainability and Conscious Consumerism

Way back at the beginning, in Episode 2 I spoke to Elaine Kennedy from Hawthorn Handmade Skincare, who explained that “we should be asking more questions as producers, consumers and retailers and looking a bit deeper in terms of sustainability”. 

In episode 6 James Byrne from Faerly asked, “Can you be a retailer or salesperson and really believe in living in a more sustainable way?” He described how conscious consumerism has been building momentum over the last few years. Trust, authenticity, transparency and sustainability are some of the important values that both the retailer and the consumers want. Customers want to be able to buy products from retailers that conform with their ethics and values and retailers want to be able to provide these goods. 

On episode 36 of The Retail Tea Break podcast, I was joined by Jenny Johnston, Head of Marketing for Kilkenny Design, one of the founding members of Champion Green and Sheelin Conlon, founder of The Kind. As winner of the latest Champion Green competition, Sheelin describes opening her new pop-up store and explains the importance of supporting local businesses.

Episode 45 of The Retail Tea Break Podcast was with Sharon Yourell Lawlor, from Think Plan Do Consulting. This episode explores the Sustainable Irish Retail Action (SIRA) guide that Sharon helped research and write as co-author. Sharon describes how best to use the guide and the impact that it can have on retail businesses. We talk about sustainability strategy and using retail to educate customers whilst supporting the conscious consumer.


In episode 24 of The Retail Tea Break podcast, I spoke to Dr Oran Doherty. The Programme Director from Retail Ireland Skillnet discusses the value that the Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision and Degree in Retail Management Practice bring to both retail employees and their employers. He asked “Do you want to attract talent to your business?” He explained that you need to offer people something in addition to the wages and conditions of work- you need to give them a career. “To get talent and to keep talent you need to offer people training and education opportunities”.

In episode 40 with Aine Greallis from Circle K explores a recent Circle K survey of their workforce and the wider retail community. It looked at the harassment that frontline retailers experience- from customers. Have we got use to everyday verbal aggression? Is this part of the reason that so many are leaving the industry. She spoke about the impact that the harassment, aggression and anti-social behaviour is having on the workforce. And the new initiative, Circle K’s first Kindness Day.

In episode 43 with Elma Carew we talk about our people; the current state of recruitment and retention and the lasting impact Covid has had. She dived into the fascinating topics of the ‘great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’, as well as the interesting topic of ‘stay interviews’. We also talked about the next generation and how they are setting their own working conditions whether we like it or not!

If you have enjoyed the podcast episode, please like and share it. Remember you can also listen back to past Retail Tea Break episodes on your favourite podcast platform or on Youtube. Connect with me on Linkedin or The Retail Advisor across social media.

See you in September!

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