Chain Store Age interviewed Bill Stinneford at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention
In this video hear about retail trends and the use of technology and customer analytics being utilized by top retail brands to capitalize on strategic growth and expansion.
>> KATHERINE BOCCACCIO: I’m Katherine Boccaccio, Senior Editor with Chain Store Age magazine. Reporting from the National Retail Federation Convention and Expo in New York City. I’m talking today with Bill Stinneford, Senior Vice President of Fort Worth, Texas based Buxton. Bill, the show floor is buzzing with the news about the NRF Foundation’s newly unveiled list of the people who are shaping the future of retail. Tom Buxton, the CEO of Buxton, of course, was named one of the influencers as a part of this award recognition. What does that mean to the company?
>> BILL STINNEFORD: Well first off, it’s a tremendous honor. You look at all the people that won, and you think about all the people that were nominated, for us to be recognized by such a great organization is just a tremendous honor. And then, it’s also validation. We’ve been in business for, this is our 21st year, I’ve been with the company for 10. For many of those years, you’re scratching and clawing to try to educate people about customer analytics and the value that it can create for your organization. And a lot of times it fell on deaf ears, and you just had to keep going up that mountain. So, to have that to have the NRF recognize what we’ve achieved and continue to achieve as a company and what Tom’s achieved as the trailblazer of that company, it’s fantastic.
>> KATHERING BOCCACCIO: NRF’s big show centers around technology, of course, and that aligns with your core business. How important is customer analytics to today’s retail industry?
>> BILL STINNEFORD: Honestly, in our opinion, it is everything. Without a true understanding of your customer, and who exactly that customer is, it’s hard to really develop any strategies or execute any strategies that are going to be effective and are going to be aligned. It really starts with understanding the customer. Understanding who exactly the customer is, and not just demographics. How they live their lives, how they spend their money, all that data that is out there on every one of us is very powerful if you know what to do with it. So when you do know what to do with it, to truly understand who your customers are, how they live their lives and where everybody else looks like those people are, down to the household level, and what the value that each of those potential customers can represent to a location or to online. What you can do with that is tremendous, but that’s where it starts.
>> KATHERINE BOCCACCIO: What do you see is the top retail technology trends in 2015?
>> BILL STINNEFORD: Top retail trends… Clearly, if you go around the show, and fantastic show, you’ll see that there’s all kinds of technology in all different kinds of areas that can be very beneficial for retailers. I think probably one of the top is still being able to harness all of your data. Technology that enables you to bring all of that data together to produce meaningful answers. You’ll hear about big data all the time. Big data, big data, big data. But, big data can be paralyzing if you don’t know what to with the data. So, people have data, like 10 years ago, 15 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of data. Some people had it but most didn’t. Now, everybody’s got data. But what do you do with the data? That’s really important, and so the biggest trends are those that show you how to consolidate all of that data into one place. But then, you’re developing solutions off of that data that enable you to ultimately make better decisions.
>> KATHERINE BOCCACCIO: Do you see any of these trends changing or evolving for the rest of 2015?
>> BILL STINNEFORD: You’re certainly going to see the continuation of what I just talked about. I think the next big thing that will be really powerful is connecting the offline data that people have to online. There’s so much big brother data that we’ve talked about and we love that stuff because that can really help you get more dollars out of your customers ultimately if you know what to do with it as we’ve talked about. But that’s sort of offline. So I can know about you and I can know what your net worth is, and what you’re watching on tv and all these things that you’re buying. But when I can connect that to you as you’re moving around, on your phone, on your tablet, so now I know all of this about you and then where you are within a market, within my store and I can direct that advertising to you. That’s really exciting. So, there’s some end road being made with that, but connecting the offline data and the online data will be the next big thing and that will really be exciting.
>> KATHERINE BOCCACCIO: How does your solution SCOUT play to these trends?
>> BILL STINNEFORD: You know, it’s right in line with that. I SCOUT really is Buxton. So we build all of our analytics and all of our predictive modeling and our intelligence and we put it into SCOUT. That gives our clients those big answers that we’re talking about and access to be able to push a button on your iPad and run a revenue forecasting report, or run a market share analysis, or run a penetration report, or see who you need to be marketing to, or where potential customers are. And what that’s really doing, because it’s so easy to use and because you can get access to these answers very quickly and run these reports in seconds, and it all starts with understanding your customer. It puts everybody within the organization on the same page, and that’s really key.
>> KATHERINE BOCCACCIO: Well, thank you, Bill. Thank you for your time today and I also really look forward to following up with you throughout 2015 on SCOUT, and of course the rest of Buxton’s business.
>> BILL STINNEFORD: It’s always a pleasure.
>> KATHERINE BOCCACCIO: Thank you.
>> BILL STINNEFORD: Thank you.
>> KATHERINE BOCCACCIO: I’m Katherine Boccaccio reporting from the National Retail Federation Convention and Expo in New York City.