As Retail Evolves in an E-Commerce World, Consumers Still Crave Authenticity

Monday, June 3, 2019

By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire

When Bob Phibbs visited Universal Studios nearly 25 years ago to listen to motivational speaker Tony Robbins, he had no idea it would end up inspiring him to create his personal brand, The Retail Doctor.  

Bob Phibbs isn’t a real M.D., of course, but he does have the experience and tools to help improve the health of retail sales and consumer-driven practices — all of which have projected his brand to international renown. 

On this episode of the “Grow Wire Podcast,” Phibbs takes us on the journey that lead to this role, revealing how a Chapman University graduate who studied music managed to become one of the most influential experts in retail sales and services. 

Of course, he then showcases his expertise, also taking us on the journey of a successful retailer.

Phibbs seeks to demystify the process of pursuing business in retail, saying, “Retail isn’t hard, you just have to understand the basics. You just have to do your job, know your customers and overdeliver.”

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This need to understand customers is Phibbs’ most crucial bit of advice. A study conducted by Phibbs and Oracle NetSuite found that a majority of retail executives felt they were providing superior customer service, while only 13% of customers actually felt that they received such service. The disconnect between retailers and consumers creates an air of confusion that can be cleared up rather quickly.

“The best people understand that sales is a relationship,” Phibbs explains, “And ultimately, we’re living in a world that rewards authenticity.”

Why is authenticity so important right now? Social media, Phibbs says. 

Genuine, in-person interactions are an increasingly valuable business commodity in a world where filters and fake photographs dominate the online landscape. When a consumer walks into a retail store, he or she seeks that personalized conversation.

Phibbs believes this is the reason brick-and-mortar shops will never be obsolete, and why small businesses may, in fact, benefit more from establishing a physical presence over relying solely on e-commerce. 

Listen to the full podcast episode on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and YouTube, and as always, don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe.