47 episodes

Is brick and mortar dead or is it just coming alive? Join industry veteran, Bobby Marhamat, as he investigates the future of brick and mortar, why it's gotten a bad name and what it takes to create a customer experience that increases ROI and keeps people coming back for more. Join him as he interviews the experts and learn what it takes to make or break the in-location experience.

Brick & Mortar Rebor‪n‬ Bobby Marhamat

    • Marketing

Is brick and mortar dead or is it just coming alive? Join industry veteran, Bobby Marhamat, as he investigates the future of brick and mortar, why it's gotten a bad name and what it takes to create a customer experience that increases ROI and keeps people coming back for more. Join him as he interviews the experts and learn what it takes to make or break the in-location experience.

    PODCAST 47: John Federman

    PODCAST 47: John Federman

    If you aren’t too familiar with it, you might think that appointment-based shopping only recently blossomed because of the pandemic, but today’s guest says that appointment-based shopping had proved itself long before the emergence of COVID-19.
    Listen in to today’s episode to hear John Federman, CEO of JRNI, a company that helps retailers create and change their customer’s experience with appointment-based services. John discusses what his customers are looking for, why in-person experiences are so important, and why smaller retailers might have an advantage right now.
     
    Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:
    ✔ What JRNI is all about
    ✔ A typical customer and how they use JRNI
    ✔ What the customers who use JRNI can achieve long-term
    ✔ Changes that John has noticed in consumer behavior
    ✔ Why in-person experiences matter
    ✔ In-store experiences that John has enjoyed
    ✔ Advice for smaller retailers
    ✔ Technologies that have grown over the past few years
    ✔ Technology that will shape the future of brick and mortar
    ✔ What appointment-based shopping does for retailers
    ✔ What makes an in-location experience great
    ✔ What John would recommend seeing in Bostons
     
    Resources:
    John Federman
     
     



    QUOTES:
    “There’s always a mix between need and want with a consumer.”
    “At the end of the day, shopping at some level is a visceral, emotional experience.”
    “Every vertical needs to make their business more efficient.”

    • 21 min
    PODCAST 46: Gabriella Santaniello

    PODCAST 46: Gabriella Santaniello

    How has the pandemic affected the investors that retail stores need? Today’s guest works with retail investors and has insight into the issue. Gabriella Santaniello is the Founder and CEO of A Line Partners, a retail research firm. Gabriella is a retail industry expert herself with years of experience in the field. Listen in to today’s episode to hear more about A Line Partners and what they do and to find out what Gabriella thinks about changes due to COVID, how retailers could improve in-store experiences and what trends she’s seeing in 2021.
     
    Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:
    ✔ What A Line Partners does
    ✔ What firms hire A Line Partners for
    ✔ How it was working for notable brands before A Line Partners
    ✔ How things have changed through the COVID days
    ✔ What changes Gabriella thinks are going to stick post-COVID
    ✔ Whether Gabriella’s research provides an edge to investors
    ✔ Guidance Gabriella would give retailers on in-store experiences
    ✔ What Gabriella looks for in changing a store
    ✔ Gabriella’s favorite retail store
    ✔ How customers value authenticity
    ✔ Trends Gabriella is seeing for 2021
    ✔ What Gabriella wants to see in stores
     
    Resources:
    Gabriella Santaniello
     
     



    QUOTES:
    “Retailers now are having so many issues with inventory.”
    “If you’re running lean inventory levels, you might as well send it to the stores because you’re going to fulfill online from the stores.”
    “Authenticity’s a big deal. And they know when you’re not being authentic.”

    • 29 min
    PODCAST 45: Marina Satoafaiga

    PODCAST 45: Marina Satoafaiga

    What’s it like to try to run a mall during the height of the COVID pandemic and lockdowns? Today’s guest knows. Marina Satoafaiga is the Marketing and Business Development Manager at The Shops at Montebello and she has a lot to say about how the community around the Shops at Montebello was affected by the pandemic and the changes since, and how the changes in the community affected retailers.
    Listen to Marina talk about how to connect and engage with shoppers during a pandemic, interactions that are coming back now that restrictions are easing, and consumer behavior changes that will stick around post-pandemic.
     
    Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:
    ✔ Marina’s role and what her day-to-day looks like
    ✔ What it’s like managing a shopping mall during COVID
    ✔ What Marina did to connect with customers as the pandemic began
    ✔ Interactions that went away during COVID that are coming back now
    ✔ Consumer behaviors that are going to stay post-COVID
    ✔ Marina’s example of a consumer experience
    ✔ Marina’s favorite experience
    ✔ Technologies that have been adopted at the Shops at Montebello
    ✔ Foreshadowing the future of retail
    ✔ Marina’s advice for retailers
    ✔ Where Marina recommends going in Southern California
     
    Resources:
    Marina Satoafaiga
     
     



    QUOTES:
    “Like any crisis or any pandemic, the communication departments are really the ones leading the way.”
    “Our center’s really a conduit for community.”
    “For me, and I keep saying it in this podcast, community has always been my favorite.”

    • 26 min
    PODCAST 44: Angela Gearhart

    PODCAST 44: Angela Gearhart

    A bed is a really personal purchase. It’s something that you touch and feel every day. So how do bed sales work when people don’t want to go to the store? Today’s guest is Angela Gearhart, the Vice President of brand experience at Sleep Number. Listen to today’s interview to hear about what Angela’s thinking about innovation now, how consumer behavior and purchasing decisions have changed, and what changes Sleep Number has made in the store experience due to COVID.
     
    Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:
    ✔ Angela’s background and role at Sleep Number
    ✔ Angela’s thoughts about the future of innovation
    ✔ Biggest changes Angela’s seen in consumer behavior patterns
    ✔ How purchasing decisions have changed
    ✔ Whether recent consumer behavior changes will stick
    ✔ Changes Sleep Number has made in the store experience since the pandemic
    ✔ Other brands with experiences that Angela appreciates
    ✔ Advice Angela would give to smaller retailers about starting to create a good brand experience
    ✔ Whether experiences are meaningful or just a buzzword
    ✔ Future technologies that stand out to Angela
    ✔ What to do in Minneapolis
     
    Resources:
    Angela Gearhart
     



    QUOTES:
    “I think it’s a really a great time for innovation.”
    “As we shift hopefully out of this soon, retailers will need to think about how to engage consumers and really give them a good reason to leave their house.”
    “From a retail perspective, those consumer exchanges are not going to change. They’re not going back. The world has changed.”

    • 23 min
    PODCAST 43: Eric Kuhn

    PODCAST 43: Eric Kuhn

    How has the pandemic affected design problems for brands? Today’s guest, associate design practice, and retail market leader at Bergmeyer, Eric Kuhn, can explain. Listen to today’s episode to hear Eric talk about his role at Bergmeyer, how the design process at his company changed when COVID hit, and how retailers can better manage crowds in a COVID and post-COVID world from a design perspective.
     
    Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:
    ✔ Eric’s role in his company
    ✔ What Bergmeyer does
    ✔ The types of clients Eric works with
    ✔ How the design process changed when COVID hit
    ✔ How brick-and-mortar retailers can better manage crowds from a design perspective
    ✔ Walmart’s new store concept
    ✔ What’s changed or accelerated due to COVID
    ✔ Technologies that were adopted faster than Eric expected
    ✔ Changes that we’ll see in stores in the future
    ✔ Places Eric recommends visiting in Boston
     
    Resources:
    Eric Kuhn
     



    QUOTES:
    “In our retail segment, we could work with anywhere from Claire to Circle K, and lots of different brands in-between.”
    “I think what we have to do is start thinking about these alternative product delivery solutions.”
    “If you think about a customer going to Walmart, it’s about fulfillment.”

    • 21 min
    PODCAST 42: Grace Gan

    PODCAST 42: Grace Gan

    How are e-commerce and in-store experience complementary, and how has the pandemic affected that, both for brick and mortar-heavy brands and e-commerce-heavy brands? Today’s guest, Senior Director of Consulting and Retail Expert for The Sound, Grace Gan, has some ideas about the subject. Listen to today’s episode to hear what Grace has to say about the problems her company solves for brands, how COVID has altered their priorities, and what changes she expects to see in the future.
     
    Topics Discussed in Today’s Episode:
    ✔ What Grace does at The Sound
    ✔ Problems that brands using The Sound are trying to solve
    ✔ How COVID has changed priorities for brands
    ✔ Whether Grace’s clients are trying to design more e-commerce strategies right now or more store-centric transactions
    ✔ Changes that Grace expects to see continue post-pandemic
    ✔ The role of the physical store in the near future
    ✔ E-commerce brands thinking about creating complementary brick and mortar locations
    ✔ Great in-store experiences Grace has seen
    ✔ Fun things in New York that Grace enjoys
     
    Resources:
    Grace Gan
     



    QUOTES:
    “They want to ensure that every single person who does make it in to the store is going to find what it is that they need, have a great experience, and walk out, hopefully, with a purchase.”
    “You’ve gotta think about both aspects as being complementary and wanting to make sure that you’re not just thinking about maximizing conversion when you’re in-store, but maximizing it across the entire decision journey.”
    “COVID really only acted as an accelerant that squeezed them even further and pushed them to really think about what are they going to do and what are they going to think about next.”

    • 27 min

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