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Inside Retail & Klarna

Why a fail-fast culture is key to keeping up with consumers

Research shows that companies need to make big, bold moves to see major leaps in business performance. While taking an incremental approach to change may sound less risky, it actually increases the likelihood of stagnation and decline.

But how can business leaders ensure their bold moves are a success? The secret is creating a fail-fast culture, where teams are empowered to innovate and learn what doesn’t work to disrupt the status quo.

In the fourth and final episode of the Bold Moves video series from Klarna, we spoke to the company’s head of media in Australia and New Zealand, Angus Sladden, and commercial lead of Stocard ANZ, Tyler Condon, about the bold moves retailers will be expected to make in future, and how to make them in the right way.

You can check out some of the highlights from the episode below, or you watch the full video here . Be sure to check out the rest of the episodes in the series, including interviews with Brand Collective CEO Eric Morris and Modibodi founder Kristy Chong.

  1. The bold moves retailers will be expected to make in future

Condon and Sladden agreed that retailers need to focus on customer experience and loyalty to succeed in the years ahead.

“It’s incredibly important for brands and retailers to have a tremendous customer experience from an in-store perspective,” Condon said.

“Of course, in the last two years, the e-commerce space in Australia and New Zealand grew rapidly, and it is still going to continue to grow, but let’s not forget that the in-store space is still incredibly popular, and it’s important for brands and retailers to evolve their in-store experience and make sure their relationship with the customer is not just transactional –  you want the customer to get a feeling when they walk into your store.”

Sladden added that retailers can’t be complacent when it comes to building customer relationships.

“There have been brands that have absolutely shone in the last couple of years, and on the flip side of that, there have been brands that have been complacent and they no longer exist,” he said.

“Instead of being complacent, brands have to be more focused than ever to retain customers. Loyalty is a huge part of that.”

  1. How to make bold moves in the right way

Not every bold move will pay off, but businesses can minimise the risk of failure by making bold moves in the right way.

Sladden shared some of the key lessons he’s learned from his time at Klarna: “The more people that you can surround yourself with [who have] different backgrounds, the more the ideation starts to happen in the room. You also need a team of people that have a willingness to learn and try new things,” he said.

“Off the back of that, you have to be in a business that can fund things, otherwise you can’t really take the risk, because from a financial perspective it’s too risky. And then you need the ability to maybe screw it up, maybe iterate, maybe not deliver something on time.”

  1. Why it’s important to make bold moves

“Without making a bold move, it’s hard to move the needle,” Condon said.

“Those [retailers] that are not afraid to step into the darkness and come out the other side, those are the ones that will continue to evolve, grow and move forward.”