The Head of Digital for Midcounties Co-operative visited Walsall College to deliver a presentation on the competitive factors and changes in retail.
Sukie Rapal, who became Head of Digital for the largest independent consumer co-operative last July, came to the college to meet with Level 3 Business and Marketing students to talk about the retail industry.
The marketing expert shared her 20 years of experience with the students, which includes designing digital campaigns in the travel industry at a time when the online market was growing.
The cruise retailer Sukie worked for became the biggest website in cruising, making a turnover of £120 million in 10 years.
Sukie got students thinking about the competitive factors in retail, such as the automation of technology and pricing, which will have an impact on consumer behaviour and the way they shop.
The presentation explored food retailers that have merged to consolidate salaries, manpower and distribution.
Students also learnt how mobile technology has been affected by consumer behaviours over the last 10 years. Apple’s more advanced products have made it the most powerful brand in mobile technology, thwarting the sales of previous reigning competitors.
Sukie also touched on companies that have either changed or folded due to rapidly changing markets, and the way consumer behaviours have altered, from streaming music online to purchasing stationary from their local grocery store.
The presentation ended with a slide on companies and products that are radically changing the way people travel and access entertainment and items, such as Uber, Netflix and Ebay.
Sukie Rapal said, “It is important for business students to understand and digest what is happening in the world and relate this to brands and retailers that they know or have an affinity with. Once they have that interest they can put into place what they have been learning.”
Cordelle Taylor, Curriculum Manager for Business, Finance, Leadership and Management said: “For anyone wanting to enter business and marketing, it is vital they understand consumer behaviours and how these change over time with the advancement of technology.
Over the last 15 years, we’ve seen the emergence of social media, smartphones and online shopping, which has seen a rapid change in the way people connect with brands and purchase their items.
Presentations, such as the one delivered by industry experts such as Sukie, are important in helping our students understand these changes. At Walsall College, we put our student’s preparation for the world of work at the heart of what we do, and we ensure they have the knowledge to make a success of their future careers.”