The retail industry has experienced significant transformation over the last decade, and rapidly advancing technologies, changing employee expectations and informed, increasingly demanding consumers all have contributed to that evolution. While change brings opportunity, it also brings its fair share of challenges. Retailers and brands must adapt to keep up with evolving trends or risk falling behind.
The retail executives included in the 2022 class of our 40 Under 40 Awards understand just how central a great customer experience is in showing consumers that your brand is evolving with the times. They are determined to find new ways to refine and elevate the customer experience. One award winner who is constantly looking at what’s next is Melanie Beatty, Ecommerce Omnichannel Manager at Home Hardware Stores Limited.
Check out the Q&A below to learn more about Melanie’s inspiring career path in retail!
Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How do you explain your profession to people outside of the industry? What do you find most exciting and/or rewarding about this work?
Melanie Beatty: I work on the digital side of retail. I look at how customers are shopping in-store and online and find ways to make the shopping experience as seamless as possible. As consumers, we’re all looking to make the most informed decisions we can. My job is to strengthen that omni-experience. What excites me most about this work is that it’s constantly evolving. When you think you have things figured out, there’s something new taking the industry by storm. It forces us to learn, stretch and constantly stay open to new things.
RTP: What milestone or accomplishment have you made in your career that you are most proud of?
Beatty: I spent several years working on the tech side of traditional retail. In 2018, a leader in my organization reached out to see if I’d be interested in leading the ecommerce side of our business. It was a tough decision because I loved where I was and the incredible people I worked with. After a lot of soul searching, I decided I’d gotten too comfortable in my career and a change was exactly what I needed. I’ve had the privilege to learn from some of the most incredible minds in retail and surround myself with leaders that are worth looking up to. It takes courage to make a career change when nothing is ‘broken.’ Over the last four years, I’ve learned that some of the most incredible things happen when you’re brave enough to live outside your comfort zone.
RTP: What is one notable achievement (personal or professional) that you’ve made over the past year?
Beatty: I have so much to be proud of professionally. I’d say the one thing that stands out most is successfully launching ship-to-home for a wholesale network of more than 1,100 retail stores. This was a massive undertaking that required thoughtful planning, collaboration and board approvals. After several months of a staged rollout, we’re live across Canada. With that under our belts, we’re laser focused on refining and elevating this experience. Retail is a competitive game. We constantly have to look at what’s next and find ways to improve things.
RTP: What is a piece of media that has inspired you professionally?
Beatty: I absolutely love the book “Remarkable Retail” by Steve Dennis. I often hear people worrying that digital is going to overtake bricks-and-mortar shopping…and Dennis debunks that. Customers are choosing a blend of both shopping experiences. As retailers, we need to think about customer experience: what makes your brand, your people, your stores, your digital experience stand out? We need to be exceptional. We need to be remarkable.
RTP: Please share one fun or surprising fact about yourself:
Beatty: People who meet me would never guess it, but I’m an introvert.
We’re looking forward to seeing what Melanie does next as she works to continue to elevate the shopping experience. Be sure to check out the entire 40 Under 40 class of 2022 to see how the other award winners are improving the future of retail!