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Regional Retailers Demand for Major Cities Business Advice

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By Published On: March 25, 20241 Comment

Kate Massey advocates for more retail support in regional Australia, with some action already being taken in the form of an engaging Byron Bay event.

A more relaxed way of life in the nation’s heartlands does not translate to a relaxed approach to long-term business success with some of Australia’s most loved brands being grown from proud regional cities.

Byron Bay, a Northern New South Wales beach town, has been growing in popularity over the years thanks to its beautiful beaches, nice weather plus the endorsement it receives from celebrities, influencers and content creators that have been drawn to this coastal spot. A blend of sand, sun and serenity, Byron Bay celebrates thriving popular local Aussie brands like SpellAugusteZulu & ZephyrMister ZimiMcTavish and Thrills. Timeless and modern designs have seen these brands grow in popularity and create a loyal following, with a focus on sustainability, high quality and long-term wearable fashion.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw significant changes in retail operations across Australia, with unprecedented numbers of Australians adopting a sea-change and moving out of major cities into regional areas.

It is a fair assessment to make that there is a seemingly never ending stream of retail events and conferences that take place throughout the year across all major cities in Australia. Retail in the regions has strong foundations for solid growth with business owners and their staff creating a demand for educational advice on navigating economic pressures to position them for local and international stages of growth.

“Riding the Next Wave of Customer Experience” – the brainchild of Shane Lenton, Co-Founder and CEO of The Wishlist Company, was established to bring together a powerhouse of leading players in retail spanning major and emerging brands, technology partners and agencies. This big city style event was established to inspire and support previously neglected regional areas. This idea was born off the back of an animated conversation between Shane, and James Domensino, General Manager – Digital & DTC Sales at Spell about the lack of support these thriving hubs were receiving. Uncovering an opportunity to build a community in areas that were being under-serviced, Lenton set about building a high-impact agenda to educate, inform and inspire these regional retail business leaders.

On Friday 15th March, 2024, thought-leaders from VRG GRLLSKDMilligramSpell and  Muscle Republic took to the stage with arguably one of the most photogenic backdrops in the world at Beach Restaurant, Byron Bay. They shone a light on real-world examples and strategies of best-in-class CX, spanning customer acquisition to conversion, retention and advocacy. The space was packed to standing room only signaling a strong demand for these types of events to expand past the big cities. These brands were joined by speakers from the event sponsors ShopifyKlaviyoSearchspringShippit and award-winning Shopify web development agency Convert Digital to dive into the topic and outline meaningful actions to create brands to stand the test of time.

“The popularity of this first event showcases the importance we have as technology providers across the retail space to expand our reach and support wider into the community than the traditional bigger retailer hubs.  Hearing firsthand how brands are utilising technology to stay ahead of the curve and ride the trends shaping customer experiences that spur customer acquisition, loyalty and retention gave the audience practical advice and shared learnings to shape their future direction,” Shane Lenton, The Wishlist Company.

James Domensino, an early advocate for this event’s unique structure, shared his enthusiasm for its success. “After engaging with many retailers on the day, it was universally acknowledged that the event provided actionable insights for brands in this region. We are keen on hosting more of these events in Byron Bay, leveraging its scenic beauty as a backdrop for future gatherings.”

After receiving over 100 retailer registrations for this event and rave feedback on the format the hosts and sponsors are already looking at venues for the next regional location.

Words by: Kate Massey

About the Author: Power Retail

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One Comment

  1. Kate Massey - Searchspring March 25, 2024 at 4:10 PM - Reply

    Thanks for featuring the purpose behind this event. We look forward to bringing more of these events to life.

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