By: Michele Metz, Senior Channel Marketing Manager at Cayan
Today’s retail environment is changing fast. It’s clear to all observers, of course—open the newspaper on any given day and you’ll find plenty of stories about the rapidly transforming retail landscape. And not all of them are optimistic, as plenty of them are insisting that the “retail apocalypse” is here.
It’s enough to make any company in retail wonder where to look for guidance.
How to Move Forward
We see these sorts of rapid changes as we go about our company’s work in payments. Whether it’s the growth of e-commerce across multiple verticals, the changing retail model as boutique stores grow, or the new technology that’s leading to personalized loyalty, we see evolution constantly in the world of retail.
But we can’t see everything. We work in payments, which we like to think of as an indispensable part of retail. But it’s not the only part—not by a long-shot. We need to hear from other companies in retail who work in different areas, to help fill our knowledge gaps and keep us up to date.
RSPA has been a large help in doing this. It’s not just in any single area, either—they offer everything from shows to continuing education to networking to help ensure you have the information needed to thrive in today’s retail environment.
Why Trade Shows Are So Important
In today’s always-online culture, some people think tradeshows aren’t as important as they used to be—but we’ve found exactly the opposite. Tradeshows are a great way to actually meet other industry people, and in-person contact goes a lot farther than a cold email. It establishes a much more serious and deep connection when you meet and go face-to-face at a retail show.
When you meet in person, you establish more trust, and that leads to far better networking. We’ve made dozens of new friends at every single RetailNOW show every year, which is perhaps the one event we look forward to the most. And this has led to many profitable partnerships. It’s something that never would’ve happened with a simple form submit on a website. It came because we established real rapport and saw real value in person.
Keep Up With Every Turn
It’s not just networking, though. RSPA helps to provide real, concrete skills with continuing education.
It begins with their industry coverage. Their website provides continuing news that helps us keep pace with the constant changes within the retail space. In this industry, if you blink, you miss a big event—and that can leave you at a serious disadvantage in business. GoRSPA.org makes sure we never miss am moment.
But we also need to think in deeper ways about the topics of the moment, beyond just the headlines, and RSPA provides plenty of more substantial coverage on industry trends, too. It comes in their monthly e-newsletter and their magazine, connect.
These are important resources, particularly during turbulent times in retail. After all, who hasn’t been following the constant coverage of the “demise of retail?” Even as we work in retail, we’ve sometimes fallen prey to the alarmist coverage that the media has been pumping out. But resources like connect help us to find out what’s really happening—yes, the industry is changing, but the “apocalypse” is overblown. You need to know how to adapt, but it’s not time to give up as the media may have some retailers thinking.
Never Stop Learning
RSPA helps you and your employees develop the skills needed to succeed in today’s ever-changing retail environment. They offer online education and on-demand webinars that cover dozens of different topics. Recent titles cover everything from “The Value of Value Adds” to “Getting Real Marketing ROI” to “New Overtime Eligibility Rules: What You Need to Know.” There’s something that’s relevant and important for everyone, and they’re always offering a new webinar covering a new topic. It’s proved incredibly beneficial for our company.
Beyond these webinars, you have access to resource libraries on some of the most crucial topics to your retail business. It includes subjects like PCI Compliance, which is hugely important to staying secure, as every company should be trying to do in this age of breaches. But it’s not just payment-centric topics like that—it also includes topics like “Hiring Best Practices,” subjects that are of a general interest to businesses of nearly any type.
Speak Up To Shape The Future
The RSPA is a real community, and you can give back, too, when you speak up and voice your ideas for the future of RSPA—and the future of retail.
RSPA is one of the most important associations in retail, and when you join RSPA, you’re going to have a voice that helps to shape the future of the retail industry. You’ll be talking with the most important players in the space, and you’ll all be working together to help each other decide where the industry will be moving in the future.
This is simply not an opportunity you will have by remaining on the sidelines. By working together with others in the industry, you’ll be able to do more, and give your ideas a bigger platform. You’ll go farther together.
Do More With RSPA
Of course, there’s countless other benefits we’ve found, too. We’ve had access to phone consultations with RSPA legal and security advisors, and we’ve received considerable discounts on admission at all RSPA events, which we were most certainly going to be attending anyways.
And these benefits have helped. But it’s about more than just that—it’s about working together to have a network of dealers and vendors, and making sure we’re on the cutting-edge of the industry by keeping up with all the industry trends.
When we joined RSPA, we didn’t realize all the benefits it would bring our company. We recommend RSPA membership highly, and we hope that when you join RSPA, we’ll have a chance to talk together about the future of retail.