Get to know RETHINK Retail’s Top Retail Influencers through the “Meet the TRI” Q&A series! Dive in to learn about a member of the thought leader community and follow their work and insights across our content and their social channels.
Hi, I’m Tiffany Lung, a Retail Analyst and Contributor.
Connect with me on LinkedIn!
“Tell us about your background”
I may be a young (and aging) millennial, but I also come with over 10 years of retail experience. I started on the shopfloor and became an analyst for Planet Retail (now Edge by Ascential) and Tofugear, a retail tech company. Having witnessed the evolution of tech and e-commerce, I decided to roll up my sleeves and take a Masters in Information Management and Business Technology, learning how to code and implement digital transformation for businesses.
“A brief description of your current role and your space in the industry.”
I’m currently a contributor for several industry publications including Forbes, Tatler, Jing Daily, Inside Retail and the Interline. I am able to broadcast my passion and share my knowledge to educate industry insiders on current trends and future direction of retail.
“What challenges and opportunities are currently facing retailers?”
Getting returning footfall with memorable experiences, investing in the right technology all the while adapting to the ever-changing crowds. Fortunately, retail technology has gotten more sophisticated, developed with more learning and testing over time and much more accessible – look at the boom of unmanned stores and smart fitting rooms for instance.
“What hot topics or trends have you been seeing in the retail space?”
Aside from Web3, one of the trends we’re seeing strong is the retail spaces embracing the community format. Digital or physical, retailers are bringing fans and people alike into their ecosystem, even in the metaverse. As mentioned earlier, retailers are faced with the challenge of creating a brand and experiences that are everlasting in which consumers will stay loyal to. Especially post-pandemic, community experiences help drive footfall into stores and opens up the retail space as an environment to interact, engage and ultimately spend. Look at Japanese eyewear retailer Jins who has built a park with a cafe and bakery to encourage families to visit, with the aim of forming loyalty with the brand and lifestyle over just a transactional relationship.
“How has the retail industry changed in the past 5 years? What do you predict will happen in the next 5 to 10 years?”
We’ve witnessed the rapid proliferation of e-commerce, social commerce and self-checkouts in the past five years. Western retailers are still trying to play catch-up with China’s “New Retail”, ultimately that unified commerce ecosystem is what many brands are trying to achieve in the next five years in our data-driven world.
“Do you have any interesting projects coming up?”
Now that Hong Kong borders are open again and we’re all free to travel, looking to restart my Retail Patrol videos and lead store tours again!
“Which resources do you use to keep up with industry news?”
I read 30 different newsletters every morning across all topics – retail, crypto, emerging technology, sustainability, electronic vehicles etc. Morning Brew is one of my go-tos to equip myself on all industries because you need to expand beyond the retail scope to understand macro trends.
“What is the greatest challenge the industry is facing?”
It’s an ongoing battle in building a seamless experience as more consumers favor shopping from multi-channels. There are too many platforms and apps in use that fails to connect together and synchronize data to create a unified experience effectively.
“How do you continue to grow and develop as an influencer in the retail industry?”
Looking to find new innovative ways to create content amongst the noise, Linkedin is losing its way. Maybe time for TikTok?
“What are the most critical changes that we must make to face the future effectively?”
Ironically – less consumerism. There are too many companies greenwashing for the wrong motives and don’t actually move the needle.
“Who is making the greatest advancements in the industry, and what are they doing?”
Talk of the town – Patagonia, paving the way in sustainability and teaching peers to put the planet over profit. We are living in excess but Patagonia does a great job in actively educating consumers on the effect of consumerism and its environmental impact.
“What has helped you get to where you are and what advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?”
My peers have been really supportive of my career. It’s easy to fall with ‘imposter syndrome’ but being cheered on and encouraged has helped validate my reasoning and statements when writing. My advice would be to stick to your own gut, stay true to your own voice and don’t doubt your own opinions.
“What is the best resource for people who want to dive in deeper?”
Get out there and network, have the “shop talk” to exchange observations and ideas. It’s important to not hold biased views as an analyst, so having conversations with other individuals to hear their point of view and experiences can help build better judgment and takeaways. Grab coffee with industry insiders to hear the strategies planned, successes and failures because press releases aren’t all rosy!