We've made it here to trendy Shoreditch to meet Karen Moss, editor of Retail Systems. In our video interview Karen talks about the challenges facing the retail sector, 3-D printing and jet setting to New York.
Tell us about Retail Systems…
Retail Systems is a technology magazine that’s aimed at multi-channel retailers. It’s mostly read by multi-channel directors, CEOs, CTs and ecommerce directors.
We've got around 12,000 readers of the magazine and about 9,000 readers who subscribe to our newsletter and also to our digital edition of the magazine. We also have a website, for which we get usually receive on average around 1,000 unique visitors every day.
Do you use freelancers?
Yes, we use freelancers. Mostly, they are freelancers I have known for a long time and trust. However, we do try and cast a wide net and occasionally if people come to me with a great idea then I am quite happy to take that on board and run a feature around that. However, we would mostly work from our features list.
What type of PR agencies does Retail Systems work with?
We work with mostly technology-focused PR agencies or with retailers' in-house PR people. However it’s not just the big companies; we also work with the smaller companies as well. I think it’s really important to do that because the smaller companies will tend to have some interesting start-up clients who have a really unique product or service that they offer. So, it’s important to look at all PR companies because then you get the most interesting stories.
What percentage of press releases make it into your publications?
I would say 40% make it to our website, of all the press releases I get sent on a daily basis. We try to use as much content as possible but sometimes that is not always the case. A lot of the time, if it's things like a case study or a research-based press release we will take that into consideration and maybe use that as part of the wider feature in the next issue.
What are some of the major challenges retail faces this year?
I think the challenges facing the retail sector this year are quite numerous and diverse, but I think the crux of matter is the whole idea of integrating channels and becoming truly multichannel; of not competing your ecommerce business against your high street business; of trying to make the two work together and also trying to get foot-fall in stores.
I think technology is going to be a huge part of that, so Retails Systems is going to be writing for the next issue about in-store media because that is instrumental in actually giving consumers an experience every time they go into a store. Rather than just going in and just looking for a product, actually having a interaction with maybe kiosk or a touch screen – something interesting and fun for them to do.
What most interests you about your job?
I think it’s the technology itself and the idea of where science can take us as human beings. I wrote a feature on 3-D printing for the last issue. The whole idea that maybe in the future you wouldn’t have to have items delivered to your house, if you had a printer you could download the data and you could print it at home – have it in any way you want, you can completely customise and personalise. That’s really what ecommerce is striving to obtain at the moment.
Describe a typical day at work?
This is quite an interesting question actually because I think there isn’t a typical day at work when you work in media. Day-to-day things are writing stories for the website, subbing copy that comes in, and doing interviews with retailers or technology providers on the phone or maybe in person and meeting contacts. But it could also be jetting off to New York for a conference or invited as press guest to maybe a Wimbledon match (I’ve had that before); there is no real ordinary day.
Do you tweet?
Yes we do tweet, we are actually quite prolific tweeters at Retail Systems and we have almost 4,000 followers now; we are on about 3,996 so we would really like to get that up to 4,000. I believe Twitter is a great outlet for news stories and it’s a great way of spreading news fast and finding out what’s trending in the technology world.
The Retail Systems team can be found tweeting @RetailSystems.