Introducing Jeanel Alvarado, Editor-In-Chief, Founder & CEO of RETAILBOSS.
With a passion for retail and a wealth of experience in the industry, Jeanel has taken her company from a blog website to an internationally known publication for retail executives and professionals.
Her expertise in retail tech, ecommerce, DTC, brick-and-mortar, and other related topics has helped countless businesses grow and thrive in the ever-evolving world of retail.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Jeanel Alvarado: I am the Editor-In-Chief, Founder & CEO of RETAILBOSS, an internationally known publication for retail executives and professionals, we cover topics in retail tech, ecommerce, DTC, brick-and-mortar and other related topics.
I first started RETAILBOSS in my first year of University as a blog website, that soon lead to me landing my first consulting project to help with merchandising for a local boutique.
Later, by my third year of University I hired on four students to help me complete a project for one of our largest projects to that date, Tulip Retail, to help with B2B marketing and outreach strategies for major retailers in Canada and USA.
While I was also a student and running my consultancy, I worked as a Senior Consultant for The School of Retailing at the Alberta School of Business. Where I oversaw consulting projects or liaisons for clients such as Retail Council of Canada, Oxford Properties, West Edmonton Mall (Triple Five Worldwide), Tiffany & Co., LUSH Cosmetics, LoyaltyOne and more.
The next year I was named Student President of The School of Retailing and received the Outstanding Student of The Year Award. The next year I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and a Certificate in Real Estate (Commerical).
Nearing my graduation, I was promoted to Senior Managing Director of The School of Retailing where I managed both the consulting side and applied research side of the centre.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Jeanel Alvarado: We have been able to successfully expand our media offerings, from press releases and B2B content writing we provide a suite of B2B marketing services to companies in retail and e-commerce.
We have successfully continued to provide more services based on our clients’ demands, we also provide B2B content writing services to help our clients land features in other industry-leading and trade publications in addition to our own.
We also have continued to add more robust case studies, white papers and training courses in our own education hub called School of Retail, to provide business owners with industry-lead resources. In addition, we continue to provide our consulting and or services to our clients.
What advice do you wish you received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Jeanel Alvarado: One piece of advice I wish I received was the importance of speaking at events rather than simply attending events, I would have been more intentional about partnering with events in our early days of starting RETAILBOSS.
In the last few years, I have spoken at several trade shows, industry events, and conferences over the last few years including White Label Expo, Smart Retail Tech Expo, LUXEPACK, Private Label Expo, COSMECON, FashionGo Week, Startup Week, Beauty Tech & Innovation Summit and more.
I would have certainly would have started speaking and partnering with more events as a media partner earlier in our days at RETAILBOSS.
For the next quarter, we intend to continue partnering with leading recognized events, one notable event is Beauty Connect Series, which hosts shows in LA and San Francisco, we are excited to continue partnering with them for the second year in a row.
Online business keeps on surging higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for the year to come and how are you capitalizing on the tidal wave?
Jeanel Alvarado: Online business, specifically the emergence of e-Commerce has completely transformed the retail industry, studies have also shown that young shoppers including Gen Alpha and Gen Z, prefer to shop online than brick-and-mortar, on top of that, 1 in 2 Gen Alpha say that social media advertising influences what they want to buy.
Furthermore, when we look at the luxury industry, roughly half of the Millennial shoppers have purchased a luxury item in the past 6 month, in comparison to order generations averaging less than 10%.
In the year to come, we will continue to shift our media coverage to include more shopping apps, DTC/ecommerce brands, and marketplaces, while historically retail reporters only covered major retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Best Buy etc.
With the new shopper dominating the retail industry and holding the spending power, covering the online retail space will be of the utmost importance. We have continued to expand the scope of businesses that we cover with a shift to 65% of coverage in the online retail space, and 35% in traditional big box retail.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Jeanel Alvarado: The biggest change is adapting to the new shoppers wants and needs, retailers and brands need to reevaluate their value proposition and realign their in-store and online product offerings to meet the shifting demands.
Many retailers are making a complete overhaul of their in-store design, creating more interactive shopping spaces and incorporating retail technologies to make shopping easier across all channels (online and offline), moving from what’s was known as omnichannel to optichannel.
Optichannel is the ability to communicate and support a customer throughout the entire customer buying journey using the channel (ie.e-commerce, app or in-store) that is best for them given their overall best shopping experience
2020, 2021, 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into businesses on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned and what advice would you share?
Jeanel Alvarado: If the past few years have taught us anything is that customers are always looking for ways to purchase products, research products and share opinions of products in the most convenient ways.
We saw many businesses shut their doors during the pandemic, however, this didn’t stop customers from seeking out other options online to meet their needs. A lesson is that people will find a way to buy products and services they want or need, if not from you, they will purchase from your competitor.
In order for businesses to thrive in 2023, they must anticipate how their customers may find more convent ways to shop, by anticipating, a business can adopt or innovate to meet the future shopper needs before their competition does.
It’s more important now than ever for businesses to keep up to date with the latest trends in the industry, the days of people slowly adapting to new technologies are over, the new generation is more eager than ever to see what’s next.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Jeanel Alvarado: The ability to be a first mover for new and emerging trends, in any industry. I truly believe that being the first or being able to ride the wave of a new trend can help a business skyrocket to the top.
It’s so important that businesses keep up with what’s new and emerging, to pivot and capitalize on what customers want next, that would be a superpower, that could help any business across any industry in the world succeed.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jeanel Alvarado for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jeanel Alvarado or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.