Helder FerreiraProfessor and consultant in technology and retail organizations
With over 25 years of experience in retail, Helder Ferreira is currently a professor and research member of the Strategic Design and Innovation Lab at UNIDCOM-IADE. He has also activity in advisory board, retail consulting and innovation projects.
In the last few years, Helder Ferreira has also collaborated in higher education programs as a guest teacher, because he believes that “teaching is a learning opportunity not to be missed”.
With a degree in Business Management, a master's degree in Marketing and a PhD in Management, Helder Ferreira is one of the special guests at Connecting Stories at PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS.
1. With more than 25 years of experience in retail, can you tell us a bit about your journey and professional experience, as well as the positions you currently hold?
Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to occupy different roles and responsibilities that allow me to have a global and strategic vision on food retail. In this sense, I currently collaborate as an advisor and consultant with several technology organizations and retailers that are somehow synergistically linked to the retail business.
2. In Portugal what are the main trends in the retail sector? Do they follow the same line as at global level?
It is inevitable. The national retail sector follows a global trend and generally incorporates trends in more robust and developed economies. I feel, however, that adoption time has been substantially reduced.
The evolution of consumer behavior, along with technological advances, are the main reasons for the verified trends. Customers are more and more informed, more demanding and, above all, value more the time spent with tasks of less importance. This way, a rational logic of making purchases faster, more efficient and productive will prevail. And, on the other hand, a more emotional logic that calls for more hedonic experiences.
That said, for both situations, we have emerging technologies that come to respond to the different types of consumer behavior, which is, by itself, challenging.
3. How important are the technologies in this sector?
As mentioned above, technologies occupy a very relevant space in the offer of retailers, whether, as we have seen, in utilitarian experience or in hedonics, which means more experiential. Technology will be increasingly present in retail, in order to improve the customer experience (e.g. reduction of queues, knowledge of products, quick queries, optimisation), but also of employees, facilitating learning, leveraging specific knowledge and supporting sales processes in an evolutionary and assertive manner.
For organizations, it is expected to contribute to increased efficiency, reduced costs and improved experiential supply, regardless of their positioning.
4. How have consumer preferences evolved over the years?
The evolution of consumer preferences cannot be detached from our reality. We have more educated and informed generations, as well as technology and (almost) universal access. So, the buying behavior tends to follow what is society's own development. This is why we see the migration of physical business to online (in some cases, the opposite also occurs or may occur) and the improvement of the experiential offer, which leads me to speak of a hybrid, omnicanal experience.
Once again, technology will play a very relevant role in this integration and interaction between the virtual, physical world and the users (customers and employees)
5. You have taken a post-graduate degree in Gamification. What led you to enter this area?
Inevitably associated with games, Gamification is much more than that. In a very short way, it is a way of acting that finds, in design, elements and thoughts of games, mechanisms of motivation that can be used (with ethics) with consumers, employees and communities.
Several examples show extraordinary benefits of its application. This way, I understand that it is necessary to develop and improve knowledge in this specific area, in order to enhance (new) business and general welfare.
6. In an article of yours you say that “leadership is determinant for the success of organizations”. Using also your words, how can you “gamify the practice of leadership”?
I have no doubt that the leadership exercise practiced every day influences the long-term success of organizations. If the 'winds' are favorable to a certain organization, the type of leadership can be indifferent in the short-term results. However, in the medium/long term, in conditions of extreme competitiveness, global and with 'adverse winds', the quality of leadership makes all the difference.
Therefore, “gambling the practice of leadership” implies that leaders ‘play’ every day their ‘match’ of leadership. That is, reflect, challenge themselves, cooperate in teams and partnerships, promote the development of players (meaning employees), reduce and eliminate ‘noise’ and ‘social fat’, promote collective welfare and practice philanthropy, among other possible and applicable dynamics.
7. You are CEO and founder of gXe. What is this project and what is its purpose?
The gXe project is essentially divided into two confluent areas of activity for the improvement of business and people performance, at individual and collective level. For the acronym gXe:
g - We produce, cooperate and leverage Gamification solutions for people, communities and organizations.
e - We build, develop, train, evaluate and propose solutions to improve the customer experience (internal and external).
X - We are not alone. We want to collaborate with partners who are specialists in various areas of activity to accelerate and enhance business opportunities. X is, therefore, the multiplier factor that we intend to exponentiate.
8. Furthermore, as a guest teacher, you collaborate in higher education programs. What attracts you in the area of Education?
I consider it a privilege to play this role. First, because teaching challenges continuous learning, and second, because I feel I can contribute to people's development and somehow be part of their journey.
In fact, at this stage of my life, it is an enormous pleasure to be able to share not only theory but also practical experience. I understand that students value this part very much.
9. What projects do you have in mind for the future?
Projects for the future include empowering and developing gXe, supporting and empowering businesses in different stages and areas affected to retail.
10. As PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a leader in the development and export of digital billboards and multimedia kiosks to the international market, what is your opinion about PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, its products and its internationalization strategy?
First of all, let me congratulate you on the work you all have done. It is deserving and credible.
PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS should continue the path of success that it has achieved, if it wishes, taking into account the premises mentioned above. On the one hand, maximize efficiency, improve information and communication with consumers in order to optimize services, improve the shopping and consumption experience and increase brand engagement. PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS products are a great tool for this purpose.
There are also enormous opportunities and possibilities, such as: virtually integrating experiences in physical spaces, enhancing and innovating communication actions through your devices, and “last but not least”, integrating technologies that facilitate sales and proximity to the consumer, boosting business and strong emotional relationships.
Connecting Stories is an editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.