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RetailEXPO speaker interview: Asda chief customer officer Andy Murray on putting people first

As Chief Customer Officer at ASDA, Andy Murray is responsible for making sure the supermarket chain is doing the right thing by its customers.

The former Walmart marketer, who will speak at next month’s RetailEXPO, leads a team of creatives, marketing strategists, customer insight, customer journey and PR experts to deliver a compelling experience for ASDA customers.

“Putting customers first in our decision making has always been at the forefront of our thinking in ASDA,” says Murray in an interview for Retail Design World. “The key to a great customer journey is knowing your customers and what they want. You need to, firstly, make yourself relevant to them and, secondly, give them reasons to shop that they may not think about.”

ASDA and Sainsbury’s recently hit back at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which said that the proposed £12 billion merger between the two big supermarkets could lead to a worse experience for in-store and online shoppers across the UK.

“We have been clear that we fundamentally disagree with the CMA’s provisional findings and continue to engage with them on the proposed merger,” says Murray. “These proposals are about doing the right thing for our customers and our business, which has been our absolute priority throughout the merger process and will continue to be so.”

The two supermarkets announced their plans to merge in 2018, with the aim of lowering prices for customers in an increasingly competitive market, while improving quality and service.

“Retail has always been intensely competitive, but the marketplace right now is possibly the most competitive we’ve ever seen,” adds Murray. “You only have to look at the number of brands that have got into difficulty over the last few years to know that if you don’t get things right for customers, then you’ll be in trouble. A relentless focus on delivering for the customer always has been and always will be the key to success in this industry, and that’s what we’re trying to do at ASDA.”

According to Murray, one of the big focuses across the entire business is working out how it can make the customer experience as hassle-free as possible, be that in stores or online. Its Scan & Go service, for example, has been a big development on this journey and the company is now looking at developing that further, including expanding capabilities on mobile.

“We’re also seeing how we can continue to bring digital to life in-store,” notes Murray. “No longer is it good enough to have discrete silo communications in channels. Customers move fluidly across screens and channels today, and expect we do the same.”

Murray will discuss why he believes customer experience is the key ingredient for retail success at RetailEXPO on 1 May 2019 at 14:55-15:25 on the Headline Stage.

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