The customer experience is key to retail success.

Regardless of the new technology solutions or ways of doing business that gain steam and impact the retail sector, the success of a company will always rest on the customer experience.

A recent article from Retail Customer Experience examined how important this time honored part of the business is. The piece takes an interesting approach comparing today’s retail sector to those of the time of Harry Gordon Selfridge. A pioneer in the department store industry and founder of Selfridge’s in London, he is credited with innovations like the semi-annual sale, a bargain basement and the phrases “only 10 shopping days until Christmas” and “the customer is always right.”

It is easy to see why someone like this is the focus point of a television series on PBS that just started its second season on March 30. His impact on the retail sector forever changed the way merchants market and advertise and dramatically improved the way employees were treated and paid.

The article encouraged retail executives to watch the show because it can provide a crash course in how to run a retail organization. There are several lessons that can be learned, chief among them is the need to invest in the customer experience.

“What shopping experiences are currently accepted as ‘just the way things are,’ but could be more convenient or delightful for a customer? Don’t just listen to what customers tell you they want; think 5-10 years further, then make it a reality,” the article reads. “Seamless experiences and omni-channel consistency are a base expectation of today’s retail experience. To differentiate, you must meet those expectations and fly well beyond to earn ongoing customer attention and love.”

The ideas pioneered by Selfridge play a major role in today’s landscape. From upgrading your point of sale system to building a website, keeping the customer experience is mind is important.