A different approach to developing engaging shopper experiences. #Retail #Leadership

Retailers are too caught up with trying to implement services or software to achieve a particular omnichannel capability. None of it is differentiating, but more status-quo in this new retailing world. I believe that retailers should look at the creation of experiences the same way that consumer tech companies develop software and hardware…with an eye on consumer needs and with a product management hat on. I presented this in 2013 at the annual meeting of The International Association of Clothing Design Executives.



Do You Really Know Your Customer, Today’s Shopper? Really? Retail needs a Real Customer Data Exchange… #Retail #Prediction #leadership

ibm data

Undoubtedly retailers have collected troves of transaction data on their customers. With advancements in analytics, they are  now desperately trying to make sense of it all;  over 50% have not been able to leverage their loyalty data in meaningful ways.

I believe that the data (corpus) retailers have on their customers is unfortunately not comprehensive enough, to reliably activate today’s shopper. That is, I do not think that retailers have a wide enough view of today’s shopper, and this leaves them exposed to those who do (e.g. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple). I would argue that retailers need to federate their customer data, and create a Real Customer Data Exchange (RCDE). I understand there will be PII [Personally Identifiable Information]concerns to work through, but going it alone doesn’t seem like the right solution for truly understanding today’s shopper. On this vein, I do believe that generally we will see a lot of consolidation in the retail industry in the months and years to come, but will be posting on that later.

Sorry, Retailers. You’re a Tech Company Now. #retail #innovation #leadership

LE-AA431_LABS_J_20151012121138(Photo credit Wall Street Journal)

I get the opportunity to speak with, and to, many large retailers and far too often I still here “…we’re not technologist, we’re retailers.” Well here is my take, sorry, retailers you’re a technology company now…and you my friend you are a technologist; at least you better be. [Tweet this] No longer is it good enough to travel to exotic places, or browse an online catalog from Manhattan, score a great buy, mark it up and slap it on to your shelves or web site. In addition to being a purveyor of goods, retailers must create enduring relationships with shoppers where they become a utility to said shoppers.[Tweet this] Innovation labs are a great start, but driving innovation and being innovative is not a department, it’s a culture. [Tweet this] Being a technology company and innovating doesn’t only have to mean  developing a new app or even a device, it can also be a new way of doing business on either the supply or demand side – certainly Uber and other gig economy companies come to mind. These are transformational times that we are in, and retailers must step back and look at their business in completely new ways, and  from a variety of viewpoints. Where you are unable to create, acquire. Understanding the innovator’s dilemma, where you are unable to acquire, instead make key strategic step investments that can help to seed your future. Forget about yesterday, the world of retail has forever changed, and there is not going back. As Alan Kay timelessly stated, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”…otherwise you will just be a tenant on leased land.

The Future is Now, it just exist as disparate technologies… #innovation #mankind

I recently read a WSJ article which takes a prescient view of what tech gadgets are staged to prevail in 2016. The article is great, but as usual the gold is in the comment gems. The views on technology across generations is clear, with self-defined “older” generations losing site of the need for it all, and “younger” generations feeling it’s not enough. For my take, I continue to wonder that given the advances and attainable price points of robotics, computer vision, sensor tech, artificial intelligence, and emergent knowledge (Big data), etc… Where are we headed? You always hear that xyz personal technology will make life easier; the more things that we no longer need to know or do, must have a peak in benefits. I don’t want to wake up just to go to “sleep” again.

Source: The Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2016 – WSJ