Greg Petro

Greg Petro

Greg has a 25-year history in the retail industry with a career spanning merchandising, sales and management. But while at one of the world’s leading supply chain technology firms, he saw a need for retailers and brands to re-engage with consumers to determine which products would be top sellers well before costly investments are made to bring them to market. In 2007, Greg Petro founded First Insight Inc., a technology company that delivers what is now the world’s leading predictive analytics platform for consumer-testing new products. Through engaging consumers online and mining social data, the First Insight platform empowers retailers and brands to introduce the right products at the right price, and target them to the right customers. Today, he serves as its Chief Executive Officer and President. Greg is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as a frequent speaker at the graduate business schools of Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh. Greg also speaks and at a number of industry conferences, where he educates his listeners on how retailers can use technology to identify and deliver what their customers really want. Mr. Petro holds both MBA and Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.

Decoding Price Elasticity to Unlock Revenue and Minimize Risk

It’s no secret that there has been a shift in shopping behavior due to growth in millennial spending power, aging of baby boomers and the growth of online shopping. These changes are impacting pricing and demand, and are creating a disconnect for retailers and brands between what they're charging and how much consumers will actually…

The Discount Divide: Bringing Value to Millennials and Baby Boomers

Rampant discounting in department stores has conditioned a great majority of consumers to wait for the "SALE" sign before even entering. And this is impacting how they make purchase decisions in other aspects of their lives. In fact, roughly 90 percent of the 750 consumers First Insight surveyed last month acknowledged that these discounts are…

Markdown Mania: A Symptom of the Wrong Product at the Wrong Price

The retail industry is facing an epidemic. As retailers continue to use markdowns to entice shoppers and drive traffic into stores, consumers are becoming increasingly price sensitive, leading them to expect sales at every turn. A recent study by First Insight took a deeper dive into the expectations of consumers, finding that 70 percent need…

2016 Holiday Retail Expectations: A Surprisingly Sunny Outlook

It’s been a rough year for retail. The department store model has derailed into irrelevance, traditional brick-and-mortar stores have had to make massive investments in e-commerce, and customers’ needs have continued to change at breakneck speed. Despite some surprising (and some not so surprising) developments across the industry, the majority of retailers are looking forward…

Birchbox and Zappos: The New Type of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing isn't new; using celebrities to sell products is an age-old practice. However, a new type of influencer marketing — using regular customers as brand spokespeople — is on the rise. Highlighted in a National Retail Federation (NRF) article, “Customers Are the New Celebrities,” this trend of curating a group of select social media…

How to Jump on 3 Current Trends Impacting Retail Success

For a while now, retailers have been betting big on bits and bytes as they invest in retail technology. Overall, retailer IT spend was estimated at $60 billion in 2013. Although e-commerce platform spending gets much of the press, it’s only a small portion, $1.2 billion, of the overall retail tech budget. So where's the…

4 Things Retailers Should Know for 2016

One thing retailers can count on in January is innovation. Each year, retailers across the globe gather for Retail’s BIG Show hosted by the National Retail Federation (NRF). This year’s event covered the usual topics, such as payment technologies and improving the customer experience, but also demonstrated that there’s a big shift affecting the retail…

US vs. Europe: Taking on Retail Technology

The end goal of all retail companies is to hear the cha-ching of the cash register. But getting there is rarely an easy path. Retailers must make a series of decisions before the cash register rings, and one misstep along that decision path can cost them big. In fact, these missteps equate to $1.1 trillion…

Retail’s Paths to Athleisure

Consumers are getting comfy. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shift in how consumers dress for both work and play. From casual tennis shoes and T-shirts at work to yoga pants at the local watering hole, fitness wear is moving beyond the gym and hitting the streets. According to NPD Group, "athleisure" clothing…

How to Use Data to Stop the Inventory Guessing Game

One of the worst feelings a retailer can have is when a customer is ready to buy a product, but you don't have it in stock. Yes, they can be directed to a sister store or check online, but today's shoppers can easily take their dollars elsewhere. Another real problem is the overbuying of product,…

The Next Phase of Social Media Advertising

Six hundred billion dollars. That’s what advertisers are set to spend worldwide in 2015. Social media powerhouses Facebook and Twitter have rolled out new ways to target consumers through advertisements. But is the return on investment there for the companies that are fronting the bill? According to Gallup, 62 percent of consumers say that social…

When Science Collides With Retail: Giving the Public What They Want

The fashion times are a-changin’. New products have an estimated failure rate of 50 percent, costing over $400 billion each year collecting dust on store shelves. With that kind of risk involved, a systematic assessment of consumer preferences should be par for the course. However, retailers are constantly struggling to determine what styles consumers are…

Has Social Media Killed the Mall? Part 2

In part one of this series on the rumored "death of the mall," I wrote about the potential for e-commerce and social media to keep consumers online and out of the once-crowded malls. However, as anyone who has gone shopping on Black Friday can attest, the modern mall is anything but deserted. In fact, social media can play a significant role in getting consumers engaged online, and your company's savvy data mining and social monitoring can help it better understand its target customer.

Has Social Media Killed the Mall? Part 1

Before jumping to the conclusion that social media and e-commerce have left the mall deserted, it's important to think about what you can leverage from social media listening and interaction. What should retailers and brands be thinking about in order to capitalize on their physical store investments?