A Chat With Tom Ebling, Former Demandware CEO
November 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

I was excited to interview Tom Ebling last week, a true retail technology leader whose stint as CEO of Demandware from 2010-2016 included growing the software company into a $300 million public company that was acquired by Salesforce for $2.8 billion in 2016. Prior to Demandware, Ebling was the CEO of Lattice Engines, ProfitLogic and…

Ready or Not, Digital-First Retail is Here
October 23, 2017 at 11:01 am

Supposedly, Tori Spelling once said, “bad shopping habits die hard.” The "Beverly Hills 90210" actress was probably talking about her own shopping habits, but in a larger sense, Spelling, who helped personify consumerism in the 1990s, when the mall was king and Amazon.com was merely another dot-com, pretty much nailed today’s retail business, where bad habits…

Virtual Reality IRL at Shop.org
September 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm

The future is now. This thought went through my head several times this week at Shop.org in Los Angeles, especially when I was sampling some of the virtual reality (VR) immersive experiences that were on display on the trade show floor. The VR experiences I've demoed in the past have been proof of concepts designed…

Cutting-Edge Retail Tech On Display at XRC Labs’ Demo Day
September 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

Have you ever heard of XRC Labs, the innovation accelerator for the retail and consumer goods industries? If not, you may want to get to know it. It's doing some pretty interesting things with retail technology. Each year, XRC Labs runs two 14-week programs designed for startups in the retail technology space. XRC Labs provides…

Brand Voice Will Take on an Entirely New Meaning Very Soon
August 21, 2017 at 11:30 am

When I see people hunched over their phones, eyes fixed on screens, I think of the evolutionary chart that hung in biology class. The chart depicted a chronology of human ancestors, each one slightly more upright than their predecessor, until finally, we arrived at modern human, standing tall, except for when he or she is…

Kill Your Innovation Lab, Accelerate Everything
July 19, 2017 at 10:27 am

Several months after murdering his wife, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen boarded a transatlantic steamer. The year was 1910, and as far as getaways went back then, Crippen’s plan to flee the jurisdiction and start a new life on another continent was an excellent one. What he didn’t count on, however, was a relatively new technology…

A Look at How to Drive Shopper Engagement Via Digital Technology
November 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm

It's official: Digital technology has permanently altered the retail landscape. To examine why and how, Synchrony Financial took a deep dive into this reality with its current report, "Driving Shopper Engagement Through Digital Technology," which includes data from the 2016 Synchrony Financial Digital Study. The study, which gathered insights on mobile adoption and digital usage,…

Creating a Vendor Performance Scorecard
October 10, 2016 at 12:46 pm

I recently moved into a new house and was doing the requisite purging of years of accumulated stuff, including a few boxes of old work files. One of the dusty files was a project related to developing a vendor performance scorecard when I worked at Lands’ End around 20 years ago. At the time, we felt…

Top Retail Trends of 2016
May 24, 2016 at 9:51 am

I recently received a really interesting whitepaper titled "The Top 10 Retail Trends For 2016" from Synchrony Financial that included a list of the top 10 technology, marketing and consumer trends that Synchrony predicts will have an impact on retail sales in 2016. Here are five of the key trends highlighted. Are any of them affecting…

Why Planning Systems Must Be Priority for Retailers
May 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

It’s no surprise to learn that retailers are in a rapid investment period in terms of IT systems. Historically slow to invest in technology, retailers are now playing catchup in an arena that punishes slow-movers. A retail CIO is faced with the daunting challenge of solving a myriad of complex issues fast, including: delivering the…