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…

How to Jump on 3 Current Trends Impacting Retail Success
March 4, 2016 at 8:47 am

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…

US vs. Europe: Taking on Retail Technology
January 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

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…

When Science Collides With Retail: Giving the Public What They Want
May 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm

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…

The Vendor's Guide to Trade Shows ... From a Retailer
October 2, 2014

I'm at the Shop.org Annual Summit in Seattle and having a great time catching up with old friends and colleagues, meeting new contacts, and learning about new digital marketing strategies and technologies. Also, as usual, as I walk through the exhibit hall I'm being greeted by smiling vendors, eager to share with me information about their latest and greatest shiny new objects. For the most part, I actually enjoy talking with vendors and learning about their wares. But I have noticed many folks — retailers, probably — with their badges turned the other way or tucked into their jackets, and I know why: they don’t want to be singled out and aggressively sold to by vendors.

We Cut Cable: What This Means to Retailers
August 19, 2013

Our cable bill doubled. Apparently we had an introductory rate — which lasted more than five years. We had nearly 500 channels, and nothing ever seemed to be on, so we cut cable. Cold turkey. Even returned the cable company's DVR full of unwatched episodes of nothing in particular.