RetailWire

A SAMPLING of my recent commentary on RetailWire:

  • RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Best Buy

    One aspect of the Amazon ad I found notable was its use of video clips that revealed its process, like the Kiva robots, the workers in the fulfillment center, the pickup lockers and hand-trucks delivering those singing boxes. Its people are portrayed as friendly cogs in the system. Best Buy po...

  • Walmart puts AI to the test in an in-store lab

    Store-level inventory optimization is the "cutting-edge" innovation that has been honed in grocery for close to 20 years. After some early attempts to automate ordering using computer assistance proved disastrous, the grocery industry mostly turned its back on CGO/CAO solutions. A ha...

  • Is it time for U.S. retailers to embrace Singles Day?

    Singles Day is a great story, but we shouldn't underestimate how specific it is to the consumer culture of China. It grew somewhat organically from a consumer trend. It is absolutely secular. In its home country there is no crowding from Halloween or Thanksgiving as it would have in the U.S. Amer...

  • Can retail rivals beat Amazon without having lower prices over the holidays?

    On items with service, returns or installation requirements, like TVs, large appliances or car audio, yes, rivals have opportunities to best Amazon. On items with a high likelihood of returns or exchanges, like apparel, yes, sometimes. On exclusive branded items, like some fashion boutiques, yes,...

  • Will Walmart’s bring your own device policy work for it and its associates?

    I have to wonder whether the typical Walmart employee owns a mobile device that will adequately support workplace requirements. Cracked screens aside, what about available memory to run the app? Condition of the battery good enough to maintain Wi-Fi connectivity, light the screen, and run the app...

  • What will Instacart’s new grocery pickup service mean for home delivery?

    Seems to me Instacart's service adds another node to the end of the supply chain. So I have some questions about how it improves net consumer value -- via delivery or click-and-carry. Still, the company's expanding partner portfolio and widespread consumer acceptance has been more than remarkable...

  • Should retailers respond to every consumer review?

    Online reviews certainly demand individual responses from brand owners. Ideally each should be uniquely composed, but let's get real. I can think of no job more mind-numbing than sitting in a cubicle monitoring online reviews and formulating replies. It's a task better suited for 'bots, 98% of th...

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