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The Shaky but Awesome Future of Retail

Shekar Raman, Birdzi

We live in exciting times. The pace of progress in technology far outstrips the pace at which we are coming up with ideas of its applications. Hence the endless stream of exciting startups that come up with new and innovative ways of applying the technology and changing the way we live our lives. Exciting times indeed. There are however a few things that seem to take forever to change and are at contrast to everything else that is happening. Take for instance the retail industry—arguably one of the oldest and most established industries. For years, things have been done a certain way, and the adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be a recurring theme in this sector. Innovation meets inertia, and the result is often slow, sluggish progress. But as Dylan said, ‘the times, they are a changin’ . The technology innovation and competition to traditional brick-and-mortar is forcing traditional retailers and even supermarkets to sit up and take notice and start thinking about changing the way we have thought of retail. In particular focus is the astronomical adoption of the smartphone. In eight short years since the first iPhone was released by Apple (some people may argue that smartphones existed before that, but let’s not go there for now), 80% or more of the phones sold in the market are smartphones. More importantly ‘connected’ phones. Last year, mobile overtook desktop as the #1 way to access the Internet. Retailers have started to realize both the power that is in the hands of the consumer to research before they buy, and their own ability to reach the customer proactively with personalized recommendations.  In the mid to late nineties as the reach of the internet exploded and e-commerce seemed to be engulfing the world, the birth of Amazon, eBay, buy.com, and countless other imitators, seemed to suggest that brick-and-mortar is dead. Now, almost 20 years later, brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for more than 95% of retail sales. Long live ‘the store’! Humans are social animals, and as much as the convenience of online shopping is enticing, our very nature thirsts for interaction and exploration. So what does all this mean? There is not a minute in our daily lives that we are separated from our personal devices (looking at my kids, it seems like a minute is a long time to be separated from the phone!). This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to stay connected with customers in ways never before thought possible. However, it is only those retailers who can figure out how to keep the interaction personalized and subtle that will win the race to being effective retailers of the future.  Dealing with promotional emails from e-commerce sites or retailers has become a job in itself, and people setup email accounts just to manage that. Clearly, mass promotion is at best annoying, and given the pace of our lives, hardly effective. It seems so 2000s. The future is about personalization. Its about, ‘just let me know of things relevant to me’ at the right time and place. Doing this was unimaginable a decade ago. Only a good friend could judge your mood, intent and based on their intimate knowledge of your personality say the right words. Just imagine your local supermarket doing that with your shopping needs. Understanding your personal preferences, shopping cycle, intent and budget and suggesting (and notifying) items you may be interested in. Not in an obscene, ‘in your face’ way, but in a ‘friendly’ manner, with your best interests in focus. With the advent of big data platforms and cloud technology, processing massive amounts of data in short order and deriving insights into individual shopping behavior and then proactively suggesting products and services is now a reality. There are several exciting startups that promise just that. So what’s the hold up, why aren’t retailers flocking to this trend, or wait.. can they? If there is one obstacle that stands between most traditional brick-and-mortar stores and the future, its data. The quality of data that most retailers have on their legacy systems simply does not lend itself to the emerging platforms. We are talking about abbreviated, truncated, misspelled, crude, and just plain poor quality data. All our big data platforms, machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning platforms require one thing. Good clean data to learn from. Retailers who can address this fundamental issue and bring about change in how they handle and store data will put themselves in a position to own the future and offer a level of personalization that consumers will come to expect in the future. Amazon recently announced that they are planning to open up about 2,000 stores nationwide. With the quality of data they hold, I would be surprised if they don’t become a major brick-and-mortar presence, threatening even the most established players. If traditional stores don’t make fundamental changes and pay more attention to how data is collected and stored, they stand to see the ground slipping away under their feet, while trying to figure out how to hold on to their customers. The future of shopping is closer than you think, especially if you have good clean data! +MORE

Grab and Go Automated Commerce

Accel Robotics

We are building a ‘Grab and Go’ vision-based automated shopping system. Think about this like an Amazon Go solution for everyone else. +MORE

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Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery for eCommerce

ReadyCart.co

(2)

Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery Technology for retailer's eCommerce solution - laser focused around maximizing customer satisfaction and retailer profitability. ReadyCart Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery Technology Crowdsourced network build and eCommerce integration Retailer specific training collaboration and creation Network onboarding and ecosystem to handle training, scheduling, payment etc. Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery Technology  Picking&Delivery App Delivery Analytics Portal +MORE

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Darius™ for Retail

Darius Technologies

Darius for Retail is a fully integrated, cloud based shopper engagement platform. Darius delivers proven and measurable return on investment, by allowing retailers to put their shoppers at the center of everything and making it easy to engage and influence them pre-store, in-store, and post-store. Darius allows retailers to design, manage, develop and, measure interactions with their customers throughout the entire shopper journey.  The ‘tech’ bit: Darius™ is a modular ‘ecosystem’ retail technology platform that is designed to integrate and allow interaction with any existing retail systems and solutions such as Beacons, WiFi, dynamic shelf illumination, or e-coupons, and so on, to make continuous engagement with shoppers possible, wherever they are on the path to purchase. The customer experience bit: Darius™ allows retailers to put their shoppers at the center of everything by making it easy to engage and influence them pre-store, in-store, and post-store. The business bit: Darius™ delivers proven and measurable return on investment. That means more shoppers in-store, more often. It means attracting new and hard to engage shopper types. And it means bigger baskets and the increased spends that comes with that. It makes marketing budgets and, where they may already exist, retail tech investments work so much harder. +MORE

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LISNR

LISNR

LISNR powers transactions and connects the global customer journey with the most advanced Ultrasonic Data Platform. LISNR’s technology addresses the growing need for simple communication between myriad devices. Based on that idea, LISNR created proprietary software for encoding data into inaudible “tones”, which were then transmitted and received using standard speakers and microphones. +MORE

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App Store for Retail

Sparkle CS Ltd

Sparkle connects legacy and online retail solutions into a real-time cloud ecosystem to enable Big Data, connected store marketing and a true omni-channel customer experience.  Using Sparkle’s technology, retailers from independents to major chains have been able to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy integrated digital technology to drive customer engagement and increase sales. Extensible Framework, an app store for your POS: Our framework allows the digital world to interact seamlessly with tills.  Want your till to do something we haven’t thought of? Add another app. Making Coupons Work, Example App: Redemption Validation (RV): Our RV POS App allows digital and paper coupons to be accepted by the POS with controls against mis-redemption, reuse and fraud. Driving Out Costs, Example App: Electronic Clearing (EC): No more need for expensive clearing houses! With EC, you know who owes you what within hours. Settle via trade accounts or let us manage it for you. Cloud-based Management, Take control of your tills: Our cloud-based solution will get you up and running in no time. Change how your tills behave from your tablet in real-time. Bridging the Gap, bringing tills online: We provide a range of patented technologies that allows legacy tills, from corner shops to mainline grocers, to join the App Store for Retail. Future Proof, avoiding strategic paralysis: NFC, RFiD or QR Codes? You don’t need to guess. The App Store for Retail allows new interfaces to be plugged in at low cost. +MORE

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Personalized Shopper Engagement Suite

Birdzi Inc.

(5)

Birdzi’s Personalized Shopper Engagement Suite is made up of the following components: Personalization Engine - Proprietary algorithms track individual shopper profiles & behavior and score offers & content for each shopper based on objectives Digital Touchpoints - Connect with your shoppers through your own branded mobile app, web and email In-store Engagement - Empower your shoppers to search and locate items in-store and receive relevant offers in the aisle through beacons Offer Management and Analytics - Build and manage offers and track performance in real-time To find out more click here. +MORE

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Mobile Checkout

FutureProof Retail

The Mobile Checkout retail platform digitizes brick and mortar stores, bringing the convenience and personalization of eCommerce to physical retailers and their customers. Mobile Checkout Eliminates the Lines Mobile Checkout is a brandable iOS and Android app, a better system than self-checkout for the complete shopping experience from scan to payment. Private White-label Retailers deepen the customer relationship and own the install by deploying the platform as their own-brand staff and shopper apps. Scan Products Customers scan and bag while shopping. Mobile Payment Pay securely with credit card or mobile wallet directly through the app. Skip the Line Customers never wait in line to check out. Customize to your needs Expand the system with functionality like loyalty programs or counter service mobile ordering.     +MORE

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GoSpotCheck

GoSpotCheck

GoSpotCheck is mobile form and execution management software that enables team leaders to improve workforce operations. Organizations can assign tasks, analyze real-time reporting, and drive action to accomplish critical goals and objectives. +MORE

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CART Weekly Report 10/17/19

CART, Advancing Retail

COMING SOON: A.I.-POWERED PERSONALIZED RESTAURANT MENUS | OZY Gary’s Take: Reinforcing the growing convergence of the massive food and healthcare industries, a growing number of restaurants are personalizing their menu items to the individual customer. These restaurants recognize that a growing number of people have food allergies - an estimated 32 million people in the U.S. alone - or have nutritionally sensitive health conditions (60% of Americans have one or more chronic health conditions) or have strong diet and food preferences. This personalization is happening across restaurants of all formats, from quick serve like McDonalds to more formal establishments. As I wrote about in my latest book, Retail in the Age of ‘I’, the world is becoming increasingly tailored to each of us individually and this trend of personalizing restaurant prepared meals is just the latest sign that this movement is expanding across the digital and physical worlds. WILL CUSTOMERS GIVE WALMART THE KEYS TO THEIR HOME? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: Privacy is culture and it changes over time. 15 years ago it would be ludicrous to post all our family pictures and trips online; now it’s almost standard. I expect we’ll see that same thing over time for these kinds of services. Is the value exchange worthwhile? Consumers will increasingly answer: yes. PERSONALIZED PROMOS ADD UP TO A ‘WIN-WIN’ FOR RETAILRS AND CONSUMERS | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: Personalized pricing is inevitable. We see it in our credit card rates, our airline tickets and increasingly we see it as a standard in retail. Done right, not only do the economics work, but it's a better customer experience all around. REI OPENS OUTDOOR ADVENTURE GATEWAY CONCEPT | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: This is a great idea! And the next step in experiential retail. Not something contrived to create an “experience” but a real place consumers can launch their experiences from. It adds a lot of value for consumers and I’m willing to bet this concept will be successful for REI. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY | The CART Team MAKING LOYALTY PROGRAMS WORK HARDER | Winsight Grocery Business RETAIL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - GLOBAL TRENDS | Thinking Heads HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019  NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION - NGASHOW 2020: Register to Exhibit and/or to attend - February 23rd, 2019 - February 26th, 2019, San Diego, CA More INNOVATION PROGRAM Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - October 24, 2019, 12:30-5:00pm, Portland, Oregon  SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” GET ON THE INSIDE.  MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail ✔️Blogs ✔️ Webinars ✔️Newsletter ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content      LEARN MORE>> VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company. ~Ginni Rometty +MORE

THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY.  

Bringing a dedicated trade-show to the retailers' headquarters;  we connect Solution Providers in a powerful engagement with key decision-makers.

The CART Innovation Program™ is a powerful way for solution providers with transformative, disruptive new capabilities to gain an audience with the senior executive team of large regional and national retailers. Without a program like this, gaining such an audience - especially for young companies - is nearly impossible. Solutions are curated at the request of the retailer. Through our application and acceptance process and partnering with the retailer, we select the exact solutions they want to see.  Once accepted to participate, the CART team partners with the solution provider to hone their presentation and coaches them to deliver a spot-on presentation; helping to create a powerful, succinct story to gain the retail executives’ attention. This is being proven to be the most effective and powerful way to begin the sales cycle. The CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program™ provides you access to the retailer’s senior execs and time to network, exchange contact information, hear immediate feedback and begin to build a relationship.  You can begin your sales process by hunting down people at a company hoping you get a meeting with a person who will listen or you can be in front of the C-suite and senior decision makers all at once.  There’s no better way to get your foot in the door, launching your sales cycle, and breaking down corporate silos than having a full audience of decision makers all in the same room to understand your solution’s capabilities. Historically, before the CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program™ was developed, solutions selling into regional and national retailers would typically encounter a two, to sometimes four, year period of selling before getting the deal signed. Companies still have budgets, decision making processes and due diligence to manage after a Program which a solution provider needs to be aware of and manage accordingly. The CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program ™ facilitates and expedites this process.  With the CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program™ solution providers have an opportunity to engage more quickly and effectively, better understanding the retailer’s decision making and budget processes and who the decision makers are. With this knowledge solution providers can potentially get pilots moving faster so the retailer has time and experience to envision what a full implementation looks like should they engage the solution. The retail industry is a high-pressure, dynamic, high-volume, thin margin, business where executives never have enough bandwidth and are always pressured for time. Even with company silos broken down, it’s still important to understand the environment and the sales process to successfully engage your solution into this highly competitive market. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 10/10/19

CART, Advancing Retail

AMAZON’S DYSTOPIAN PLAN TO BE ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE | The Week Gary’s Take: Amazon had a product launch event during which it released 15 new products - more than most companies release in a year. Amidst the various products, Alexa was featured prominently as Amazon is focused on getting Alexa on as many products suitable for as many environments as possible, from  your living room to your car to the office. Thinking about what Amazon is doing, it is becoming clear that the company believes that voice is going to be the next major platform, potentially surpassing the smartphone. Lots of implications here for retailers when thinking about customer engagement and how to accomplish that in a world of voice-based computing. THIS ROBOT CAN MAKE 300 PIZZAS IN AN HOUR | Trib live Gary’s Take: The robots are coming! We’re seeing lots of activity in automating food production and the latest is from a company called Picnic. They have created a robotic pizza maker that can make 300 12-inch pizzas an hour and 180 18-inch pizzas per hour. This comes on top of Flippy, the automated burger grilling bot, salad robots, and even bread baking robots. Automation at retail in the areas of food production and maintenance (like robotic floor cleaning machines) make a lot of sense for retailers. Smart retailers will take the savings they realize from automating these types of non-customer facing jobs and reinvest in people in roles where they engage with shoppers and can build relationships.  AMAZON IS LOOKING TO INSTALL ITS GO TECHNOLOGY IN HUNDREDS OF RETAILERS BY 2020 | Business Insider Gary’s Take: So this is really interesting - Amazon is in talks to bring its Amazon Go checkout free shopping experience to movie theaters, sports venues, and other retail stores. Makes sense from Amazon’s perspective as the tech space has gained a number of companies focused on replicating Amazon’s tech to bring to traditional retailers. Those startups are receiving some serious  funding and we are seeing a growing number of deals being announced as Grabango begins work with Giant Eagle and Tesco makes an investment in Trigo Vision. While many retail execs seem to be skeptical that the technology can scale to eventually handle a full supermarket, advances in computer vision are happening fast and I believe the tech will get figured out. BEST BUY MAKES A BIG BET ON HEALTH TECH | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: I think it’s a good move for two reasons: 1. There’s a significant and growing need and 2. Technology and services can fit that need in new and innovative ways. Establishing themselves as an early entrant into the new senior tech + services market builds relationships with customers that have a high switching cost (as your data, support and knowledge will already be with Best Buy). WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: MAKING LOYALTY PROGRAMS WORK HARDER | Winsight Grocery Business RETAIL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - GLOBAL TRENDS | Thinking Heads HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019  More INNOVATION PROGRAM Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “i” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - October 24, 2019, 12:30-5:00pm, Portland, Oregon  SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas  Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future. ~Marilyn Ferguson +MORE

CART Weekly Report 10/3/19

CART, Advancing Retail

THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR U.S. DRUGSTORES | Nielsen Gary’s Take: The convergence between the massive health care and food industries in the United States continues to gain momentum and retailers and brands not paying attention will miss major opportunities and risk their shoppers moving on without them.  While supermarket retailers with in-store pharmacies are right in the middle of this convergence, drug stores are in a more challenging position. Food is increasingly being viewed and understood as medicine, putting grocery retailers in prime position. Drug stores are improving their food selections but have a long way to go. Needless to say, any retailer in the food, pharmacy, or health and nutrition space should be aware of the convergence underway and figure out how they can benefit their shoppers. THESE 18 RETAILERS HAVE FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY OR LIQUIDATION IN 2019 | Business Insider Gary’s Take: Yesterday, Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy, adding to a growing list of retailers closing stores and going out of business. Many of these retailers are in non-food related channels like apparel, toys, etc. but it is only a matter of time before we see an acceleration of bankruptcy filings, store closures, and acquisitions in the supermarket sector. I believe this acceleration has already started but it is occurring across the independent sector of smaller retailers where filings don’t make the news. How it shows up though is in consolidation happening at the wholesaler level as the wholesalers seek to maintain their volume through acquiring other smaller distributors. I also continue to believe that the majority of retail executives do not yet fully understand what’s coming. I hear more execs talking about change and innovation and exponential growth of technology but its almost as if they are just saying the words. Technology and all it enables is moving faster every day, and the exponential growth of computer processing power is creating industry disruptive capabilities at a growing pace.  The challenge for the retail industry is three-fold: 1) putting in place processes like the CART Innovation Program to build discovery and awareness of new capabilities, 2) train and educate your organization to be more open to innovation, doing things differently, and moving faster, and 3) develop a strategy for where you want to go and create a roadmap identifying what systems, processes, and practices need to be developed to get you there. BALANCING TECH WITH THE HUMAN TOUCH IN RETAIL | tech radar.pro Gary’s Take: That automation is transforming retail is no longer in debate. The only question is what area of retail operations are going to be automated and what retailers are going to do with the savings. I believe automating jobs that people really don’t want to do, like floor cleaning, makes a lot of sense and everyone wins. And while I believe that Amazon-Go like technology will eventually make its way to full supermarkets, I’m not sure that’s a great thing. People are social animals and shopping has been a social activity, seeing your neighbors, family, or friends at the local supermarket. Removing human interaction through automation can transform  the shopping experience to a sterile, people-free transaction but eliminates a massive opportunity for retailers to actually foster and grow relationships with their customers. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: RETAIL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - GLOBAL TRENDS | Thinking Heads HOW TO FOSTER EMPLOYEES INTO BRAND AMBASSADORS by Andrew Hoeft, Retail Process Innovator | CEO at Pinpoint Software Solution Highlight: Date Check Pro  New Date Check Pro e-Book!  What Does it Mean to be a Community Grocer in 2020? This eBook dives into the strategies and tactics you can put into place in order to make an impact as a community grocer in 2020. HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019  More INNOVATION PROGRAM Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “i” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - October 24, 2019, 12:30-5:00pm, Portland, Oregon  SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas  Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure ~ Albert Einstein +MORE

CART Weekly Report 9/26/19

CART, Advancing Retail

ALPHABET’S WING DRONE DELIVERY SERVICE TO LAUNCH TEST PROGRAM IN VIRGINIA | CNet Gary’s Take: In a real world example of how fast technology is moving. Alphabet (parent of Google) is launching a test program next month using drones to do home delivery in partnership with FedEx and Walgreens. It wasn’t that long ago drones even became a ’thing’ and now real world retailers like Walgreens are moving aggressively to pilot the technology in real world situations.  The drones being used in this test will fly about 100-200 feet in the air. When arriving at their destination, they will hover about 20 feet in the air and lower the package with a tether to a backyard or doorstep. The drones will be able to carry packages weighing 2-3 pounds, appropriate for a drug store like Walgreens. This is far from the only drone test; Amazon remains focused on using drones for delivery of packages and other startups have gotten into the game. This space is moving increasingly fast and is part of helping retail solve the last-mile delivery challenge. GROCERY STORES OF THE FUTURE WILL LIKELY SHARE THESE 3 IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS | Forbes Gary’s Take: The physical store is changing fast and nowhere is this more evident than in grocery retail. While grocery is moving online quickly, it is the center-store packaged goods that are moving the fastest. This has big implications for the physical store. - Future grocery stores will be smaller as they focus on fresh and prepared foods while packaged foods are boxed up for customer pick-up or home delivery. - Order fulfillment, even for the smallest orders, will increasingly be done on a hyperlocal level. The only way to reduce delivery costs and speed delivery time is to move fulfillment closer to shoppers. - Frictionless shopping like Amazon Go will happen. Yes, there are pain points today in trying to scale the technology to a full supermarket and recognizing fresh foods, etc. but tech is moving fast and these things will be addressed and solved. All these factors, and more, impact on store design going forward and retailers should be thinking about these as they look to the future. WILL FREE SAME-DAY DELIVERY BOOST MACY’S ONLINE SALES? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: There’s little to be gained in playing another company’s game. I think Macy’s will have some minor wins when it comes to launching free same day delivery. And it could be worth doing. But Macy’s would find more benefit in finding themselves in terms of their core value proposition to the customer beyond what everyone else is already doing. ARE SMART CARTS A SMARTER WAY TO WALK OUT | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: The context that these are/are not adopted under is what matters. I don’t think there’s a silver bullet tech that is the answer for everyone. The company, stores, customer base, etc. all factor in to what technology will work and be accepted. This approach will certainly be viable for some retailers. More broadly, all retailers need to rethink the checkout process as it’s ripe for disruption given tech capabilities today. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY:  ARE GROCERY RETAILERS CHASING SHINY OBJECTS? | Gary E. Hawkins HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019   RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 More Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events GMDC SELF-CARE SUMMIT - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - Portland, Oregon - October 24, 2019 12:30-5:00pm SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun! ~Mary Lou Cook +MORE

Are Grocery Retailers Chasing Shiny Objects?

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Advancing Retail

I participated in a rapid-fire panel discussion at Groceryshop this past week looking at 10 different technologies for supermarket retail. It was a lot of fun speaking with Phil Lempert, Brita Rosenheim, comparing our thoughts in a lively debate that brought up some good points for retailers to consider. Amidst the explosive growth of new innovative capabilities coming into retail, there are a number of things that seem to have been created just because technology now enables new things - not necessarily focused on solving specific issues. And we see too many retailers chasing after each new shiny object without a real plan for what they’re trying to accomplish. I think that solution providers should focus on what problems they are helping solve for the retailer, or what benefits they help create for the retailer or shopper. Broadly speaking, new capabilities should help the retailer reduce costs, improve operations, or help benefit the overall shopping experience. Customer facing capabilities ultimately should help the retailer attract new shoppers, grow the value of existing shoppers, or better retain shoppers over time.  Running a retail organization, particularly a larger organization, is a complex challenge. It is an incredibly dynamic business, high sales volumes and low profit margins, that is dependent on doing a million different things well. I’d suggest that retailers can use the same lens suggested earlier for reviewing new capabilities and starting to bring some order to the chaos of new innovation. First and foremost is a focus on the customer and understanding that retail competition has shifted from mass promotion to share-of-wallet and shopper lifetime value.  +MORE

The Promise & Peril of Retail Personalization

Gary Hawkins, Founder, CEO, Advancing Retail

As we head into Groceryshop 2019 I am struck by the number of solution providers focused on providing marketing personalization. It is safe to say that retail personalization has arrived. And yet is also safe to say that far too few retailers truly understand what’s involved with providing effective personalization and how fast capabilities are moving in this space. As supermarket retail has been dragged into the digital age, personalization has become a customer expectation, no longer a nice-to-have. And solution providers have come out of the woodwork to provide capabilities to retailers, each proclaiming the sophistication of their approach and the use of AI and machine learning.  But here’s the problem: Like any engine, the quality of personalization is dependent on the fuel it’s running on… and too many retailers are providing poor quality fuel or, even worse, lack the fuel necessary. As retail enters the Age of ‘i’ - a time of maximizing share-of-wallet and growing lifetime value of each individual customer - far too many retailers lack customer identified transaction data, the primary fuel. Looking at a list of the top 50 supermarket retailers, approximately half of them have little to no customer identified purchase data.  Beyond that, personalization is driven by customer intelligence; the more known about the customer the better. Customer intelligence is driven by attributes, attributes tagged to the customer and to the products he or she purchases. Attributes can, and should, also include location and other information that can be brought in from outside data sources. Knowing what product a customer purchases is good, knowing that the product is sugar-free and gluten-free adds that much more insight to what that customer is searching for. This is where retailers need to start to dig when evaluating different personalization capabilities. What, and how many, attributes are maintained and how they impact recommendations is key to relevancy. How those attributes are created and refreshed is also massively important. Batch cycles and customer segments are yesterday’s approach; look for automated creation of customer profile attributes and systems capable of calculating, maintaining, and ingesting hundreds and even thousands of attributes tagged to the individual shopper and products. Anyone with customer identified purchase data and a spreadsheet can quickly identify products frequently purchased by a customer. It takes more sophistication to track each product’s purchase cadence for each individual customer. And even more sophistication to understand subtle changes in customer behavior. A handful of retailers realize that contextual relevancy in marketing is more powerful than straight personalization. And to provide contextual relevancy requires deep integration with digital touchpoints like mobile and awareness of location - all in realtime. Retail marketing personalization presents the retailer with both promise and peril. Providing recommendations that are irrelevant, or simply wrong, to the shopper in today’s world holds great risk. In the digital world, irrelevant communications are spam, and a customer can easily delete your app or unsubscribe from your emails. But for those retailers who get it right, who understand the need for vast customer intelligence and realtime interaction, contextual relevancy can be massively powerful as retail competition quickly shifts to a stealth battle over each customer’s share-of-wallet and lifetime value. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 9/12/19

CART, Advancing Retail

A RETURN TO CONTEXTUAL ADVERTISING | StreetFight Gary’s Take: Programmatic marketing is facing an increasing challenge as consumers increasingly focus on privacy, governments increasingly are passing privacy regulations, and the benefits of ads based on what is known about the shopper frequently don’t produce the expected results. In its place is a return to contextual marketing; suggesting ads and other information based on what the shopper is currently looking at. For example, if a person is researching diabetes because of a recent diagnosis, a marketer may want to present information on new prescriptions or other information. Far different than providing a deal on cookies because that’s what the shopper was clicking on a few days ago. All digital marketing is facing increased scrutiny and challenges and retailers should look at growing digital engagement with their customer base as fast as possible so as to collect first party data. Reliance on second and third party data will become increasingly risky as regulation increases. STARSHIP TECHNOLOGIES CEO LEX BAYER ON FOCUS AND OPPORTUNITY IN AUTONOMOUS DELIVERY | TechCrunch Gary’s Take: Last mile delivery is a major focus for the retail industry today. There are a growing number of solution providers getting in the game, in addition to the usual players of the Post Office, UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and more. New entrants are focused on self-driving autonomous vehicles - either cars or purpose-built smaller vehicles like Starship Technologies, to deliver products. While these types of automated solutions work best in dense population areas, drones are in pilot to be used in delivering products in more remote areas.  Given the speed of innovation, retailers would do well to focus on developments in last mile delivery. As the economics shift, and automation drives down costs, delivery may become very important very quickly. BEAR ROBOTICS IS RAISING BIG BUCKS FOR ROBOTS THAT DELIVER FOOD TO RESTAURANT PATRONS | TechCrunch Gary’s Take: Robots are coming to a restaurant near you as automation helps restaurant owners address high wages, and a lack of people interested in service positions. Robots serving food, combined with tablet remote ordering have the potential to improve the efficiency of restaurant operations and may in some cases even improve the customer experience. It will be interesting to see how the technology can be applied to supermarkets increasingly offering prepared foods and meals. STARBUCKS DEVELOPING NEW STORE DEDICATED TO PICK UP AND DELIVERY ORDERS | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: The experimentation here is what’s important. There’s a general acknowledgment that things are changing and Starbucks is out in front creating what that change might look like for them and their customers. I don’t think there’s a single answer for all retailers/foodservice operators regarding pickup/delivery, but there are a variety of new things that might work depending on the operator, region and customer base. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: 5 WAYS BIG DATA CAN IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE | Ashley Lipman HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 ENERGIZER - November 14, 2019 More Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas GETTING THE MOST OUT OF GROCERYSHOP | Gary Hawkins CART’s Gary Hawkins is participating in two sessions at Groceryshop. On Monday, Sept. starting at 8:45am, Rapid-Fire Review: 10 Technologies Transforming Operations will be looking at ten new technologies and getting thoughts from industry leaders. The next is on Tuesday at 9:30am where Gary will speak to Retail in the Age of ‘i’ and then lead a panel of industry execs in a discussion around Data-Driven Shopping Experiences. MINDING THE GAPS - CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 GMDC SELF-CARE SUMMIT - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - Portland, Oregon - October 24, 2019 12:30-5:00pm SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect. Steven Johnson +MORE

CART Weekly Report 9/5/19

CART, Advancing Retail

BREAK DOWN DIGITAL WALLS TO KEEP PACE WITH CHANGE | Forbes  Gary’s Take: As I speak to in my latest book, Retail in the Age of ‘i’, one of the ‘i’s that retailers need to focus on is integration. Specifically, I’m referring to the disparate systems most retailers use to connect with shoppers online. We can broaden this to also include the myriad social media channels and other online shopping sites. The need for systems integration to provide a smooth and cohesive user experience is vitally important as traditional retailers increasingly compete with technology firms. There are two primary reasons driving these challenges. The first is that retailers have added digital capabilities over the years as new things entered the scene, leading to multiple solution providers that need to be integrated. Secondly is the retailer erecting walls around their digital properties in hopes of providing a better experience for shoppers. In both cases, the customer experience usually suffers. INTEL TUNES ITS IoT WITH THE HELP OF BLUEBERRY FARMERS | ZDNet Gary’s Take: As 5G cellular networks roll out and IoT explodes, we’re going to see a fast growing number of solutions focused on tracking and monitoring products across the supply chain. In addition to location (and how much time at each location) we are going to see growing sophistication around monitoring of temperature and other environmental conditions. All this is coming together to power greater transparency for the end customer, letting the shopper know where the product was sourced and its journey to the shopper. STORE BRANDS CUT INTO BIG FOOD | Wall Street Journal Gary’s Take: Retailers’ private label programs are finally hitting their stride as retailers put forth products comparable to, if not even better than, the quality of national brands. And, doing it at attractive price points that are appealing to a growing number of shoppers. Sophisticated private label programs provide the retailer a way to differentiate their stores and build customer loyalty. And, in an age of personalization and true focus on growing customer share-of-wallet, private label margins help the retailer provide meaningful savings on relevant products to the individual customer.  WILL H&M’S AMBASSADOR PROGRAM TURN EMPLOYEES INTO SOCIAL INFLUENCERS? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: Developing a culture that starts to generate ideas and fashion from the inside is a good plan. And doing it over time is even better. As these new influencers are able to express themselves through the brand it will breathe excitement and life into the whole organization (and of course shoppers). Of course, if the brand tries to express itself through the people it'll be a non-starter. It's a fine line, but certainly doable. I think other retailers are watching to see how it's done... WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF GROCERYSHOP | Gary Hawkins  IT TAKES SOMETHING TO DO NEW THINGS | Sterling Hawkins HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 ENERGIZER - November 14, 2019 More Events to be Announced Soon! GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas MINDING THE GAPS - CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 GMDC SELF-CARE SUMMIT - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - Portland, Oregon - October 24, 2019 12:30-5:00pm SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun. ~ Mary Lou Cook +MORE

Getting the Most Out of Groceryshop

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

So Labor Day has come and gone, school has started back, and its time once again for Groceryshop! This year’s show, the second annual, is on track for significant growth (to the surprise of no one) with several thousand people expected to attend. The Groceryshop team has lined up great speakers from technology companies, leading retailers, and brand manufacturers to educate, inform, and share ideas and best practices. There are three areas of opportunity for retailers to get major learning out of the show. The first is to attend the various workshops that are organized into tracks to help attendees find areas of interest easier. In addition to major presentations, there are many smaller workshops speaking to more focused areas.  The next opportunity is to spend time walking the exhibit floor, meeting and learning about all the solution providers who are there. While you’ll find some established names, there are many younger startups that come to Groceryshop seeking to find partners and retailers to learn with.  The third opportunity is to network, meeting other executives from across technology companies and the retail supply chain. Talking with other people is a great way to to learn what others are doing, sharing best practices, getting feedback on new technologies and innovation. CART’s Gary Hawkins is participating in two sessions at Groceryshop. On Monday, Sept. starting at 8:45am, Rapid-Fire Review: 10 Technologies Transforming Operations will be looking at ten new technologies and getting thoughts from industry leaders. The next is on Tuesday at 9:30am where Gary will speak to Retail in the Age of ‘i’ and then lead a panel of industry execs in a discussion around Data-Driven Shopping Experiences. Photo: Winsight Grocery Business +MORE

Retail in the Age of ‘i’: A Framework for Retailers and Solution Providers

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

I wrote my latest book, which was released earlier this year, to help retailers and the broader industry address the challenges of disruption and faster and faster innovation. The premise of the book is that the world is increasingly tailored to each of us individually and there are significant implications for retail. The customization and personalization that we have come to expect - and now take for granted - in the digital world is quickly migrating to the physical world both in marketing and increasingly in physical goods.  Understanding this, I have offered to retailers that there are five ‘i’s that should be focused on moving ahead. The need to market and serve the individual customer. Big data intelligence that’s needed to be contextually relevant to each customer. The systems integration required to deliver immersive shopping experiences. And, of course, constant innovation.   In a recent presentation that was part of a CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program event at a well known regional retailer I suggested that the retailer’s team use the five ‘i’s as a framework to evaluate all the new capabilities they would see during the event. Try to understand how a new solution can help the retailer serve the individual customer, provide intelligence, immersive shopping, and smoother user experiences. These are the battlegrounds going forward. For the solution providers, I suggested that they consider how the capability they are bringing into the market can help the retailer with any of the ‘i’s and think about how their innovation will assist the retailer in the battles ahead. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 8/22/19

CART, Advancing Retail

NORDSTROM DID SO MUCH RIGHT, BUT IT’S STILL IN TROUBLE | Wall Street Journal  Gary’s Take: In what could be a harbinger of the future for some supermarket retailers, an interesting discussion of how Nordstrom’s, in spite of doing many right things, is still suffering from declining sales. The retailer has avoided many of the other mis-steps taken by other department stores like having too many stores, not going after eCommerce strongly and quickly enough, and changing their company culture to reward innovation. Despite all this the company continues to suffer from weak performance in a very challenging environment. MASTERCARD’S LOYALTY CHIEF: REWARDS ARE NOT ENOUGH | CMO.by Adobe Gary’s Take: Customer data - more specifically, customer-identified transaction data - has become the fuel for growing numbers of retailers as they seek to become more customer focused and implement marketing personalization. Retail loyalty programs remain the most efficient and effective means of encouraging shoppers to identify themselves each time they shop, giving the retailer the data it needs. Having launched one of the original loyalty programs in the U.S. supermarket sector over 25 years ago, we well understand the power of this data. We also have a pretty good understanding of how to create the incentives needed to encourage shoppers to join and participate. As this article calls out, effective programs are not just about providing financial rewards or benefits. Retailers would be well served to think outside the box and consider how they can provide services, experiences, and recognition to their more valuable customers. Recognition - something as simple as a handwritten thank you card - can actually provide more value to a retailer than giving shoppers more discounts. HOW AI-POWERED AUGMENTED REALITY TRANSFORMS DIGITAL EXPERIENCES | CMO.by Adobe Gary’s Take: Augmented reality, increasingly referred to as mixed reality, is poised to explode as synergistic technologies converge to power growth. 5G networks are being rolled out and the much higher speeds support the data needs powering AR experiences. The next generation of glasses is on the way from Apple, Samsung, and Google making AR experiences far more natural than using your smartphone. Apple reportedly is planning to use the incredible processing power available in its iPhones to power AR experiences, wirelessly connecting to its glasses. This technology is tailor made for food retailing. The ability to use image recognition to launch a video about the farm where the sweetcorn was grown, or a virtual tour of a vineyard bring powerful experiences into the store and into the home.  WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: INNOVATION IS FOR DISTRIBUTION TOO | Gary Hawkins THE RETAIL APOCALYPSE CONTINUES | Gary Hawkins RETAILERS: HOW DO YOU EVALUATE NEW INNOVATIVE SOLUTION PROVIDERS | Gary Hawkins SOLUTION PROVIDERS: WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU SOLVING? | Gary Hawkins HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019 CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 ENERGIZER - November 14, 2019 GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas MINDING THE GAPS - CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 GMDC SELF-CARE SUMMIT - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - Portland, Oregon - October 24, 2019 12:30-5:00pm SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: The possible's slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.  ― Emily Dickinson +MORE

CART Weekly Report 8/8/19

CART, Advancing Retail

STORE BRANDS CUT INTO BIG FOOD | Wall Street Journal Gary’s Take: Big retailers are focusing on promoting private label brands and growth is coming at the expense of the big packaged goods brands that have ruled the supply chain for years. Aside from the differentiation private label can provide, the approach yields far higher gross margins for the retailer and can help build customer loyalty. As I explain in my latest book, Retail in the Age of ‘i’, sophisticated retailers are growing private label and using the added gross margin to help fund strong marketing personalization efforts, growing digital engagement and customer share-of-wallet. MARTY THE GROCERY STORE ROBOT AND A GLIMPSE INTO OUR HELL-ISH FUTURE | Mashable Gary’s Take: Not all customers view robots in the aisle as a good thing. As the writer calls out, how can the retailer invest $35,000 per robot when they are dealing with employees striking for higher pay? Retailers need to carefully message what these machines are being used for and create a powerful value proposition to the customer. Included in that messaging should be assurances around how the retailer is approaching automation and the impact on jobs. It’s still very early days for in-store automation but we are already seeing some of the potential challenges. CONNECTING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY FROM ONLINE TO OFFLINE | StreetWise Gary’s Take: As the world becomes increasingly digital, marketers are working hard to connect online and offline shopping behavior and better understand the impact of digital advertising on sales in the brick & mortar store. CPG COMPANIES SPENDING MORE TO USE LESS PACKAGING | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: Responding to consumer wants and needs is always a smart strategy. Although, it's important to understand those needs fully and the tradeoffs consumers are willing to make around things like sustainability vs. price. Great packaging speaks for itself, but it's even more powerful when yielded by a culture that's authentically committed to doing good.  WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: RETAILERS: HOW DO YOU EVALUATE NEW INNOVATIVE SOLUTION PROVIDERS | Gary Hawkins SOLUTION PROVIDERS: WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU SOLVING? | Gary Hawkins HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS WAKEFERN - August 21, 2019 IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019 CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 THE DISINTERMEDIATION CHALLENGE In this new Retail Tomorrow podcast, recorded at GMDC’s annual GM conference in Denver, the focus was on the ways in which startups are working to disintermediate traditional retailers … how retailers can turn these innovations to their own advantage … why cultural resistance within companies can be the ultimate enemy of progress … and even brainstorm about a business model that could’ve made Toys R Us relevant again. You can listen to the Retail Tomorrow podcast here, or on iTunes or GooglePlay. The Retail Tomorrow podcast series is a production of GMDC, the Global Market Development Center. Featuring : • Patrick Fore, CEO and co-founder of Fleat. • Sterling Hawkins, co-founder of the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART). The host: Kevin Coupe, MorningNewsBeat’s “ContentGuy.” Pictured, left to right: Patrick Fore, Kevin Coupe, Sterling Hawkins E-Commerce in the Age of ‘i’ [Webinar Recap] Retail expert Gary Hawkins reveals how Amazon sellers must leverage new innovations and customer centricity to provide personalized shopping experiences. By Natalie Taylor August 7, 2019 OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ usingInvite Code: power REFLEXIONS 2019: INTELLIGENT RETAIL - August 12-15, 2019 at Caesars Place in Las Vegas GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas Preliminary Agenda Speakers Apply for Emerging Technology Spotlight MINDING THE GAPS - CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 GMDC SELF-CARE SUMMIT - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - Portland, Oregon - October 24, 2019 12:30-5:00pm SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. ~Ben Franklin +MORE

Meet Abbie, our new Head of Innovation Programming

CART, Advancing Retail

We are excited to announce that CART is growing. Abbie Weiss is coming on board as Head of Innovation Programming for CART! Being at the epicenter of retail innovation for some years now, we realize that innovation is not just about technology. New capabilities are simply a tool; what’s important is that organizations have a culture of innovation to support trying and implementing new ways of operating and going to market. And that’s where Abbie comes in. Abbie has extensive training and experience in empowering leadership and she’s focusing her incredible energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge on what it takes to make organizations successful with innovation. Abbie will be working closely with Sterling and the CART team on on developing executive education dedicated to creating and fostering a culture of innovation within their organizations. In addition, programs are being developed to extend this culture of what’s possible throughout the enterprise, helping everyone across the company to understand the possibilities in innovation.  Abbie is also bringing her impressive leadership and presentation skills to help solution providers improve how they tell their story to the retail industry, helping guide presentations and the sales process. We are excited to have Abbie join the CART team and bring her world-class knowledge, experience, and energy to companies we work with. Welcome Abbie! +MORE

What Problem are you Solving?

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

I see a lot of solutions that focus on the fast moving consumer goods retail sector - retail like supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores, and discount stores. And when I say a lot I mean hundreds and even over a thousand solutions each year. For these solution providers, be they established firms or young innovators, many of them are challenged to effectively communicate their value proposition. Too often technology providers want to immediately launch into features and functions and why their technology is special. What prospective retailers want to hear though is what problem you are going to solve for them or what opportunity do you help open up. And retailers are busy people, they don’t want to sit through an hour long presentation about how cool your technology is before they figure out what you can do for them.  Go look at your sales deck, the presentation you typically use. If you’re not communicating within the first three slides how you are going to help the retailer you are at risk of losing them. If it’s an initial meeting, keep your deck short - ideally no more than ten or so slides and then, if possible, do a demo of your capability.  Its also important to speak the retailer’s language. If you have good knowledge of the retail industry and how retail works, then great; that knowledge will come through quickly and give the retailer confidence you know what you’re talking about. If you are not familiar with retail, yet you think your solution has potential for retailers, be up front when you have a meeting. Tell the retailer you’re meeting with that you don’t know a lot about their business but you believe you have something they may be interested in. Experienced retailers can detect within the first few minutes if you know what you’re talking about or not. Lastly, it’s always a good practice to visit the retailer’s stores and familiarize yourself with their operations and digital presence before you sit down for a meeting. Retailers appreciate solution providers who take the time to gain some understanding of the retailer’s operations. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 8/1/19

CART, Advancing Retail

IT’S A WRAP! THE INNOVATION PROGRAM AT KVAT FOOD CITY! WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU SOLVING? YOUR COMPANY HAS A VISION: WHY CAN’T EVERYONE SEE IT? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take:  A vision alone is not enough. And trying to come up with the right words won’t do it either. It’s the leadership that puts themselves on the line for significant positive change that makes the difference. JFK put himself on the line by making that declaration and people rallied behind him. Without leadership stepping out for the benefit of their team and their customers, anything else is empty. STAPLES CREATES CONTENT TO REPOSITION AND DIFFERENTIATE ITS BRAND | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: I think the power in this approach is the community and human-centric connection it potentially creates. Anyone can sell office products, but it’s not everyone that’s connected to understanding their customers work life and their experience of work at a deeper level. Of course, the details here will really matter, but at a high-level, Staples is right on. ARE STORE ROBOTS CUTE, CREEPY - OR NEARLY USELESS | RetailWire Sterling's Take:  I give credit to Giant Foods for trying out something new (especially a robot!), but I’m not quite sure what the value is, the measurable ROI. Unless this becomes an effective platform to manage out of stocks, planogram compliance, etc., it’s an awfully expensive way to make sure aisles are clear of “hazards.”  Robots are best doing simple, repeatable tasks where there’s a real need. Walmart deploying robotic floor cleaners is a perfect example. I think we’d probably all agree that robots will be increasingly included in our lives, it’s just a matter of having them start in manageable and sensible places to match their costs with current capabilities. HAPPENINGS: ASK THE AMAZON EXPERTS - E-COMMERCE IN THE AGE OF ‘I’” THE ROLE OF PERSONALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY FOR ONLINE BUSINESSES with Gary Hawkins and Natalie Taylor Content Marketing Writer, Feedvisor  UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS WAKEFERN - August 21, 2019 IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019 CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 INNOVATION CULTURE with Sterling Hawkins and John Golden CSMO at Pipeliner CRM and Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. THE FUTURE IS NOW – IGNITE: ECOMMERCE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Tuesday, August 6th, 2019, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Chicago OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ usingInvite Code: power REFLEXIONS 2019: INTELLIGENT RETAIL - August 12-15, 2019 at Caesars Place in Las Vegas GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas Preliminary Agenda Speakers Apply for Emerging Technology Spotlight Minding the GAPS - CGA Strategic Conference 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 Applications to present at CGA are due - TODAY - August 1, 2019 GMDC Self-Care Summit - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/Specs 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm SPECS Show 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: It always seems impossible until it’s done. ~ Nelson Mandela +MORE

CART Weekly Report 7/25/19

CART , Advancing Retail

We are excited to announce that CART is growing. Join us as we welcome, Abbie Weiss, Head of Innovation Programming for CART! DISCOMFORT IS NECESSARY FOR INNOVATION | TedX What is the core element of innovation? Sterling Hawkins explores discomfort, a key ingredient of innovation. Through weaving personal, and business story framed through reflecting back to  MacGyver, ’80’s tv show, Sterling connects us to the complexity of innovation through discomfort.  MY COMPLIMENTS TO THE CHEF, ER, ROBOT | Wall Street Journal Gary’s Take: Robotics and automation is coming to food preparation at an increasing pace. We're seeing machines for grilling burgers, machines for making salads, sushi automation, and even making dosa. Aside from the obvious increase in efficiency and consistency, automation in food prep opens the door to efficient customization - increasingly important as growing numbers of consumers have food allergies, diet and lifestyle preferences, and food requirements driven by health conditions. We are already seeing a convergence of the massive healthcare and food industries as big data, cutting edge nutrition science, and expanded food product information all come together focused on improving the wellbeing of the individual. Food preparation automation is only going to help speed this convergence. FROM 'BUY WHAT WE HAVE' TO THE 'CONNECTED CUSTOMER' | Wall Street Journal CART’s Take: Great article that calls out the ability retailers have to engage with the customer at all times, anywhere and everywhere, and to be contextually relevant, providing meaningful value to the customer rather than just offering and promoting mass products as was done in the past. MOBILE IS ALWAYS LOCAL: THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE OF ONLINE-TO-OFFLINE COMMERCE | Street Fight Magazine CART’s Take:  Mobile allows retailers to respond in real-time to the customer based on time and place. To be contextually relevant and support local businesses. WALMART SHAKES THINGS UP, FURTHER INTEGRATING ONLINE AND PHYSICAL STORE TEAMS | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: These kinds of things should start to be routine. It’s not rocket science that consumers want one experience across all the touchpoints and our organizations can be geared to serve that. And at the same time, things like merchandising stores is a unique function to stores themselves and that necessitates a little more focus. I think Walmart is setting a new norm. HAPPENINGS: ASK THE AMAZON EXPERTS - ECOMMERCE IN THE AGE OF ‘I’” THE ROLE OF PERSONALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY FOR ONLINE BUSINESSES with Gary Hawkins and Natalie Taylor Content Marketing Writer, Feedvisor - Archived from Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 11 a.m. PT  |  2 p.m. ET  |  7 p.m. UK UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS FOOD CITY - July 25, 2019  WEIS MARKETS - August 8, 2019  WAKEFERN - August 21, 2019 IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019 CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 INNOVATION CULTURE with Sterling Hawkins and John Golden CSMO at Pipeliner CRM and Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World's Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. THE FUTURE IS NOW -- IGNITE: ECOMMERCE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Tuesday, August 6th, 2019, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Chicago OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ usingInvite Code: power REFLEXIONS 2019: INTELLIGENT RETAIL - August 12-15, 2019 at Caesars Place in Las Vegas GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas Preliminary Agenda Speakers Apply for Emerging Technology Spotlight Minding the GAPS - CGA Strategic Conference 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 Applications to present at CGA are due August 1, 2019 GMDC Self-Care Summit - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/Specs 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm SPECS Show 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: A leader is someone who demonstrates what's possible. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 7/18/19

CART, Advancing Retail

MORE STORE CLOSINGS COMING: AN ESTIMATED 12,000 SHOPS COULD CLOSE BY THE END OF 2019 | USA Today Gary’s Take: A recent report from Coresight Research states that 2019 store closings are already ahead of last year by 20%; they estimate store closures could reach 12,000 by the end of the year. UBS Securities estimate that 75,000 stores could close by 2026 if ecomm sales rise to 25% of retail from current level of 16%. The supermarket channel has largely escaped any significant closings thus far but I do not expect this to continue as online grocery continues to grow and disruption continues sweeping the industry. As happened in the mid 1990s when Walmart entered grocery, triggering a wave of consolidation as bigger players sought to scale up to compete, independent and smaller regional retailers are going to take the brunt of the hit as they can’t keep up with tech innovation and investment. Smaller retailers must quickly find a way to truly differentiate themselves if they have a hope of surviving. The alternative is either going out of business or becoming a glorified convenience store as primary grocery sales are rolled up by the bigger players. PERSONALIZATION MATTERS: HERE ARE 5 GREAT EXAMPLES | Smart Design World Gary’s Take: Personalization in retail is rapidly becoming a customer expectation and a need-to-have by retailers. Like other terms that become ‘hot’, personalization is the latest overused buzzword. The scary part is that many retailers are not experts in this space and can fall prey to 'personalization’ capabilities that are really not. I would suggest that retailers should really be focusing on providing contextual relevancy that goes beyond pure personalization and focuses on providing meaningful messaging (recipes, savings, new product intro, etc.) to each customer. And, like some of the examples in this article, state of the art is realtime relevancy. This is very challenging to do and is dependent on deep integration between digital touchpoints and a relevancy engine that processes in realtime. FLORIDA’S DMV IS SELLING DRIVERS’ PERSONAL INFORMATION TO BILL COLLECTORS AND DATA BROKERS | Fast Company Gary’s Take: Data privacy? Really? A recent investigation by ABC affiliate has just found that Florida’s DMV has been selling license data to bill collectors and data brokers. This while governments - from state to federal - are increasingly inserting themselves into the ongoing privacy debate. Data privacy is an issue that continues to percolate, boiling over periodically as malfeasance by Facebook or assorted app providers comes to light. I do believe that privacy is going to become an increasingly important issue that is going to threaten digital advertising and marketing initiatives. Retailers would be well served to really focus on driving comprehensive digital engagement with their shoppers ASAP to build their repository of first-party data for the future.  WHAT MAKES GREAT RETAIL LEADERS | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: Having a CEO that exemplifies what the company stands for and puts themselves on the line for significant positive change is key to culture. And culture is the key to everything (what it’s like to work there, why everyone is there and what new ideas come up/are embraced, etc). Supporting those same traits amongst the team is a success recipe that transcends any strategy, technology or trend. WHO OWNS CUSTOMER SERVICE IN AN AGE OF CO-BRANDING | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: The responsibility for customer service comes down to the person standing in front of the customer (or on the phone with them). It’s definitely a growing issue with all the co-branding and partnerships and ultimately retailers need to ensure great customer service, no matter what agreements are in place behind the scenes. The co-branding can only be as great as the service and customer experience they can provide. FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK:  FROM THE INNOVATION GAP TO THE KNOWLEDGE GAP by Gary Hawkins, CEO, CART I have often written about the growing innovation gap - the divide between the exponential growth of new tech fueled capabilities and the much slower deployment of new solutions in brick & mortar retail. This growing innovation gap is a major challenge to traditional retailers…READ MORE>> HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS FOOD CITY - July 25, 2019  WEIS MARKETS - August 8, 2019  WAKEFERN - August 21, 2019 IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019 CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ using Invite Code: power REFLEXIONS 2019: INTELLIGENT RETAIL - August 12-15, 2019 at Caesars Place in Las Vegas GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas Preliminary Agenda Speakers Apply for Emerging Technology Spotlight Minding the GAPS - CGA Strategic Conference 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 Applications to present at CGA are due August 1, 2019 GMDC Self-Care Summit - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/Specs 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm SPECS Show 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.  ~Vincent Van Gogh +MORE

From the Innovation Gap to the Knowledge Gap

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

I have often written about the growing innovation gap - the divide between the exponential growth of new tech fueled capabilities and the much slower deployment of new solutions in brick & mortar retail. This growing innovation gap is a major challenge to traditional retailers. A number of solution providers are working hard to help retailers close that gap, leveraging the cloud, AI, machine learning, and other tech to bring advanced capabilities to regional and even smaller independent retailers. The problem is that while retailers can avail themselves of new solutions, they are sometimes lacking the resources, knowledge, and skill sets to make use of these new capabilities. We are seeing this in many different areas. From sophisticated AI powered forecasting solutions that are able to ingest store-level events that impact product movement to cutting edge marketing personalization systems that challenge retailers to think differently about how they go to market. The challenges we see are four-fold. First, retailers lacking resources skilled in data analytics needed to take advantage of the explosion of big data. Second, retailers lacking the discipline to modify operations or data gathering needed to power new capabilities. And three, retail executives being challenged to think outside the box, and envision doing business differently. The fourth challenge is retailers not understanding the how tech-fueled innovation is growing exponentially. I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from traditional supermarket retailers that they have withstood the initial rush to online shopping. The problem is that we’re just getting started, massive disruption is coming fast across all areas of the supply chain, driven by automation, the ability to promote to each individual customer more effectively than mass promotion, and far more.  There is no easy answer to these challenges. It is one thing to have access to new innovative capabilities and quite another to have a company culture that embraces innovation and new ways of doing things. It is this issue that is perhaps the most important in looking ahead to who will win and lose in future retail battles. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 7/11/19

CART, Advancing Retail

NOT ALL CUSTOMERS ARE EQUAL IN RETAIL | Forbes Gary’s Take: Customers are not equal in retail. This is not heresy but fact. We discovered this firsthand 25 years ago when we launched one of the early loyalty programs in supermarket retail and began capturing customer identified purchase data. It quickly became obvious that a relative handful of shoppers generates a large portion of annual sales and even more of gross profit. At the same time, a majority of shoppers are shopping very infrequently and spending  little. And yet a vast majority of retailers continue to ignore these economics. Some retailers, those who understand the data, skew value in different ways towards their more loyal, valuable customers. Kroger has been doing this for years with a few other retailers finally catching on in recent times. As my friend Brian Woolf was fond of saying "Treat all your customers equally (with great service) but reward them differently". Retailers who fail to understand customer behavior and economics are increasingly disadvantaged in today's marketplace. NOT EVEN WALMART HAS ENOUGH CASH AVAILABLE TO COMPETE WITH AMAZON’S ECOMMERCE FULFILLMENT EMPIRE, REPORT SAYS | Business Insider Gary’s Take: So if Walmart is pressured to keep up with investments required to compete with Amazon where does that leave other retailers? Walmart is being pressured from not having enough eCommerce fulfillment centers, costs related to acquiring and growing digital-first brands, and funding eCommerce related operational losses. A recent report from Recode states that Walmart's eCommerce related losses are pushing past $1 billion. Two key call-outs from this: First is that if Walmart is having trouble funding eComm related losses, it does not bode well for other national, regional, and independent retailers. Amazon's greater margins are funding infrastructure growth and new services as the innovation arms race is grows fiercer. The second issue is that Walmart is facing a brewing cultural war inside the company as traditional brick & mortar merchants resist the massive investments in digital. This cultural divide is something that many retailers will be wrestling with, if they are not already, and presents yet more challenges for traditional retailers as they navigate the future. SPURRED BY AMAZON, SUPERMARKETS TRY SWAPPING CASHIERS FOR CAMERAS | WSJ Gary’s Take: We are seeing many retailers pursuing 'Amazon Go' like shopping technology that would eliminate traditional cashiers. The computer vision tech powering up these competitors to Amazon is still early-on but moving fast as young companies seek to scale the tech for traditional supermarkets. As I discussed in my recent book, Retail in the Age of 'I', the industry is rapidly approaching a crossroads. One path leading to this kind of automated, yet barren and sterile, shopping experience offered by automation. The other path puts technology in service to retailers, enabling them to recreate at scale the personalized relationships in the old corner store while increasing service levels as certain functions are automated. Tech is moving increasingly fast and retailers must grapple with the implications of new capabilities, both the good and the not so good. Those retailers that have a clear vision of who they are can use new tech to update and solidify their market position. WILL MEATLESS MEAT, CBD AND COLD BREW COFFEE HELP FOOD RETAILERS TO DIFFERENTIATE? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: Attempting to differentiate with a few products is looking in the wrong direction. Many of these will just become more standard items on the majority of retail shelves. Consumers are looking for full experiences, with new products and services consistent with that experience. It’s around the full experience that retailers can innovate, differentiate and compete. Just look at the Best Buy turn around — did they have the latest products on the shelf? Sure. But that’s not why they started winning. NRF STUDY SAYS CUSTOMERS DIG RETAIL TECH | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: There is a nice convergence of consumers becoming more tech savvy and technology getting easier to use. With all the new tech available, it’s easy as retailers to think that it’s the technology that’ll provide the next big wave of growth. But we can’t lose sight of why we’re here as an industry: to meet the needs of human beings. And what motivates human beings is new, positive and engaging experiences with the world around us. All these technologies are not a goal. They are only a means to creating those meaningful human experiences. LOCATION BASED MARKETING IS SPREADING BEYOND SMARTPHONES | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: I think there’s a better question to ask, which is: what consumer experiences can be enhanced with any of these technologies? Approaching our business from a “technology first” standpoint is a mistake. Technology is not the end goal. It is only there to support/enhance great consumer experiences. FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK: GENERATING MORE REVENUE FOR YOUR SUPERMARKET IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK by Eli Langer, CEO, Harvesting Media HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS BOSTON IMMERSION EVENT:  DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION - July 16 thru 19, 2019  FOOD CITY - July 25, 2019  WEIS MARKETS - August 8, 2019  WAKEFERN - August 21, 2019 IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019 CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ using Invite Code: power REFLEXIONS 2019: INTELLIGENT RETAIL - August 12-15, 2019 at Caesars Place in Las Vegas GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas Preliminary Agenda Speakers Apply for Emerging Technology Spotlight Minding the GAPS - CGA Strategic Conference 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019  Applications to present at CGA are due August 1, 2019 GMDC Self-Care Summit - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/Specs 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm SPECS Show 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. ~ William Pollard +MORE

CART Weekly Report 6/13/19

CART, Advancing Retail

SURVEY: PROFESSIONALS EAGER AND READY TO DEPLOY 5G | ZDNet Gary’s Take: The rollout of 5G over the next several years will be transformative, especially for retailers. The speed of 5G is mind-blowing: A two hour movie download took 26 hours using 3G tech, 6 minutes with 4G, and will take only 3.6 seconds with 5G. Beyond speed, 5G offers much more bandwidth, enabling billions (trillions?) of IoT devices to stream data from everywhere - are retailers ready for the realtime store? And, for those regional retailers located in rural parts of the U.S. who think their customer base has not yet embraced the digital age - 5G will finally bring high-speed connectivity to all areas as it is much cheaper to deploy than cable. 5G will do nothing but increase shopper expectations of having everything they want available in moments. But is retail ready to deliver?  MARY MEEKER’S MOST IMPORTANT TRENDS ON THE INTERNET | Vox.com Gary’s Take: Mary Meeker, the "Queen of the Internet", is out with this year's deck calling out the most important internet and digital trends. Her report is always fascinating to review, but long at 300+ pages. Here are a few highlights as pertains to retail: eComm is now 15% of all retail sales and growth continues to outpace brick & mortar. Internet ad spending in the U.S. is up 22%; 62% of digital ad is programmatic. Customer acquisition costs are going up - in some cases it surpasses customer revenue! Targeted advertising is under threat from GDPR and other data privacy regulations. Americans now spend 6.3 hours a day with digital media and it continues to grow. Lastly, healthcare is becoming more digital - lots of implications here, especially for the food industry.  WORD OF MOUTH REMAINS VITAL FOR LOYALTY IN DIGITAL AGE | Streetfight Gary’s Take: Interesting that word-of-mouth is as - perhaps even more - important in the digital age in securing new customers. With deep experience in retail loyalty, I would suggest that recognition is the most powerful way to build loyalty that in turn powers positive word-of-mouth. In years of working with prominent retailers in markets around the world I inevitably found that recognizing customers, especially a retailer's most valuable customers, transcended cultures. There are countless ways to provide that recognition - everything from a simple handwritten thank-you note to special offers to the store manager greeting the shopper in-store. One of my favorites occurred years ago when I helped M&M Meat Shops of Canada build their loyalty program. On Valentine's Day we had each store owner hand deliver a bouquet of roses to their top 10 customers. Talk about positive word-of-mouth! FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK: RETAIL’S BIG DATA CHALLENGE...AND OPPORTUNITY by Gary Hawkins, CEO CART HAPPENINGS: 2019 GMDC GENERAL MERCHANDISE MARKETING CONFERENCE, Gaylord Rockies Resort, Denver, CO - June 13-17, 2019 DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION​, Boston Immersion Event - Hosted July 17 & 18th, 2019 Apply to present at Retail Tomorrow Labs: Boston - Applications due June 15th, 2019 Full Agenda OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ using Invite Code: power REFLEXIONS 2019: INTELLIGENT RETAIL - August 12-15, 2019 at Caesars Place in Las Vegas GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas Preliminary Agenda Speakers Apply for Emerging Technology Spotlight CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>>Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week:  Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. ~ George Bernard Shaw +MORE

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