Email & online

3 Ways Shopping Has Changed and How Grocers Can Adapt

Shawn Tuckett, VP of Sales and Client Service, Webstop

With your employees, your customers, and your bottom line all demanding your attention, innovation may not always be on the top of the priority list. Sure, there’s no doubt you are strategizing how to best meet the needs of your shoppers, from operations to customer service, but here’s the elephant in the room that you may not be addressing: The industry is changing and your competition is already adapting, are you keeping up? Here are 3 ways shopping habits have changed, how the industry is innovating, and steps you can take to adapt to emerging trends. #1: PLANS HAVE CHANGED Can you name a more iconic combination than shopping and the shopping list? Whether it is a scribble on a scrap paper or a fully categorized list of essentials, for decades “the list” has been the primary tool of your shoppers and getting on that list has been pivotal to lasting success. In an increasingly digital age, the traditional list is changing. Yes, shoppers are still using physical lists, but today’s consumer is much more likely to have a smartphone on them than a pen and paper. One study found that the typical cell phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day with heavy users exceeding 5,400 touches. Even without reading the statistics there’s no doubt you are seeing it across your stores – Moms scrolling Facebook in the cereal aisle, millennials snapchatting a selfie in front of the live lobster tank, dads nervously sending photos to moms to make sure they are supposed to get baking powder and not baking soda. How would it change your bottom line if even just a fraction of those touches included accessing your digital shopping list? That way you don’t need to hope you get ON the list, you can BE the list. #2: THE MARKET HAS CHANGED The emergence of home delivery, store pickup, mobile pay and checkout-free experiences have all affected the expectations of consumers in the market. With competition and options increasing and attention spans decreasing, it is more important than ever to create ways to anticipate your shoppers’ needs. It may come as a surprise to you, but the next generation of customers still wants to know that their local corner grocer cares about them. Posting a weekly ad PDF to your website is no longer going to cut it in this ever-changing world. Connecting with shoppers in today’s age may not look how it did 30 years ago but don’t be fooled, digital connections are an absolute necessity in today’s competitive environment. #3: TIMES HAVE CHANGED Life seems to be moving faster than ever and if you’re feeling like there’s too much “to-do” at the end of your business day, you can guarantee your shoppers are feeling the same. Face it, the “regularly scheduled shopping trip” is not how younger generations shop. Now, consumers are squeezing in quick trips in tight windows – on their commute home, in between other errands, always on the way to or from the next obligation. Millennial moms are already actively trending towards using beacon-enabled shopping apps providing important reminders to take care of the grocery shopping when they leave the house, drive by a set destination, or during a set time of day. And that’s just the straightforward use of beacons. Your competitors may have even tagged your stores’ physical locations so that they can message your shoppers every time they drive by your store in hopes of luring them away and into their store instead. Sound over the top, it’s not, it’s what is happening now. CONCLUSION In order to be the location of choice for current and future shopping needs, you have to be ready, available, and accessible whenever and wherever shoppers are. Do your digital marketing features measure up to the other retailers your shoppers have access to? If not, what is holding you back from upgrading your digital suite? Change is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be scary. Webstop has helped over 3,000 stores upgrade their digital features to compete for today’s shoppers. How can we help you gain more shoppers? +MORE

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

Are you Leaving Profits in the Basket? 10 Secrets to Increase Basket Size Week After Week

Dan Dashevsky, My Cloud Grocer

Independent supermarkets that offer products both in-store and online have an online basket size averaging between $120 and $184, based on the recent Brick Meets Click study. This compares favorably to Amazon Fresh at $84; Instacart, $98; Fresh Direct, $105; and Peapod, $147, as reported by 1010data. Out of 19 independent banners participated in the BMC study, Breadberry supermarket in Brooklyn, New York, had an online basket size of $184, the largest reported. Many of MCG’s clients have similar or even larger basket sizes than Breadberry’s. These 10 secrets have enabled our clients to achieve such outstanding results.   1.     Speed matters. Website visitors tend to care more about speed than about the bells and whistles we might be tempted to add to our websites. Google did an interesting experiment with regard to load times, asking web surfers if they would rather see 10 or 30 search results at a time. The users agreed that 30 results per page sounded like a good idea. Google then implemented this on some of their results pages. The shock came when traffic to pages that displayed 30 results dropped an astounding 20%. Google then tested the loading time difference between the 10- and 30-result pages. They found that this was just half of a second. So page loading time has been shown to be a crucial factor in user retention. It is also becoming a more important factor in search engine rankings. 2.     Product photography. The images on a site are another important factor. High-definition, mouthwatering pictures make a big difference when it comes to food shopping. Many website owners opt for the easy solution, and only display product images they can easily obtain from publicly available databases such as Kweeki and Item Master. These databases do not include all products, however, and image quality is often poor and inconsistent. The time and effort invested in high quality product photography to ensure that every product carried in the store is online and has a beautiful image pays good long-term dividends. 3.     Less is more. Instead of cluttering pages with as much product info as possible, keep it simple. Make the product image and a brief description the center of attention. Then you can add to the page some relevant and popular products to help customers remember to buy products that they may otherwise forget. 4.     “Shop by recipe.” Customers are looking for creative ideas to keep their meals fun. With a Shop by Recipes feature, they can find a recipe, click, and send ingredients to their shopping cart. The more interesting it is to browse your online store, the more your customers will buy from you. 5.     “My favorites.” Customers complete their shopping list much faster when they start with a pre-populated list of the products they normally buy. Once they are done with the basics, they have time to browse for more products, adding to the total basket size. 6.     Digital circulars. Everyone loves savings, and the more the better. Having plenty of items on weekly specials not only increases your in-store traffic but also increases your online basket size. Your printed flyer can only fit a limited number of items before it begins to look like a flea market and becomes impossible to read. Online, there is no limit to how many items you can display on special. Customers simply flip to the next page and keep on adding savings to their shopping cart. 7.     Quick re-order. By giving customers the ability to quickly send all the items from their previous order directly to their shopping cart, you’re simplifying their life and minimizing the possibility that they may forget an item or two. 8.     Keep it fresh. Let’s face it, shopping for groceries is not a recreational activity, but if you keep on introducing new products, it becomes more interesting, and this too will be reflected in your basket size. 9.     Accurate order fulfillment. Customers who are using your online order service are doing so for convenience, They want to save time for other priorities. If you fulfill their order quickly, and most important, accurately, you will see many more orders and higher order amounts now that they have trust in your service. Many MCG clients see increase in online basket size with customers who are placing their third and fourth orders. Once they develop the trust in your service, they will reward you with loyalty and larger basket sizes. 10. Good customer service. As in brick and mortar stores, good customer service is the key to success. This is what differentiates you from your competitors. Be ready to replace the not-so-fresh strawberries that a personal shopper put into a customer’s bag by mistake. Customers will buy more online from you if they are confident that if something is not satisfactory you will take good care of them. +MORE

AI Powered Promotion Optimization

CART

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is tailor-made for high SKU count, high transaction frequency supermarket retail. The insight and recommendations that A.I. provides can help retailers drive significant top line sales gains without increased promotional cost. In the high- volume, low-margin supermarket industry, where even slight improvements can deliver considerable increases to bottom line profitability A.I.-powered promotion optimization is nothing short of transformative. +MORE

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Grocery is Going Digital. The Time is Now.

CART

Online grocery sales are growing fast. A recent report released by FMI and The Nielsen Company states that 23% of U.S. households purchased groceries online in 2016, up from 19% in 2014, and representing an estimated 4.3% of U.S. consumer retail food and beverage spending. The report goes on to state that as many as 70% of U.S. consumers will be buying groceries online by 2025, spending more than $100 billion, an estimated 20% of consumer food and beverage spending.1 Grocery is going digital far faster than many predicted and the time is now for traditional retailers to stake their claim. +MORE

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Artificial Intelligence Product, Price & Assortment Optimization

Daisy Intelligence Corporation

Use the power of A.I. to make the optimal choices clear. Measuring grocery and retail data is a highly complex and tedious task. The changing and dynamic relationships between your products and customers in addition to the effects of pricing and promotions make understanding and leveraging all this data humanly impossible. Daisy does what humans can’t. Using our focused artificial intelligence (A.I.) and proprietary mathematic solutions Daisy turns impossible big data problems into actionable decisions. We analyze very large quantities of our clients’ transaction and operational data in order to provide weekly promotional, price, and forecasting recommendations which our clients can use to grow total sales basket size, improve margins, and delight customers. Daisy provides more than tools and dashboards, instead Daisy provides you with actionable insights that are proven to help you make more profitable decisions and compete in the new world of retail. Daisy turns your underleveraged data into your most profitable asset and source of competitive advantage.  Why Daisy? Outputs are specific, actionable recommendations to core merchandising decisions – not charts or tools A.I. is self-learning and adaptive -perfect for the dynamic world of retail Outputs are optimized to bottom-line/top line performance No hardware/software to install – up and running in 30-60 days Without a doubt, Daisy has driven a meaningful lift in basket size and trips without any additional margin cost – Scott Little, CFO Earth Fare Read the case study with Earth Fare here to find out more! http://www.advancingretail.org/resources/AI-Powered-Promotion-Optimization +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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My Cloud Grocer Solution Guide

CART

My Cloud Grocer provides a retailer-branded online shopping solution to supermarket retailers. The online shopping site is responsive (will display properly on desktop, smartphone, and tablet screens) and features fast load times and payment functionality using token technology surpassing PCI compliance. My Cloud Grocer provides the retailer with support for picking, managing, and delivering orders. The company’s retail clients have experienced increased overall sales, due to reduced scatter... +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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Award-winning eCommerce solution

My Cloud Grocer

(5)

My Cloud Grocer is an award-winning eCommerce solution designed to help supermarkets thrive in a competitive digital world. Offering a robust, customizable virtual storefront, My Cloud Grocer’s top-rated white label platform powers and integrates the full shopping experience, from initial order to the customer’s door. Our clients see lower operational costs and consistently outperform competitors, enjoying the largest weekly sales and online baskets in the industry. +MORE

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Freshop

Freshop

(1)

Freshop provides a friendly, powerful shopping destination that will make your customers happy and loyal. Online commerce sales are increasing every year and consumers are more and more comfortable ordering produce and other perishables online. To compete grocery stores must become destinations and Freshop makes your digital presence a strong destination to complement your in-store experience. Our team has worked with some of the top minds in grocery and we have layered those experiences with our unsurpassed knowledge and skills in the digital world. Web, social, search, commerce and analytics are what we live and breathe. Freshop is easy to use on any device. Web visitors can explore all of your products and services and quickly plan their meals and shopping. Your mobile customers will have the full power of the system with streamlined experiences to exceed their expectations, driving more business to your stores.   +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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Shopper Media Network

PlaceWise Media

(1)

With the rapid rise of digital and mobile technologies, the shift of power to consumers has forever changed how advertisers, retailers and brands get their messages across. Bringing them all together through its proprietary digital platform is the charge of PlaceWise Media, one of the largest shopper media networks in the U.S. PlaceWise’s shopper media network includes more than 1,400 grocery retailers and nearly 700 shopping and lifestyle centers, with more than 10 million total monthly visitors. Through its unique, first-party data, PlaceWise can extend beyond its network in real time to reach millions of other relevant shoppers. The company also provides digital marketing services to hundreds of malls and lifestyle centers across North America.  Shopper access; shopper insight; real time. PlaceWise Media’s network allows brands to offer shoppers engaging content and special offers along the path to purchase, delivering on its promise to them to reach “Just who you want. Right when they are ready®”. +MORE

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Grocery Websites & Digital Marketing Solutions

Webstop

Multi-Retailer Website System: Independent retailers need a website that engages consumers, saving time and money.  The problem is that until now, only chains could afford web features that consumers value.  With few other options, many independents have a low cost website with little ongoing value for digitally active consumers.    Wholesalers now have the opportunity to provide a state-of-the-art website at an affordable price to hundreds of retailers via Webstop's Multi-Retailer Website system.  Independents can gain the advanced interactive features that consumers love at great economies of scale.  Each store or retailer can have their own complete, full featured website, branded and personalized for their consumers.    The features include fully interactive digital circulars, interactive shopping lists, over 5,000 integrated recipes, store locatore with Google Maps integration, integrated email campaigns with pre-built layouts, custom web pages built by each store and a full-featured mobile website. Mobile App Integrated with Retailer Website: Webstop's Mobile App offering provides retailers of any size an affordable mobile solution to compete effectively for consumer marketing success.  The Mobile App includes advanced interactive weekly ads, thousands of recipes, personalized shopping lists, store locator with Google Maps integration, integration with personal digital coupons and more.  Custom retailer content can be included via easy, low cost, web-based integration. The app is provided for the latest iPhone and Android smartphones.  With Single Login features, the Mobile App allows consumers to login with the same id they use for the retailer's website.  Data is synched automatically with the consumer's web-based shopping list, for ease of use and flexibility. Fully customized services are available for advanced integration with third parties via API technology, such as paperless coupon integrators, RX refills, targeted content and more. Paperless Coupon - Advanced Integration: In addition to providing a set of coupon gallery pages, Webstop dynamically integrates coupons on the highest traffic web and mobile pages.  With our Single Login features, consumers don't have to sign-up separately for coupons, weekly ad preferences, email newsletter opt-in. When consumers clip a coupon, it's not only added to their card or online account, it's also inserted in their shopping list, organized by department and included with all other list selections.  The list is printable and included in the retailer's mobile app automatically. Coupons are dynamically presented next to the weekly ad items on sale today at the consumer's preferred store, and recipes include coupons that save money on the ingredients list for savings and convenience. This results in two significant benefits - the easiest consumer experience in accessing coupon savings plus an additional 15 - 20% higher level of coupon clipping compared to the majority of retailers using other services.  +MORE

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Digital Foodie

Digital Foodie Ltd.

Digital Foodie Ondemand provides a fully customizable SaaS platform for digital grocery. The platform is used by major retailers and brands, operating currently in North America, Europe and Asia. For consumers, Foodie provides apps that empowers people to shop online, consume smarter and eat better. Foodie delivers highly personalized food and product recommendations that make everyday shopping easy and fun. For retailers, the platform provides all the tools needed to run modern digital operations including click and collect service and home deliveries. Digital Foodie Ondemand platform is currently available on web, iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Digital Foodie is venture-backed by US based e-commerce growth fund, Blackdragon Capital, and part of their EnterWorks Holding group portfolio. Today they employ grocery industry experts and technology specialists in two different continents and several locations. Foodie’s award-winning recommendation technology ensures truly personalized omnichannel experience for consumers, increasing loyalty and sales. The service enables consumers to create and share shopping lists, make click & collect and home delivery orders and plan their weekly menus with “one click to cart” –recipes.  Foodie’s fulfillment tools are designed for real-time order management and they enable cost efficient picking and delivery processes. For back office Digital Foodie provides all the administrative tools needed for creating and managing store content and for monitoring, measuring and optimizing service performance. Foodie’s platform scales from independent store owners to very large enterprises.   +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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GrocerKey

GrocerKey

GrocerKey is a white label end-to-end technology solution for grocery stores. Included is a branded web site featuring an online store. GrocerKey has created a faster and more desirable ordering process than any other e-commerce grocery platform on the market. The GrocerKey admin allows you to update store settings in real time, stay on top of your stores performance with real time analytics, and prepare your store for pickup, scheduled delivery, and on-demand delivery. The GrocerKey back-end operations app provides your staff with the tools they need to run an efficient and successful operation. +MORE

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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

Generating More Revenue for Your Supermarket is Easier Than You Think

Eli Langer, CEO, Harvesting Media

There are no two ways about this: In this fast-changing consumers’ world, retailers are constantly enhancing the services they offer. More than ever, customers want supermarkets to personalize specific deals just for them, and on a consistent basis.  That right there is the reason loyalty programs of every kind are exploding, and why retailers are constantly creating targeted marketing strategies from a single, cohesive platform. The best part? Customized emails, personalized text messages, hyper-focused coupon campaigns and the like are relatively simple to launch in 2019.  Smart retailers are aware that customer loyalty programs are highly effective at retaining customers. According to a recent study, 58% of consumers make a purchase at least once a month from stores and brands whose loyalty programs they belong to.  Well-crafted programs have the ability to influence core behaviors in consumers. Furthermore, 50% of customers tend to change their purchasing behavior in order to reach a higher tier within the loyalty program. This means that not only are the customers coming back to shop, but they’re coming back even more than they would due to the rewarding features of the store’s loyalty program.  So how does this impact the supermarket world? A well-designed program allows supermarkets to segment customers, thereby discovering profitable and unprofitable customers. Sharing coupons with customers who are already purchasing the required minimum or items can be counter-productive. On the other hand, developing strategies and deploying coupons to specifically targeted customers is key in generating additional revenue for the store. However, with time continuing to be a limited resource, the number of supermarkets who take advantage of the tools available to them within the loyalty program is low.  Recently, Harvesting Media started working with a client whose main objective was to utilize the multitude of tools within the loyalty platform they had already been using. For years, this client had a relationship with a loyalty program provider, though did not have the time or internal resources to take advantage of the program’s tools. That’s where Harvesting Media stepped in.  After the initial onboarding process, we took the time to schedule an in-person meeting with the loyalty card platform in order to better learn the inner-workings and potential of this platform from all perspectives. The two hour meeting, which Harvesting Media’s entire team joined, was created with a single goal in mind: What could we do on the loyalty side to generate additional revenues for our new client? Harvesting Media’s team discovered that the loyalty program offered the store access to a collection of available data – comprised of a full list of customer contacts, the number of times customers had redeemed their points for rewards, amount of money spent in accordance with the point system, customer enrollment details, and a great deal of other information.  Over the weeks following the meeting, we began testing various features and campaigns while carefully collecting the results in order to optimize future initiatives.  One of the highlights of this period was the positive feedback from our clients’ customers. The everyday consumer wants to feel taken care of, while having a simple and positive relationship with their neighborhood supermarket. Customers saw the initiatives were benefiting their wallet, and our client was happy that the average basket sizes and store visits started to climb.  Harvesting Media ran one particular campaign that generated unbelievable results. Customers who signed up for the loyalty program received a deal via text message encouraging them to spend a minimum of $100+ on their next visit in order to receive a free cheesecake ahead of a holiday.  Within 5 days, this promotion generated nearly $50,000 in additional sales. Nearly 1 out of every 4 people who received the text redeemed the offer. Additionally, promoting this to customers in a text-message-only campaign encouraged other shoppers to opt-in for similar deals, thereby giving us a new channel with which to reach them. These remarkable results drove our client to encourage Harvesting Media’s team to run similar initiatives on a repeat basis.  Loyalty programs are here to assist both the consumer and the business. Customers want to know what else is “in it for them” to shop, and stores want what will retain and gain customers while getting the most bang for their buck. It’s a pity for a supermarket to invest in a loyalty program while not taking full advantage of the product, or even worse: not invest in a loyalty program at all.  Harvesting Media can help with that. Send the team an email (info@harvestingmedia.com) or give us a call (516-837-0815) and we’ll advise you on the best way to get the right deals in front of your customers at the right time.  Raise basket sizes, increase weekly revenues, and grow your customer base. It’s easier than you think. +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

Retail’s BIG DATA Challenge… and Opportunity

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

Data has long powered modern retail, helping Walmart become a master of supply chain logistics and fueling Kroger’s customer-centric strategy. Artificial intelligence and the cloud are fueling explosive growth in retail big data - and transforming customer marketing. And as the retail industry moves online and customer digital engagement is the battlefield, the quality and quantity of data will determine the winners and losers.  This new world requires - more than ever - data discipline. And this is an area that is particularly challenging to smaller retailers and even some regional chains. Data discipline will make or break retail success from this day onward. Here are just a few examples of issues I’ve encountered in talking with retailers: One retailer still had super abbreviated product descriptions that were used years ago with the old (much narrower) receipts. Product descriptions coming from the retailer’s item file are used to power online shopping - abbreviated descriptions just won’t do it for eCommerce as customers won’t understand what the product is.  Another retailer’s item file lacked any kind of product categorization on nearly 50% of the products carried. Many retailers lack even somewhat accurate product graphics. Retailers with these issues cannot realistically install any kind of marketing personalization capabilities that rely upon product categorization. And yet another well known regional retailer had many products at store-level that were not represented in item files at the headquarters office; i.e. the merchandisers and buyers at the corporate office did not know what products were in the store. This situation is simply frightening; how can a retailer do effective promotion planning, demand forecasting, let alone any kind of optimization, when HQ doesn’t know what products are in each store? Data quality issues like these come back to haunt retailers when they look to deploy new capabilities like online shopping, promotion optimization, or marketing personalization - capabilities that are rapidly becoming a cost of entry to compete. And these are issues with what should be basic levels of data required to operate.  Leading retailers are leveraging fast growing data attributes attached to each individual shopper and each product.  Customer identified transaction data is just the beginning as solution providers like Birdzi calculate and maintain hundreds of data attributes for each individual shopper, from brand loyalty scores to discount propensity, and from product purchase frequency to category spending indexes. Add to this third party data from companies like Experian or Acxiom that provide dozens or even hundreds more data points. Category tags, package sizes, and pricing form the core of product based attributes. Label Insight is using AI and machine learning to deconstruct the handful of nutrition attributes on a package to encompass, dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of additional attributes for any given product. Deep nutritional data attributed to individual products is quickly growing in importance as food is increasingly linked to a shopper’s health condition. The velocity of data is growing as various solutions use realtime shopper location - both inside and outside the store - to provide contextual information. An understanding of the shopper’s intent is provided by a realtime view to what products have just been added to the shopping list, what digital coupons have been clipped, and what products have been searched for.  Cloud based solutions enable regional and smaller retailers to access cutting edge marketing personalization solutions driven by advanced data science to power relevancy across every digital engagement with each individual shopper. The cloud also brings sophisticated pricing, promotion, and product assortment optimization capabilities to retailers cost effectively. But the efficacy of these solutions is directly dependent on the quality and quantity of data feeding them.  Retailers embarking on data driven strategies would be well served to first assess the quality of their core data (product descriptions, categorization, pricing, product cost, vendor codes, and more). Retailers with loyalty programs should examine how clean and up to date their customer contact data is along with how customer loyalty IDs roll up to households (this area is particularly vexing as retailers often just distribute cards). Building on a now-solid base, consider bringing in third-party data to permit scoring share-of-wallet by customer household in addition to other attributes that can improve targeting and personalization. More than ever before, retail success is driven by data. For retailers that understand the power of data - and especially customer and product data attributes - marketing nirvana awaits. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 6/6/19

CART, Advancing Retail

WHY MARKETERS STILL STRUGGLE WITH ONE TO ONE PERSONALIZATION | StreetFight Gary’s Take: Retailers who commit to personalization and bring that commitment to life by devoting resources and budget are finding success as measured by increases in spending, shopping visits, and retention. But far too many retailers simply pay lip service to personalization, believing that putting a name on a mass email qualifies, or filtering the mass weekly ad to the shopper based on historical purchasing is the epitome of retail marketing personalization. True adherents understand that the ‘personalized ad’ becoming popular today provides little value to the shopper beyond helping guide them more efficiently to sale products they may be interested in. Much more powerful is providing meaningful savings on products relevant to each customer, not just those products vendors decide to promote. Beyond disruptive marketing economics, retailers need to develop data discipline as it is the fuel for the future. ‘SIGN IN WITH APPLE’ PROTECTS YOU IN WAYS GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK DON’T | Wired Gary’s Take: Apple’s announcement that it is giving users more control over their data is just the latest salvo in the data privacy debate. The EU’s GDPR regulations, brought into effect about a year ago, are already heavily influencing data privacy initiatives around the world. All this points to a growing challenge for marketers in the time ahead as consumers begin to push back on how their data is monetized and used without the user’s awareness. Marketers that rely on 2nd and 3rd party data to drive their digital marketing efforts should start considering how they will operate in a world of data constraint. Retailers in particular should ramp up efforts to gather 1st party data on their shoppers, in good part by focusing on driving digital engagement as fast and as comprehensively as they can. And yes, this means formulating a value proposition - often based on delivering personalized, relevant, meaningful value - to each individual shopper. WALMART’S CHECKOUT PILOT PUTS SHOPPERS IN THE FAST LANE | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: People respond to how the world occurs around them. And a small change like this could produce strong results — helping people understand the value in more physical terms (a special place to checkout). There will be some period of overlap with most of these technologies. Self-checkout still most often works in tandem with traditional checkout. As technology improves we’ll see some stores bet on some of these new technologies alone. We’ll be telling our kids there used to be a time you had to wait in line to “check out” of a store. EXPERIENCE IS OVERRATED, HIRE TALENT | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: Eagerness to learn new things, add value and ability to embrace (or even better, create) change are top in my book. 100% agree that most retail positions can be trained much easier than attitudes. When the people are aligned on values, vision and purpose (not just printed on a sign, but actually aligned as people) anything is possible. DISCOVER THE POWERFUL FINANCIAL IMPACT OF THE “HALO EFFECT” Grocery retailers can take a new and more profitable approach to promotional planning by embracing the “Halo Effect”. Learn how to uncover the powerful connections between products in Daisy Intelligence’s new eBook. FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK: A NEW WORLD VIEW by Gary Hawkins, CEO, CART HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING ON-SITE INNOVATION DAYS - Specifically looking for the following solutions to apply to present: Food City - July 15, 2019: Marketing & eCommerce - Health & Wellness Tech - In-Store Automation (Apply by June 10, 2019) MOBILE SHOPPING CONNECT - JUNE 10-12, 2019 in San Diego, CA THE MILLENNIAL ALLIANCE, DIGITAL RETAIL TRANSFORMATION - JUNE 11-12, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV 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 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. +MORE

A New Worldview

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

I want to challenge the way you believe the world works. And then suggest to you a new perspective. The place to start is understanding that our worldview is constrained by the knowledge available to us. We know what we know; for example, I know how to ride a bike. Then there are things that we know we don’t know; I know that I don’t know how to speak Russian. But then there are the things we don’t know that we don’t know. The faster things change, the less reliable our predictions of the future are because the very things that can cause massive disruption may not even have been invented yet. We don’t know what we don’t know. This is the dangerous place retail executives find themselves: Not knowing what they don’t know. Not knowing what disruption lurks around the next corner. Retailers, like everyone, are working from a certain knowledge set that by default limits their understanding of what is possible. And yet to compete successfully, let alone survive, retail executives must throw some light on the vast abyss to bring some of what they don’t know they don’t know into the light. Said another way, retailers must adopt a new worldview. Today, we as human beings are already in transition. We know the world is changing even if we don’t know why. Exponential Growth: Tomorrow Will No Longer Resemble Today We are at the knee of the exponential growth curve of computer processing power and from this day forward change will be increasingly noticeable and increasingly fast. While most are familiar with the definition of exponential growth, far fewer people truly understand the power and implications of this reality. We as human beings are wired to think linearly. Today is much like yesterday and we have lived our lives expecting that tomorrow will be much like today. Except that is no longer true, and this will become increasingly apparent. Physicist Albert Bartlett is blunt in his assessment: “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” Today is the slowest pace of change you will experience in your lifetime. Learn more about the Age of ‘i’ in Gary’s new book, RETAIL IN THE AGE OF ‘i’: A New World View for the Retail Industry now available on Amazon. +MORE

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