PROFILE

Dan Frechtling

SVP Product and Marketing, CMO, G2 Web Services

Dan oversees product and marketing for G2 Web Services, a payments technology and service provider operating in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

Previously, Dan ran global product management for hibu, a leading provider of digital services connecting local consumers and merchants in the US, UK, Spain and Latin America. Prior to that, he was Vice President Marketing and Vice President Client Solutions for DS-IQ, where he re-launched digital couponing products for SUPERVALU and developed and executed marketing strategies for digital media at Walmart.

Earlier, he was general manager of DVD games and youth electronics as Director of Worldwide Marketing for Mattel. At Stamps.com he helped launch the first server-based web postage technology.  At McKinsey & Company he led engagements for consumer and technology clients.

Dan earned his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and his BS in Journalism/Economics from Northwestern University. He speaks Mandarin Chinese.

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  • Posted on: 01/20/2017

    What factors weigh on tech purchase decisions?

    Unfortunately, the “user” experience varies greatly from the “buyer” experience when it comes to technology. This is especially true for small retailers and other SMBs. Vendors and owners alike fixate on the selling process, often leading to disappointment post-sale. A very common disappointment is getting locked into a solution before fully understanding it.How can a business owner avoid this? Choosing technologies -- and vendors -- that allow buyers to make changes post-sale helps to a great degree. This includes configurations (which modules are used), usage (the volume consumed, especially seasonal fluctuations) and service (“how-to” and other answers fast).By offering flexibility, vendors can close higher contract values because owners will pay a premium for the option to change later.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2017

    Are reports on the death of newspapers greatly exaggerated?

    The trends don't present a bright picture for circulars or other print advertising many years ahead.On the other hand, the data does make a case for the here and now. There is a buying opportunity with print newspapers. If you believed in it before, believe even more now.Circulation in North America is down 2.4%, yet ad spend is down 7.2%. Whether is due to de-cluttering of newspapers as advertisers pull out, or lower CPMs, both signal buying opportunity.Even if a shift from print to digital ad units is occurring, that signals a movement toward more cost-efficient, more measurable advertising.Advertisers can reach more eyeballs per dollar, even in a declining circulation environment.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2017

    What would an American Apparel acquisition do for Amazon or Forever 21?

    Amazon could indeed boost its fashion category with a private label brand and retail footprint that allows buyers to “try before buy.” But acquiring for political reasons seems a weak rationale. For one, it’s a bankruptcy auction that could label the winner a vulture capitalist. Further, the buyer will “own” the likely job cuts that occur post acquisition. Even Gildan, which is interested in the manufacturing assets, said it will have to eliminate some of the 3500 American jobs at “the largest sewing facility in North America.”Forever 21 could lower costs through more efficient manufacturing, but the brand would lose its soul in the process. It could be reinvigorated with the fashion-oriented ethos of Forever 21, but so could any brand, for that matter.At least American Apparel has five bidders, with Authentic Brands and Next Level Apparel taking interest. NastyGal, which filed for bankruptcy at the same time, only has a single $20 million bid.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2016

    Are retailers over-promising last-minute BOPIS?

    The weakest link is planning ahead for the rush. Retailers shouldn't be surprised by last-minute purchases. With absolute certainty, there will be more procrastinating shoppers this year. Good for Walmart, Kohl's, Macy's and Bed, Bath & Beyond and other to build a marketing program around last minute BOPIS.For the first time in five years, Christmas Eve is on a Saturday. A full 76% of adult shoppers say they plan on making holiday purchases right up until Christmas, according to a study from the International Council of Shopping Centers.Most of us don't brag about it, but most of us do it. Start your engines and sharpen your elbows.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2016

    Amazon offers incentives for Prime members to wait on deliveries

    Amazon is offering a choice, not issuing a decree. They are adding an option, not taking away a privilege.If an insufficient number of shoppers take the option, Amazon tests higher incentives until they reach their target redemption. Revolving “no-rush shipping” offers of $1, $2 and $5.99 Prime Pantry credits have been around since at least 2014. I suspect they don’t pay much attention to Consumerist.Ever heard a flight attendant announce your flight has been over-booked and offer travelers a credit to fly later? That’s what’s going on here. The credit rises until someone redeems. If the offer is too low for you, don’t take it.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2016

    Will Starbucks be the same without Howard Schultz as CEO?

    Of the many qualifications it would take to be Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson has four of them in spades: global CEO experience, charismatic leadership, trust from Howard Shultz, and technology chops.The first three are givens. The latter point says as much about Starbucks as it does the new CEO.Mobile payments now comprise nearly 25% of Starbucks orders, while mobile order & pay accounts for 6% of transactions. Both are growing. Starbucks had over 1,000 tech workers earlier this year and has been adding to the ranks.The company no doubt will have struggles ahead, but having the right leaders (plural) in place won't be one of them.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2016

    What will Trump’s TPP rejection mean for retail?

    Unfortunately, retail buyers have to contend with more than just the impact (or lack thereof) of the TPP.Nullifying the TPP maintains tariffs and makes foreign goods more expensive. Yet raising interest rates, as the Fed has indicated it will do, makes foreign goods cheaper.Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. would require an equalization of regulations. Yet for U.S. factories to compete, environmental standards would likely be lowered. (the TPP would have equalized this by raising overseas regulations.)Apparel and shoes, two oft-cited categories, are discretionary. So unit volumes (and factory utilization) decline when prices go up.You can't just pull one lever like tariffs and expect all else to be equal. Governing is different from campaigning.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2016

    Retailers go beyond (below) price-matching for the holidays

    Price-matching is a wager that lower margin on a particular item is exceeded by more trips and higher basket size.It used to work. In fact, it was one of the best ways to free up stalled purchase decisions. Four years ago, Forrester estimated only 5-10% of transactions requested a price match. A far greater percentage were attracted to the store by the promise of fair prices, but didn't actually bargain.Today the match rate is indeed higher, with more retailers advertising it, more online choices, more dynamic pricing, and more smartphones in peoples' hands. Most would now say price matching has tipped the scales, with losses exceeding gains.The predominant view may be right. Price matching may be a bad bet. Yet price matching still may work. Herein lies the irony: the paradox of choice.Few shoppers relish negotiating. Too many options for price-matching overwhelm them. These shoppers don't really enjoy the race to the bottom. They just want to buy their gift and feel like they got a fair price. Price-matching policies free them psychologically from the doom loop of price analysis and give them confidence to "buy." And for retailers, promising to match prices is much better than promising to beat them.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2016

    Staples brings Watson to digital office assistants

    This is a brilliant brand building concept but a flawed technology concept.Infusing the Easy Button with intelligence reinforces Staples’s positioning. Rather than something to pound on to vent frustration, the Easy Button now eases mundane tasks like purchasing. Adding Watson (another brand) to the mix wraps Staples within a forward-thinking halo.Expecting users to add another piece of hardware to their desk is dubious. They already have a keyboard, a screen (likely more than one), a mouse, a deskphone, and their smartphone. If they still use paper (and Staples really hopes they do), they have files, a stapler, and pens vying for space. Now their coffee cup has competition.Today this is a novelty. It orders post-it notes. It doesn’t do travel, or schedule meetings, or call people in your address book. So it’s not a digital personal assistant yet. It’s a one-hit wonder with a short shelf life unless it does more.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2016

    Does talking to a human still matter?

    So much of what we call AI ranges from the general intelligence of AI to specific intelligence of neural networks to simple bionics. The latter is actually most common today — machines that allow humans to operate at greater speed and greater volume than they can organically.Bionics applied to chat can route questions to the right entity: chatbots for software troubleshooting, humans for billing mistakes. Neural networks applied to customer service begin by solving common problems. They need a large training set to "learn" what to do (learning" means running the same process over and over and adjusting based on the feedback — such as, "was the problem solved for the customer?").The general intelligence of AI doesn't exist yet, other than in sci-fi films. It is far from inevitable. Humans fear not.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2016

    Could a ‘breakfast aisle’ revitalize the grocery center store?

    I have to agree with Stephen, and then some. I'm not sure the cereal aisle is broken. It's where you go for cereal, oatmeal, bars and pastries.Trying to turn it into the "breakfast food occasion aisle" seems silly when shoppers are going there not to eat breakfast, but rather purchase shelf stable food for later consumption. It certainly won't work for quick trip shopping occasions.Creating a breakfast construct to teach people to buy their bacon or eggs with their cereal is artificial. What if Google gave you bacon brands alongside your search for Wheaties?
  • Posted on: 10/06/2016

    Will Google’s new devices give Apple and Amazon some competition?

    Google's announcement will lift awareness for the category of connected home devices, but it won't catapult Google into the lead anywhere.Samsung will continue to lead in Android phones. This is because Google Pixel phones are late smartphone entrants and will be more expensive than the predecessor Nexus line.The promise of AI remains a promise. Siri has been around for five years but still doesn't turn on most users -- it gets turned off more frequently. Only 30 percent of iPhone owners use it regularly.Instead, by tying together a launch of smartphones, Google Home and Chromecast, the company links the ideas of mobile devices, entertainment and home automation. This will raise awareness and consideration of all the options, including Amazon Echo, Samsung SmartThings and even Alphabet's Nest.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2016

    Facebook customizes ads to local inventories

    Even with wide adoption of smartphones, customizing ads to interests, seasonality and location is a proposition that only a few online media properties can execute. Facebook is one, Google is another.From the consumer's perspective, Google's product tied to in-store inventory beats Facebook's. Google offers more choice and more selection for two reasons. First, most shopping trips are planned, rather than impulse. Google Local Inventory Ads start with consumer search — intent to buy, not intent to sell. Second, Google has more advertisers, which means more inventory, more choice, and better prices. Further, advertisers can add promotion on Google at any time.More interesting in the Facebook announcement were the other tactics to allow shoppers to choose to go to the store or buy online: lookalike products, wish lists, find out more, and other choices of actions will make Facebook ads more useful for social commerce.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2016

    Is consumer demand really that unpredictable?

    Tried and true time-series sales data succeeds for popular “big head” products in large regions. By itself it is insufficient for slower moving "long tail" items, especially in local markets.Sales data needs to be supplemented with causal non-sales data. For example, overlaying web search and social sentiment data from dealership trading areas predicts auto sales because people do a lot of research before buying cars. Adding weather data helps Tesco anticipate cold remedy sales.It takes a lot of trial and error to surface other demand predictors, but it can be done with practice.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2016

    Amazon and Fanatics play ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ commerce on game day

    This is a great idea with modest revenue potential for Amazon. Will it spread to other venues or remain only for marquis games in the biggest cities?Amazon should look into a reseller model. Booster groups, philanthropies and other local organizations are a perfect marketing channel to build awareness and trial with their loyal members.Local groups acquire customers, Amazon runs the operations -- up to the last mile if needed. The convenience and novelty is so great that price markups for revenue share will not be an issue.The same goes for UberEATS. Both Amazon and Uber can build buzz and trial while offloading marketing expense.

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