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: 07/23/2016

    Will AI mobile apps replace associates on Macy’s sales floor?

    I agree with Cristina that technology in the hands of store associates creates a better experience than publishing it to apps. The poll by Consumerist affirms this, with nearly two-thirds of department store shoppers preferring answers from human employees. So far, the Macy's app apparently only provides way finding--a limited use case — with the promise of more later.Online use cases are different. One-third of Amazon sales, half of LinkedIn connections and three-quarters of Netflix views are driven by algorithmic recommendations. Personal AI has a brighter future in settings other than department stores, where it's harder to get human assistance.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2016

    Walmart in no hurry to add other mobile payment options

    Mobile payments operate in uncharted territory. But if you give users features they want, eventually you will succeed. Walmart-backed CurrentC went nowhere, partly because of a focus on bypassing interchange fees rather than customer experience.Now there’s Walmart Pay. Retailer-specific payment platforms are rare, but even in uncharted territory there are examples to follow. Walmart Pay is oriented around shopper needs, blending shopping lists, prescription refills, gift card storage and payments into one app. But Walmart would be wise learn from Starbucks, which added loyalty discount programs and order-ahead line shortening to encourage usage.Walmart reported last year that just over 15 percent of its 140 million weekly customers used its app, but many fewer actually paid with the app. Compare that to Starbucks, which derives 24 percent of revenue from an app focused on customer experience.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2016

    How should luxury brands embrace the internet?

    As tempting as online sales are to luxury brands, there are stiff headwinds from price transparency and price competition.First, the internet is a low-cost channel. Buyers expect savings. It lacks the experience of physical retail and the social and self-expressiveness of conspicuous consumption. Price is inversely related to scarcity, yet the internet spells convenience and availability. Third-party sellers online are harder to control. This all grows worse when online pricing is transparent to in-store buyers through mobile.Second, luxury counterfeiting is rampant. Whether direct or via marketplaces, the vast majority of unit sales are fake. The ignominy of buying counterfeit goods is lessened by when the seller is an elegant-looking website rather than a street hawker. Unlike pharmaceuticals, the risk of lower quality is diminished.Brands can offset the impact of online pricing on offline sales with limited-edition items, flash sales and gifts with purchase. Countering counterfeit is mostly a legal challenge, but brands can create reasons to buy the real thing. Products with more technical ingredients, such as electronics and watches, fare better than purses. All products can provide better after-sales service to create differentiation.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2016

    Should sales guide pricing decisions?

    Most discussions of earnings tend to center on the short term. Earnings is one element of the pricing decision, alongside consumer effects, category effects and competitor reference. When we talk about pricing we need to distinguish among categories and items, as they are not created equal.Consumer effects can be measured by elasticity by product and basket, among other measures. Category effects consider switching between items as well as complementary purchases. Competitor reference starts with defining who the target competitor is, then what the acceptable gap should be.Of all of these factors, digital has had the greatest influence on competitors, by introducing new ones and increasing price transparency for all. No retailer can win on all fronts. But certain battles matter more -- those involving the most valuable customers and key categories and items.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2016

    Under Armour links purchase recommendations to fitness data

    Using fitness and health data to recommend purchases is a hands down winner. When you know activities enjoyed, calories burned, hours slept, weight gained, and other factors, you can make useful grocery suggestions. But this is more of a corporate story than a consumer one.As UA publicly transforms into a Math House, it needs to show progress. Purchase algorithms are a visible way to do that — much more than say, inventory algorithms.UA also needs to integrate its digital services. Its "Connected Fitness" IoT business expansion and MayMyFitness/MyFitnessPal/Endomondo digital community acquisitions need to be unified. Creating a single Under Armour Account with UA Shop that combines its communities and UA Record is an necessary stepUA has committed to Wall Street to nearly double its revenue from $3.9B 2015 to $7.5B 2018. Like its target market and its products, it moves fast.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2016

    Will social and shopping ever go together?

    Twitter’s removing of “buy” buttons does not suggest social shopping is lost. But it makes us think about how we buy, where we buy and what we buy.As for how we buy, Twitter’s experiment showed in-the-moment buying didn't work. Users’ penchant for impulse content snacking doesn’t translate to impulse purchases. But as others have pointed out, social networks still influence the research phase of the path to purchase.As for where we buy, Twitter isn’t the bellwether for social media. Shopify found relatively low conversion rates from Twitter from visitors to its 100,000+ online stores. On the other hand, Facebook visitors converted to buyers at nearly 2.5X Twitter’s rate, and even Vimeo visitors converted at 1.5X the rate. Video consistently drives higher intent to purchase.As for what we buy, it’s obvious that some categories are better for social shopping and better for certain social networks. Not surprisingly, Facebook is the leading source of social buyers for most categories, especially photography, sports/recreation, and pet supplies, where it represents nearly 95% of orders. But Pinterest dominates for antiques and collectibles at 74% of orders, according to Shopify. Youtube wins on digital products.I don't "buy" that social media has failed as an e-commerce channel.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2016

    Target kicks mobile pickup app to the curb

    Target and Walmart are once again a study in contrasts, this time with curbside pickup.Target partnered with Curbside, a startup that provided the app and planned to station pickup pods and fiberglass bus stop-sized booths at Target's curbs. Walmart managed infrastructure and operations internally, building drive-thru lanes and employing their own personal shoppers.Target's assortment excluded regular household goods. Walmart has made 30,000 items available, including grocery and common household purchases. A full 90 percent of baskets include fresh items.Target and Curbside appeared to favor densely populated areas like San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and LA. Walmart has focused on smaller markets like Daphne, AL and Charleston, SC, where competitive grocery delivery services have yet to penetrate.And while Target ends its curbside pilot, Walmart is expanding to 30 U.S. markets.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2016

    Amazon jacks up price on storage for holiday fulfillment

    As sales from partner merchants approach 50% of Amazon’s sales, the company must balance third-party margins as well as its own. In this case it seems to have struck a good compromise — it avoids its fulfillment cost shock of last year, encourages sellers to store only the fastest-moving items, and gives enough advance notice for sellers to adapt.Sellers are likely to make adjustments in the following areas:
    1. Products. More thoughtful selection of items—namely those that will sell quickly during the holiday season.
    2. Timing. Many will hold inventory for shorter periods, moving closer to just-in-time
    3. Buying. Many will engage in less bulk buying and holding.
    4. Holding. A select group merchants can sell goods to Prime customers from inventory in their own facilities
  • Posted on: 05/18/2016

    Loyalty: It’s more than free burritos

    Chipotle is not the first chain with a health crisis. Taco Bell and Jack in the Box had their own missteps. They recovered by knowing their customers and getting creative.Taco Bell rebounded from Hepatitis A, Salmonella, and E. coli crises last decade. Its customers like novelty. One tactic has been regularly refreshing its menu. Consider the Crunchwrap Supreme — so popular it became permanent in 2006.Jack in the Box rebounded from food poisoning in 1993. Its customers are contrarian. It blew up its boardroom in a heavy advertising campaign, rebranded its mascot, and offered free antenna balls (a very clever viral freebie).Chipotle customers are different than Jack’s and Taco Bell’s. They strongly prefer quality over price. Giveaways clash with this deep belief. To regain loyalty, Chipotle must reconnect with its customers in its own unique way. It has been creative in the past, such as its Framed and Dangerous mini-documentary about modern agriculture. It can get its spice back.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2016

    Will 3-D printing ever make it at retail?

    There have been lots of good comments about the forces holding back 3D printing from retail success. Another limiter is litigation and liability.Take health-related products, suggested previously. Who is responsible for a 3D-printed insole that causes a foot injury? or a wrist guard that causes a hand injury? Was it the design, materials, printer, instructions, training, operator, or something else? The finger-pointing would be endless and the first lawsuit would cause a chill at retail.Now take that replacement part for a '57 Chevy mentioned above. A window crank is one thing; a brakepad, or gascap is another. What if there were an accident? What if the design was from Japan and materials were from Mexico, and the accident was in the US? Who takes responsibility for a deficient product and which jurisdiction's laws apply?Retail will avoid categories with liability. Apparel, novelty and collectible items are so much simpler.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2016

    Kohl’s is the first to link its loyalty and credit cards to Apple Pay

    Yes2You and its members gain by integrating rewards with mobile payments. Today's story is Apple Pay and Kohl's, but tomorrow's stories will be the other 'Pays and other retailers.

    While Apple Pay got the head start, others will make the market. Take Samsung Pay, which already has a larger base.

    First, it has more merchants. Terminals that support Apple's requirement for NFC compatibility are slowly rolling out in the US. Terminals that support Samsung's MST are virtually everywhere.

    Second, it sells more units (at least for now). In March, Samsung had 29% share of new sales while Apple had 23%. The Galaxy S7 drove the gains.

    Today, Apple Pay has more banks, mindshare, but little usage. It is the tip. The tipping point will be when Android Pay, Samsung Pay, LG Pay, and others integrate loyalty into their mobile transactions. Plastic loyalty cards and fobs will go the way of S&H Green Stamps.

  • Posted on: 04/29/2016

    Amazon crushes it

    I agree with Paula. The financials show strength in AWS, which doubled margins and represents 60 percent of Amazon's operating income.

    Further, much of the recent publicized activity is outside the direct retail business. This includes logistics, with Fulfillment by Amazon potentially disintermediating UPS and FedEx, hardware, especially Echo and Kindle and Prime subscription costs, which were lowered to challenge Netflix.

    Unlike others, I don't see activist investors agitating to split up the company. Microsoft, Google and Apple missed expectations, continue to invest for the long term in money losing businesses like Amazon and face insignificant breakup pressures today.

  • Posted on: 04/11/2016

    Should retailers work with Amazon Payments?

    Retail businesses accept new payment options even when there is a "cost" to doing so because it increases transactions. Paypal charges merchants 70 basis points more for credit cards than acquirers do. Apple Pay charges banks 15 basis points of the purchase amount in the U.S., and somewhat less in the U.K. and China.

    Amazon Marketplace got retailers over the "cost" of partnering with a competitor because it generated new business. The Amazon Payments examples suggest the story is repeating itself. AuthenticWatches.com already derives one quarter of its business through Amazon Payments, while Red Dress Boutique derives one-fifth.

    But this announcement of the Global Partner program is less fraught. E-commerce platform providers don't sell their own goods, so they have more to gain and less to lose by integrating with Amazon Payments.

  • Posted on: 04/04/2016

    Do subscription services make sense for one hour delivery?

    Subscription services make sense for on-demand delivery as long as on-demand delivery makes sense. Postmates is not yet profitable and raised $138 million. That is either validating or worrisome.

    Many remember Kosmo, Urbanfetch and PDQuick. They failed in 2001 because investors (including Amazon) grew impatient with losses and would no longer fund them.

    Is today different? Three things stand out: e-commerce penetration, smartphones and independent workers. More people are comfortable online and paying subscriptions for future purchases (thanks Amazon). Smartphones make ordering deliveries and receiving orders more convenient.

    Perhaps most important is the rise of independent workers willing to deliver for Postmates (thanks Uber).

    Kosmo shut down and 1000-plus employees lost their jobs despite the company's tinkering with delivery fees to turn a profit. If Postmates' core economics and capital markets hold up, subscription delivery fees will look like a smart move.

  • Posted on: 03/30/2016

    Will Starbucks win by giving rewards for purchases made at Dunkin’ Donuts?

    The days of prepaid cards only serving the unbanked have passed. Today, it's a matter of convenience as well as payment access.

    Prepaid cards are a convenient replacement for checking. Deposits can be made at many retailers and withdrawals from many ATM networks at no charge (compared to the limited locations and fees of a bank-issued product). Prepaid cards are a convenient gift option at holiday time (1 in 7 Americans receive Starbucks cards as a holiday gift).

    Loyalty rewards are not new. Prepaid cards from Paypal and AccountNow offer cash back rewards. But rewards plus "no fees" would be a differentiator, as these two programs charge $5 per month.

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