Dave Bruno

Marketing Director, Aptos
With over 25 years of experience in retail technology, Dave supports Aptos with brand development, corporate messaging, and product marketing. His deep resume includes widely varying experiences helping bring retail technology to market at GERS, Escalate Retail, RedPrairie, JDA and Epicor.

Dave is a frequent speaker at industry events and is highly regarded for his ability to identify emerging technology trends that will impact the retail model. He has worked with many of the world’s leading retailers, and he is an accomplished marketer, having won numerous awards for his content marketing programs and campaigns.

He is a member of the advisory board for DemandGen Report, and the executive producer of the CommerceofCaring podcast series. Dave is also a regular contributor to
  • Posted on: 06/21/2017

    How did mobile become the ‘glue’ in the Sephora shopping experience?

    Sephora is one of the first national brands to finally crack the code on several emerging technologies including augmented reality, chatbots and artificial intelligence. They have combined these technologies into a compelling customer-facing experience on mobile that drives engagement, adds value for the shopper and enriches the brand value proposition. In my opinion, therein lies the greatest lesson for us all: this is an inspiration for the deployment of emerging technology that actually enhances and enriches the experience.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2017

    Will UPS’s Black Friday delivery surcharge have retailers seeing red?

    This is not good news for retailers already struggling to overcome the burden of shopper expectations for free/low-cost shipping and eroding margins, so "passing the costs on to customers" is much easier said than done. The long-term solution is to break the cycle of free shipping promises, but doing so comes with great risk. Perhaps until that day comes, retailers will instead look to other logistics providers that don't add surcharges during the holidays, and UPS will be forced to re-think this "strategy" if they wish to maintain their competitive position.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2017

    Will the Bonobos acquisition give Walmart a fashion edge?

    This is a very interesting discussion. I have yet to discern a well-defined vision behind these niche brand pickups by Walmart. Certainly Moosejaw, ModCloth and Bonobos all have appeal to younger, more upscale shoppers, as mentioned in the article, and these businesses will certainly help Walmart gain more insights into these shoppers. Beyond that, it feels like a real uphill climb for Walmart to "shed their skin" as a low-price brand and prevent that reputation from impacting these other brands. Time will tell, of course, but I wonder if it's possible that this move is as much a reaction to Amazon's recent expansion into apparel via eight private label brands as it is a proactive strategic ploy.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2017

    Has Rainbow Shops created a compensation model aligned with omnichannel realities?

    Well said, Chris -- I agree 100%. Long-term success will only come when we remove all friction from the shopping journey, and credit to Rainbow Shops for recognizing the potential friction inherent in their stores. While zip code attribution may not be a perfect solution, if it alleviates tension and removes friction for the shopper, then this is a great step in the right direction.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2017

    Could ’embeddables’ in wearable tech give brands a clearer view of consumers?

    How can more consumer data (assuming they have the tools to manage and make it actionable) be anything but a good thing for a retailer? Beyond that, how could more customer data (not just consumers but actual purchasers of their products) be anything but good for a retailer? Product, marketing and merchandising decision makers can all benefit from the rich data collected from actual customers and, as long as customers don't object, this seems like a brilliant strategy.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2017

    Is it time for stores to ditch the free Wi-Fi?

    This feels like an absolute no-brainer to me. Wi-Fi must stay in place until we get definitive answers to the questions Tom raises: " ... whether the other benefits of retailers having Wi-Fi — including being able to deliver personalized messages, collecting any data on in-store behavior and linking in-store to online shopping — can be captured through their apps, beacons or some other method.Experience is everything. Losing this core ability to enable delivering richer, more personalized and empowered experiences in exchange for eliminating the relatively minor costs/headaches of in-store Wi-Fi seems like a short-sighted decision.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2017

    What does it take for retailers to thrive amid shifting consumer preferences?

    I agree, Paula! There are so many options, so many variations to "experiences." In our client base, those that are performing the best typically have a specific vision for their brand experience, and they make all decisions in context of that specific vision. All of the points of the article from Glenn are valid, but if they aren't aligned to a specific vision (and strategy), they are doomed to mediocrity, at best, in my opinion.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2017

    Has produce-selling Dollar General become a real threat to traditional grocers?

    More consumables will likely lead to more traffic. The question is the depth and breadth of the assortment. Is Dollar General investing in produce order to compete in produce, or are they investing in produce to drive traffic and grow frequency/market basket? I think they will have a difficult time trying to eat significant share (pun intended!) from big players like Walmart, Aldi and Lidl, but I do think the strategy is sound as a means to increase frequency and average order size.Finally, regardless of business impacts, I sincerely applaud any effort to help make healthy food choices affordable.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2017

    Can Walmart workers deliver better last mile results on their way home from work?

    Clearly there are compensation and execution issues to be resolved, but I sincerely applaud Walmart's efforts to find ways to leverage existing investments in the store to expand store relevance. This program helps them leverage the store as a competitive asset against Amazon and further increase the store's value to both the shopping journey and the enterprise. I hope they can overcome the challenges listed here and compensate associates fairly -- and that others are inspired to find more ways to increase store relevance.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2017

    Are smart speakers limited as a shopping tool?

    I have done a lot of research into "conversational commerce" and have experimented shopping via Alexa quite a bit. Here are my conclusions (at this point, anyway):
    1. Reordering via Alexa represents the "magic of the internet" fully realized. Just tell her what you want -- no device, no screen, no typing, no forms -- and your desired item shows up on your doorstep two days later. I have already become addicted to reordering that way and as more people adopt the behavior, I believe they will feel the same way.
    2. Ordering items for the first time (browsing) is clumsy, awkward and has a long way to go to come anywhere close to the seamless experience of reordering. Add to that the relative lack of transparency surrounding how "Amazon Choice" recommended items and I think adoption of Alexa as a browsing assistant is not imminent.The third element of this discussion that is often overlooked, however, is this:
    3. How much better will Amazon's recommendation engine become once Alexa becomes one of the primary search engines in our daily lives?
    Already almost 35 percent of Amazon's sales are driven by their recommendation, and that engine relies mostly on shopping, browsing and demographic data. Once Amazon's recommendation algorithms have access to all our rich search engine and behavioral data, their ability to refine recommendations will expand exponentially. Then we will have to regroup and evaluate how much more we rely upon Alexa to help us shop.For more on my research and my point of view on the subject, join me for my upcoming webinar There's Something About Alexa: Preparing for Conversational Commerce in the Age of Amazon."
  • Posted on: 05/31/2017

    Will personalized pricing only lead to more discounting?

    Pricing should certainly be part of a personalization strategy, but if it is the only (or even the primary) element of the strategy then discount expectations will certainly come along for the ride. A well-rounded personalization strategy must also include content, offers, events and recommendations that reflect each shopper's unique history with the brand across digital, social, physical and service channels. If we simply personalize prices, we are indeed training shoppers to expect discounts.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2017

    Will Google change the game by linking clicks to in-store purchases?

    "Connecting the dots" between digital interactions and physical interactions is a game-changer for retail. When we truly understand the shopper's entire journey, and when we can connect digital footprints to physical conversions, then we have the power to effectively measure -- and impact -- influence.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2017

    Will Apple get customers to go back to school?

    I am extremely passionate about and encouraged by this news. Apple, as usual, is on exactly the right path with their retail "stores." They understand that brick-and-mortar must be more than a transaction hub, and that differentiating from online competition means giving people a compelling reason to come to the store.These classes are a perfect example of the store adding tangible value to shoppers lives, which I strongly believe to be the key to the future of retail.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2017

    Did Starbucks turn its POS outage into a win?

    As a career marketer, I continue to marvel at the efficacy of Starbucks' marketers. Here in this space we could talk all day about new cloud-based options for "POS redundancy" and "fail-over," but the consumer media will be talking about the free coffee. This is a flat-out no-brainer: Starbucks turned a negative experience into a memorable, positive experience. Without question, impacted customers will talk about how Starbucks made good out of a bad situation.I can just picture local media in impacted markets covering the story and featuring plenty of quotes and interviews with lots of happy customers talking about their experience. People will savor their free drinks and the positive PR will be worth FAR more than the cost of the free coffee.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2017

    Are digital CX initiatives being lost on Baby Boomers?

    The survey identifies "indifference" as the reason why Boomers are less engaged with digital experiences and seems to infer that more digitally-savvy generations embrace digital options more eagerly. As a Boomer myself, who is also very tech savvy, I might suggest a slightly different perspective. I believe Boomers' indifference is a reflection of the fact that, as an industry, we have yet to convince them of the value of such initiatives.How many times have we all struggled with voice commands on iOS and Android? Alexa is getting better, but still not a slam dunk for any generation. Are mobile payments an interesting option? Maybe. Do they significantly impact my shopping experience enough to spur me into investigating how to set them up? Maybe not. Does the value proposition overcome my security concerns? Again, maybe not so much.So before we blame Boomers' indifference on perceived technology "limitations," maybe we should first look into delivering more compelling value propositions from our digital CX investments.

Contact Dave