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: 07/21/2017

    Will Walmart’s innovation strategies pay off?

    If we have learned anything from the past decade of disruption, it's that change is now relentless. The investments to me, whether they all succeed or not, represent Walmart's commitment to being prepared to invest in the ability to adapt. And that, in my opinion, is a winning strategy.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    How much Big Data do retailers really need?

    Simply put, the magic of Big Data resides in its ability to help us achieve retail's greatest promise: aligning the brand to customer expectations. Properly implemented data collection and analysis is the only way to reveal what customers expect of us, which in turn will help us define assortments, locations, pricing and personalization.Anything less than comprehensive and robust interrogation of customer expectations results in taking shots in the dark.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Can toys raise J.C. Penney’s game?

    I tend to want to applaud retailers that take a long, hard look at their assortments and then make changes as necessary to adapt to changing consumer tastes. And, in theory, I applaud J.C. Penney's efforts here as well. However, as several others have commented, they need to ensure that their toy assortments -- and as importantly their toy store experience -- align with the needs and expectations of their target customers. If not, they will fall into the race to the bottom on price with Amazon and Walmart -- a race they can not win.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2017

    Will Walmart win back-to-school with click and collect services?

    As Amazon continues to invest in convenience as a strategy, Walmart must respond. This BTS/BTC program is an excellent counter-punch that not only enhances the convenience for shoppers, but draws them into the stores for pickup where we know shoppers are highly likely to spend more. The addition of helpers inside the store is also a smart move. Lift ... lift ... lift!
  • Posted on: 07/12/2017

    Will Amazon’s answer to the ‘Geek Squad’ help put Alexa in more homes?

    I don't think Amazon cares whether or not they compete for market share with the Geek Squad for home computer and A/V installations anywhere near as much as they care about adoption of Alexa. With over 1,000 engineers reportedly working on Alexa, Amazon is placing a big bet on the future being voice-driven, and this investment is another insurance policy to make sure that Alexa remains our primary voice assistant.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2017

    Will Backstage shops draw customers to Macy’s mall stores?

    To me, there are no easy answer to these questions. While there is certainly risk in going down market, especially in higher-rent locations, there is also the biggest challenge Macy's faces: the relentless decline of the department store. I applaud them for making bold changes to their assortments. I have also wondered if the big off-price brands might soon begin to take up some of the cheap mall space that departments stores are vacating. This move could give Macy's a first-mover advantage as we witness the reinvention of the mall.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2017

    Can Nike make Instagram selling work?

    I am not sure that Nike would expect huge sales as a result of this project, but they clearly recognize the need to be where their customers are and Instagram is an obvious fit. Their image-centric brand combined with the already strong social media appeal of their products and the unique aftermarket makes Instagram a viable and valuable marketing investment, whether they ever sell much product through the channel or not.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2017

    How can retailers make loyalty programs more effective?

    To me, the tips highlighted in the report should by now be old news, and yet we still see so many retailers falling back on traditional transaction-based rewards that lack imagination and personalization. The pitfalls of transaction-based loyalty programs are well documented, and the benefits of increased personalization have been validated time and again by Amazon's powerful recommendation engine that drives over 35% of their revenue with nary a "shotgun" email in sight.The time has long passed for interactive, omni-channel loyalty programs that reflect and react to each shopper's unique history with the brand to be the norm, rather than the exception.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2017

    Has CVS gone too far with its health kick?

    I completely agree, Tom, and would only add that the more targeted their health conscious assortments become, the more targeted their marketing will become, enabling them to more effectively profile, target and motivate their audience to engage. In the long run, as you suggest Tom, this is a win for CVS, and a win for health-conscious consumers.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2017

    Can fitness classes wake up retail store traffic?

    As many others have pointed out, experiences do matter more than ever. I applaud the investment by Saks. While yoga, as Meaghan Brophy so cleverly expressed, could be a "stretch" for Saks, I wonder if perhaps the marketers at Saks have investigated the demographics of the typical yoga practitioner and discovered similarities between those who practice yoga and those customers they target. Maybe there is more to this program than first meets the eye ...
  • Posted on: 06/22/2017

    Does Costco need to significantly undercut Amazon’s prices?

    Full disclosure: I am a loyal and avid fan of Costco. Having said that, however, I recognize their flaws. And one of them is the lack of a truly integrated digital experience. Prices vary from online to offline, assortments vary, and digital marketing is almost non-existent.If I were Costco I would focus on expanding and enriching the digital aspects of their experience, and focus much less on price wars. I believe a huge part of their success is value (much more so than price), and they really are masters of assortment. If they can extend that value and assortment magic to the digital world and better leverage digital marketing assets, perhaps they can avoid a race to the bottom with Amazon.
  • 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.

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