Jennifer McDermott

Consumer Advocate,
Jennifer McDermott has almost 12 years’ experience in retail communication, studying and promoting local and international brands. Jennifer’s current role as a Consumer Advocate includes data analysis, strategy and media commentator for a wide range of topics and issues including impulse shopping, ecommerce, discount codes, credit card debt and consumer behavior and debt.

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  • Posted on: 01/17/2018

    At NRF Show, CVS calls for transparency in beauty

    This move will certainly strengthen CVS' positioning around consumer care, but it is unlikely that it will make a difference in the products women choose. Everyone is willing to suspend their disbelief to some degree when it comes to advertising. I'm skeptical many suppliers will produce two sets of ads -- one to obtain CVS' watermark and another for other distributors. Nor will they feel the need to.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2018

    What’s the trick to handling online returns?

    Give consumers what they want, and they'll return again and again. Sure, there'll be losses in terms of postage and on items that have been returned and cannot be resold, but I believe, for most retailers, the increase in sales and repeat customers will far outweigh these.While looking at ways to make returns easier for customers, retailers should also be adopting strategies to minimize them wanting to make them in the first place. Detailed product descriptions, clear photos from all angles and size specs should accompany all products so customers know exactly what to expect from that unboxed item.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2018

    Will consumers wear Alexa-enabled AR glasses?

    I'm skeptical, at least for its stickiness in the near future. The space left by the much-hyped and not-loved Google Glass is still warm. Wearable tech is on the rise, sure, but the Fitbit et. al is not as intrusive as a pair of glasses.Time will tell!
  • Posted on: 01/08/2018

    Amazon may put Alexa to work pitching brands

    I have long wondered when this would happen ... when a company builds and engaged and captive audience, it stands to reason that they would want to monetize it. Perhaps an opt-in model will allow Amazon to test the impact on the consumer experience, but I can't imagine many would willingly invite ads in.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2018

    J.C. Penney is feeling merry about its Christmas performance

    Agreed Mark, holiday success appears felt across the board. I wonder also how these results will be impacted by the predictions of goods returns which are expected to be worth billions.Hopefully for J.C Penney and also within the industry, this growth can continue well into 2018.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2018

    Retail and weather go together

    The growing trend of preppers/survivalists has seen more people getting ready for extreme weather than ever before. A recent survey we conducted here at indicated that 65.5 percent of Americans are spending money on survival gear.Stores need to go beyond creating an immediate need to demonstrating a need for the future (but buy now!). This is a great opportunity for retailers that this fits as it creates year-round possibilities for things that previously may have only been seasonal.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2017

    Will other grocers beat Amazon Go to the punch?

    I think Amazon is too far ahead of the game here. They will be the first-mover, by a long stretch, but I'm not sure the concept has longevity beyond the buzz it will create for the brand. Remember the drone delivery news? It created a media avalanche for Amazon but isn't part of its day-to-day operations.Assessing the self-serve over cashier counters in the supermarket, it doesn't appear an overwhelming number of customers have a strong preference for the DIY experience.This will do the job it's meant to do for Amazon, but I don't think that job is creating a spread of cashier-less outlets across America.
  • Posted on: 12/20/2017

    Are shoppable recipes a bigger opportunity than meal kits?

    I believe that shoppable recipes present a great opportunity -- whether they present one more so than meal kits is to be determined. I believe they serve different customer sets. The meal kits are for those who want the comfort of a home cooked meal with the convenience of ordering while shoppable recipes are for those who love to cook, but seek inspiration for new and different pairings. Of course there will be crossovers between the two but I think they both have their place for growth.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2017

    Are on-the-road shopping apps helpful or hazardous?

    A quick search tells me that in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Why are we actively creating more distraction to drivers? I don't know about you, but the last time I went to Dunkin' Donuts the service was quick (albeit the pastry not the freshest). I'll take those extra two minutes to park and order to potentially prevent injury or worse.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2017

    Will chatbots replace customer service reps?

    No question, they will. And I don't think it's too far off either. Most queries handled by customer services representatives are basic, repetitive questions. Companies will need to retain some humans to handle more complex queries, but these numbers will be low.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2017

    Will meal kits be a hit on Walmart’s virtual shelves?

    Agreed! The truth is that the average consumer won't really know (or care about) whether it is Walmart or third party. This is a great way to test the market.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2017

    Penney gets fashionable with its Jacques Penné pop-up

    One major challenge with reaching young audiences is how fragmented the distribution channels to reach them are. J.C. Penney is doing the right thing by not relying on just one marketing tactic, but a variety in order to gain traction. My money is on the influencer meet-and-greets (and noise created around those) being the most effective.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Which off-price retailers will withstand the test of time?

    I agree Kiri, I think the experience encompassing the off-retail shop is a big factor for consumers. I think it would be drowned out online where coupon comparisons, eBay, et al reign supreme. The thrill of the hunt would be greatly lessened through tabs and clicks.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Should marketers personalize products using consumers’ DNA?

    There was a time when we couldn't imagine freely giving away our data to a company -- now most of us routinely do every time we log into social media. Is giving away biological information really out of the realm of possibility?Sadly, I fear not.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2017

    What is increased mobile holiday traffic doing for sales?

    Investment in mobile technology needs to be with the long term in mind. Retailers who wait until there is a proven shift in sales impact of mobile technologies to build it may find that by the time they have, they've lost these customers to others who were ahead of the curve.Numbers from the NRF show that millennial spend dominated in the recent holiday sales. Forward thinking retailers will implement now what this demographic will want tomorrow; and I believe that will become mobile-first-style shopping.

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