PROFILE

Keith Anderson

SVP, Strategy & Insight, Profitero
Keith Anderson is senior vice president, strategy & insights, for Profitero, where he leads product strategy and the analyst team.

Keith’s insights on technology and retail have been featured in Financial Times, re/code, Bloomberg, Forbes Magazine, and Shopper Marketing Magazine.

He has been a featured speaker at RetailNet Group, Brand Activation Association, Food Marketing Institute, Retail Council of Canada, and other retail, technology, and media events.
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  • Posted on: 10/30/2017

    Johnson & Johnson takes aim at digital disruption

    J&J's approach is solid -- protect the base and adapt to capture growth. The points about competing with emerging brands and winning in emerging channels are salient.The complexity, however, for large CPGs often derives from the inherent tension between the two objectives I highlighted above (protecting the base and capturing growth). The drivers of growth and change -- usually new companies with different definitions of success and sources of capital -- are on offense.For big CPGs, developing new and locally relevant brands or pursuing new channels and business models is not straightforward to reconcile with a focus on productivity and cost reduction.It can be done, but it requires a clear strategy and definition of success, organizational alignment, a culture willing to adapt and a fair bit of courage.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2017

    Amazon to begin making in-home deliveries in 37 cities

    Among the heaviest users of Prime, I suspect this program may have some appeal. For those with concerns about "porch pirates," it may eliminate some friction or perceived risk.I'm intrigued that it's rolling out to 37 areas immediately. Amazon typically pilots new initiatives on a smaller scale and only rolls them out when they've been tested and optimized, but this seems like an aggressive rollout.If it does significantly improve the Amazon customer experience, it will be another lock-in factor and yet another bar-raiser for Amazon competitors.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2017

    What marketing lessons can we learn from Amazon?

    First, I'd challenge the claim that Amazon's prices are "often" not the lowest on the web. We have data that suggests otherwise (and will publish it very soon).Of the elements presented here, the comments about Amazon's customer obsession (under "place") is probably closest to what has driven Amazon's growth. Amazon builds and helps people buy products and services that are in-demand with as little friction and fuss as possible. And they're always striving to outdo themselves.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2017

    Will customers let Walmart deliver in-fridge?

    It may not catch on overnight, but it has potential. Attended delivery is one of the biggest barriers to online grocery adoption. Other solutions, like dry ice-packed totes, can only keep food fresh for so long -- and some households have concerns about leaving groceries on their doorstep.The security concerns are valid but can likely also be overcome. Presumably, households that will pay for the convenience of online grocery and have smart locks installed may also have additional home security equipment. And there's a lot that a retailer can do too, from carefully screening employees to monitoring their location. Countless other domestic services, from home cleaning and handyman work to child care, have already tackled many of these.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2017

    Will Postmates’ on-demand delivery work better as a subscription model?

    Eliminating per-order delivery charges is a proven way to drive frequency and loyalty. But, to Tom's point, it significantly impacts unit economics, requiring ever more scale to be economically sustainable.This is a big bet that will require yet more faith and venture capital. With (as Max notes) intensifying competition, this may be the right move but it's far from a sure win.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2017

    Are vendors delivering better online experiences than multi-brand sellers?

    I'd be cautious about interpreting these responses to mean that brands' own direct-to-consumer sites are a substitute for multi-brand retailers.If you're going direct-to-consumer and you *don't* provide a better experience and richer product information, you need to seriously question why anyone would bother visiting your site to begin with.But even if you do, don't expect D2C to substitute for retail; shoppers shop each for different reasons.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Will the Walmart/Google voice deal give Amazon’s Alexa a run for its money?

    Partnering with Google accelerates Walmart's rollout of voice commerce by giving it immediate access to an installed base of Google Home device owners and sparing Walmart the investment of time and capital to build its own voice search and commerce capabilities.Walmart appears to be choosing to partner instead of building or buying. That decision always comes with trade-offs, like losing control over Google's roadmap, limited (or shared) access to customer data, limited (or shared) control of the customer's experience and uncertainty about the long-term cost of supporting voice commerce.It's notable to me, for example, that Google Home shoppers will be completing multi-item purchases via the Google Express app, not Walmart's app.Ultimately it's a step forward for Walmart.But I wonder if this may not be the first of many steps. I've been told that Walmart's Store No. 8 tech incubator may also have a voice play, and I think over the long-term retailers will want proprietary or white-label voice commerce capabilities so that they maintain more control over customers' experience and data.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2017

    Will Amazon’s two-minute pickup service appeal to students?

    Having not visited one of these installations, it sounds like a convenience store -- with product selection and purchase mediated by technology (site, apps, voice).On the surface, it may not feel like a huge leap forward in convenience. But college students experience the world through their devices and if Amazon can help them find and buy items more quickly or comfortably, this may have legs.And if it does, it may have longer-term implications to the entire convenience channel.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2017

    Should all retailers offer subscription services?

    Digital commerce has certainly played a role in elevating competition beyond everyday transactions.Along with subscription boxes, membership models and delivery passes, item-level subscriptions, and even the lock-in effects of devices like the Echo, are eroding traffic and baskets in brick-and-mortar retail.I agree with the guidance to retailers above. Traditional loyalty programs are losing relevance compared to the convenience and comparatively greater value of membership, auto-replenishment and easy re-ordering programs.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    Will military tech give Amazon an edge delivering packaged meals?

    MATS technology might help overcome some of the supply chain issues related to problems noted in the article, including the expense of maintaining a cold chain and losses due to shrink. The key question will be how appealing these meals are to consumers, particularly versus comparably convenient options.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Will Aldi upset the grocery home delivery cart?

    Many Aldi shoppers shop there out of choice, not necessarily need. The value equation (quality for the money) makes sense.If Aldi and Instacart can land on pricing and convenience fees that align with Aldi's core value proposition, this test may help them reach new shoppers and ultimately sell more. Perhaps Aldi will be among the first to make online grocery economically sensible for the masses. (Though I do wonder if this test isn't a stepping stone to Aldi developing its own capabilities, which would seem better aligned with their focus on relentlessly excellent and low-cost operations.)This is also yet another signal that offering convenience as an option is increasingly considered table stakes.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2017

    Is online fulfillment from stores too complex for e-grocery?

    As Paula's experience underscores, the status quo is definitely not optimal. Customer-friendly substitution policies can help in the short-term, but retailers will need to continue to invest in better inventory management systems as demand for online grocery builds.There is also the challenge of serving two masters with a single physical asset. Online grocers like FreshDirect and Amazon fulfill orders from fulfillment centers optimized for non-store operations, enabling better demand forecasting, more efficient order-picking and, ultimately, fresher perishables.When online volume accounts for more than 10 percent of a store's volume, it starts to have serious impacts on the in-store shopper's customer experience and the overall store's economics. Staying in-stock at the physical shelf is harder, labor management is harder and shoppers don't like competing in the aisles with eager uniformed order-pickers.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Are $3.00 generics a sound grocery e-tailing model?

    This looks like a very early version of an interesting idea. Single price points are intriguing and cheap is chic. But Brandless will face stiff competition from Amazon and Jet, which have significantly better demand data.The Brandless membership and delivery fee architecture is also a non-starter -- they'll have to adjust it to attract mainstream customers. Single price points may also force pack configurations that don't align with consumer preferences. And without reviews or richer product content, they'll have a tough time convincing shoppers of their quality.Still, I wouldn't count them out based on this first iteration.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2017

    How can grocers capitalize on small brand allure?

    Some retail and manufacturing models are demand-driven; some are supply-driven.Emerging brands are, almost by definition, demand-driven. They've discovered under-served consumers or needs and built products and brands that resonate. They often don't have a large legacy catalog or widespread distribution to which they're beholden. They follow demand and growth and move decisively to capture it.These products are widely available and easy to find online, where some of them first appear and begin to grow exponentially. The products are on-trend, and shoppers searching for specific attributes know they can find those products online.A growing number of these brands are launching online (on Amazon or direct-to-consumer) and then bringing a success story to store-based grocers who are hungry for growth.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    How smart is Jet.com’s decision to delist Costco’s Kirkland brand?

    This is a sensible move. Whether to sell competitors' products depends heavily on context.Is the competitor's product the category leader (as in the case of Amazon's Echo and Kindle devices)? If so, declining to sell competitors' brands can mean essentially opting out of those categories or significantly disappointing shoppers. On the other hand, if you can offer meaningful choice without the competitor's brand -- no problem.Secondly, do you have your own competing brand or product that you're incentivized to support? In the case of Member's Mark, the answer is yes.As the retail value chain continues to blur, with retailers masquerading as manufacturers and marketplaces and manufacturers masquerading as retailers, a degree of "co-opetition" is inevitable. But there are many reasonable exceptions.

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