PROFILE

Kenneth Leung

Retail and Customer Experience Expert

Kenneth Leung was the enterprise industry director at Avaya, responsible for vertical industry strategies.

Kenneth previously was with Cisco Systems, with the last position as senior marketing strategy manager for Internet of Everything campaign. His roles at Cisco included development of private sector industries strategy and messaging at Cisco as well as retail industry marketing.

Prior to Cisco, he worked at IBM software group in WebSphere Commerce and Information Management groups with responsibility in marketing management for retail and e-commerce. Before joining IBM, Kenneth was retail industry director for Informix Software where he was responsible for market management and programs.

Kenneth Leung is currently working on his first marketing book and pursuing future opportunities. Learn more at:about.me/kennethleung

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  • Posted on: 06/20/2017

    Can humanizing self-checkouts reduce theft?

    For the organized cheaters, these subtle cues won't help. I think you have to put people at the self checkout for assistance and loss prevention purpose. A selfie camera view is probably too extreme, but notification of monitoring is definitely needed. Make sure you have the staffing at the checkout to handle the genuine user errors in addition to theft deterrence.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2017

    Why are so many associates being deprived of tech by their employers?

    Cost, and I think how the tech will be used to help speed/improve customer experience. If the employee isn't trained well to use the tool, it doesn't help the customer. I remember asking a store associate one time which aisle a product is on, he pulled out his phone and fired up the app to type in a query through product locator, and I can tell he could barely read the screen because the font isn't that big and screen too small. I am not sure that counts as customer service improvement via technology; more of a crutch for lack of training.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2017

    What happens now that Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods?

    Certainly gives the Amazon Fresh strategy a new boost with the store coverage, access to Whole Foods's vendor relations and private label goods, and access to a customer base that is following the lifestyle. The key will be the details, how does Amazon run Whole Foods in a way that doesn't alienate their core base, yet inject the Amazon supply chain capabilities, and integrate Amazon Fresh to Whole Food's delivery and store pickup system.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2017

    Is Walmart’s innovation leader right that the AR revolution is a sure thing?

    I think consumers are ready for AR when the access method is socially acceptable. Google glasses taught us that socially, consumers are not ready for very intrusive technology. We are already accepting people walking around staring at their screen to access and post information, when they figure out the non-intrusive user interface for AR like smart ear bud, it will spread....I still don't know why all the focus on AR is on visual cues, why not audio cues paired with voice recognition? Everyone's got headset on anyway.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2017

    Are ‘free’ product days worth retailers’ efforts?

    The key is to do cross-sell/upsell when you give away the free product to maximize your return, otherwise it becomes just an awareness exercise which isn't that bad.... It is also good for social media, the #tag for Nationaldonutday is amusing to follow too.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2017

    Are retailers selling their souls and giving away customers to Amazon?

    Amazon Echo is definitely a stealth shopping device. The question is whether retailers not selling Echo will make a difference. Consumers are going to buy Echo if it fits their lifestyle, whether it is from a retailer or directly from Amazon.Personally, I don't need Echo to tell me how to shop. I use Siri on my phone to get information the same way someone would use Echo.
  • Posted on: 06/04/2017

    Could 3-D tech move apparel manufacturing into stores?

    Basically technology goes back to to the tailoring tradition when suits are bespoken. I just don't know if the model works in terms of speed and cost for retailers given current manufacturing technologies. Manufacturing for scale is always going to drive cost per unit down and bespoken will cost more than take longer. Think about stores with in-store tailors and how busy they are versus traditional retail.Definitely want to push, but we are far from the Star Trek replicator technology in stores.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2017

    Can Walmart’s sweepstakes game teach the unbanked to ‘bank’ their money?

    Years ago before credit was more accessible, retailers were the source of banking for consumers. People cashed their paychecks, send remittances and did layaway for major purchases at the store. As omnichannel fragments the consumer market, every little bit of traction helps improve share of wallet for Walmart.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2017

    Will Amazon’s use of data transform how retailers operate stores?

    E-commerce retailers are by definition data-heavy since they benefit from the rich data tracking of the customer journey to the website and the ease of getting shopper feedback. It is interesting to see them leveraging it to store-level merchandising. The issue with brick-and-mortar retailers replicating that is that their e-commerce section may not yield a big enough sample size to generate the insight needed for store merchandising.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2017

    Will Walmart’s next-gen store fly with shoppers?

    It's all about trial and error. I'm not sure about touch-screen based technology given everyone is paying attention to their mobile device, I think that it depends on how much of a store's customer base is mobile-centric. It is easy to measure this by observing store Wi-Fi usage versus kiosk usage and use that to decide the best way forward.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2017

    What’s the ‘STORY’ with Jet.com’s grocery store?

    Jet.com can go into places that Walmart can't go because of its brand positioning. A pop-up store gives Jet.com and Walmart experience and data on how to operate a store in a high-density area without the baggage. This is a nice move by Jet.com and Walmart to continue innovation and testing which is needed to compete with Amazon in the omnichannel world.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2017

    Can Walmart dash past Amazon with its own product replenishment system?

    Personally not a user of the Amazon Dash, but I can see the appeal for the time-crunched distracted family needing it. The toothpaste example is probably too extreme, but for certain items like detergents, dryer sheets, soap or a water filter that auto replenishment does make sense.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2017

    Should retailers and restaurants post calorie info no matter what the FDA decides?

    Consumers want more information about what they are consuming so I think restaurants and retailers should post calorie information anyway, especially for casual dining food. The fact is that people aren't surprised that they are consuming a lot of calories when they dine out, but they should have the information. It's different for fine dining as I don't see Michelin 3-star restaurants needing to post calorie counts. That's where common sense needs to take hold (though that is getting uncommon these days given the litigious environment).
  • Posted on: 04/28/2017

    Is Walmart’s Store No. 8 breaking boundaries or bonds with its core customers?

    Walmart has to continue to innovate or be left behind. Walmart used technology to drive down the cost in the supply chain in order to become the low price leader, but that segment is not growing anymore -- any customers moving out of the segment are going to Amazon.Walmart has to continue to push the boundaries to retain loyalty as its base moves to other channels, like Amazon.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2017

    Will 7-Eleven’s plan to deal with worker shortages in Japan migrate to America?

    It isn't the technology, but the labor cost and availability in Japan that is driving them to use RFID technology. At the end of the day it is the business model that dictates the implementation of tech in retail. I don't see the cost justification of a c-store with all the food service items to go to RFID in the US, I think the Amazon stores will be a good test to see how practical the model works in some way in the US.

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