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: 12/02/2016

    A small retailer makes a bold move against big chains

    Nice move. Especially with the business with no ecommerce competition, it is down to the relationship with the customers in a store face to face setting. The message comes across genuine and it isn't too forceful/negative. Ultimately the store will need some differentiation from service or assortment that will keep customers coming back, not just a slogan.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2016

    What convinces retailers to innovate?

    Agreed, in particular given the new online-based specialty retailers who are built on innovating in customer experiences and product selection, the traditional incremental model in retailing leaves them further behind. Part of the challenge traditional retailers need to overcome is the short-term measurements and "not losing" which makes it impossible to pivot or make radical changes.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2016

    How important is convenience to motivating online holiday shoppers?

    For a segment of customers who value convenience, I think they are willing to forgo a little bit of discount to get what they need at the time they need it to get their time back. That's different than "willing to premium." There will be a significant segment of deal hunters whom Jasmine identifies as the "Race to the Bottom" crowd where price is everything and nothing else matters. For those, they aren't going to pay for convenience or service. It is up to the retailer to figure out the mix of the customers they want to draw, between the two.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2016

    Can revenue-sharing programs save independents?

    It is about the value add from the independents. In this case the independents provide the assembly and service experience for the bicycle manufacturing, which makes for great synergy and drives better customer experience. It will work for specific products that needs value add close to the customer.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2016

    Will Samsung’s recall issues ruin Best Buy’s Christmas?

    Samsung's problems with reflect on Best Buy, but that's not the core problem. The core problem is the value prop for Best Buy against the competition like Amazon.com for the the electronic buyer's wallet in the upcoming holiday season. Are there "must have" items that Best Buy can offer to drive traffic to the brand (store and online) or is it going to be me too? Would be curious to see the merchandising strategy now that Thanksgiving and the election is over and people settle in for the holidays.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2016

    Ode to retail: Death of the traditional mall

    The purpose of the mall is a gathering place for potential shoppers. They can be there for entertainment, dining, services and shopping. I think the key to future mall design is not in terms of big anchor stores in the corners to draw business to the smaller format stores in the middle, but a set of experiences and events that draws people in. The casinos in Las Vegas learnt the lesson well transforming from just a gathering of gambling tables to full scale entertainment complexes.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2016

    At Amazon Books, only Prime members get the best price

    No different than any rewards program giving discounts to members, in this case Amazon simply give a different price. In this case, Amazon is trying to see if it can operate a book store profitably and use it as one of the touch points for the Amazon Prime membership experience.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2016

    Review site showrooms online-only brands

    Guess the difference these days is with good delivery logistics, stores don't need to carry inventory to sell. In the case of beds, some of them have inventory, the smaller ones like Sleep Number beds don't. This one is odd since it is a showroom for products it doesn't sell.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2016

    Is Black Friday doomed to extinction?

    At this point Black Friday as a sales draw has declined because of dilution. When you open the store at Thanksgiving it reduces the impact on Black Friday and when you can buy online rather than fight the stores, only the hard-core margin killing bargain hunters are coming to the store. If retailers want to kick off the Xmas shopping season, do something on Black Friday to draw the crowds other than steep discounts ... maybe it is new product introduction, entertainment, etc. Or just give up the idea and do what Costco or Apple does, it is just another shopping day.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2016

    Driverless truck delivers 50K cans of Bud on supply run

    Technology will change transport logistics as technology improves. We went from rail to 18 wheelers, and the ability for trucks to handle long distance driving along highways will help reduce driver fatigue. I don't think the technology is there yet for end to end driverless delivery, but if it allows the drivers to rest during the long boring drives along the freeway, so much the better.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2016

    Will sky-high APR rates put an end to retailer credit cards?

    I used store credit cards to build credit and bought my first furniture and interview wardrobe. Once I got a credit history, the store credit cards went to the wayside, and the rewards credit cards made store credit cards obsolete for me. There will always be a place for high interest rate store cards for those with new or bad credit that need to finance purchases.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2016

    Should high-end brands avoid Amazon?

    Luxury brands need to go omnichannel but when you sell on Amazon you lose the exclusivity and control of customer experience and, more importantly, you just gave Amazon access to your customer information. That's why Apple kept the shopping experience and data in-house. For high-end exclusive brands it behooves them to build and maintain their own omnichannel experience focusing on high-touch service. Online does not mean discount, it means fulfilling the need of the customer for information and purchase.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2016

    Will Apple turn its stores into something more than stores?

    Apple store has never been just about shopping, it is about the brand experience and product support plus upsell and cross selling. Given the traffic volume to Apple store rivals amusement parks, the town square concept is a natural extension to the broad Apple ownership experience. Gives them a lot of equity to work with when the product doesn't exactly work right (such as quirks with the latest IOS upgrade).
  • Posted on: 10/18/2016

    Walmart finds it pays to pay workers better

    The next step to parity in pay is improvement in training and reducing turnovers. The profitability issue comes from a combination of online and in-store, but if Walmart lets the store deteriorate, it can't move forward. There will always be a customer segment for store purchasers that look for bargains and that goes up as the chance of downturn increases post election. It is a fine balancing act that Walmart has to walk on profits and positive store experience.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2016

    Will the “Made by Google” pop-up shops be followed by a retail chain?

    I don't see it until Google has enough merchandise and ecosystem to do an Apple-like flagship store, and only if it can figure out a store experience that would draw traffic. Apple Store set the bar for what a brand-specific specialty electronic store can do, and Google will need to find a niche to be successful in a brick and mortar permanent store. For right now, pop-up stores are the best way for Google to understand store experiences and take merchandising lessons.

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