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

  • 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.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2017

    Will IKEA find success in standalone restaurants?

    I can see them doing pop ups or trucks to help promote the IKEA brand. The cafe food at IKEA for me is a convenience food for family shoppers and novelty food (I get their soft serve every trip) for some. A standalone restaurant with all the fixed cost with none of the traffic from shoppers to lean on doesn't seem to make sense.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2017

    Should Bloomingdale’s sales associates receive commissions for online sales?

    There is no perfect solution here. The ability to map the online sales journey to individual sales reps isn't there (I haven't seen anything that can do it). The technology that can track a shopper's journey to the store is primarily through mobile and Wi-Fi, which is imprecise. One has to break things down into components: BOPIS transactions should be compensated because you can tie that to a sales associate who is supporting the customer. Another part would be some sort of pool compensation for online sales within the geographical coverage area of the store. Another part would be restructuring how sales associates are compensated in the store based on influence amount and final transaction amount.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2017

    Are Millennials and Gen Z more about convenience or price when they shop?

    I am not sure most consumers switch apps to shop by brand. I think mobile shopping in general (app or not) created a generation of shoppers that are comfortable with technology and have higher expectations of information and service. Some will lean towards deals and lower price; some will lean towards convenience and service -- all driven on mobile.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2017

    Will Amazon’s on-demand manufacturing create trouble for fast-fashion?

    I wonder if this is a precursor to Amazon going into private-label garment manufacturing rather than creating an in-house brand of on-demand clothing. Part of fashion is the design process and I am not sure Amazon wants/needs to be a fashion house. It makes more sense to work with new designers (Project Runway-type collaborations) to create limited runs on-demand to satisfy consumer needs, and do custom pieces as necessary.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2017

    Is UPS’s Saturday announcement a sign of deliveries to come?

    This is going to be interesting for USPS which has been surviving on package deliveries to cover for losses in mail volume. Lower-cost Saturday delivery was one of the things that kept its differentiation. Now that Amazon is doing its own delivery and UPS is doing Saturday, that puts more pressure on USPS which has been taking losses.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2017

    Are daily deal sites obsolete?

    Never been a Groupon fan because as a consumer, the restrictions on redemption of the deals is a turnoff and for retailers other than quick selling perishables, it doesn't drive new customers that buy during non discounted periods. Retailers are also better now at building their own social media following, and social media companies are now in the act. I don't see a long-term differentiation going forward
  • Posted on: 04/11/2017

    Would Whole Foods do better under new ownership?

    Whole Foods's strength is brand loyalty and lifestyle, not just being an organic food purveyor. The key for Whole Foods success in the future is innovation and transformation as organic products become more mainstream and drive to a "whole lifestyle" relationship with their customers. Trying to be the "Walmart of Organics" I don't think will work in the long run....
  • Posted on: 04/07/2017

    Should stores charge customers extra to use disposable cups?

    Tough one. From a customer experience perspective, disposable cups provide the best speed of delivery and consistency at fast-service coffee places like Starbucks. I don't think charging more for disposable cups would work. Rather, a discount for bringing your own cup would work better initially until customer behavior changes. Also if someone is drinking their espresso on-site like I do most of the time, they might prefer real cups -- I prefer real cups, anyway.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2017

    Can Amazon Cash open e-commerce up to millions of underbanked consumers?

    It is another low risk approach for Amazon to service under-tapped market. If the pickup rate is low they can quietly shutter it. Any incremental dollars they tap is additional wallet share.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2017

    BrainTrust throwdown: Is it inevitable that tech companies will dominate retail?

    Walmart was the first retailer to demonstrate that tech investments work in retail with its mastery of supply chain logistics and data when selling commodity products in stores using technology. Amazon is the second demonstrator, showing that the same approach works on the web, and both are now racing to see who can win in the omnichannel race. For everyone else there is a decision to make; win by technology or win by product assortment, and decide how much investment in customer experience is technology- or human-based.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2017

    Will mobile order and pay-only stores improve Starbucks’ operational performance?

    Retailers have to satisfy different customer experience needs and mobile ordering is one of them. Trying and learning is an important part of modern retailing and large multi-year designed concept store initiatives don't fly in today's world. Quick tests, learning and adopting what is learned is the only way to succeed. Starbucks is in the business of selling coffee experience and it needs to continue to innovate to keep ahead of competition.
  • Posted on: 03/31/2017

    Why is Amazon trying to convince CPG giants to go consumer direct?

    Amazon is betting that the interim step of going directly for CPG companies is e-Commerce, and who better to talk to about that than Amazon? Also remember, Amazon's business includes infrastructure and fulfillment -- a good idea to be a distributor of goods and infrastructure provider for CPG companies going direct.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2017

    Why is the U.S. so bad at airport retailing?

    I think one of the reasons is that for most of the airports on the top of the list, most of the travel is international, and therefore duty free. International vacations drive more shopping as well. If you are just traveling from NY to LA, the mood to shop at the airport just isn't there. Most of the airport shopping from my point of view is done in in the Duty Free area, and therefore with the bulk of US travel at airports being domestic, it doesn't make sense.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2017

    How will AmazonFresh Pickup stores affect the grocery business?

    I think the Amazon pickup model works for high density urban markets where traditional grocery stores have smaller footprints and smaller selections due to the cost per square foot, and the customers are more time crunched, and have less storage space and therefore shop more frequently. However for suburbia I don't see that model working as well since parking is available, stores are larger and more geared towards browsing shoppers versus quick fulfillment. The goal for Amazon should not to be the Top five grocer by volume, but run a profitable grocery business that allows upsell, cross-sell and pickup, or other Amazon items and services.

Contact Kenneth