Kim Garretson

Advisor, MyAlerts
Kim Garretson is an advisor to MyAlerts. His focus is on advising retailers about consumer-controlled marketing. With rising rates of ad blocking, email unsubscribes, plus consumer concerns over their data used in retargeting, Garretson advises retailers that big data predictive analytics is still "guessing" and that they should begin to simply ask their shoppers for permission to market to them on criteria they set.

Garretson previously co-founded Ovative/Group, a boutique digital retail consultancy in Minneapolis. Prior, he was a strategy and innovation executive at Best Buy where he served as the company's liaison to the venture capital industry and other centers of innovation research. He also was a research fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism's marketing arm, where he first began to research giving the control of marketing to consumers.

Garretson is also the co-founder of two digital agencies. One is now owned by global holding company Interpublic Group and the second is now Arc Worldwide, Leo Burnett's digital and direct marketing arm. He began his career as the consumer technology columnist for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2017

    Will Alexa become the voice of IoT?

    I disagree with Ross Rubin about Google gaining the advantage in the future. For one, Amazon continues to increase its dominance over Google as being the starting point for search on products and services.Also, expect Bezos/Amazon to make more moves to put it in a position to battle Google and Facebook as the starting point place to get news. Bezos's Washington Post already offers free subscriptions to the subscribers of dozens of other papers, and Bezos just bought a $23 million home in D.C. Why? He may be angling to get closer to the action on the future of journalism, and access to news via Amazon's IoT operating system certainly must play into those plans.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2017

    Are reports on the death of newspapers greatly exaggerated?

    Look for hybrid print/digital circulars to emerge this year. To date, the digital versions of print circulars have offered a terrible user experience. They have simply tried to copy the print versions with screens full of photos and copy, sometimes as PDFs, but always with the advertiser in charge by cramming as much stuff on the screen as possible. For 2017, think of the Pinterest user experience. The print circular will be the one-page front and back, and will exist mainly to lead readers online to create their own "pinboards" of the retailers' promoted products (with their pinboards combining products from a variety of the retail advertisers).With this personal shopper-like experience, each product can offer alerts on price drops, back-in-stock, newer models by the brands and more. Price comparison between retailers on specific products will be part of the experience as well.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2017

    Will 2017 be the year of the chatbot?

    I don't think 2017 will be the breakout year. Here are a couple recent critical reviews:Motherboard reviewed chatbot-enabled messaging app, Kik: “Chatbots are going to end up missing the part where they try to be my friend. Instead, they are just cutting to the chase and trying to sell me something, or push something my way for their own good.”And Bloomberg on chatbots: “Although the majority of America’s millennials use Facebook, their approach to online shopping is systemic and drawn out, not necessarily in line with the immediate call-to-action button. ‘The average millennial might look at as many as 10 reviews to make a purchase,’ said Nora Ganim Barnes of the Center for Marketing Research. ‘Is Messenger going to work to do that? I don’t think so. I think it’s missing too many pieces that people have come to rely on and enjoy.'”
  • Posted on: 01/06/2017

    What will the sale of Craftsman mean for Sears and Stanley Black & Decker?

    What I haven't read in this news is whether Stanley Black & Decker is already a supplier to the Craftsman brand with its manufacturing capacity. Even if it is not, one major benefit of this deal will be the ability for the buyer to make better use of its global manufacturing ecosystem, and that could mean U.S. jobs and other benefits. I'm wondering when the Kenmore brand will go the same way.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2017

    Will Millennials lead a resurgence in home cooking?

    I am the father of two Millennials and in this survey of two, they both are cooking much more at home than they experienced growing up. Both plan to start using the new AllRecipes skill with Amazon Echo which talks them through preparing recipes from a database of 60,000 options.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2017

    Will ‘Digital Day’ become a mainstay for Amazon?

    Of course Amazon will push the envelope on digital media events, if for no other reason than that the company is going all-in on producing and owning its own digital media. It has five nominations for its TV content and five for its movie Manchester By the Sea at the Golden Globes next week, and it secured a handful of Emmy nominations last year. For a great assessment of how Amazon is on track to become the first company valued at $1 trillion, listen to the L2 research team on its predictions about the company for 2017 and beyond.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2017

    How can retailers make online reviews more useful?

    Regarding the Best Buy summarization tactic, this is being done manually by staff reading all the reviews. But it's beginning to emerge for auto-creation via AI machine learning technologies such as that from the company Linguastat. This technology can in seconds "read" all the reviews and extract summaries such as the top ten reasons reviewers cite as why to buy or why to avoid.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2016

    How are manufacturers failing retailers?

    Here's the problem with what's being proposed in terms of better data sharing and communications between the manufacturers and retailers: no knowledge of the future purchasing trends and plans of the consumer. We are in an age where it's often said the consumer is in control. Yet the industry still is merely guessing at what the consumer wants and will do in the future, despite their tech tools.Sixteen years ago Seth Godin coined the term Permission Marketing and proposed simply asking consumers for consent to market to them based on their future interests and plans. I predict 2017 will be the year when we see this new vital dataset emerging at scale, and many of these issues we see today will start to disappear.
  • Posted on: 12/20/2016

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Dick’s Sporting Goods vs. Toys ‘R’ Us

    The Dick's spot is brilliant and true sports enthusiasts should want to search it online and watch it several times. For instance, the basketball player wears number 33 and the football player wears number 84. These numbers were/are worn by some of each sport's hall of fame giants, and I had fun searching and reviewing the lists for each. And then there are the touches of humor that hearken back to our own history in sports. For instance, who as a youngster playing tee-ball did not first hit the tee instead of the ball? Or break a window with a great hit?The Toys "R" Us ad is great too, but it's a common story played out in media coverage of similar surprise. Not a criticism, but an observation: This spot is recycled from Toys "R" Us's 2015 campaign. The Dick's spot is new.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2016

    Amazon developing Uber-like trucking app

    What's interesting to me, being in retail consulting in Minneapolis, is that Amazon is basing much of this software development there. They are aggressively recruiting talent from Best Buy, Target and their software vendors, up to more than 100 engineers. It will be interesting to see how this works in terms of delivering the final product on time.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2016

    A marketplace for pop-ups wants to disrupt the retail real estate business

    I think what's interesting is that there are more firms popping up around this trend in addition to Storefront. For instance, Susan Sandler's Pop Up Summer creates pop-ups not relying on retail space, like the Birch Box Beach Cart. And Etsy is doing a lot to help individual sellers and groups of its sellers put together innovation pop-ups. I see a lot of innovation coming in the space in 2017.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2016

    Amazon offers incentives for Prime members to wait on deliveries

    I agree with Consumerist. I selected the option three times last month, promising $5.99 in credits for each. But there is no way I can see in the My Account info that these credits are there. And I have not yet purchased any of the Amazon options mentioned to see if the credits automatically apply. I'm not that concerned about Amazon-only purchases for the credits, but I would expect there to be a section in your account settings to keep track of these credits.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2016

    Will e-gifting replace gift cards?

    Nikki, as you know, some of the retailers mentioned are turning their wish lists into watch lists, with alerts for price drops, back-in-stocks and new items for each product on their list. That means when you mix in Loop functionality, gifters can either buy off the watch list or set up alerts to watch items of interest and then make the transaction once they are alerted. This increases the customer satisfaction because the gifter knows that the person selected the gift to begin with.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2016

    Zara succeeds with speed

    Jasmine, good point. We are finding that sending the message "Sorry, we're out" can be strengthened with a simple opt-in for something like, "Alert me the next time a similar item is available." Going further, the opt-in can be, "Select what features you would like to see for alerts the next time we have similar items" with a checkbox of options.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2016

    Zara succeeds with speed

    Speed is critically important in fashion these days, but it does increase the risk of overstocks and out-of-stocks when bets are made by the brands on their own historical data and trend data. That data of course is always backwards-looking. But, as I've written about before, there now is forward-looking data in the form of alert opt-ins by individual shoppers that can specify exactly what the customers are interested in seeing from the brand in the future. For instance, new items that have certain criteria matching current items (or missing from current items). The apparel brands who are capturing this first-party data are reporting significant drops in out-of-stocks and overstocks.

Contact Kim