PROFILE

Liz Crawford

VP Research, Product Ventures

Liz Crawford is the author of “The Shopper Economy” (McGraw-Hill), winner of the Marketing Book of the Year Silver Award 2013.  Today she is VP Strategy & Insights for MatchShopLab, a division of Match Marketing Group.

She brings over 20 years in brand management and consulting experience with a concentration in innovation. Her concept and new product launch, Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner, won the Edison Award for New Products. She has launched over a dozen new products into the CPG market.

Her clients over the years have included Publix Supermarkets, Bausch & Lomb, Kimberly Clark, Safeway, MeadWestVaco, Kraft, P&G, Dannon, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Nabisco, Colgate, Ford Motor, Pillsbury, and Lipton. Liz has experience conducting focus groups in Europe, China, Japan, Australia, Mexico and Morocco and throughout the U.S., reaching into a wide array of demographic and psychographic segments.

Liz has also contributed articles to publications like CBSMarketWatch, National Review Online, The Hub, Chain Drug Review and Shopper Marketing Magazine. She taught several semesters as an adjunct marketing professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and New York University’s Stern MBA program. She has an MBA from New York University and a BA in English from Columbia University.

Liz has been quoted in , BusinessWeek, Brandweek, Barron’s, Women’s Wear Daily, Fox News, ABC News, Public Radio, the Associated Press, Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Washington Times, Drug Store News, and New Products Magazine among others.

Author of "The Shopper Economy" (McGraw-Hill), Winner of the Marketing Book of the Year Award, Silver Award
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  • Posted on: 05/22/2017

    How should self-checkout be incentivized?

    The self-checkout options will continue to proliferate (loved or despised) until we see improved automation.The problem isn't self checkout per se -- it's the clunky technology. When the technology is truly labor-saving then we will see it everywhere. Until then, shoppers are performing the labor usually reserved for store personnel.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2017

    Will chatbots drive a ‘conversational commerce’ trend?

    Yes -- chatbots are the next wave of consumer interaction. What will make them work? Sharp artificial intelligence. Too mechanical, and the users will drift away after their initial curiosity. But if the AI is engaging, unpredictable, delightful, funny and informative -- it's a home run. Chatbots can make interactive advertising on a one-to-one basis fun, in a way that hasn't been achieved to date (without a human being). But beware -- don't hammer users over the head with upselling.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2017

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

    Does the core Walmart consumer want this? Do the people who want this shop Walmart? It seems to be neither fish nor fowl.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2017

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

    RFID notwithstanding, I do believe that we will see greater levels of automation in brick & mortar stores. The reason may or may not be a labor shortage. The reason will be the expense of hiring human beings, along with increasing margin pressures of competing with online shopping solutions.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2017

    Would Albertsons and Whole Foods make a good match?

    A price-driven retailer managing a high-end brand experience? Bad news.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2017

    What customer service lessons can be learned from United Airlines?

    I'm not convinced that the in-store service culture (whatever its flaws) is to blame for the rush toward e-tailing. Instead, online retailing is booming because most Millennials prefer to avoid human interaction -- when buying anything. Service isn't the culprit. I believe it's the sense of personal control and instant gratification that has come from a digital lifestyle that is driving the migration to e-tailing.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2017

    Should the same-store sales metric be retired?

    Same-store metrics won't go away anytime soon -- however, they may be used differently than they have in the past. Before the age of the internet, same-store metrics were a gauge of overall retailer health. But in the era of omnichannel selling, location-based metrics will be used to help diagnose profitability of the retailer holistically. These metrics may go beyond sales, basket and frequency, and extend into uses of the real estate for supporting warehousing of fulfillment goods for online orders. The profitability of the entire "box" will be the evolution of the metrics.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2017

    Should stores charge customers extra to use disposable cups?

    I'm not sure charging consumers for the cups will do anything but tick them off. I think it is probably more effective to create cups that fit within our current behaviors (throwing into a recycle bin or regular trash can), and make them perform better after disposal.
  • Posted on: 03/31/2017

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

    Direct-to-consumer marketing is the future for many, but not all, CPG categories. We will see a dramatic separation between the way produce and paper goods are shopped.In the past, the shopping dynamic was set -- for virtually every category of consumer goods. A shopper went to a store. The store might sell furniture or fruit or fashion, and the process was the same or very similar. Now, higher-involvement categories remain shopper destinations, while lower-involvement replenishment goods are becoming less worthy of a physical visit. The coming shake-out of category shopping dynamics will reveal which products will still sell to consumers using physical locations.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2017

    Is ‘experiential retail’ taking a new form?

    Experiential retail? It's about creating a compelling physical destination for shoppers. This could be a Costco-type treasure hunt, a sensual delight like the Whole Foods produce section or an invitation to play with color as at a MAC Cosmetics counter.Sure, staging the whole scene is immersive, but is it compelling? Connected to brand? And importantly, will this experience reflect well on the brand? I could imagine a scenario where a consumer might feel that the furnishings remind them of staying in a hotel and therefore deselect them.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2017

    Lowe’s innovates because it has to

    Innovation labs are critical to the future of retail -- they are the incubators of the Store of the Future. But the successful innovators will focus on the needs of the shopper first and cool technology second. Let shoppers and their "jobs to be done" drive the process of invention. Otherwise, the initiative can become a solution in search of a problem.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Are chains cannibalizing their own in-store sales with e-commerce?

    Better to be on the bus than run over by the bus. Retailers who are successfully selling (and cannibalizing) their wares online are surviving in the digital age. Those who are not "cannibalizing" themselves may not live to see tomorrow. How long will physical stores exist as destinations? At a minimum, there will be (and are) fewer actual trips to brick-and-mortar ... therefore -- stay online, stay alive.
  • Posted on: 03/03/2017

    Will VR/AR keep consumers out of stores?

    The fascinating fact that consumers are interested in using VR to avoid going to a physical store bears investigation. What are the primary drawbacks to physical shopping? What are the irreplaceable assets? What does tech do well and poorly?Answering these questions, category by category, should begin to point the way to defining the new role of in-store shopping. Creating a physical destination, which is still relevant and irreplaceable, needs to be the mission of retailers who plan to survive the next wave of technology.
  • Posted on: 03/01/2017

    Will Target’s $7 billion investment pay off in market share gains?

    Brian Cornell is a retail leader who is really honest about the changes in the marketplace; he is preparing Target to respond effectively. Smart move: investing in small format stores, which Target does especially well. The urbanization of Millennials tees this up for success. Target carves out a space more versatile than CVS, and more upscale than Walmart.However, the ROI on their investment in digital remains to be seen. Why? The position of Target in the online space is unclear. A quick survey of other big digital players shows the challenge. Amazon is the go-to etailer, especially for subscription CPGs. Walmart.com seems to be a combination of price and long-tail items. In the apparel space, there are many competitive players. Carving out a compelling and differentiated space online seems to be the biggest challenge. Good luck to them.
  • Posted on: 02/28/2017

    Will smart shelves ever be smart enough for Kroger and other retailers?

    I agree with the comments so far -- smart shelves are still an emerging technology. There is potential here to truly enhance the shopping experience (including augmented reality functions, personalized messages to shopper histories, etc.). However, this is still "potential." Not only do the physical stores need to upgrade their facilities but the shoppers need to be re-trained too. This is a heck of a process on top of a routine trip which is notoriously quick.

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