PROFILE

Martin Mehalchin

Partner, Lenati, LLC

Martin Mehalchin leads the Retail & Consumer Customer Experience practice at Lenati, a Seattle-based sales and marketing strategy consulting firm. Martin has spent his career working with executives and managers to help them define their strategies and then translate those strategies into results. He has 15+ years of experience developing strategies and driving innovation for retailers and brands. He is an experienced speaker and seminar leader and he particularly enjoys helping clients understand how to use advanced technologies to drive business growth.

With specialties in Customer Experience and Loyalty, Lenati’s Retail and Consumer practice helps the world’s best-known brands deepen their connection with millions of customers around the globe. Our proprietary research tools enable a deeper understanding of your market and customers.  Taking a holistic view across all channels, we design new ways to align every part of your business around your customer.

Follow him on Twitter @mehalchin

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  • Posted on: 02/16/2017

    What will Walmart gain from its Moosejaw acquisition?

    Does anyone else find it funny that they spent $3 billion on Jet and only $51 million on Moosejaw. These valuations are based on hype levels, not fundamentals. Looks like they got a good deal on Moosejaw.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2017

    Will its massive jobs announcement change public perceptions of Amazon?

    What I am most curious about is how many of the 100,000 will be in brick and mortar retail locations? Bookstores? AmazonGo?
  • Posted on: 01/12/2017

    Amazon offers yet more perks for Prime members with a cash-back card

    This move will extend Prime's lead as the richest and most compelling membership program in all of commerce. The retailer that might need to worry about this the most is Costco. As Amazon pushes into grocery and other strong Costco categories, the opportunity to earn 5% back could move share of wallet for shoppers who are members of both Costco and Prime.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2017

    Will 2017 be the year retailers start making their stores relevant again?

    I'm still seeing a lot of incrementalism and in the worst cases complete inability to make decisions. The key to reinventing your store experience is to really understand your consumer and be honest about your brand. A few brands have the assets and consumer love that allows them to pull off a "surprise and delight," flagship store as entertainment destination strategy. The rest should focus on making stores a relevant component of a near effortless overall shopping experience.There are a few lighthouse examples (Nike Soho, Amazon Go, Rent the Runway, Kit and Ace) pointing the way toward what the future role of the store could be. It's past time for the rest of retail to figure out the formula that's uniquely suited for each brand and it's consumers.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2017

    Will 2017 be the year of the chatbot?

    Chatbots are taking off rapidly in the customer service function and the business case for them in contact centers is very compelling. That's where I expect the focus to be in 2017. Rapid adoption in service scenarios will generate the data to help train the AI behind the bot technologies, so we will see rapid improvements there. 2018 may then be the year that we see chatbots spread from service function to broad adoption by retailers seeking to drive engagement and sales.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2017

    What do Millennials want in store design?

    Echoing Ralph and Joan's comments, this study is mislabeled. It's about students at the University of Florida and not representative of all Millennials. One of the biggest mistakes marketers or retailers can make is to treat Millennials (or any other generation) as one unitary demographic. Rather than relying on studies like these, retailers would be better advised to do their own research on what their specific current and target shoppers want in an experience.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2017

    Are convenience stores in for a big year in 2017?

    The convenience sector is one of the few where brick-and-mortar holds structural advantages over online so the sector remains well positioned for the future. The fact that Amazon is opening a convenience store only serves to further the point. Those operators who keep their formats and assortments fresh should win.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2017

    Will store closings and layoffs end Macy’s woes?

    Macy's and its traditional peers and competitors really need to figure out a relevant role for the department store in today's world. The basic format and operation of the typical Macy's, Nordstrom or Neiman's has not changed in most of our adult lives while consumer habits and the competitive set have changed immensely!
  • Posted on: 01/03/2017

    Should Costco raise its membership fees?

    Costco has room to increase its fees and still come in under Amazon Prime. Our household happily belongs to both. We use Costco for bulk staples and Prime for harder to find items that we need in a hurry.I do think that Costco has regrettably adopted a fixed mindset with regards to their online business. They have such a great brand and an enormous customer base, they should be experimenting with new and different online offerings.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2016

    Should department stores talk less about Millennials and more about ‘heavy spenders’?

    Lots of great comments on this one. The overall point that Millennials are not a uniform segment is valid but also not a new finding by any means. Using behavioral and attitudinal data to segment and target is a step in the right direction but it's not enough. As other commenters have pointed out, department stores need to revisit their entire format and business model to define an experience that is more relevant and compelling in today's retail landscape.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2016

    Is Restoration Hardware’s membership program flawed?

    Let's remember that Restoration Hardware is going after a specific high-end customer. The membership program's lack of appeal to moderate-income shoppers is irrelevant.Along with the membership strategy, Restoration Hardware is making a huge investment in a build-out of mansion-like stores in Chicago, New York, Seattle and other cities. In order to help both investments pay off, there needs to be an experiential aspect to the membership program to pull the customer into the store more often than they would otherwise visit. Member-only cocktail parties or design talks at the store would increase engagement with the brand and could help drive purchases of soft goods and small accessories that would fill the spending gaps between major home refurnishings.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2016

    Will the newest Walmart c-store concept be the one that sticks?

    Amazon Go is launching in the heart of a big city and seems aimed at Millennials and the tech savvy. This Walmart format sounds much more like a suburban or even ex-urban concept. The US is a big market with many different types of consumers so both formats could find their fans and convert them into core consumers.Lee Peterson brings up some great points above. Pickup and Fuel could find a consumer base and still fail because of the organizational, logistical and cultural issues surrounding the launch of a new concept inside a behemoth the size of Walmart.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2016

    Are retail surveys hopelessly flawed?

    The rise of Uber and App Store ratings on a 5 point scale has completely changed consumer expectations around surveys. They expect surveys to be quick, one-click affairs, but they also appreciate the option to give free form feedback (which can then be mined using text analytics tools).Retailers (and others) should not use consumer surveys as a "one size fits all" solution. They should instead employ a variety of techniques to achieve different aims.Short, transactional consumer surveys are useful for a quick pulse check; they are best for comparing relative performance of different stores or teams and for closed loop approaches to intervene and "make it right" with detractors. To gain deeper understanding of consumer behavior or business performance retailers need to put in the work to conduct more extensive and scientific market research whether that be via a professionally designed survey, structured ethnographic research or many other established techniques.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2016

    Will e-gifting replace gift cards?

    Gift cards in general are a great business opportunity that many retailers fail to fully exploit. eGifting is the fastest growing segment of the market, expanding by about 20%/year. If your gift card program is a laggard now, it would make sense to focus on eGifting and start with a distinctive program such as the one offered by Loop Commerce.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2016

    Will the tech behind Amazon Go redefine convenience at retail?

    Here's a link to the blog posted this morning that expands on my comments.

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