Min-Jee Hwang

Director of Marketing, Wiser Solutions, Inc.
Min-Jee Hwang is the Director of Marketing at Wiser Solutions, Inc. Wiser is the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions. She develops market positioning and strategy for Wiser’s solutions, which cover the spectrum of pricing, assortment, and promotions for retailers and brands.

With over 4 years of working in the retail SaaS solution space, she has expertise in eCommerce data analytics, market trends, retail intelligence, and more. She led the Marketing team through an acquisition by Quad Analytix in 2016 and a merger with an in-store retail solutions company in 2017.

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  • Posted on: 10/18/2017

    Should the holiday selling season be retired?

    The holiday season will always be primetime for retail, but the proper approach needs to be rethought. Online shopping has, without a doubt, changed how we shop during the holidays. Waking up at 4 am the day after Thanksgiving to get into our freezing cars isn't exactly appealing when we could check out from our couches instead. The holiday promotional calendar is wider than it used to be and that's ok. Retailers need to focus on multiple touch points, instead of the antiquated way of thinking that one or two days will be the litmus test for success over a two (or more!) month period. Smart retailers will do their homework to find out what shoppers want (in terms of experience, pricing, and assortment), when they want it, and provide that every time. Flexibility is key to stability.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2017

    What is the online marketplace opportunity for retailers?

    Online marketplaces are a staple for online shoppers as well as smaller brands and retailers. It's a great move to boost exposure and it is often used alongside other selling channels. Selling purely on marketplaces is also possible, and especially streamlined when it comes to Fulfilled by Amazon, but of course it comes with trade-offs. Brands and retailers will undoubtedly gain more sales if they are properly optimized for the specific marketplace (prices, assortment, product information), but they also lose some control over the process and are subject to strict rules. I don't see marketplaces slowing down any time soon, as the benefits outweigh any potential downfalls for shoppers, brands, and retailers alike.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2017

    A mall carves out pop-up space for online brands

    This concept reminds me of Snapchat. Bear with me here. Part of Snapchat's success is that there's always something new to delight users, so they keep engaging with the app. Similarly, The Edit is giving shoppers a reason to keep coming back. While it will take time to see if this works out the way they intended, the idea behind it is a step in the right direction: engrain the concept that, in order to succeed, malls need to provide a new and exciting experience to shoppers.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2017

    Will lessons learned at Amazon Books translate to Whole Foods?

    With Amazon selling Whole Foods products online, the potential for reviews on those items has skyrocketed due to Amazon's massive reach. I agree with the others here saying that books and groceries are very different products and I think Amazon is learning valuable lessons in their bookstores. What they're learning will play a vital role in the rollout of Prime membership benefits within Whole Foods stores. There is already massive overlap when it comes to Prime members and Whole Foods shoppers, but if dynamic pricing displays popped up in stores with a slightly lower price for Prime subscribers, that would serve as a massive incentive for the non-members to pony up already.Bezos previously stated, “Our goal with Amazon Prime, make no mistake, is to make sure that if you are not a Prime member, you are being irresponsible." This is already at play in Amazon's bookstores, thanks to the displays telling shoppers they will overpay unless they have a membership. It's clear that the eventual rollout at Whole Foods will add to this goal.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2017

    Are store brands a ‘fundamental defining piece’ of the retail experience?

    Private labels can cut out the noise of the middleman and boost profit margins, but as many here have pointed out, having an appealing point of differentiation is key to success. If a private label brand is cheaper than the well established brand name, then that will attract some shoppers. However, if they offer better ingredients or higher quality, these factors can sway more shoppers. Private labels certainly have their work cut out for them in earning market share, but the potential reward outweighs the risks. Especially when it comes to online retail, millennial shoppers who can't hold the product in their hands need to know: can I trust it? Will it meet my quality standards? Does it fit with my values? Private label brands that are able to address these questions will win sales.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2017

    Walmart seeks online edge with 35-second returns

    Walmart is working hard to gain a competitive advantage over Amazon, and this is a prime example of that. Being able to buy online and return in-store helps shoppers check out with more peace of mind. Making that return process seamless was the next logical step.Also, getting shoppers back in-store for returns opens the door to additional purchases. Boosting customer experience with an efficient return policy will make those add-on purchases much more likely. Instead of a return taking several minutes, a shopper can complete their return quickly, then buy a few items in the time it used to take to just return the original item.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2017

    Costco ups its delivery game for online orders

    I agree that online ordering could cut down on impulse buys that Costco thrives on. However, overall this is definitely a step in the right direction. Stores are often in more industrial parts of town that might not be convenient for some shoppers. On top of that, lugging bulk items home can be a bit difficult as well. Cutting down on barriers to purchases (and new memberships) is crucial for Costco as their competitors fine tune their own grocery delivery programs.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2017

    Have retailers killed off Black Friday?

    Black Friday might be toned-down this year due to changing promotional calendars. Retailers start promotions earlier than ever and have multiple sales leading up to Christmas, targeting different audiences. Black Friday sales must catch shopper attention to stand out from the noise. This typically has been done with low pricing, but Steven Barr is right, when shoppers are bombarded with offers, they no longer have an incentive to buy on any particular day. There will always be another sale if they miss the current one.Since price is off the table, the points of differentiation I see for retailers are storytelling and experiences. If a company has a strong story, then they will be top of mind on a retail holiday like Black Friday. In addition, having an event, demonstration, or class could get shoppers in-store to experience (and hopefully buy) products in a new way.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2017

    Has Amazon really saved Whole Foods from its ‘Whole Paycheck’ trap?

    I agree with you on the price perception front. Amazon is doing what it does best: luring in shoppers with the promise of low prices on a few attractive products and making up margins on the average or above average priced additional items they end up buying while at Whole Foods. But Amazon didn't try to pretend that they were lowering all prices. They were very up front about the limited items they would lower prices on. So maybe this is much more of a PR stunt than an overhaul of the "Whole Paycheck" image. Only time will tell if Amazon will make Whole Foods into a more competitively priced grocer or if they have other tricks up their sleeves to get more shoppers in-store.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2017

    IKEA buys TaskRabbit to give consumers relief with furniture assembly

    This seems like a natural acquisition to me. Like Best Buy has its Geek Squad, IKEA will now be able to offer set-up services directly linked to its stores or online. Maybe they could include set up for a flat fee based on the number of items a shopper buys. There are limitless possibilities for the future of this collaboration. As Amazon experiments with home related services, this gives IKEA a leg-up, since TaskRabbit is already a known and trusted source for help around the house.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017 is stepping out of Walmart’s shadow

    Jet's presence over the past year has had a great impact on modernizing Walmart's online offerings. Now it's time for Jet to solidify their identity in a way that pulls from Walmart's deep pockets to experiment and still stays true their target market. My initial thought is that adding ModCloth and Bonobos products to Jet will have the biggest positive affect, but all of these moves are smart ones to widen the scope of what Jet can provide.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2017

    Burger King buses in customers in need of a Whopper fix

    Burger King has no shortage of ways to stay top of mind. This shuttle won't likely run for very long, but the viral effect will stick around. We may be thousands of miles away from Belgium, but many of us are delighted by this stunt. Excellent work on their part for consistently pushing the envelope on what it means to be a modern fast food brand.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2017

    Will customers let Walmart deliver in-fridge?

    I agree that Walmart is going out on a limb here and that's a wonderful thing. Walmart has been experimenting with a number of technologies that show it is here to compete. Will consumers want someone coming into their home and going into their refrigerator? Only time will tell, but this new and improved Walmart infused with fresh ideas from recent acquisitions is clearly willing to try out new things to find what sticks.
  • Posted on: 09/26/2017

    Will centralized buying make Whole Foods a more formidable competitor?

    Centralized buying will undoubtedly cut costs and make Whole Foods a bit more consistent nationwide, but will it come at the cost of the Whole Foods charm? Cutting down on the "whole paycheck" image was a natural first course of action once Amazon stepped in, but I'm not sure that doing away with brand reps and up and coming products will get more shoppers in the door.
  • Posted on: 09/26/2017

    Will Target’s wage hikes be a differentiator?

    This is a great decision on Target's part, especially just in time for the holidays. With competitors offering higher wages, this was a necessity for Target. Attracting and holding onto the best talent is one of the key ways for Target to make a dent in the market. I'm glad that this isn't a one time raise, instead Target set a goal leading up to 2020. Competitors that pay a bit more than Target will continue to sweeten the deal to entice new employees. That means Target has its work cut out for the next few years to make sure that they become and remain an employer that applicants flock to.

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