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Ed Dunn

  • Posted on: 01/18/2018

    Could ‘platform thinking’ be a blueprint for retail success?

    What I'm hearing appears to be borrowed from a recent book called "The Platform Economy" and applied to retailing. Amazon is a platform. It allows merchants to sell, warehouse and distribute on their platform. There are home-based entrepreneurs that purchase items on clearance from a retailer like Walmart and sell on the Amazon platform for profit. I get what she is saying; retailing can longer be about merely selling products but establishing a platform for products, customers and distributors to participate upon.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2018

    What’s the trick to handling online returns?

    There is an economic benefit in the return opportunity that should be considered. Malls and Main Street town centers accommodating third-party return centers basically created customers with some extra money in their pocket or incoming credit to their account to immediately go shop and find something else. Perfect capture and conversion opportunities not being leveraged to transition an e-commerce customer to a brick-and-mortar customer.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2018

    Should showrooms replace closed stores?

    The showroom/BOPIS approach may have some wings with the multi-brand retail concept, with multiple retailers/brands using the same showroom space under a multi-brand licensed space operator. Great way to multiple brands to share the risk and establish a footprint in areas to test the waters before a full commitment to establishing a stand-alone storefront.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2018

    QR codes are back and ready to hit it big

    As someone who worked on QR Code use cases when they became mainstream in Japan in 2009, up to projects throughout China right now, I'm a little concerned at the dismissals of QR technology in American forums. It make no sense where 1D barcodes are widely used right now from airline tickets to tracking shipping to assert 2D codes such as QR code will not take off in retailing. The problem is, many Americans are looking at the wrong use cases for QR codes.QR codes are cheap and disruptive, no hardware NFC, IC chip or biometric or even cash handling can compete against the cost of displaying a QR code on a screen for a customer to scan and check out.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2018

    Should grocers be teaching Americans how to eat?

    CVS's decision to stop carrying tobacco and effort to purchase Aetna insurance is an indicator and writing on the wall. More and more doctors are advising their patients on diet management and what foods to eat. CVS and Walgreens are fighting to become the go-to place for diabetes and other health/wellness care. These activities will eventually crawl into the purchasing decisions at grocery stores.
  • Posted on: 12/27/2017

    What retail apocalypse?

    There is really one factor -- the rise and mass adoption of Bitcoin during the year created consumer confidence to take profits and go out and spend. It is not fair to discount or dismiss the role Bitcoin mass adoption played in 2017.
  • Posted on: 12/26/2017

    U.S. retailers in dire need of growth look to the China market

    There are a few the following factors:
    • China has to own 60% of the business, Non-China can hold up to 40%. This should explain Walgreen deal above. It was only a few months ago China adjusted ownership stake to 60% non-Chinese ownership for certain ventures.
    • IP protection has always been a problem where someone bring their designs to China and there are "white-label" versions sold weeks later on the street markets and other countries.
    • WeChat, AliPay and Bank of China have to be consider for payment collection. QR payments are reaching standardization and there are applications and UX interactions that will need to be reconsidered versus the American swipe/insert methods.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2017

    Are on-the-road shopping apps helpful or hazardous?

    This poor and dangerous example of UX is why voice bots will overtake chatbots in implementation. Back in 2000, Mercedes-Benz used to offer a personal shopping service where you speak to an assistant on the phone while driving. States and insurance companies will not allow "finger touching" UX in automobiles after the first few incidents.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2017

    Is real-time processing a must-have for retailers?

    Real-time processing is possible through QR payment using tokenization. The processing power shifts to the customer mobile device and the cash wrap only needs the token authorization to process quickly. I believe the Macy's crash may have had a lot to do with Macy's POS processing too many logical flows on Black Friday weekend.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2017

    Will chatbots replace customer service reps?

    Just FYI, chatbot and phone IVR technology is the same paradigm. One is text pattern recognition while the other is voice recognition. But the recognition engine is the same. Future-facing, voice recognition will quickly overtake text-based chatbots as the communication channel in retailing technology. It will be more easy and natural to simply ask a voice-based engine for aisle help or help an associate answer a question on behalf of a customer.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2017

    Target to make same-day delivery push with Shipt acquisition

    This is a horrible, misinformed and bad deal that reeks of Webvan and I will predict we will see a $550 million write-down by Target in the near future. I'm shocked, as if no one even bothered to fully understand why Webvan failed in the first place.There is absolutely nothing proprietary, no barrier to competition and a zero-sum game on margins. Personal shopping is a commodity and a utility like dog walking and will only have value on the macro-economic level in a local region.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2017

    Will late deliveries mess up Christmas?

    The picture of delivery seem to be a free-standing home with a front porch but in urban environments, we are experiencing issues in the last mile of delivery. In our multi-unit complex, we are experiencing an issue with the Luxor package lockers filling up fast and the delivery guy just leaving our boxes around the lockers for anyone to pick up. One time, the Luxor system went down and no one could retrieve their package over the weekend and had to wait until Monday for someone to come out and fix it.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2017

    Does it matter if social media is getting a bad rep?

    TV was an idiot box but infomercials and QVC/HSN prove it can be used as a medium for retailing. Social media is currently fake news but we just saw a cheese guy in Amsterdam show social media can be used as a medium for retailing using Facebook livestreaming from the store in a QVC/HSN matter with Facebook chatbots waiting online to take orders and answer questions. It's up to the content creators to figure out the best use case.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2017

    Will Ocado’s robots help U.S. grocers solve their online delivery problems?

    "The company’s CEO indicated that’s acquisition of Whole Foods had sparked more serious interest in automated operations among U.S. grocers."The last I checked, Whole Foods was a struggling operation and put itself on the market for the Amazon acquisition. Why is there revisionist history that Whole Foods and Amazon merged to create formidable competition in the marketplace?I see the sell-side but where is the buy-side to all of this automation of robot pickers? How will these imaginary grocery customers keep jobs if they are replaced by robots?Grocery shopping is a primal hunter/gathering activity of human beings. People will continue to shop for their food the same way a household male cat wants to mark the furniture. This dynamic will never change.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2017

    Indie retailers can survive – even thrive – during the holidays

    The one I would add is create a Facebook livestream shopping channel. This accommodates tactic number one, joining a group and tactic number two, placing a QR code in the background of the livestreaming session. Hold an iPad to read the chat questions coming in and paste the link to purchase in the chat session.
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