PROFILE

Paula Rosenblum

Managing Partner, RSR Research

Paula Rosenblum is co-founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research and is widely recognized as one of the industry’s top retail technology analysts. She was selected as one of the “Top 50 Retail Influencers” in 2013 and writes a weekly blog for Forbes. Previous to her 12 years as an analyst, she spent over 20 years as a retail technology executive and CIO at companies including Hit or Miss, Morse Shoe, Domain Home Fashions and others.

Paula received her MBA in 1991 from Northeastern University, with a major in management of High Technology firms and was nominated to the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. She’s active in a variety of organizations supporting human growth and development, and has been involved with the RetailROI charity since its earliest days.

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RSR Research blog

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  • Posted on: 10/18/2017

    Should the holiday selling season be retired?

    Let’s not go for a ride on the pendulum. The holiday season is important. Opening on Thanksgiving and doorbusters, not so much. Gosh, talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water. The holiday season is a real thing.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2017

    Walmart seeks online edge with 35-second returns

    What remains unclear is the process through which the return must be confirmed by a store associate. If this is not straightforward and clean, it'll be a shrink magnet.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2017

    Can e-tailers use ‘digital body language’ to convert shoppers?

    Let's keep it even simpler and figure out how to process deliveries and returns profitably. "digital body language" reading is beyond creepy. It would certainly catch my attention, enough to make me leave the site.Netflix does something similar if you are binge watching an entire series. At some point it asks you "Are you still watching?" I don't mind that so much, because I figure it's a good way for them to conserve the bandwidth they're using ... but any other purpose would be an utter turnoff.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2017

    Empowered employees separate Zumiez from the competition

    I do think the package makes sense but, of them all, I think advancement opportunities are the most beneficial for all parties. Retail was probably the first "gig" economy, with a transient, fluid workforce with no fringe benefits. That needs to change. It's time to get employees invested in the in-store experience. That's the biggest opportunity for retailers today.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2017

    Could retail workers benefit from implanted microchips?

    Really? Too, too, too creepy.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017

    Jet.com is stepping out of Walmart’s shadow

    The key to Walmart's future growth is expansion into new markets -- its existing market is pretty well saturated and all they can do is maintain or lose share.So I am excited about the acquisitions of Jet, Bonobos and ModCloth because they are not targeted at Walmart's core customer. I like that the names have not been changed and they appear to remain independent.I suppose "bed in a box" might prove interesting, but everyone and their mother is doing those. It strikes me as more in line with Walmart's core customer. Bring on the new brands!
  • Posted on: 09/28/2017

    Burger King buses in customers in need of a Whopper fix

    Am I the only one this reminds of a pusher giving potential customers a free "taste" in the hopes they get hooked?
  • Posted on: 09/26/2017

    Will centralized buying make Whole Foods a more formidable competitor?

    I think this is a bad move. The "brands" that matter to the Whole Foods shopper are "local" and "organic." Eliminating one of those just leaves room for smaller competitors.I'm not crazy about eliminating brand reps, but eliminating local is a really bad idea. It may achieve mass, but it loses differentiation.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2017

    Would a radical partnership help Walmart thwart Amazon?

    The "Amazon is unstoppable" story is very similar to the "Walmart is unstoppable" story of the early 2000s. For some reason pundits, the Street and analysts of "most" stripes (my stripes are NOT included) have decided the same about Amazon.The thing all these folks forget time and time again is that no market is infinite. There simply is no such thing. A Google/Walmart alliance is one competitive solution, as is the consumer's desire to buy local, from smaller retailers, or just from someone else. I would prefer to see a more diverse market than the "big two," quite frankly, and I don't think I'm alone with that.So ... 1.) No market is infinite, 2.) Amazon is not unstoppable, 3.) Walmart is doing some creative things already to expand its target market and make money at the same time! and 4.) creativity, disruption and better customer experiences will shift the tides in another direction sooner or later.It almost feels like an immature response to say things like "Amazon is unstoppable." It's naive.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2017

    Kohl’s to accept product returns for Amazon

    The article said it ... "foot traffic." Do I think it's a good idea? Nope. Not unless Kohl's is hoping to become part of Amazon, which I don't see happening.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2017

    Can v-commerce give brands the edge they need online?

    Gosh, I think I must really be missing something. We're talking about a combination of dying grey goods (maybe) and then flocking on the fly, right? Flocking has been a thing for over 50 years, and dying grey goods for 30. I looked for other articles on the topic and couldn't find anything to indicate otherwise. Even the grey goods part seems like a stretch.Is it disruptive? No more than my Camp Colang tee shirts were. Again ... I could be totally missing some very high tech something-or-other, but it feels very "back to the future" to me.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2017

    Will Postmates’ on-demand delivery work better as a subscription model?

    I very rarely say this, but Postmates' problem isn't its pricing structure, it is its software. I use restaurant delivery services frequently. Uber Eats is easy as pie. Whether using its iOS app or its website, it works great.Postmates has one of my favorite restaurants on it. They ran away from Uber Eats, so I suspect the pricing structures are different. So I am quite literally forced to use it from time to time. But Postmates' app is truly and really AWFUL. The search does not work. Restaurants are intermingled with drug stores. It's a mess.So what I do is order the food through a webpage (since I can find the restaurant that way ... they don't have the concept of "your favorites," which is bizarre all by itself), and then track the delivery through the app.So if I were them, I'd really focus on the UX. And I rarely if ever start with technology as the base problem. In Postmates' case, it clearly is.
  • Posted on: 09/05/2017

    Five pain points grocers must address to survive in an Amazon/Whole Foods world

    This is not rocket science. Amazon is no longer the über low price provider. I don't expect Whole Foods to become that way, either. But what Amazon is really, really good at is being in stock. Grocers are going to have to step it up all the way around. So are pet food companies.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Is outsourcing a better option for in-home tech help?

    Amazon has outsourced its "enhanced" delivery services. Home Depot has outsourced its installation services. Both were, in my opinion, utterly awful. Quality control is imperative, and I just don't see it with outsourced services. Maybe it's a Miami thing, but (wait for it) I have found Sears delivery and installation services to be far superior.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2017

    Will smart homes be sold in living rooms?

    Funny about that. I just installed a camera system in my home and I did require a consultation before it was done. In retrospect, I should have done more of my own research, as there are some features missing from the system the consultant picked, but I definitely needed something!So yes, depending in the item, a consultation will be useful: Where should it go? Will the signal reach the router? Etc.

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