Roger Saunders

Global Managing Director, Prosper Business Development

Roger Saunders is Managing Director of PROSPER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT in Columbus, Ohio. PROSPER Group of Companies is a leading internationally recognized Marketing Intelligence concern that is focused on the CONSUMER and Consumer Insights. The firm addresses points of not just “What”, but also the essential “Who”, “When”, “Where”, “Why”, and “How” Consumer Behaviors, Attitudes, and Lifestyle are actionably impacting the Retail Industry.

PROSPER is the parent, holding company of Prosper Insights & Analytics, PROSPER Technologies, PROSPER China, and the Prosper Foundation. The organization is a leader in Business Development strategies, Innovative Technologies and Forecasting Applications, and Consumer Market Research. Quantitative, Syndicated and Custom Surveys are fielded on a consistent monthly and daily basis in the United States and China. The Insights, Prosper Platform of state-of-the-art visualization of diverse databases, and Apps that drive predictive Analytics of future consumer behavior, serve the needs of Marketing, Merchandising, Store Operations, Financial Departments, and Vendors. Clients include the world’s largest Retailers, CPG, Manufacturing, Media, Financial, and Consulting practices.

Saunders has held executive positions with Fortune 500 Media concerns, lead private multi-media entities, and been an owner / partner in entrepreneurial Retail (28 restaurants) and Manufacturing concerns. A diversified 35 year career, having lived in all corners of the U.S. – Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, South, and West – he has honed his senses and attention to Consumer and Customers’ current, and more importantly, future needs.

Other than a weak golf game, and a belief that the Chicago Cubs will one day win a World Series, Saunders is grounded in the reality that the Consumer is the center of any successful Marketer’s strategic and tactical efforts.

  • Posted on: 10/19/2016

    Will Aldi and Lidl replicate U.K. success in the U.S.?

    Aldi may have first broken ground within a number of lower income communities, but they are a mainstream grocer in the minds of a very loyal base of shoppers across the country. Bet on them to continue to be significant winners as they march to neighborhoods that have all levels of household income in the coming years.Based on the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey, Aldi is well-entrenched among adults, 18+, with 4 percent of the general population saying they shop their MOST often for groceries as of September 2016. That figure compares to 2.5 percent in September 2012. The silent generation, those born in 1945 or earlier, are strong supporters. 16.5 percent say that they have shopped Aldi in the past 90 days and 17.4 percent of silents have shopped Aldi's cousin, Trader Joe's, during that time.As Adrian Weidmann points out about his 88-year-old mother, if you mention Aldi to my mother she's like a dog on a bone in terms of getting ready to head out. Older Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1955, have already discovered Aldi, with 18.6 percent of that population group shopping the German "little giant" in the past 90 days.In Naples, Florida, a new Aldi is going up in the shadow of a Costco that is wall-to-wall business. Those shoppers have household incomes of six figures plus. Aldi is going to knock it out of the park, here and in multiple other areas of the country.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2016

    Is it time for retailers to stop the Thanksgiving madness?

    While one out of five adult respondents to the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey say that they will shop on Thanksgiving Day, they are increasingly shifting that shopping to the Internet -- particularly on that occasion. Give the store a rest. Keep the websites open and let your customers know that you can take care of them immediately online AND that you're looking forward to seeing them over the Black Friday weekend within the store.Big box operations can generate large enough revenue to justify staying open. It simply doesn't make economic or staffing sense to have the doors open for small and midsize retailers on Thanksgiving.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2016

    Will Amazon give new meaning to convenience stores?

    Peters and Waterman, borrowing liberally from Peter Drucker, pointed out the value of "sticking to the knitting," or doing what you do best, some 30 years ago. Amazon would do well to fully comprehend that wisdom.They are entering an entirely new arena with added real estate costs (that box has to deliver an ROI), new and different labor costs, working with fresh meat (can they get to scale and move product fast enough to avoid sanitation issues that grocers work hard to master?), setting themselves up for return merchandise and where-does-it-go logistics that UPS and FedEx study daily.I agree with Ken Cassar that the Seattle juggernaut is out over their skis.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2016

    AmazonFresh lowers annual subscription via a $15 monthly rate

    We have a consumer marketplace in which the average household makes 90+ trips to shop for groceries each year. Grocery stores and mass merchants are within 5 miles of 98%+ of the U.S. population.Admittedly, not everyone relishes or has the time to invest in grocery shopping. However, between the U.S. grocery industry and the American farmer, we have seen 40+ years of productivity that has lead to lower prices of grocery products.Amazon Fresh's price, at $279 per year, is too steep to entice a scaleable number of new consumers. They are going to have to offer other services or values (unique products or the freshest of the fresh produce). The Millennial will be the first of the adopters.The Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey indicates that 37.1% of adults, 18+ are Prime members. That compares to 46.3% of Millennials. The folks that are going to invest more with Amazon Fresh additions are Millennials with household income of 50k+ — 56.4% are Amazon Prime Members — and 60.0% of married Millennials are Amazon Prime members. In the past 30 Days, 10% of Millennials have shopped online for groceries.Amazon has some work ahead of them on the Grocery front. I'm not discounting them. However, a $279 annual ticket isn't going to do it for them.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2016

    Will retailers find gold or coal in their holiday stockings?

    We're all handicappers at this time of year, as the consumers are out of the paddock and at the post.My tip sheet says follow the NRF's lead. They have a solid and useful benchmark number that reflects where consumers are trending, as opposed to too many others who are using hunches or the rear view mirror. Your windshield is big, your rearview mirror is small. There's a reason.It will be important to follow and anticipate the segments that are most meaningful in delivering year-over-year gains. If your target is the 79 million Millennials, don't look at them in bulk. Break them down into 4 or 5 segments that can be targeted on their path to purchase. I like married Millennials who are 31.5% of the generation at this stage. More money with two income households, some with kids, saving like demons for holidays, evolving and looking like Married Gen X, high consumer confidence, shifting housing patterns, make them track ready.If the target is a market with household income of $35,000 to $50,000, and they are working, treat them like kings and queens. They are going to spend more this season so the family has the experiences of Christmas. This group will provide a bump higher than the +3.4% spending growth.Cross-channel will everywhere this season, which complicates the path to purchase. By knowing your shopper, you can lay the path to know when to make the charge around the far turn. Credit card usage will be up for a number of categories, and that is a positive for retailers and card companies alike.For the highest earning households, don't expect to move significantly more soft goods this Christmas. They will be chasing experiences of trips, tickets, spa specials, or that unique $750+ driver, which they may buy online or in-store — be ready when they are.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2016

    Best Buy speeds start-ups to selling floor

    Sending the message to consumers, Best Buy associates, and technology innovators that Best Buy is open to continuously evolve and passionately explore the "New, New" is one that inspires. The Geek Squads alone will be the biggest champions.With space available in a box that is a bit too large at this time, leads to greater productivity on square footage R.O.I.Add in the fact that Ignite serves as a potential traffic builder and increased frequency of visits, this points to a winning strategy to test. Bravo!
  • Posted on: 09/23/2016

    Are smartphones changing how Americans shop from home?

    Smartphones are ubiquitous across all generations, save for the Silent Generation. However, I will tell you that my 90 year old mother is on her iPad throughout the day, and is even taking up texting on her phone.Each month the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey asks over 6,800 adults about their shopping methods over the past 30 days across 12 different merchandising categories. In each of those categories, save for groceries, 8% - 15% of Millennials say they have used their smartphone for selected categories. If you're shopping for electronics, the smartphone loses ground to tablet devices, while it picks up a higher percentage of Millennials when it comes to apparel.Media is used simultaneously, and has been for the past 15 years. You may be in front of the television set, but the Smartphone is on the right, the tablet on the left, and you could be leafing through a magazine during a commercial break.The consumer is in charge. We're there to engage them and serve their world. Each of us has to keep that in mind as copy is written, media forms are selected, offerings are made, and merchandise has proper and effective distribution channels.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2016

    Will retailers be treated to a record-setting Halloween?

    As George has captured from Prosper's Pam Goodfellow, Halloween will be rollicking good time for retailers. While the individual spend is a lower ticket than other holidays, as some have pointed out, adults, 18+ are stepping up their plans to celebrate. This October, 69.1% of adults will celebrate the holiday, compared to 64.0% in 2015. Even more important, 88.3% of Millennials will be celebrating vs. 80.9% in 2015.More than candy is going to be working its way through retailers' doors — among those celebrating, 73.9% will dress for the occasion, 50.9% will attend a party, 34.9% will take kids trick or treating — watch the neighborhood, you'll even see grandparents walking with mom, dad, and grandchildren; and 35.1% of those celebrating will be seeking a good scare — they plan to visit a haunted house. Decorations will hit double digit gains on a year-over-year basis.The biggest portion of shopping takes place two weeks prior to Halloween night — keep the stores stocked and no need to take discounts too early.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2016

    Is consumer demand really that unpredictable?

    Consumer demand is very predictable.First, retailers have to start with the demand they are attempting to forecast. If it is how many navy blue tops in petite size will sell through at full price in the next 90 days, as some merchandisers might ask, there will be a bit more "art" than "science" in the forecast.If the retailer needs to know what their shoppers are planning on buying in the next 90 days within a merchandising line — say groceries — "science" kicks in. Having a scaleable database of shoppers — a couple thousand of Walmart, Target, Macy's, etc. shoppers — and then listening to those shoppers purchasing intentions, retailers can capture forecasting correlations of .60 to .75.When developing a forecast, retailers will always get better forecasting leading to better planning by looking forward. A retailers windshield is bigger than their rear view mirror. There is a reason. It's the same with the forecast.Edward Learmer, Director of UCLA Anderson Economics Forecasting, has pointed out, "Accurate forecasting is coming from comparing the data that are available today with historical points in the past. There are hardly any legitimate comparisons. And, THE RESULT IS THAT NOBODY IS DOING FORECASTING; WE'RE ALL DOING HUNCHES AT THIS POINT."Better consumer forecasting has to start with the human element — what is the consumer's variable spending plan in the 90 day to 120 day span. Follow that with integrating diverse datasets of actual data/insights of retailers along with a proven, competent data house.You'll receive accurate forecasts. Just ask the right questions in a longitudinal basis. The answers will delight you.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2016

    Amazon’s Prime Now delivers beauty in a hurry

    Amazon is adding to the peddler's cart. Selling HBA products to an affluent city market — inner city downtown and Gold Coast and emerging near West Side — will add incremental revenues for Amazon. It will also be a benefit to a sharp, family-owned enterprise like Merz Apothecary.The service is not scaleable across the country, or for the Chicago metropolitan area at this stage, or at least until more carts and horsepower are added to the distribution pipeline.The need for instant gratification from HBA products (2 hours or less), is limited. These products are more planned purchases, and consumers will be patient enough to receive them in 2 to 3 days.The Internet is growing as the source of where consumers shop MOST often for HBA. Based on Prosper Insights & Analytics consumer patterns, slightly less than 1% of the general population, as well as Gen X and Millennials, favored the Internet MOST often for HBA purchases. It took until 2014 to reach 1.9%. By January 1, 2015, it rose to 2.5%, then 3.5% in January, 2016. As of August, 4.3% of Millennials and Gen X are choosing the Internet most often for HBA.Two hour delivery is not ready for prime time on a scaleable pattern.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2016

    Are you ready for Generation Z?

    Don't jump to Generation Z just yet. If we define Generation Z as children born in 2001 and beyond, then stay focused on the Millennial generation. That is the largest portion of the population that will be raising Generation Z.The biggest difference that retailers will see in Generation Z is likely to be single parent households. Look to societal changes as well as demographics. In addition, incomes for Millennials have only started to accelerate in the past 18 to 24 months. Millennials, who are on the path of raising children, are bringing them through the pipeline in a far more accepting manner about race or ethnic differences. This will impact how Generation Z will shop in groups. Finally, Generation Z children will likely come from larger families. Millennials and Generation X, the offspring of Boomers, were emerging from households of about 2.1 children. Millennials will more likely have family sizes of 2.3 or more -- three is a magic formula for the married Millennials at this stage, and some ethnic groups who have settled in the U.S. in the past 10 years embrace a belief in larger family units.While NO GENERATION is completely homogeneous, keep an eye on the Millennials. Millennials, as a group, have deferred marriage due to the recessionary periods of 2007 to 2010. A bit more than one out of four Millennials are now married. We will be experiencing a large group of Millennials who will "walk the aisle" in the next two to five years. With some 80 million Millennials, look for weddings to match peak years of the late-'60s/early-'70s as Boomers started families.Debra is absolutely correct that Generation Z will be instantly connected by the time they are shopping. I watch a two-year-old and a four-year-old granddaughter who are on iPads from the time they get up and at various times of the day. They have two parents who have been married for nine years, so they are loaded up with family experiences. That won't be the case in every neighborhood across the country.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2016

    Is a grocery price war inevitable?

    Kroger's Rodney McMullen is correct. Price is only one element of a grocery shopper's experience. Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey Insights point to 25 different "Reasons" that Consumers shop their favorite Grocer MOST often.The macro reasons for deflationary pricing will be largely beyond grocers' control, as Tom Ryan points out. Run to strengths, manage weaknesses.Grocery Shopping is the most common experience that the typical consumer household has in their day-to-day retail experiences with some 90+ shopping trips per year. With repeat purchases, price will be a high priority in a consumer's choice of a grocer —- it's #2 among Kroger shoppers, as well as #2 among Safeway and Stater Brothers shoppers, #1 for Walmart and HEB shoppers, #3 for Wegmans and Ralphs shoppers, and #4 for Publix shoppers.As grocers go up against competitors, they have to understand why their shoppers choose them MOST often. They also have to know why shoppers choose their competitors MOST often. Having that strategic knowledge better positions them to run to their strengths and manage their weaknesses.Nine out of ten Walmart grocery shoppers say that price is vital to them, while 7 out of 10 register location, 6 out of 10 say selection, and 1 out of 3 consider quality as a reason to shop Walmart for groceries. The later may be perceived or real, but it is a reason that has to be addressed — i.e. weakness.On the other hand, 8 out of 10 Kroger shoppers feel location is their top reason, 3 out of 4 mention price, 7 out of 10 say selection, and 6 out of 10 believe in Kroger quality.Each of these have to be considered core reasons for grocers. Knowing how they may stack up with competitors has to be monitored in order to keep and grow share in a deflationary cycle. In addition, those grocers will want to monitor reasons that have been unique strengths. Kroger gets high marks on fresh produce, frequent chopper cards, fuel/gas offerings, and trustworthy retailer compared to their competitors. Frequent shopper card use has dropped in significance over the past 5 years, while the other reasons have grown in importance.Walmart still holds positive reasons for 24/7 availability and one-stop shopping, but that advantage has declined among their shoppers over the past 5 years — protect it, and turn it up during the deflationary period.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2016

    Why are retailers struggling with Big Data?

    Retailers, too often, begin their work with a snapshot in time as they are looking at data. They'll find greater benefit in making use of longitudinal views.The consumer is an intelligent being. Consumers make purchase decisions based on both emotional and rational states. Numerous social and economic factors, media forms, competitive opportunities and life events will influence those decisions. By listening to and having SMART data, not merely mounds of data, from a longitudinal analysis of their shoppers -- what, why, when and how they are doing within their stores and at competitors' stores -- leads to faster, better decisions.Beyond longitudinal insights, retailers have to be willing to evaluate whether they are getting the results from current data sources. If they are not, they have to break from defending those data sources just as they would if a merchandising line, price point, or store plan-o-gram weren't delivering the results they needed.Stay focused on the consumer -- what and why she is shopping your store and what and why she is shopping at competitors' stores.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2016

    What does it take to earn Millennials’ loyalty?

    Alex McEachern offers several truisms for consideration about Millennials. Perhaps the most important is the comment about "stereotypes." During the upcoming Fall and holiday gatherings, we'll all have occasion to witness examples of various generations who cannot quite comprehend other generations' point of view, be they Traditional, Boomers, Generation X, Millennials or even the emerging Generation Z. When we can't quite "get it," being human we drop our conceptual and critical thinking and fall back on the safe stereotype.That's when we miss our mark.When it comes to retail, we're best to keep in mind that generational segments do want, and expect, to be listened to. Our attention spans are not short, we have numerous choices presented to us and we want to be delighted in our power to make our own decisions.Best to keep in mind a few tactics for the balance of the year. The market is stretched. Competition is tough. We have to listen to and know our customers and prospects. We have to support the associates within our organization.In order to win, Retailers will have to focus teams on execution -- show up on time, do what we say we will do, finish what we start and say please and thank you.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2016

    Will Amazon drive-up grocery stores disrupt food retailing?

    Worth keeping an eye on the Millennials. They will lead the way with these boxes in densely populated neighborhoods. Between 6 and 8 percent of Millennials say that they have shopped online in the past 30 days for groceries, based on the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey.The Walmart pickup in Bentonville is capturing more of the busy, suburban mom. She has a large parking lot to enter and can efficiently load the week's shopping.Two slightly different models, but each will have appeal for their targets and deliver on growth over time.

Contact Roger