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Ben Ball

Senior Vice President
Dechert-Hampe

"Innovation" and "variety" aren't synonymous.

I had to jump back in on this one to applaud Ian Percy's comment. We literally have clients who have dubbed their annual product proliferation cycle "innovation." We don't talk about our new SKUs anymore — we talk about our "innovation." This is almost as dangerous...

Is this really even a question? A discussion?

While few of us can say this with the impact A.G. Lafley has:

"In general, we can get tired of our brand, what it stands for, our product, our package, long before our consumer does,"

this has been obvious to honest industry observers for...

Skeptics beware!

Everything from fresh milk to fresh eggs (some literally coming directly from the visible chicken!) to fresh produce are already being successfully vended across Europe and have been for a while.

Coming soon to a Walmart forecourt near you!

...

Retailers are going to be in a tough spot on this one. To consumers, shipping is just part of pricing now. And price is still the ultimate arbiter among otherwise equivalent services and products.

Just this weekend I had to jump online to order a new temp controller for a...

If Whole Foods brings a closer, faster, more convenient version of the core Whole Foods items to Whole Foods' target market — they have a winner.

If Whole Foods tries to out-trade the Trader with 365, they are going to go home with a lame horse.

...

I don't frequent Aldi, but I did stop into the local store this weekend. I needed large quantities of dried spices, ketchup, etc., for a big batch of BBQ sauce, so I figured I would see if I could save a buck. I walked to the register with almost...

Eventually, we will all understand the fact that the mere act of HAVING a smartphone opens us to an incredibly detailed level of tracking. Just as we are finally becoming aware that the GPS system "OnStar," and even the toll transponders in our cars, allow them to be tracked...

Figure out which national branded items your customers really want—demand even. Then develop private label brands/products that they want even more.

John Rand is right (though Dave Nichol said it first): it's all about brand strength. No offense John, but I prefer Dave's original words (paraphrased from memory) "...no retailer can...

Plus: Gamification can increase the involvement (OK, "stickiness") on shoppers on sites they are already interested in.

Minus: Like so many other implementations of "digital" — gamification will only have a significant impact with current shoppers. I am not going to start visiting the Sephora site because of a game. And...

The biggest challenge most retailers face today is the temptation for consumers to just bypass them and buy online. Nowhere is this temptation greater or more salient than with digital entertainment. (Remember record shops? Blockbuster?)

Why hasn't — or won't — GameStop fall prey to this brick-and-mortar retailer trap?

I think the answer...

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