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James Tenser

Principal
VSN Strategies

In the world of category-killer retail, being the last competitor in the race can sometimes lead to a cul de sac, not a superhighway. Ask our friends in the consumer electronics or book businesses.

I cringe every time I read "$X in synergies" in a merger announcement, because what that...

Both, obviously. For TV advertisers the mobile device can be a message attenuator and a message amplifier, depending upon the viewer's interests and mindset.

At home, we now find ourselves routinely picking up the mobile phone to check trivia about actors or directors, as well as player stats from sporting...

An excellent customer experience anecdote from Seeta, who clearly understands the implications of the disconnect that afflicts her favorite high-end retailer. Trying to train customer-facing personnel to compensate for systematic breakdowns is like putting a Band-Aid on an artery, however.

You can't train your way around a fundamentally failing business...

In The Incredible Dissolving Store, the boundaries that used to separate shopping from the rest of life are becoming more porous. Brian is correct, "the whole world is a store" and shoppers have learned to expect responsive merchandising and personalized services everywhere they go in the physical and cyber...

Some of us tend to make wisecracks about the "O" word, but we all know it means at least two things: A seamless experience for the shopper across all points of interaction with the retailer and a unified view of inventory for the retailer across all points of interaction...

Glad to hear that Walgreens has moved far beyond RFM analysis in refining its customer relationship programs. Detecting lifestage "signals" and then using them to routinely tailor offers is an impressive feat straight out of the "Power of Habit" book by Charles Duhigg.

But "ecosystem" implies multiple touch points for...

This discussion is very interesting because it challenges us to reconsider our assumptions about in-store Wi-Fi for shoppers. Is it a shopping "enhancer," a promotion channel, or primarily a convenience that mobile-connected customers have come to count on?

Remember Tenser's Law: "A customer service standard that can be experienced anywhere...

In my opinion, sales tax fairness and transportation infrastructure are two areas where the Federal government can make real gains for the retail industry and the American people.

The sales tax issue has been on the table since at least 2000, and it's quite frankly a black mark on both...

The "bozone layer" is an amusing play on words, but it's not too respectful of mid-management types who are actually conscientious and motivated. In healthy organizations, good ideas should not only originate with top execs and call-center employees.

When it comes to customer needs, as Max wisely observes, active listening...

I believe accumulated experience will teach us that there are natural levels of digital influence on purchasing, which will vary by product category and purchase occasion. Summary statistics, like "50% of all purchases ... " are interesting but not diagnostic.

So Ms. Paul's observation, "Tailor the digital strategy to the...

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