Bethany Allee

Executive Vice President Marketing, Cybera

First time retail business person, long time retail shopper. Coming at you as a results-driven problem solver with 20+ years of battle-tested experience in high tech marketing. Passionate about transforming and growing organizations through correctly identifying business objectives and aligning them with technology leadership.

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  • Posted on: 12/14/2020

    Is retail ready to distribute the COVID- 19 vaccine?

    The last mile is always the toughest and most expensive part of the fulfillment chain. It's interesting that those of us with a hand in the retail industry will have a tremendous impact when it comes to vaccine distribution and fulfillment. Major label pharmacies must take action now. With 100 million doses (some two-part, some one-part) coming at us with phased deployment and complicated cooling needs, pharmacy retailers must have a solid plan in place. They will play a major role in how we combat this virus.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2020

    The North Face called out for ‘virtue signaling’

    "We reserve the right to refuse service." End of story.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2020

    The scalpers who stole Christmas

    Scalper bots are extremely difficult to differentiate from real customers and they can topple your network (see: Walmart's PS5 release). This makes the challenge more complex. There are now several tech firms that offer monitoring software to help mitigate attacks, but when it comes down to it - the thing that beats scalper bots (right now) is to limit technology. Waiting lists and customer purchase limits are the most affordable option to retailers - right now. I'll keep saying "right now," because part of how scalpers win is by evolving. They're able to shift their attack quickly, and retailers must focus on containing them until they're able to do the same.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2020

    Are stores going to turn into ghost towns?

    The reality is that physical locations must evolve to address new customer needs. The other reality is that in-person shopping is not a priority for many Americans. Now is the time for retailers to determine how they'll best leverage their in-person shopping experience to adhere to what customers need right now - and how this impacts their future.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2020

    Stores move to the front and center fulfilling customers’ expectations

    Stores have to become the primary focal point for retailers:
    1. They're a competitive advantage over Amazon;
    2. The expense of the physical footprint must be justified.
    It is critically important for retailers to unite merchandising functions across the entirety of their organization. The retailers who've done the best job with this (Walmart, Target, Best Buy) are winning -- this is the model for success.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2020

    Are retargeted ads better at driving sales or annoying shoppers?

    Here's an opportunity for retailers to leverage AI - what's in the abandoned cart? Is it full of items that are necessary and the shopper likely got distracted at work and would like a reminder? Send the one-hour reminder. Is the basket full of tempting yet unnecessary goods? Send the one-day reminder. Based on this information, the study findings are inconclusive. While shoppers may be less likely to make a purchase and may feel overwhelmed, what's the overall response rate? If 50 percent of shoppers return after a one-hour reminder vs. 5 percent after a 24-hour reminder -- being less likely to buy is less effective than "didn't respond."
  • Posted on: 12/07/2020

    Can retailers avoid a late holiday delivery ‘apocalypse’?

    At this point if retailers have a brick-and-mortar footprint, they should be driving customers to curbside, click-and-collect -- whatever it takes. With Hanukkah falling the week before Christmas, those two weeks will be slammed and there's not much retailers can do about it. I predict Walmart and Target will be holiday winners, because they have widely distributed physical locations and they've been heavily pushing customers in this direction and redirecting shopping habits for the better part of this year.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2020

    Have women permanently broken through retail’s glass ceiling?

    It is neither more nor less important for women to be in C-suite positions in retail than in other industries. It is equally important. A higher propensity for women leaders in retail is a natural evolution of more women being involved in the retail business (Sales, Marketing, Research, Operations...). With continued emphasis on women in STEM (especially engineering and finance), other industries will see the diversity retail is helping pioneer.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2020

    Best Buy shrinks sales floors for a more fulfilling experience

    It takes 21 days to break a habit. Consumer behaviors have been altered for nine months, and we've got a while to go before shopping habits can (if they ever will) return to what they were pre-pandemic. This move demonstrates that Best Buy is mid-to-long-term turning one of their biggest risks (an expensive large-scale footprint) into a competitive advantage and asset. Smart move. Kudos to them.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2020

    Does COVID-19 provide retailers with new opportunities to bond with customers?

    Retailers who have succeeded in making their customers feel safe and valued during the pandemic will see long-term loyalty and brand equity increases. During the pandemic, I personally have abandoned shopping at two retailers who failed basic COVID-19 safety requirements. I've also started shopping with many more retailers who I'd never shopped with prior to the pandemic, simply because these retailers found safe ways to connect with my family and get us the items we need to thrive. This same formula of brand intimacy works and scales the same for small specialty retailers and big-box stores alike.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2020

    Can grocers make consumers believe that Christmas wishes will come true in 2020?

    Ditto to what Jeff said. Hope is more than a marketing message this season, it is critically important right now.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2020

    Dick’s Sporting Goods to test new ‘Public Lands’ outdoor concept

    This is the right time for the reasons listed by other members of the BrainTrust. Market dynamics are appropriate and because of their brick-and-mortar footprint, this is an opportunity to capture market share from competitors. The timing also gives Dick's an opportunity to set a good example for Americans and demonstrate the type of leadership we need right now. This is a time in which most Americans need to be at home, and giving them forward-looking, socially responsible aspirations and activities to look forward to is something the Dick's brand can benefit from for the foreseeable future.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2020

    Walmart goes to the dogs (and cats, too)

    The results are in: Walmart is crushing it. In the past 24 hours I've been asked to comment on Walmart's physical footprint in regards to commercial real estate growth in the midst of the pandemic, and I've seen local artisans promoting their "locally sourced" lines they've produced with Walmart. Now we're discussing their play in the lucrative loyalty space that is pet specialty. There's no doubt they can combat any negativity. The industry already knew Walmart is a top innovator - 2020 seems to be the year where Walmart customer perception is catching up to what the industry has seen coming. Huge, well-deserved kudos to Walmart.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2020

    Do masks and social distancing matter in 2020 Christmas spots?

    Macy's knocks it out of the park with their spot this year. It's a clever take on giving a heartwarming explanation as to why dads everywhere get socks each year.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2020

    How do online reviews build trust?

    One of the most obvious reasons online reviews are trusted is the ability to see the product in context. The best online review services offer reviewers a way to add photos to their review. Photos immediately lend credibility to the review - positive or negative. There are a few ways retailers can ensure these reviews are more of a positive than negative experience:
    1. Listen to the reviews and react accordingly. Interact with reviewers. It goes a long way if a retailer has negative reviews and consumers can see a retailer interacting and attempting to make amends.
    2. Do a good job. If you have a lot of negative reviews, there's a reason. Fix it.
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