Charles Dimov

Director of Marketing, OrderDynamics
Charles Dimov is Director of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.

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  • Posted on: 06/18/2018

    Microsoft exploring checkout-less technologies

    This is great news for retailers. Retailers will be pleased to catch up with similar technology to Amazon but NOT have to purchase it from their competitor. Whether this is an immediate play or not -- remember that Amazon Go is not rolling out on every corner yet. So it will be important to taper our expectations. On a five year horizon, we should start seeing these tech options in nearby stores.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2018

    Marshalls brings Father’s Day gifting to Manhattan’s streets

    Personally, I love creativity and innovation. This is definitely an innovative approach. I think it gets attention and achieves its purpose of making shopping fun. I loved the quote by Victoria Shonkoff, "We believe shopping should be fun; it should thrill you and immediately deliver something exciting." For retail to survive, shopping has to be associated with immediacy, a practical element (got what I needed) and a dash of adventure/discovery. They hit the mark with this campaign. At the end of the day, it will be interesting to note whether they drove enough additional business to justify it again next year. Yes, in retail it is important to capitalize on every holiday.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2018

    The question for today’s retailers: What business are you in?

    I'm not comfortable calling it a flaw. It is safe to say that most retailers are focused on the present. Most are trying to do their best at meeting the customer's current and near-future demands and expectations. Nothing wrong with that -- as long as someone is thinking about a bigger strategy and "evolving" the ship in the right direction. It is about changing to address the needs of the customers -- which are not passing fads. The problem is that there are many passing fads -- a good example was Pokémon Go. It is still played, but not to the same extent as when it first launched. I like the changes seen at Walmart. Three years ago, I would not have thought it possible to take a sleepy giant and turn the culture into one that is both focused on efficiency AND retail innovation.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2018

    Are chronic online returners only a few bad apples?

    I haven't seen any empirical research (non-opinion based), to suggest that it is a small minority of rampant returners who are skewing the figures. Retailers definitely need to keep an eye on returns and those making the returns. If chronic returners are identified, you should have the option of banning these individuals. Retailers cannot be expected to have policies that can completely erode their profitability. Plus, removing a few abusers may ensure you don't have to take returns policy actions against your entire customer base. Something to think about.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Brands win with TV 2.0 and the new direct mail

    The new world of marketing is all about experimentation. It is a constant A/B testing environment. It is also about continually trying new ... AND OLD things. If everyone else ISN'T doing it, it could be your opportunity. However the key is to TEST. It could be that everyone else isn't doing it because it really doesn't work. Don't bet the company on one campaign or channel.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2018

    Retailers told to forget social media

    That's NOT what he is saying! Jamie isn't saying abandon social or content. What he is saying is don't spend your money on doing it purely because everyone else is doing it, or based on some principle. He expressly says "find a platform that really works for you ... like YouTube works for us." Too many retailers and marketers try to be everywhere and do everything. Better to focus on a few channels -- and do them exceptionally well -- than purely doing a mediocre job at a wide variety of channels (same argument I have about most unified commerce vendors). As for conversion levels, this is a judgment call. Every marketing leader has to benchmark what is acceptable to them, and set targets. Watch the benchmark reports ... that's probably your best bet here!
  • Posted on: 06/07/2018

    Retailers get real with high-touch service

    My engineer & technical marketing side says YES. But, to jettison other channels means you are ultimately cutting out a customer group. It's a balancing act. Retailers need to run tests, and try interrupting an "extraneous" channel to gauge the impact. Then make your choices. If it is a choice of one less channel vs giving staff creative autonomy to create personalized experiences, gravitate toward the latter. Personalization works. Driving brand intimacy helps retailers. High touch plays into both.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2018

    Is data-driven marketing holding back storytelling?

    The world gravitates toward creative marketing (artistic, ad writing ... ) and technical marketing (SEO/SEM, A/B testing, data-centric). Challenges lie in the middle. A more rare breed of marketer are those with enough technical skill to understand that side of the business, while being a creative writer. It is clear from need for STEM professionals and technical folk that there is a shortage in the market. However, the untold story is that there is an even greater shortage of those who bridge the tech/creative gap. It is by no means the only solution, but one option is to get technical teams to think out of the box. Practice creating cartoons from technical data. Practice public speaking (a speakers club) to get the storytelling juices flowing. Get more technical folk to write a short yet intelligible paragraph about an interesting data finding (intelligible by non-techies). If you have some good gap-bridgers, make sure they are mentoring others in your company! There is definitely a shortage (I have seen this in the world of marketing for the past two decades). The solution is unclear. It requires taking one small step at a time.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2018

    Walmart’s newest service brings texting and personal shopping together

    Wow -- there are some truly exciting developments coming from Walmart. Walmart takes center stage on this one. It is also a brilliant example of expanded omnichannel shopping. AI is a hot topic. There are many fears about the technology. I think this is a great example of how it is helpful -- and perhaps how it will revolutionize a piece of retail, too. No doubt this is going to become a new norm, similar to voice commerce. Text commerce: the next practical frontier.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2018

    Best Buy finds more inventory on hand drives sales

    You can't knock having the right inventory at the right time in retail. That is definitely a winning ticket. The lesson for retail is that good demand planning is one step. Second is letting your customers see the inventory. Good job Best Buy on pulling more inventory into your stores, where customers know they can drop by and probably find the electronic goods they seek. Best Buy also does a great job of showing their inventory online and telling shoppers which stores have stock of the items they want. What Best Buy is doing today has to start becoming the norm. The next step is highlighting the number of units of an item available at each location. This can help drive demand -- when a shopper knows that there are only two items left of the latest device they want. "Buy it now, before someone else snags it!" Keep leading the new age of retail, Best Buy!
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Target’s new Instagrammable collaboration is a sweet deal

    Good move for Target, to jump on the Instagrammability trend. They are definitely focusing on the right thing -- that being the customer experience. Don't worry about the experience/commerce balancing act. Yes, it is important. But more important is getting customers to come into Target stores, and getting them to enjoy and rave about the experience to their friends. WOM marketing still works! Another idea: Shoppers love telling their friends about their new brand-name purchases. So make the purchase a photo-op. Set up a Hollywood backdrop (with your brand all over it) and take a photo of the customer with their new purchase before they leave. Then they can share away.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    Is excess space behind retail’s shrink and customer experience problems?

    Modern retail needs a more dynamic approach. What North American retail needs is a more diverse approach. Keep some flagship, big box format stores. But NOT all location have to be flagship mega-stores. Put in smaller-format and even pop-up stores. These give retailers an important physical presence. Then run an omnichannel strategy that lets a customer order an item and pick it up -- even from a small pop-up location on their way to work. This should help with the under-staffing problem and help the bottom line.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2018

    Lessons in goodwill and the power of feelings

    Excellent customer service is where customers see it in action. But goodwill goes deeper than just that. It is about cultivating a retail culture that promotes goodwill with its own employees. Take the opposite -- a company culture that ONLY cares about the increased sales, bottom line, market share and cost cutting. These are super important to a business, but it has to be blended with a culture and corporate attitude that legitimately cares for its people. Doing this ensures that customers get that same sense of goodwill. First step, focus on your culture. This will be conveyed to your customers. Second, support treating your customers EXACTLY as you treat your employees. Managers -- anything you want to change now?
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Walmart drops Scan & Go tech – again

    It's hard to think that Walmart will just consider this a sunk cost and completely drop it. I expect they will use the feedback, and figure out if there is a better way to make it work -- such that customers gravitate to using it. Sometimes we forget that radical new tech can be risky, and the downside of that risk is that the technology does not get used, or that customers just don't like it. Good luck on the next version, Walmart!
  • Posted on: 05/15/2018

    Target sees stores as key to meeting its distribution challenges

    Yes. Target's ship-from-store strategy is smart. There are savings, as the customer is closer to the store locations resulting in lower last-mile shipping costs. But, it also supports the stores. It drives up inventory turnover. Target is also putting more inventory in the field stores. That's closer to the customers -- where products are actually bought. I encourage Target to keep going with its tests. Princess Auto started doing ship-from-store after implementing an advanced OMS. They were able to close an entire distribution center as a result. Imagine the cost savings for retailers if more could shut down a DC. If Target did this, that could be a $7 million to $13 million annual savings. Straight to the bottom line!

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