PROFILE

Cristian Grossmann

CEO, Beekeeper
Cris is CEO and Co-Founder of Beekeeper, an award-winning digital workplace app that digitizes the non-desk workforce in 137+ countries by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one intuitive platform. Beekeeper helps companies increase performance and productivity, enhance employee engagement, reduce turnover costs, and elevate corporate culture. Prior to founding Beekeeper, Cris worked for Accenture on high profile international projects in the field of IT Strategy for the financial and public sectors. Cris studied Chemical Engineering and got his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, both at ETH Zurich. Before moving to beautiful Zurich, Cris was born and raised in an entrepreneurial Swiss-Mexican family in Mexico City. For more information, visit www.beekeeper.io
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  • Posted on: 01/31/2018

    How should IT buyers be pitched?

    When it comes to pitching IT buyers, authenticity and personalization are both crucial. If a cold email fails to convey that the provider’s BD team has done any sort of in-depth research on the company they’re reaching out to, that impersonal tone can be quite a turnoff for potential buyers. Identifying either a personal experience with the product or a specific product feature that is relevant to the solution they're selling can help IT sales reps strike up a more substantive conversation. Additionally, if the IT product in question is white labeled/has the potential to be branded, it may be worthwhile to plug in brand colors and logos into some sample UI screens so that the potential client can really visualize how the product would function within day-to-day operations. Lastly, it's key to make sure that your outreach is paced correctly. If you have an automated workflow turned on and the client has made it clear they won't be interested until one or two quarters from now, it's important for sales to remove them from that workflow.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2018

    FMI says switch to online grocery sales going faster than expected

    In order for retailers and CPG brands to be competitive in the online grocery market, they'll need to consider the small customer experience touches that will keep members of various generational cohorts loyal. For the Millennial market, encouraging discoverability within the shopping interface and offering deep discounts for produce that may be considered imperfect (like Imperfect Produce has done.), or developing "generic" brands like Whole Food's 365 or Brandless will gamify the shopping experience, helping this younger cohort build strong weekly shopping and cooking habits. For older generations, making weekly re-orders of the same items quick and easy is important, as well digitizing the traditional "coupon book" through good old-fashioned email marketing.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2018

    Does online shopping have a cardboard box problem?

    A while back I used Amazon Fresh for the convenience, but after seeing how much packaging there was, I canceled the service. Many items were in individual plastic bags and there was even styrofoam lining the bags. (I think they've improved since then.) Retailers can do their part by being mindful of their carbon footprint and consumers can do their part by refusing to use services with unsustainable packaging. Boxes should be sized according to the product size. And perhaps give the option to the customer. For example, Amazon gives you credit if you use slower shipping. A similar offer could be provided if they are willing to wait longer so their products could be consolidated in one package.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2018

    What will The Company Store do for Home Depot?

    This acquisition seems like the logical next step for Home Depot. Consumers want convenience, and what is more convenient than remodeling the master bedroom and also being able to purchase the decor? Online retail has been rapidly taking over brick and mortar purchasing so adding more online offerings is necessary to scale further.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2018

    Is Walmart aiming for a new customer with personalized text shopping?

    True, this isn't Walmart's usual target market, but it's just a subsidiary and not being marketed with the Walmart name. Large corporations own numerous brands, many of which customers don't even know about. Convenience is all the rage with any demographic, and many people are willing to pay top dollar for it. This is an exciting endeavor as it combines convenience, personalization, and a human touch. However, the price point may determine how accessible and successful it is because there are already similar services like Stitch Fix that essentially provide personal shoppers.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2017

    Get ready – there are still three shopping holidays left before Christmas

    While in years past Black Friday and Cyber Monday actually felt somewhat ephemeral -- the true "flash sales" they are meant to be -- the holiday retail spike now feels like a sea of discount delusions. Setting the expectation that all brands must participate in these "holidays" often causes shoppers to halt on purchases they would have made otherwise without question. Not only that, but the deluge of email marketing consumers experience on these days can become overwhelming, and it becomes harder for brands to compete as one of 50+ marketing emails to land in the customer's inbox. If any of the above newer "holidays" has legs, it would be brick-and-mortar promotions on Super Saturday, as customers are already in the mindset of having to run around for last minute gifts.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2017

    Will shoppers pay services to do returns for them?

    The maddening inconvenience of returns, especially during the holidays, would make a flat rate, on-demand service like ReturnRunner very intriguing to consumers. The problem is, as the "share economy" begins to hit a critical inflection point, the dangers of unsustainable pricing are becoming increasingly apparent. Once customers use up inevitable coupon and referral codes, a business like ReturnRunner may have trouble retaining customers beyond retail-heavy seasons or special events like weddings.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    Will mobile move the needle for J. Crew – this holiday and beyond?

    The growing pains felt after the departure of J. Crew's former President and Executive Creative Director Jenna Lyons earlier this year certainly seem to be impacting this rocky transition to mobile. While the company's current retail offering does maintain hints of the envelope-pushing workwear and bold branding that drove the J. Crew to prominence among young professionals over the past 15+ years, the overall brand aesthetic reads a bit muted in comparison to the neon accents and bold fashion rule-breaking that became core to J. Crew's DNA with Lyons at the helm. To compensate for this creative transition that is causing the brand to lose some of its following, there are many ways that J. Crew can tap into its progressive roots with technology as well. With full-body 3-D scanning and other virtual fitting technologies on the rise, J. Crew has a massive opportunity to add robust custom fitting functionality to its mobile and web experiences so that busy professionals can try on new looks remotely. Assigning a virtual concierge to help customers with these fittings could also add a personalized touch to the experience.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Subscription services are moving beyond just being surprise boxes

    While many subscription box companies experienced diminished retention rates as the market began to saturate, SaaS and streaming subscriptions offering monthly recurring services and entertainment continue to thrive among customers because streaming and software services have the power to become intensely ingrained into the user's routine. Instead of novelty t-shirts or sample sizes of skincare items that would be otherwise cost prohibitive for the customer, entrepreneurs hoping to pursue the box subscription model should consider selling direct-to-consumer items that are more likely to become a mission-critical aspect of the customer's day. If a subscription box company can make the process of buying razors or household cleaning items an elevated experience, replete with visually compelling branding and perhaps even a social mission tied to the purchase, customers are more likely to stick with the service both out of convenience and desire to identify with a forward-thinking brand.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Should marketers personalize products using consumers’ DNA?

    Personalization is a tried and true method when it comes to selling. And when it comes to biological data, products like 23andMe and Ancestry have become extremely popular because consumers are interested in learning more about their ancestry, health risks, etc. that all fall under biological data. This seems like a very promising market to tap into further. However, this is extremely personal data so I wonder how this fits in with the new GDPR being put in place in May 2018. Although it was set for the EU, it will affect all companies working with customers in the EU. I'm curious to know how they will be safeguarding this personal data and not holding onto it for long periods of time.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2017

    Will 24/7 curbside service help Nordstrom pick up late Christmas sales?

    Curbside pickup could be an excellent way to ensure that Nordstrom customers can securely pick up higher priced items that they may not feel comfortable having left on their porch while out at work during the day. With that said, managing a 24/7 dispersed workforce does require a lot of coordination. Oftentimes, holiday teams are comprised of temporary staffers and will need extra communication to keep things running smoothly. Using real-time messaging and mobile communication tools is a great way to keep holiday team members on track and keep customers happy since operations can run more smoothly.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2017

    Consumers don’t trust what CEOs are saying

    Both consumers and employees can easily detect when messaging has been diluted through a bottleneck of PR and legal constraints. In our current content marketing boom, galvanizing a cult of personality within your brand means leading with transparency and conviction and reminding employees that their voice is crucial to the team’s success. The tricky part of encouraging employees to engage in the public discourse surrounding the retail industry is of course ensuring that the messaging stays on brand. Encouraging on-brand public discourse within a workforce involves three things:
    1. The CEO should make themselves available via email, office hours, or regular all-hands meetings to receive feedback and create dialogue;
    2. PR training should be a mandatory yet engaging part of the onboarding process;
    3. Employees who positively contribute to public discourse as a representative of the brand should be rewarded.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2017

    Google’s real-time translation tech could be huge

    Real-time translation technology will be imperative for communication in the retail space both internally and customer facing. Retailers will benefit in the following ways: creating an inclusive workforce, allowing expansion, improved safety, and faster and comprehensive information sharing. Workplace diversity is something to be celebrated and contributes to global expansion efforts by making non-English speaking employees and customers feel at ease. If your staff speaks a multitude of languages, you’ll have more avenues in which to communicate with customers from all over the world.  When it comes to safety, the entire company must be on the same page and nothing should get lost in translation when distributing critical information both internally and externally. Some miscommunication risks may be minor (like misunderstanding a cleaning schedule), but many risks are much more serious. Problems arise when workers are not able to communicate hazardous working conditions or cannot fully understand safety protocol. Employees should be able to read as much content in their preferred language as possible for maximum comprehension. With an effective real-time translation technology in place, you give everyone the ability to be a part of the dialogue, without the back-end hassle.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2017

    Empowered employees separate Zumiez from the competition

    Empowering frontline employees is more important than ever with the shift to digital retailing. Zumiez hits a lot of the key points, but "some recognition" should be stepped up. Extra incentives are great (and I like how they offer non-monetary ones as well like working better hours), but strong recognition should go along with it. This helps employees feel valued and offers inspiration for the rest of the team.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2017

    Five skills every retail manager needs to succeed

    Effective communication and empowering your employees are some of the most important skillsets for store managers. It's particularly hard to communicate with employees who don't sit at desks and email all day, so communication takes an extra level of skill and creativity on the store floor. The turnover rate in retail is generally higher than most industries (and very costly) so building up your employees and helping them in their own professional development is important. Managers should lead by example and show employees that they're valued. And as the article points out, constructive criticism is good to give along the way but managers should also be open to feedback so there's two-way communication.
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