Cynthia Holcomb

Founder | CEO, Female Brain Ai & Prefeye - Preference Science Technologies Inc.
Does Your Ai Solve for Female Intelligence? Do Your Personalization Technologies Solve for Female Preference? • FemaleBrain.AI is an Intelligence Consulting Service enabling both Female Ai Thought Leadership and Technical Services. • Every retailer and brand that sells digitally to females must have a Female Ai Strategy in place to be relevant in the time of Ai. • According to Bloomberg, women make more than 85% of the consumer purchases in the United States and reputedly influence over 95% of total goods and services purchased. • Does your Ai think and shop “like” a female? • Is your company experimenting with Ai initiatives? If so, this is the time and opportunity for your company to introduce and lead in Female Ai Intelligence. • As Founder of four companies and based upon my retail and apparel career, working for top retailers including Nordstrom, I have spent the past decade developing patent-pending methods and systems, leveraging Ai to solve for Female Intelligence. • FEMALE AI DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES. • Scientifically speaking there are cognitive differences between the way men and women think and shop. • Need Evidence to Validate the Need for Female Ai Initiatives? • Decades old 3% conversion. • Return rates of 25%-50%. • 97% of digital customers walk, they buy nothing. • Resulting in lost customers; lost credibility and wasted resources affecting every aspect of your product, supply chain, ROI, and our climate. • Female Ai consulting services offers technical expertise and deep industry knowledge necessary to evaluate, uncover and solve the most complex of female intelligence business use cases for both retailers and brands. • Ready? • Drop me a note, I am ready to work with you and your teams.
  • Posted on: 02/26/2021

    Target wants a bigger slice of Apple’s pie

    Excellent news! Welcome after the challenges of the past year where the ability to shop a physical Apple store required time and timing just to enter the store -- while at the same time, it has been a breeze to shop at Target. Target is perfect for the store-within-a-store concept housing great brands many people trust and shop for regularly. Target, one-stop shopping loaded with tons of new and interesting shoppable styles for everyone.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2021

    Marketers are going online more and in-person less to gather research data

    The trend to qualitative online research presupposes the intimate future of Ai-enabled, multi-dimensional processing of online human inputs to solve for "implicit" human outputs. In other words, consumer research insights discovered by an algorithm programmed to solve for complex, multi-dimensional, hidden consumer insights versus the age-old linear subjectivity of human-enabled consumer insights. Ai enabled, online consumer research allows brands and marketers to move past the previous methods and systems solving mainly for manually enabled "explicit" outcomes which are now expiring, in a digital-only world.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2021

    What’s so funny about authenticity, integrity and transparency?

    For Farmgirl Flowers the product itself reflects simplicity -- beautiful flowers arranged naturally, it's easy to understand and order. The backbone behind this simplicity? A founder staying true to her ideals. Not distracted by chasing business, but by building a business based upon what most consider real-world values. Proof positive of this is $100 million in sales during a pandemic.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2021

    Amazon is using crowdsourcing to create new products

    Will Amazon Build It reduce consumer participation in crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others? Will Amazon take their "smile" share out of bootstrapping startups seeking to fund their own initial product? Is there or will there be enough bandwidth to go around for innovation outside of the Amazon behemoth? Let's say Build It takes hold in the marketplace fueled by Alexa. What happens to innovation fueled by startup minds outside of the Amazon wealth complex? Entrepreneurs scratch out innovation, risking their livelihoods and lifeblood in pursuit of real innovation. On the other hand large corporations, with well-paid project teams, have corporate culture blind spots and other internal motivators gauging their success which in many cases has little to do with true innovation. This is why startups are responsible, like Amazon once was, for true innovation.
  • Posted on: 02/18/2021

    Is suburban retail (malls, too) primed for a comeback?

    The pandemic, protests, boarded-up downtown [urban] stores alongside restaurants out of business, highlighted by the loss of small urban, local retail businesses, now deceased. Hmm... Where does one feel safe IF they want to ditch their computer for a real-life shopping experience? This year in 2021? And how about 2022, only 10 months away? I believe Mr. Simon has a realistic view into the minds and moods of shoppers and shopping in the current environment we are all living within.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2021

    Should retailers just say ‘no’ to Instacart?

    It is difficult after months and months of the dark days of COVID to imagine the days and years ahead beyond COVID. It will take some time to get over and past the COVID hangover, but in time we humans will be excited to venture out. And when that happens, I predict a great renaissance of happy, out-of-home exploration driven solely by human nature. In this use case, human nature inspired by the opportunity to pick and pack one's own food. There are dozens and dozens of cooking shows on TV, cable, and online touting the sumptuous experience of cooking. How many new cookbooks line Amazon and local libraries' shelves? Wholesome, organic ingredients selected by time-constrained 3rd party professional shoppers kill the culinary buzz. Yes, I am optimistic about the "new normal." When the sight and smell of hand-selected, fresh ingredients cooking in one's kitchen will create new memories of the joy of cooking. As in most human experiential experiences, the pendulum of human nature is inspired by the act of re-discovery. Grocers should take note of this human phenomenon.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2021

    Digital gains are changing how Best Buy puts its associates to work

    Just when Best Buy crossed the chasm of great in-store, knowledgeable service they "can" it. For years Best Buy was extremely annoying to shop as the staff was not trained to educate or give personalized product recommendations to in-store shoppers. That all changed in the past couple of years. The retailer has developed amazing service, has a knowledgeable greeter at the door, and excelled at setting appointments in real-time for walk-in customers. It is important in electronics to have a place to go to speak with a knowledgeable human; it is brilliant. Now it sounds like Best Buy will become a robotic drop-off point for returns. How sad. Just when personally, as a consumer, I was gung-ho on Best Buy. Bye-bye Best Buy, hello Amazon.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2021

    Will Nordstrom celebrate or regret its decision to give brands a lot more control?

    "Sorry I can't help you, I don't work for Nordstrom, I can only help you with brand X." Wow, as a past vendor, employee, and consultant to Nordstrom, this is paradoxical to everything Nordstrom has stood for over time. It is counterintuitive to what made Nordstrom stand out from the crowd; what made Nordstrom, Nordstrom. I could see this working in Collectors or Via C but not in Nordstrom's "mainstream" apparel brands. Yes, cosmetic companies have long deployed this model at Nordstrom, but they are behind a counter. With brands running 30 percent of a Nordstrom store floor, staffed by the brand's employees, how will the bedrock of Nordstrom customer service and product selection continue to make Nordstrom one of the top retailer brands, as it has for decades? Nordstrom with all of its news of late is betting on digital, not in-store. One thing though for sure, Nordstrom always has an eye for innovation. So we on the outside will watch and see what happens.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2021

    Whole Foods gets a lot right and wrong

    Whole Foods is a myth, a lovely Amazonian vision, based upon replacing a really wonderful customer culinary experience with digital efficiencies executed on the backs of third-party shoppers and the dreaded, mainstream centralized buying. Whenever homebound life returns to what used to be normal, many humans will be craving sumptuous, visual, and sensory retail grocery experiences. Whole Foods was the hallmark of sensory shopping for groceries. Now Whole Foods is the warehouse for third-party pickers. Literally squeezing shoppers out the door. To me, it's a reminder: be careful of bright and shiny digital objects pumped up by media as the future of grocery shopping. Humans must be diligent in protecting their day-to-day real-world human experiences so as not to lose touch with the simple joys of human life.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2021

    No sweat. Target’s activewear brand’s sales move past $1B

    All in Motion product floor sets display a revved up basic program. Given Active is now the de-facto 24 hour, wear most anywhere, apparel. Target hit the mark with a vast array of sizes and newly colored basics presented as a shop-within-a-shop inside Target, featuring wide-open spaces leading to product discovery. A key factor in selling basic active apparel is fit and fabrication. Hopefully Target will not go the way of Old Navy, selling limp versions of active fabrications to keep price points low.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Nordstrom is determined to get closer to its customers

    For decades Nordstrom merchandised stores to reflect local markets. From the 2000s on, Nordstrom made the decision to move away from local/regional buys to corporate buys, which led to an in-store uniformity of product selection, watering down the creativity of what made Nordstrom special in dozens of local markets. For the last decade or so, Nordstrom has transitioned itself to the "middle" in product selection. While Designer has always been a focus for Nordstrom, in the other Nordstrom world, the day-to-day Nordstrom customer was left with rounders of middle-market Nordstrom private brands interjected here and there with corporate buys from "leading" brands which have had the net effect of Nordstrom stores' product offerings seeming more like commoditized Macy's store product offerings, rather than the local/regional fashion specialty retailer Nordstrom once was. The Rack is one of the most difficult stores to shop on or offline. Adding 20x to the inventory to seems like an Amazon equivalency attempt. Shopping Amazon for apparel for a dress, for example, offers up to 40,000 dress choices for a shopper to sort through. Hopefully, Nordstrom has considered technologies beyond specification filter-based shopping "leverage a broader product assortment and translate it into a curated and personalized shopping experience.” Sure, Nordstrom has a deft hand at product display and merchandising, but is that enough to keep shoppers sorting and sorting and sorting to find a product to buy on Ten years ago, it used to be retailers stood for a brand, not "boiling the ocean" as a means to compete and differentiate itself from Amazon.
  • Posted on: 02/04/2021

    Where does the chief digital officer fit into retail’s executive team?

    Unlike startups and innovators, many C-suite officials rose through the ranks, without having any first-hand knowledge of overseeing any digital innovation in the components of their businesses. C-suite is as siloed from innovation as is an entry-level employee. The politics, de-facto gatekeepers, and corporate inertia solidly underpin the deadly serious platform of the “status quo.” Truly those brave souls brought in to be the first or second chief digital officer are more likely to fail than execute any meaningful digital innovation within a corporate organization. Human nature is human nature. Pretending otherwise is a fatal flaw hindering corporate digital innovation. Hence Deloitte concluded in its study, “The rate and scope of digital transformations are highly individualized to each organization, and it may take months or even years to transform.”
  • Posted on: 02/02/2021

    Will Allure editors outdo other beauty merchandisers with a new store concept?

    Fashion is all about “the buzz.” Fashion magazines, designers, retailers, cosmetic companies live and thrive on “the buzz.” Internally, there is always gamesmanship on what is the newest and best trend, product, and on and on it goes, based upon extrapolated reasons why a product or trend is a best seller. Really though, the best sellers and the antidotal accompanying commentary really only exist in the minds of those so fully immersed in fashion passion, it becomes the idiom "the hill one wants to die on" guiding the internal selection process of what-gets-made-or-sold outcome. I know this from years of personal experience leading teams of designers and product developers. Allure is acting as a product filter, banking upon their brand and expertise as a platform to inspire, guide, and elevate Allure far beyond a magazine into a platform designed to further monetize the Allure brand. Whether products selected for an Allure store are consumer voted best sellers or not, it does not really matter. The Allure POV is the platform and new product discovery rarely comes from consumers. It comes from those impassioned by fashion and design as a career with the resources to shop the world and implement at scale, the next, best, most exciting trends in all categories, including cosmetics. Nice job Allure.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2021

    What does GameStop’s wild stock ride mean for retail?

    Excellent analysis Jeff! Well said.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2021

    What does GameStop’s wild stock ride mean for retail?

    As a bystander, the reaction of the involved hedge funds is the most interesting to observe, exposing the manipulation and dichotomy of the "free market" economy controlled by the few. Gamesmanship and power beat out the little guy/gal until now.

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