PROFILE

Dan Frechtling

President, G2 LLC, a Verisk business

Dan oversees product and marketing for G2 Web Services, a payments technology and service provider operating in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

Previously, Dan ran global product management for hibu, a leading provider of digital services connecting local consumers and merchants in the US, UK, Spain and Latin America. Prior to that, he was Vice President Marketing and Vice President Client Solutions for DS-IQ, where he re-launched digital couponing products for SUPERVALU and developed and executed marketing strategies for digital media at Walmart.

Earlier, he was general manager of DVD games and youth electronics as Director of Worldwide Marketing for Mattel. At Stamps.com he helped launch the first server-based web postage technology.  At McKinsey & Company he led engagements for consumer and technology clients.

Dan earned his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and his BS in Journalism/Economics from Northwestern University. He speaks Mandarin Chinese.

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  • Posted on: 08/01/2019

    Kroger to make customers pay for cash-back debit card payments

    If Kroger is paying the retail rate for a signature debit card transaction run through one of the card networks, it may cost between $.25 and $.55 for $50 cash back (though the numbers vary a lot). If they recover $.50 of that, they can argue they are fairly covering their costs and note other retailers and banks do the same. While this may be factually true, is the negative publicity and social media worth the extra fees Kroger could earn? This is not an isolated decision, but part of a comprehensive plan to manage costs within Kroger. As shoppers report narrower selection and elimination of premium services like the deli section, Kroger is making a series of other changes that could cost it to lose customers. At least the debit fees are easier to reverse, even if the bad buzz is not.
  • Posted on: 07/04/2019

    Will meatless meat, CBD and cold brew coffee help food retailers differentiate?

    I agree with Steve that CBD stands above the rest. By 2024, market size is estimated to range from $5–$20 billion globally. It was called “the most disruptive force in the world today” at an investor conference in London this month. CBD has become increasingly popular to deal with anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, pain, seizures, and other ailments. It has been added to shampoos, dog treats, coffee—even hamburgers. CBD is also a sought-after dietary supplement ingredient. The number of products carrying CBD as an ingredient and the affinity of e-commerce makes CBD the most significant of the three trends. Unfortunately, CBD (often confused with THC) faces “chronic” uncertainty due to opaque FDA rules and a web of federal and state rule frameworks. Once the FDA puts a stake in the ground, expect products and retailers to proliferate.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2019

    Toys ‘R’ Us prepares its American comeback

    A reborn Toys “R” Us can be operate small scale and online. Six stores in the right locations can succeed. Manufacturers are likely to support them since it’s a small bet to ship inventory or sell on consignment with only six stores. An online store with drop shipping or a similar model carries little risk. The clearance of debt gives the business model more buoyancy. Ona larger scale, Geoffrey would run into the same buzzsaw of Amazon.com and mass merchandisers like Target and Walmart that use toys as loss leaders. And a half dozen doors won’t give it the ability to buy online, fulfill in store. Don’t expect an epic comeback, but the positive PR being generated will float a lean revival — if they avoid backlash from ex-employees who missed out on severance.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2019

    What is Jet.com’s future after its reorg within Walmart?

    Walmart needs to maximize e-commerce sales on a holistic basis. The revenue trends at Jet.com are immaterial if overall online sales grew an impressive 34% as they did last quarter. Like many companies that make large acquisitions ($3.3B in this case) there's a before-and-after difference. Before acquisition, the excitement of the "new" leads managers to forecast investment and growth in the asset. After acquisition, investment in the asset must compete with other uses of capital and can get crowded out. The before-and-after dichotomy is fine unless it makes it harder for Walmart to retain human capital to make Walmart e-commerce better. After Walmart became the #3 online retailer in 2018 and has set sights on being #2, we'll see what's next.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

    The court narrowly agreed iPhone consumers are "direct purchasers" and did not suggest the antitrust claims of the class action group have any merit. In my opinion, the protection that Apple offers is well worth the premium (to the extent there is one) of purchasing from the App Store. Within the Android ecosystem, we have seen malware, unsafe software, piracy, and apps that facilitate illegal activity when "side-loaded," or purchased from third-party app stores. Past analyses of the App Store found 85 percent to 90 percent of apps are free, so that tests the claim of monopolistic pricing. Consumers eventually still "pay" by viewing adds, making in-app purchases, and upgrading. But these are choices driven by market forces, which seems incompatible with monopolistic practices.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2019

    Trump is deaf to retailers on tariffs

    Good analysis, Neil. The US position is rational, consistent, and resolute. The points you make are around winning the long game rather than winning the next general election. It would be a mistake to let the chaos of today's politics cause us to consent to continuing intellectual property abuse and ignore the past lessons on China's exceptional ability to introduce bureaucratic delay. There is still time for negotiators to make progress. Exports on the water that left China ports before today are exempt from the tariffs. That gives a couple of weeks for agreement to be reached.
  • Posted on: 04/29/2019

    Will Rite Aid and Walgreens gain health cred by restricting tobacco sales?

    The moral and economic argument for Walgreens is that by continuing to sell tobacco products they have an advantage in smoking cessation more than smoking adoption. Having a loyal market of nicotine buyers equips pharmacists and technicians to offer advice on quitting. This not only is the right thing to do, it also allows Walgreens to play to both sides of commerce — starting with tobacco.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2019

    Retailers still haven’t solved last mile challenges for fresh foods

    The juice is not worth the squeeze for consumers. According to CapGemini, only 1 percent are willing to pay the full cost of delivery. As a result, supermarkets only recoup 80 cents for every $1 they spend on delivery. How do they get past this? They may:
    • Reduce the cost of ordering using apps and websites;
    • Reduce the cost of delivery using third parties like UberEats, GrubHub and Instacart;
    • Focus operations on densely populated areas.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    The Apple Card is the best thing to happen to Apple since the iPhone

    Apple Card is a straightforward way to keep money inside the Apple iEcosystem. The 3% cash bonus incentivizes Apple consumers to transfer more payments via Apple Cash, buy more Apple Store gizmos, make more in-app purchases, and transact more in mobile games. At the same time, it makes Apple Pay itself more top of mind for Apple users, nearly 60% of whom still haven't enabled Apple Pay on their iPhones. Keeping the consumer in a closed commerce loop was a home run with Amazon Prime but only a pop fly with Apple Pay as we know it. Apple Card will be at least a single.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2019

    Brands and retailers get in on the esports marketing game

    Of the differences between conventional sports and esports, the athletes are the most intriguing to me. Both professional tournament players and “streamers“ come from all walks. Their audience can identify with their favorite players because performance doesn’t rely on genetic physical traits like height, speed, and body mass. These athletes can engage with their fans with their gaming prowess and their wit, and benefit from video and social channels that can be live but are often recorded and replayed. For advertisers, this means that there are traditional promotional strategies in esports and novel endorsement-based tactics. Players carry high attention with their followers. As long as the athletes stay authentic and don’t become too commercial, they carry remarkable influence.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2019

    Will other cities follow Philly in banning cashless stores?

    Going cashless presents benefits for some brick-and-mortar retailers, despite the added interchange fees of e-payments. These advantages include speeding transactions, reducing fraud, reducing theft and money laundering risk and adding convenience to compete with e-commerce alternatives. Proponents would say it’s an operating model choice best left up to free markets to influence. But there’s a problem with banning cash, starting with the statement, “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” There’s also the well-known access issues for the unbanked. Regulators may prefer protecting citizens over modifying rules that complicate banks’ efforts to serve the unbanked. Stores solely embracing e-payments might experiment with ways around the membership loophole and possibly (gasp) switching from fees for using plastic to fees for using cash. But most likely they’ll simply avoid Philly.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2019

    Will attribute-based product recommendations be a game changer for Walmart?

    Combining sentiment and attribute analysis with online browsing behavior could anticipate the factors online shoppers care about, saving time and improving relevance. How that works in a physical store is not as clear. Location within the store is inexact. Using purchase history would seem to make the algorithms more accurate. The benefits don’t just accrue to the shopper, however. Using sentiment analysis for research is another use case that deserves attention. Mining reviews for satisfaction with products and service could also help Walmart with supplier selection and competitor analysis.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2019

    Will the ‘c’ in c-stores soon stand for cannabis?

    In answer to the first question, retailers have already gotten into the sale of cannabis once allowed to do so by law. In states where medical or recreational cannabis has been legalized, specialized shops have sprung up with vigor to serve customers of all walks of life. These establishments offset the costs of cash-handling with high margin, luxury-priced products. Inhibitions by both retailers and manufacturers means c-stores will take longer to get in the act. First, c-stores need to staff up compliance departments in their procurement and field networks to manage the different laws and regulations set by states, Congress and executive branches like FinCEN, DEA and FDA. The difference between .1% and 1% THC levels in CBD is profound. For this reason, pharmacies will engage first. C-stores will eventually take the plunge because they will assume they have the advantage of managing alcohol and tobacco rules, where the complexity is lower. Manufacturers used to premium pricing will resist price concessions needed to get slotted in the high velocity channels. Eventually they will capitulate, justifying their decision by the need to go mass market before their competitors do. Over time the market will have a handful of high end producers, some sold only in premium channels, and a bevy of me-toos at the low end. The titans of the industry like Canopy will have a full portfolio. Of course, the above may happen slowly or not at all. Canada is way ahead globally, so the US (moving ahead) and Europe (dragging its feet) can watch the experiment play out.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    NRF: Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly talks about what it takes to ‘be’ a great leader

    Great leaders have the ability to sidestep self-interest to serve a greater interest. What they do for others supersedes what they do for themselves. Three of the "be's" reflect this: 1. Be purposeful 2. Be clear about who you're serving 3. Be values-driven This reflects the importance of leading oneself before leading others. Retail leaders that distinguish themselves are exceptionally good at intra-personal and interpersonal management. Ineffective leaders focus on IQ over EQ, to the detriment of their teams.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2019

    NRF: What’s the next step for omnichannel grocery?

    Market + Food court + Warehouse + Distribution center + E-commerce hub is a lot to build into a single concept. Even its name packs it all in (fresh + ship + hippo!). Freshippo tries to solve a full range of problems from home delivery to fresh food to experiential retail. I’m not sure it can be better than Costco at the “warehouse” value prop or a boutique grocery at “fresh” or Amazon at “delivery” or a mall at “food court.” And it requires a lot of real estate to fit in all of the services it promises. Grocers can benefit by adding omnichannel services to their existing operations. And Freshippo presents features here that could be attractive to try. Costco could consider a more upscale food court. Kroger could enhance its successful app to scan products for ingredients, sourcing and consumer reviews. But the full package seems to be its own success limiter. Just because you can combine turkey, duck and chicken doesn’t mean shoppers want a Turducken.

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