PROFILE

Dan Frechtling

President, G2 Web Services, 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: 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.
  • Posted on: 12/20/2018

    When are outside Amazon experts better than inside ones?

    Along with many of the commenters, I agree that outside help is mandatory. But consultants and agencies are only part of the answer. There are myriad companies that help brands grow their businesses. They optimize how to get found, how to get chosen, and how to get placed in the buy box. There are also myriad companies that help brands protect their business. They hunt for pricing violations, unauthorized resellers, duplicate listings, IP theft and other hazards. While human experts will never go away, today's agencies will beget tomorrow's technologies. The digital nature of Amazon means a tremendous amount of insight can be derived from Amazon APIs or simply scraping the site and benchmarking with software and longitudinal datasets. The value of this data has only begun to be tapped.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2018

    Will Instagrammers all scream for Baskin-Robbins’ new ice cream concept?

    Baskin-Robbins has been savvy about using social media before. To make this concept successful with Instagram, it can apply lessons learned from other promotions that integrate across media. For example, BR achieved a 50 percent lift in visits last year with an in-store event it promoted on social media. Pre-event, BR ran a #freescoopnight campaign on Facebook and Instagram and stood up displays in its retail locations to build excitement. During the event it streamed consumers on Facebook Live, and through Instagram stories. Post-event, BR PR leveraged video and images for TV broadcast. The most interesting part is this idea came from Malaysia. BR is a global business that benefits from global ideas for Instagrammability.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2018

    Are Millennials taking advantage of retailers’ goodwill?

    At first glance, this may appear to be driven by e-commerce penetration -- online shopping and customer service is less personal and more likely to be exploited. But UJET and other studies show Millennials are brick-and-mortar shoppers just like older peers. So this is really a function of different expectations around good service and conditioning around acceptable tactics to get the best deal. There is a marketing lesson here. The survey sponsor touts real-time communications through smartphones. But there is more. At the same time Millennials are more responsive to customer service “offers,” they are less responsive to traditional advertising than Boomers and Gen Xers. They are also more likely to switch between online and physical stores weekly, more likely to BOPIS, and more likely to hold a retail subscription service. These are good insights for customer service and digital channel strategies.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2018

    Amazon and Apple get co-opetitive

    The timing is right for both companies to team up as they are both under topline pressure heading into the holiday shopping season. Amazon's Q3 revenue was about $500 million short of analyst expectations and Apple announced they will no longer report unit sales, which are flattening. Amazon will be even more of a destination for gadgets and Apple should see better adherence to pricing as authorized resellers replace independent firms. Amazon and Apple mended fences on Apple TV last year, and Amazon has lacked a competing phone for some time (finding an answer in Alexa, a still-protected business, instead). Whether consumers will benefit or not is up to debate. Apple's reconciliation with Amazon coincides with pressure on the third party market. As noted above, authorized sellers will be held to approved retail prices or face Apple's ire. At the same time, Apple announced new limitations on refurbishers who don't spend at least $10 million per year with Apple.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2018

    Has CVS found an answer to blunt Amazon’s move into the pharmacy business?

    I agree with Neil Saunders’ point about the high rewards inherent in the program. One reason for this comes from an observation published by Chain Store Age (June edition) which also happens to also be a Neil Saunders comment: “The most loyal part of their [CVS and Walgreens] pharmacy customer base is the older consumer. Over the next ten years, this cohort will become a much less significant part of the market and this will leave drugstores exposed to younger shoppers who are more likely to use both Amazon and remote pharmacy services. There is a significant risk that drugstores will see a real erosion in pharmacy customer share, especially in urban and suburban areas where Amazon can quickly deliver.” Thanks, Neil, for your insights.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2018

    Will organic food sales soar on the latest cancer research?

    As others have pointed out, price is by far the most significant headwind for increased consumption of organic foods. So what will it take to reduce the price gap?
    1. More farms must transition to organic. It typically takes three years for a conventional farm to be certified as organic. Expediting this process through best practices and technologies will open up supply.
    2. More supply chains must transition to organic. Organic eggs and milk have the highest price premiums over conventional counterparts, at 70-80 percent. The USDA requires feed qualify as organic for the byproducts to be organic. Today most of the feed, such as corn and soybeans, has to be imported to the US. (In a bit of irony, the US ships soybeans to China and China ships organic soybeans to the US).
    3. Deeper discounts by grocers can expand impulse purchases. Organic foods (aka without preservatives) often have shorter shelf lives. A deep discounting strategy for overdue produce both moves product before spoilage and encourages higher consumption from “switchers.”
    Despite a maturing market and greater choice for organic foods, the price premium hasn’t uniformly been shrinking. A study published in Growing Produce found organic and conventional lettuce, carrots and tomato prices moved in unison together over the past 10 years but the premium did not shrink. Yet another study by the USDA indicated certain spotlight foods like spinach and granola have narrowed the gap, and are gaining share.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2018

    Shopify opens a storefront to support its online merchants

    The Entrepreneur Space answers a great question for online merchants: if they can find dozens of places to service their laptops, why can’t they find one to service their e-commerce businesses? It is a great part of Shopify’s training and loyalty program. But it needs to make money ultimately. To that end, there is actual selling going on in the center. These include trialling the Shopify POS system and the Printful sample service. I imagine a Shopify Capital representative is on hand as well. But it’s hard to imagine this concept will succeed on physical reach. Geographically, LA provides access to 10,000 Shopify merchants. But what about the other 590,000 in 175 countries? And while the center may help Shopify compete with direct competitors like Magento, how will that help them win against the real competition: Amazon, Walmart.com and other online marketplaces? The answer could be to use the Space in conjunction with Shopify’s online support and in-person roadshow touch points, and continuing a strategy of bundling merchant services to yield more revenue per customer.

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