Dave Bruno

Marketing Director, Aptos
With over 25 years of experience in retail technology, Dave supports Aptos with brand development, corporate messaging, and product marketing. His deep resume includes widely varying experiences helping bring retail technology to market at GERS, Escalate Retail, RedPrairie, JDA and Epicor. Dave is a frequent speaker at industry events and is highly regarded for his ability to identify emerging technology trends that will impact the retail model. He has worked with many of the world’s leading retailers, and he is an accomplished marketer, having won numerous awards for his content marketing programs and campaigns. He is a member of the advisory board for DemandGen Report, and the executive producer of the CommerceofCaring podcast series. Dave is also a regular contributor to
  • Posted on: 03/19/2019

    Can Walmart lead the fight to eliminate plastic waste?

    One can only hope that Walmart will lead the way on product packaging changes. We simply must reduce the eco-footprint of product packaging and, if Walmart sets a new standard, the trickle-down effect will be felt around the world. While there will be cost challenges in the short term (which are problematic, to be sure), I suspect that Walmart's scale and volume will incent us to innovate our way around them before long. I sincerely applaud Walmart for taking these vitally important steps.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2019

    New shoppable ad tech creates opportunities across AR, search and voice

    While I think Gab is totally right that all three of these technologies will impact how we shop in the future, I think visual search may hold the most immediate short-term potential for brands. Pinterest Lens is already converting at extremely high rates, and Google Lens continues to fly under the radar while they keep adding features and sophistication. Once consumers start figuring out how powerful searching with their cameras can be, I think visual search will take off - and it would behoove retailers to understand the implications to SEO now, so they are ready when shoppers are ready.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2019

    Does new retail need a new prototype?

    I think Elaine has really captured the problem with prototypes as we know them, and I think her proposed solution makes a lot of sense. As creative, localized and personalized experiences become a requirement for most stores in most locations, we must have both flexibility and organizational discipline to design stores that align to local shopper expectations while staying on brand. Elaine's modular approach seems ideally suited to give retailers both the flexibility and the discipline required.
  • Posted on: 03/12/2019

    Stage Stores converts to an off-price future

    While I worry about saturation, off-price seems like a good place for Stage Stores to move. I would caution, however, that experiences will become more important than ever as the off-price space gets more crowded. Off-price can't also mean "bargain basement" experiences. I would recommend that Stage think carefully about how to differentiate from the dominant off-pricers like ROSS, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2019

    7-Eleven to take a page from Starbucks with a café concept

    I am typically "all in" on experiential retail innovations but, in this case, I worry that lingering is too contrary to the 7-Eleven brand promise of convenience. When coupled with their inability to build brand around their coffee, I am skeptical that this concept will warrant a wider roll out.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2019

    Will other cities follow Philly in banning cashless stores?

    I do think market forces will drive cash out of most retail models. However, until there are guard rails to support those who do not have access to cashless forms of payment, I think we have to proceed with great caution. I believe the market will drive mainstream adoption a fair "cash card" solution at some point, but until that time, I don't think we can discriminate.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2019

    Will Costco’s new $15 minimum wage hurt or benefit the chain?

    In this era where experiences matter so much, happy, motivated employees are a critical part of any store strategy. Costco continues to foster a culture of ownership and shared success with store associates, and their results validate their approach.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2019

    Do retailers need to reevaluate their omnichannel strategies and tactics?

    Omnichannel is really no longer a subset of retail -- it is retail. The retailers that will thrive are those that best integrate and align their brand promise into every channel. Digital channels are the new centerpiece of the brand story, while physical locations represent opportunities to bring the brand promise to life. How those things manifest will differ from brand to brand, but those who stay true to their brand and their customers' expectations in each channel are those who will thrive.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2019

    Where are grocers failing on in-store experience?

    In my opinion, most supermarkets fall short on the "experience" part of the experience altogether. I am constantly amazed at what a sterile, lonely place a supermarket can be. Here we are, in the foodie era, in what could be a mecca for foodies of all generations, and we are confronted by endless and meaningless assortments driven by co-op dollars (not the customer's needs) and countless loss-leading promotions. Helpful human beings, as the survey reports, are almost impossible to find. The irony is that the opportunities for rich engagement in supermarkets are everywhere. Tastings and samplings should be a constant presence. Recipe suggestions and customer Instagram photos could take the place of some of those promo placards in the aisles. In-situ classes could be held to teach about everything from knife skills to nutrition to new products. Once the morning bake is complete, why not host classes in the bakery? The social media opportunities inside these stores are everywhere. The assortments! The colors! I know groceries are a requirement for our existence, but grocers should stop taking shoppers for granted and actually invest in experiences that warrant trips to their stores.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2019

    Where are chatbots falling short of consumer expectations?

    The list of things that people find useful with bots is very similar to the things most people find useful with their smart speakers: simple service-related questions and tasks. Most retailers in both worlds are struggling to make product discovery (and hence product selling) feasible and efficient. However, perhaps we can learn lessons from the awesome experiences delivered via AI bots through Sephora's Virtual Artist apps. They have absolutely mastered the delivery of engaging, personalized and high-value experiences that support product discovery and conversions.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2019

    Does the Janie and Jack deal point to a new direction for Gap sans Old Navy?

    Given Gap's consistent struggles to find relevance with their core customer, I guess trying to broaden their reach into kids' fashion is worth a try. The price for Janie and Jack seems right and, in my opinion, the appeal of GapKids and babyGap has been stronger than that of "adult" Gap. Maybe they are on to something...
  • Posted on: 03/04/2019

    Will pairing nail salons with shoe stores be a good fit for DSW?

    I see no downside to this experiment for DSW. They are smartly taking it slow, testing and learning as they go. Adding value to the store experience through brand-adjacent experiences is exactly what retailers need to do to increase the relevance of their stores. This seems like a great concept, and early results are promising to say the least.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2019

    What will it take to transform BOPIS ops from just okay to great?

    The vast opportunities inherent in BOPIS transactions are matched only by the vast challenges inherent in BOPIS transactions. Store operations, marketing, logistics, merchandising, and inventory must all be aligned for a seamless BOPIS transaction. Is it any wonder that the industry is struggling to get everything right every time? The good news is most retailers are investing in the necessary process and technology changes to make BOPIS successful. The better news is that technology will continue to help.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2019

    Will Marie Kondo de-clutter retail?

    The KonMari philosophy, without question, will impact retail. While Netflix viewership numbers are notoriously opaque, "Tidying Up" has reached millions of households. She has sold over 11 million copies of her books. Marie Kondo is impacting the way we think about possessions, which inevitably affects how we think about future purchases. I am not convinced that the impact will be more heavily felt in fast fashion versus other categories, however. I believe we (and I include myself as a KonMari disciple - I love her show and yes, her joy!) will be more selective across all categories, which will impact retail unilaterally.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2019

    Foot Locker makes $100M leap into the sneaker re-seller space

    While I do think think this is a good investment for Foot Locker, it does make me wonder: could people stand in line at their stores for the latest new drop from Jordan or Yeezy, then turn around and re-sell them from a kiosk inside the same store at three times what they just paid Foot Locker ?

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