PROFILE

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 EngagingCustomersDifferently.com
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  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Why is Amazon paying employees to quit their jobs?

    Shocking: Amazon implements another innovative and creative way to solve a problem. I see only upside in this idea for both Amazon and the drivers, and I see little risk to delivery efficiency. Amazon has far too much at stake to not ensure these new entrepreneurs are well-trained and supported as they get on their feet.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

    This is a very tricky case. While Apple does exert much control over the apps distributed via the Apple App Store, they also have a lot at stake. Their brand is built on a foundation of user-friendly, secure devices. One could argue that ensuring apps developed to run on Apple devices stay true to their brand promise is not only their prerogative but their responsibility. I believe the vast majority of Apple users trust Apple to ensure that apps they download are safe and secure, reliable and easy to use. However, if Apple oversteps by forcing pricing decisions on app developers, I believe the court should intervene.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2019

    Did Walmart just one-up Amazon on next day deliveries?

    On paper, Walmart's free one-day shipping seems like a great answer to Amazon Prime's $10.50/month one-day shipping promise. However, where Walmart falls woefully short of Amazon is localized inventory and assortment management. The "fine print" indicates that Walmart will offer free next-day delivery on its most-ordered 220,000 items. The theory being, I suppose, that when you combine free one-day on these 220,000 items with free BOPIS and free ship-to-store on everything else, Walmart believes they have covered all their fulfillment bases. My experience, however, tells me otherwise. Far too many items I seek are only available with seven- to 10-day delivery windows, while Amazon is always there with one- or two-day options. Walmart needs to close these inventory and assortment gaps if they intend to truly stay competitive with Amazon.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2019

    Lands’ End is looking to get out of Sears like a bat out of hell

    It is good to see that Land's End survived their time spent within the Sears ecosystem. I only wonder what took them so long to make their exit. Sears' approach to managing (or mismanaging) so many iconic brands, including Land's End (and Craftsman and Kenmore, etc.) still seems shockingly short-sighted. I am glad to see Lands' End has thrived since their separation.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2019

    Petco opens in-store kitchen for pets

    I admire and congratulate Petco for their continued push for healthier options for pet parents. And while this is an interesting concept, I believe it will put the "healthier eating for pets" movement to the test. More than $6 per meal is a lot to bite off for most consumers.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2019

    Giant Food to fill prescriptions for fruits and veggies

    It's simple: Food. Is. Medicine. I heartily applaud Giant Food for this move and can only hope more retailers follow. Too many people suffer from poor nutrition, often caused in part by the allure of $1 menus at fast food restaurants. While this is indeed a small step, it is nonetheless an extremely important step for low-income people. And I do believe this will be good for Giant as well, as doctors obviously know the straight line relationship between food and health, and I am entirely confident they will send patients to Giant to fill their fruit and veggie prescriptions.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2019

    Are secondhand sales the right branding move for Neiman Marcus?

    While I do see some risk of brand dilution and potentially cannibalizing sales of new items, I am nonetheless bullish on this move by Neiman Marcus. There is clearly a market for secondhand luxury merchandise, and I suspect that their CEO is probably right that a significant percentage of secondhand buyers will eventually graduate into in-season shoppers. The bet they are placing is that there are more waiting to graduate to in-season buyers than there are those permanently entrenched in the secondhand market. I'd say that is a good bet to make.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2019

    Will Walmart’s KIDBOX help kids look good and do good at the same time?

    Sure seems like a good idea -- and I think this model, with these brands and the value pricing, has a chance to break through the subscription malaise many shoppers are experiencing. I like the on-demand frequency option and the philanthropic connection is important and admirable.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2019

    Why is Five Below a step above?

    Five Below is an excellent example of how much experiences matter. As Five Below demonstrates, even shoppers in the dollar category care about experiences. The unique mix of value and in-store fun combines with an assortment strategy that is highly relevant to their target shopper drives their success. There's a lesson here for retailers in every category.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2019

    Should retail rivals see Amazon’s $15 minimum wage and raise it $1?

    While Jeff Bezos never passes up an opportunity for more PR (and the media sure does feed the beast), in this case, I am happy to see the coverage of the minimum wage issue. While it isn't necessarily a fair fight as Amazon has so few stores to staff, I think the conversation is good for everyone. Higher wages across the board will help associates stay in their jobs and be happier (and hence more productive). Happier, productive associates deliver better experiences, which leads to happier customers, who visit more/spend more. Which leads to happier quarterly returns. Oh, and the economy will benefit from more people with more disposable income, too, which helps retail. A win-win-win-win. What's not to like about this public wage-shaming?
  • Posted on: 04/11/2019

    Will more consumers listen now that Macy’s has a new STORY to tell?

    Totally agree, Georganne. Where is the social media firepower behind this? Without it, the cachet will definitely be lost....
  • Posted on: 04/11/2019

    What does it take to produce promos that pop?

    Smarter promotions, not fewer promotions, is likely the key to long-term success in grocery. Detailed customer analytics are readily available, as rewards cards have already done the heavy lifting: shoppers are entirely comfortable scanning their cards before every purchase. Even cash purchases can be tracked and analyzed - an analytics luxury few other categories share. Unfortunately, shotgun promotions take very little advantage of this rich data and do more harm than good to the long-term health of the business. Assortments that reflect the unique nuance of each locality, combined with personalized offers based upon very personal history (that encourage shoppers to expand their food cultures) are the key to long-term health.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2019

    Will more consumers listen now that Macy’s has a new STORY to tell?

    This new experience checks a lot of the right boxes: visually arresting and Instagrammable, event-driven experiences, locally-curated assortments, and it's all influencer-endorsed. I will be watching closely to see how people respond to the store-within-a-store experience, as it feels like it could be at risk of losing some cachet being located inside another store, versus a standalone location.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2019

    Will Walmart clean up with its robotic workforce?

    I am most interested in the "Auto-S" shelf scanners that constantly update inventory. While the cleaning robots are awesome for reducing associate time spent on tasks that keep them from assisting shoppers, more accurate in-store inventory will have a profound impact on replenishment, in-stock positions, and e-commerce conversions.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2019

    Will Alexa earbuds advance Amazon’s virtual assistant ambitions?

    Look, this problem with Alexa adoption is not the inability to take "her" on the road. New, lower-priced earbuds may take some share from Apple's earbuds for use as earbuds, but they will not in any way move the needle for greater adoption of Alexa functionality. The single greatest challenge Amazon faces with voice interfaces is the need to remember all those entirely forgettable skills. News of a constantly growing number of skills in the Amazon marketplace is evidence of the problem: people just can't remember the specific syntax required to activate the tasks they want Alexa to perform. So we revert to the very few tasks that provide the greatest value with the least friction: news, weather, music and timers/reminders. Maybe these new earbuds will be priced low enough that Bezos can buy market share while he tries to figure out how to improve the language processing skills to eliminate the need for highly-specific skills. But until he does, earbuds will not increase Alexa adoption beyond the few skills that are easy to remember and add real value.

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