Jennifer McDermott

Consumer Advocate,
Jennifer McDermott has almost 12 years’ experience in retail communication, studying and promoting local and international brands. Jennifer’s current role as a Consumer Advocate includes data analysis, strategy and media commentator for a wide range of topics and issues including impulse shopping, ecommerce, discount codes, credit card debt and consumer behavior and debt.

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  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    Backstage shops star inside Macy’s

    This is quite a significant roll out following a small trial. So it must've work well. But while I have no doubt that Backstage drives sales for Macy's, I'd be concerned that shoppers having the choice between discount and full-priced products within just steps of one another will drive down average transaction value over time.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2018

    Barnes & Noble’s crowdsourcing app engages readers and earns solid reviews

    With reading being such a solitary activity, many book lovers lack community. Tapping into that needs gap, I think that Browsery will do well for Barnes & Noble. I for one would much prefer crowdsourced recommendations from likeminded readers than suggestions direct from the corporation where intentions behind a certain push become murky.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2018

    Retailers face criticism for failure to protect customer data

    The crims have overtaken retailers in terms of sophisticated tech. It's way too easy for them to snaffle the data of unsuspecting shoppers. Banks have picked up their game (as they are often left footing the bill) in terms of data security and its time the retail industry also rises to the challenge. As long as there are hackers, data will never be 100% safe, but we can certainly improve.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2018

    Retailers push to onboard tech talent

    Hardly, I think retail presents one of the biggest opportunities for technology majors. Being at the forefront of the retail industry's tech-evolution presents an opportunity to build and implement something completely new. If retailers can meet tech giants in terms of competitive salaries and benefits, they should have no issues attracting great talent.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2018

    Why are there so many employees in a cashier-less store?

    While I'm sure Amazon is using the opportunity for testing, I predominantly see this as a marketing vehicle. They had people lining up to purchase items they could just as easily do in a convenience store -- from pure interest alone. I imagine the abundance of staff has more to do with ensuring the launch comes off smoothly, rather a long-term strategy.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2018

    What would an acquisition of Humana mean for Walmart and its rivals?

    This makes a decent amount of sense for Humana, but I'm sceptical about benefits for Walmart. The merger places them in a position where it has to share margin on prescriptions. Walmart also self-insures a portion of its health insurance cost, which is generally a lower-cost alternative to paying someone else to administer health insurance, and makes me wonder if there are any savings to be had for them on the health insurance side. That is, unless they have determined internally that they are simply bad at this and want to get some expertise in-house.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2018

    Will a new designer collaboration be a smash hit for Target?

    I completely agree, Cathy. I have seen so much buzz about this on social media -- I have no doubt the conversation will convert into sales.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2018

    Customers want to be left alone while shopping

    "Being left alone" is quite subjective and the vague nature of the phrase probably resulted in such a high response. For example, I want to browse at my own leisure, but I want to be acknowledged. Sales staff need find the balance between intrusion and ignoring. The solution is more more about training than technology.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2018

    Chef’d has a different recipe for growing its meal kit business

    A clever move that lets all parties focus on what they are good at, with everyone getting a piece of the pie instead of edging each other out. I'd like to see more of this collaboration than the aggressive move-towards monopoly of others. As idealistic as that may be.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2018

    IKEA offers sanity-saving furniture assembly solution

    Fantastic move by IKEA on purchasing Task Rabbit. Weren't all their non-furniture savvy shoppers already using the service for assembly anyway? IKEA has a knack for providing home solutions and this extension is taking that skill into service delivery also.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2018

    Will return bans burn retailers that impose them?

    I think retailers are well within their rights to adjust their return policies when it's apparent a proportion are taking advantage. It's my view that becoming stricter won't deter a great number of consumers except maybe the fraudulent ones. As already noted, it's important that retailers are clearly promoting their returns policy at the time of purchase so it's not open to confusion and interpretation, which is when consumers feel most hard done by.
  • Posted on: 03/12/2018

    Amazon shifts to a subscription model for Prime Pantry

    The subscription model suits for convenience, not for savings, from what I can see. That said, people are happy to pay for convenience so I think it will be able to find and keep its niche audience. Another thing to note: there are limitations around brand selection with this service. I imagine that for most typical grocery items brand loyalty is low, but some might find the limited choice unappealing.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2018

    What do we really know about Gen Z?

    Are Millennials finally going to catch a break with an attention shift to Gen Z? I have a real problem with boxing an entire generation into a few broad descriptions. They will be plagued by the same negative titles such as lazy and entitled of generations before them (when they were that age) but knowing nothing other than the digital age will likely make them the most informed and savvy shoppers we've seen.
  • Posted on: 02/27/2018

    Barnes & Noble, once an indie killer, is losing out to mom-and-pops

    I'm happy to see mom-and-pop stores on the uptick, but don't believe a Barnes & Noble closure is around the corner. At least not judging by the lines at my local one! I think they do a fine job of engaging customers through community events and outreach programs, and have the scale to implement positive changes quickly.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2018

    Will parents and kids go for healthier Happy Meals?

    I think it's important that the option is there but I can't see much uptake, unfortunately. It's not going to be the first port of call for parents seeking healthy options -- perception takes a long time to change. And usually that McDonald's visit is a "treat" or the result of caving to much badgering ... and not for salad.

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