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. To learn more, visit:
  • Posted on: 10/16/2018

    Does anyone pay the full retail price anymore?

    Discount season is now year round. There is always someone selling something for a steal and savvy shoppers can set their calendars to the type of goods that will be slashed at certain points of the year. As Neil has noted, there are a number of brands that don't discount without it hurting their bottom line however for the majority, they'll always close off segments of the market unless they offer periodic deals.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Shopify opens a storefront to support its online merchants

    This is the experiential roll out of Shopify's Fraud Protect, launched last week. The physical stores are a great merchant engagement strategy to communicate the new product and convert new entrepreneur targets.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2018

    Is it too late for a new store concept from Barnes & Noble?

    Creating a unique and engaging in-store experience is one of the only ways Barnes & Noble can compete with the online giant so of course, this is worth a try. Perhaps it's time to look to successful independents to see how they remain relevant when they are up against big chains with greater purchase power and online as well.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2018

    Will the Birchbox/Walgreens pilot deliver beautiful results?

    I think this would only work, as Neil has already pointed out, in large urban areas. This is a crowd who are probably less likely to be Birchbox subscribers as they already have easy access to these brands so it may work as growth opportunity.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2018

    There may be benefits to adding uncertainty to rewards programs

    I see this less as gambling and more as examples of the "surprise and delight" moments marketers have been creating for customers for years. Being promised something brings feelings of entitlement whereas these unexpected value-adds generate the warm and fuzzy feelings that strengthen loyalty. Often low cost, but definitely high impact.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2018

    Trader Joe’s success is a matter of values

    I've always shopped Trader Joe's for both convenience and value. However recent news items (e.g the respectful way they handled Geoffrey Owens being outed as working there) has made me take more notice of what I had been taking for granted as typical shopping experiences. The happy and helpful employees and quality product. For me "the store is the brand" is the leading value. The other six all seem to feed into this.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Omnichannel retailing lands at the airport

    Being able to deliver quality-controlled and on-time products within such limited windows sounds like a fabulous idea, but a logistical nightmare. There are so many variables that we're met with at the airport as it is.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2018

    Hershey delivers category insights directly to retailers via tractor trailer

    Fun idea, but more about PR and creating feel-good moments with trade partners than it is about better insights/more accessibility.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2018

    Why don’t retailers concentrate more on selling the Christmas spirit?

    I think the holidays are a time when most retailers really get involved in creating an atmosphere full of holiday cheer. Between the lights, music and decorations it's hard to not feel that the holidays are upon us. I'm sure many will agree that the retailers that do the best jobs are department stores such as Macy's and Bloomingdale's, who many actually associate with Christmas and the holiday season. In order to improve experiences during the holidays, retailers must understand that customer services and ease of shopping should remain a core focus during the holiday shopping season. Christmas spirit can be ruined in an instant if a shopper walks into a store where questions aren't answered or they encounter a not-so-spirited worker.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2018

    People don’t like being lumped into marketing segments

    Of course customer segmentation is stereotyping but stereotypes exist for a reason. In an increasingly fragmented market, it's not viable for most companies to take a personalized approach with potential clientele, and so they need to go off the generalizations associated with the limited data they have available.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Retailers need seasonal workers, but do workers need retailers?

    Finding quality, seasonal staff has been a constant challenge, even in periods when unemployment is higher. Starting earlier is a great tactic, not just to snare the best talent early but giving a long lead time to training initiatives, which is particularly important if tech deployment is a growing part of these roles.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Are grocers shortchanging flexitarians?

    Restaurants caught up long ago with the incorporation of V or plant-like symbols next to vegetarian options however grocery stores are still lagging. Vegetarian items shouldn't be relegated to a couple of specialty shelves (which I have found are usually stuck in a hidden corner). Placing them among similar yet non-veg options with a simple symbol would make finding options easier for buyers and no doubt drive more sales for grocers.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2018

    Is mobile the most disruptive force in retail since online selling began?

    Mobile is so powerful as it has the opportunity to drive retail opportunities to consumers anytime, anywhere no matter what point of purchase they are at (awareness, consideration, ready to buy). As brick-and-mortar struggles to remain relevant, building personalization through tech will be a big driver of foot traffic back into physical stores.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2018

    What will it take for consumers to take out their mobile wallets?

    In a study conducted by finder, the main reason consumers didn't use digital wallets was that they were happy with their physical credit/debit cards. There just simply isn't enough justification for them to make the switch. The ease/convenience factor isn't greatly helped by a digital wallet, and there are the added trust issues (the second most common reason people aren't using them, according to our study). A concerted effort by payment providers to address both of these barriers is needed.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2018

    Has solved the melting chocolate challenge?

    What a time to be alive! I love how Boxed identified a problem -- chocolate sales dropping off in summer months -- and created a solution. And an environmentally sound one at that. However, was this launched a little late in the season? Melting chocolate will become less of an issue in the coming weeks, depending on where you live, and it seems this would have made a bigger impact at the beginning of summer.

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