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: 12/07/2018

    IKEA assembles holiday messages to drive sales

    Maybe because I'm a sucker for the holiday season, I enjoyed each of these. I appreciated that the brand took a background to the messages of celebration, connectedness, family and friends and didn't try to be so arrogant to present itself as an integral force to each of those. I read that it was a coincidence that both Sweden and Canada used a magician kid. What a great nod to your global brand being aligned if you accidentally produce almost identical creatives.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2018

    What’s next for Small Business Saturday?

    70 percent of Americans show awareness of Small Business Saturday ... really? Skepticism aside, I wonder if the reinvention would resemble a date change. While there are benefits of capturing consumers already in the throes of the sales frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I wonder if it gets a little lost.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    Is J.Crew’s new Amazon relationship already over?

    If something isn't working, better to call it early than let it drag out. So many times brands beat a dead horse seemingly to save face. Two years of Mercantile in market, and just under three months on Amazon (particularly over the holiday season) is a decent amount of time to assess whether or not this will work for a retailer of J.Crew's stature.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2018

    Are retailers better off going cashless?

    Stores going cashless may have a bigger impact than alienating the small percent that represent the underbanked. A recent study conducted revealed 25 percent of shoppers would think twice about shopping somewhere that didn't accept cash. While retailers may be responding to what they think consumers want, a wide range of payment options will always be the the path of least exclusion.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2018

    Can customer lifetime value scores work against retailers?

    The CLV may become common knowledge by consumers, but I doubt it will make a difference in their behaviors unless directly linked to a loyalty program. If the CLV is making a direct impact into the level of deals offered or customer service received however, brands should absolutely be transparent. Knowing your overall experience will be based on a made up number would certainly impact desire to shop somewhere.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Does Amazon’s record performance point to the growing importance of Cyber Monday?

    Cyber Monday is certainly growing in importance, as these numbers show. It's no surprise that a declining number of shoppers want to battle the crowds on Black Friday when there are just as good deals to be had from the comfort of their home a few days later. This season will definitely see records cracked for smartphone spending, thanks to growing trust and confidence among consumers and a greater investment from retailers in mobile shopping apps. While experts predict smartphone shopping will account for half of seasonal sales, I wouldn't be surprised if it's even higher.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2018

    Will loyalty programs drive market share gains for Lyft or Uber?

    It's hard to gauge how successful each program will be when there are so few details about what each entail, no doubt due to haste in which both were launched to avoid being pipped to the post. At first glance, neither looks to provide outstanding discounts to riders, however, loyalty programs are often viewed as "free money" so I think they will help in building brand loyalty that has evaded each company thanks to an almost identical service (even the same drivers).
  • Posted on: 11/20/2018

    Is Hasbro trolling Millennials with its new Monopoly game sold by Walmart?

    What is more hilarious; this game's premise, or the notion that anyone would actually be offended? Of course Hasbro are trolling the generation, none of whom are potential players. It's targeting press coverage and confused, gift-getting uncles and aunties.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2018

    Can Walmart turn its haters into lovers?

    Hating a brand and choosing not to shop at its stores are two different things. Walmart's value proposition has been built largely around price rather than customer experience, and it's entirely possible that many of the "haters" are still active shoppers, they just resent the need. In which case, is it even important to get to the bottom of why this group has negative associations? I think Walmart should focus more on understanding the reasons why people love them rather than flipping the haters, many of whom are probably dropping dollars there (albeit, begrudgingly) anyway.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2018

    Has food waste become mission critical for grocers’ bottom lines and the planet?

    Grocers, if they won't adjust order levels and risk being understocked, need more strategies for preventing waste. Discounting surplus stock works well, as do food donation drives and as Whole Foods has done, repurposing produce that is beyond peak freshness into meals.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2018

    Are Target and Walmart customers dreaming of a mobile checkout Christmas?

    Both stores have been slow to introduce this. How many customers have they lost who have walked in, seen long lines and turned on their heels? So long as the floor is adequately staffed and those people are properly trained, this will be a big success.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2018

    Shoppable ads need to tone down the sales pitch

    Sure, targeted ads can miss the mark but when it's the right product/service delivered to the right person, "shop now" and "learn more" can be helpful for those who want them and subtle enough to not annoy for those who don't. I think the smart retargeting discussion needs to be more around the quality of data than the CTAs.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2018

    Can Brandless deliver on its lofty goals in a pop-up?

    The value propositions of a brand have never been more important to consumers than they are right now. The fact that the products are so heavily discounted are a win on top of a win for conscious shoppers. It will be interesting to see how Brandless converts and retains customers beyond the pop-up experience, something other reports note they have struggled with.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2018

    Should retailers respond to every consumer review?

    Hardly anyone makes a purchase these days without consulting third-party experiences, meaning online reviews are critical for retailers. Should they respond to them? Absolutely. Every single one? I don't believe so. While it's important to address a negative review, either to offer to fix the problem and provide context if it's just a wrong product fit for that person, as with any user-generated content you get outliers that are obvious to all that read them that can be ignored. While customer service is best positioned to respond to these, overall management should be in collaboration with marketing teams to ensure brand voice is consistent.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2018

    Did Target just become the easiest place to shop for Christmas?

    Target's initiative to provide free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase certainly puts them at an advantage this holiday selling season. The thought of waiting in long lines, sifting through inventory and battling the crowds in store can be a deterrent for many shoppers, but it beats the shipping costs tacked onto online orders. It will be interesting to see how Target fares with its sales after implementing this new initiative. I think it's a great step to increase sales and offer more convenience to its shoppers this holiday season.

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