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: 06/12/2018

    Should retailers incentivize store staff to accept digital transformation?

    It's incredibly difficult to implement a seamless roll out of new technologies in-store, particularly when you are dealing with young, part-time and, in some cases, disinterested staff. It's important that those who are directing the changes be very aware of the challenges impacting teams at store-level by actually spending time in stores for top-down training. Usually a phased approach is best to get teams informed and feeling comfortable.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Are retailers short-changing national grocery brands?

    There are so many factors that go into the decision making process -- price, trust, quality, convenience. National brands with big marketing budgets can better leverage these so the results are unsurprising. Online reviews, word of mouth and private labels increasing education efforts on quality comparisons will help shift mindset but it is still a long way off.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2018

    Macy’s taps staff for their influencer clout

    My question would be, what are the employees getting out of it? I can see lots of benefits for Macy's, your employees SHOULD be your biggest brand ambassadors, but I worry about authenticity of this program.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2018

    Is data-driven marketing holding back storytelling?

    Data should bring a story to life, not hold it back. But using it in a compelling, digestible way is absolutely an art form. A brand's inability to converge creativity and numbers may indicate a lack of a certain role, or just a hiring failure.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2018

    Walmart looks to win talent war with new education benefit

    This is a wonderful initiative. Great from a business perspective -- reduced turnover, happier/more productive employees and lots of positive PR -- but also with the benefit available to approximately 1.4 million Walmart employees, this could have a halo effect on the economy. Student debt is a $1.3 trillion crisis. With Walmart and hopefully other employers following suit to bear some of the burden, this could decrease dramatically.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2018

    Best Buy’s Geek Squad is now available by subscription

    Excellent idea! This will do well not just with consumers but within the growing startup and gig economy where people have a need for inexpensive yet ongoing tech solutions.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2018

    Amazon bans chronic returners

    Amazon's liberal return policy certainly plays a part in its success but not more so than its convenience. The bans have actually been happening for some time, and likely only represent a tiny amount of users. Ones that not only don't make them money but are consistently costing them money. If this behavior is repeated, I think it's a fair assessment to ban the user from their platform.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Can retailers find riches at sea?

    I can't speak definitively for Starboard, but most cruise experiences I'm aware of are all inclusive packages. Having paid upfront for food, beverage and experiences doesn't mean that these travelers show up without money to burn. There is something about vacations that makes us want to spend, and these retailers are perfectly placed to benefit from this. As long as the clientele fits the retailers, it'll be a success.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2018

    Retail loyalty programs are no longer in the cards

    Cards were an easy way of tracking loyalty, but don't necessarily represent true repeat potential. I think the bronze tier will be a successful acquisition play for Macy's.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    DSW’s rewards program includes ‘emotional experiences’

    Loyalty programs have the potential to drive big business for retailers. In fact, a recent study conducted revealed that 29.2% of Americans will purchase something purely for benefits, spending an estimated $175.8 billion collectively. DWS is right to put focus in making their loyalty program as compelling as possible, which I believe they have through a unique, rewarding and still achievable structure.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Dormify pops up well before back-to-school season

    Mainstream retail likely fulfills the needs, but Dormify, a provider who has built their audience and expert positioning through very niche content, is well placed to steal market share. I think the pop-ups are more of a PR grab than conversion driver, but the fact that they are even in a position to invest in such an activation signals they are doing pretty well.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    Starbucks and Nestle make a global coffee CPG deal

    I'd be interested to know what their key markets for building brand recognition are. Starbucks was a well-documented failure in my native Australia whereas Nespresso gained a strong foothold in the market with the launch of its boutiques. This is obviously only one market, but I think it serves as a reminder to Starbucks and Nestle that brand building strategy needs to be a bespoke approach for each market.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2018

    Shake Shack ends cashless experiment

    The experiment feels like a PR grab to me. Going cashless with big ticket items such as cars, electronics and appliances may make sense, but when we're talking about fast food, this move is alienating to travelers, the underbanked or just people who prefer to pay in paper. Not surprised at the complaints at all.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2018

    Is $119 too much to pay for an Amazon Prime membership?

    $99 is such a great amount from a psychological standpoint. Increasing by 20 percent is quite the jump, inflation wise. I don't think it will go without grumbles and some attrition but, on the whole, it won't do too much to hurt numbers.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2018

    Are Americans ready for a c-store that sells only healthy foods?

    If you build it, will they come? I'm not surprised that in our time poor society convenience stores continue an upward trend. Convenience often means paying a premium, something that health food is already synonymous with in the eyes of the consumer. It will be interesting to see where the price point lands for convenient health.

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