Joanna Rutter

Marketing, Dor
I run content marketing for Dor, an analytics solution for physical locations that collects foot traffic data using thermal people sensors and visualizes those trends on an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform. I'm driven by a belief that people who manage retail spaces should be empowered to focus on what really matters: Designing and operating intentional, efficient stores where meaningful connections happen.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2018

    Will right-sized stores drive bigger returns for Macy’s?

    So interesting! I've been thinking a lot lately about the legacy of our suburban mall patron saint, Victor Gruen, and the effects of overstoring on urban and suburban communities in the U.S. It's high time to reel in the wild retail square footage per capita (26 square feet per person, more than double any other country!) and ask brands to rethink the "why" behind their stores' footprints and locations. Good, tough questions. Nice to see Macy's and Kohl's ask them.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2018

    Walmart reimagines its big boxes as town centers

    I agree Dave, one format pasted onto every store won't be as successful as adaptive concepts that reflect the customer. And making sure their core shopper is delighted by new amenities or spaces (vs. feeling whiplashed and betrayed) is key.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2018

    Walmart reimagines its big boxes as town centers

    Why not? With inexpensive, modular pieces (picnic tables and string lights, kiosks, etc.) and rigorous testing, I bet Walmart is uniquely positioned to strike some sort of customer sweet spot, especially in more rural areas where options for community gathering in a third place may be more limited. The key is using adaptive pieces and experimenting religiously.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2018

    Is there a failure to communicate between retail HQs and stores?

    An easy yes and yes to the first two questions, which fellow BrainTrusters have spoken well to -- store visits for increasing empathy being one of my favorites! -- and as for the solution, I'll pull a direct quote from the TouchPoints take: "Giving district and store-level managers the tools and knowledge they need to mold companywide initiatives into local tactics is the first step in providing a strong customer experience." Tools and knowledge. Democratizing access to information. Great retail C-suite folks ask, "how can I empower my store-level team to outperform themselves last year?" Those motivated by fear may not ask that question first. The difference of these approaches can be felt by the customer and can be seen in quarterly reports. Using cloud-based tech that collects and visualizes store performance trends (and making a habit of sharing those trends with store-level teams) is a great place to start moving toward that better approach.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2018

    Will Goodyear roll over rivals with new Millennial-friendly showroom concept?

    I think I'm the target market for this: I am a millennial whose poor car is currently sitting in my driveway with a flat tire (same tire I spent hours patching and balancing this weekend). I want this pleasant, prettier tire purchasing experience! Auto is a relatively undisrupted vertical in retail. Winners notice bad experiences first and capitalize on making them better faster.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2018

    What if artificial intelligence is biased?

    Ethics are usually playing catchup with tech developments. But what is all that development for in the first place? (Paraphrasing a quote from The Wind Singer: "If everything we do is in order to get somewhere else, when's the end of it all?") What's coming to mind: Walmart was developing facial recognition tech to catch shoplifters and detect dissatisfaction last year. I wonder what an AI would do with millions of shoppers' unhappy/happy faces? What would it find and recommend based on its instructions to detect dissatisfaction (and what a "dissatisfied" face looks like from the POV of the race, gender, cultural background of the developers)? How that would impact the demographics they market certain products to or even what a "good worker's" face should look like? No easy answers here other than rooting for purposeful AI developed intentionally within as diverse and crowded a room as possible.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    Stores rarely ID customers before they check out

    The future of loyalty is an equal exchange between customers willing to share info and retailers making it worth their while. Right now, it's lopsided -- the retailer is in control of the customer's info and customers largely don't get a lot out of that interaction. True service means no one feels taken advantage of. We have a long way to go, especially in loyalty tech, which has erred on the invasive side instead of the service side.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    Where are market research and analytics falling short?

    I work for a foot traffic analytics provider (Dor) and couldn't agree more with your conclusion, Joel: It's crucial for marketing researchers to report on reality. Right now, that reality is a bit of a tangled omnichannel mess. It's less tidy and predictable, and the way research is conducted must reflect that.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Shopify opens a storefront to support its online merchants

    I can envision Google opening similar support center storefronts for the same reasons you listed here!
  • Posted on: 10/11/2018

    Re:Store concept mixes co-work and co-retail

    Love all the women-led energy here! Looks a lot like Y-combinator-backed Bulletin the in retail model and a lot like the Wing, aesthetically, and with coworking space. (Those are also two women-led organizations. Hmm, a theme emerges?) Partnering directly the platforms these retailers sell on, such as Shopify, could create a steady stream of tenants. Kind of an unfortunate name given that Habitat for Humanity already uses the ReStore name for their thrift business.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2018

    Re:Store concept mixes co-work and co-retail

    Storefront as a Service -- I'm into it!
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Is traffic a flawed measure of engagement?

    Agree wholeheartedly! Why wouldn't you want a metric your online competitors measure religiously?
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Is traffic a flawed measure of engagement?

    Nikki, this is a great topic you're bringing up here, which is that traffic for traffic's sake can distract retailers with a game of store minutiae comparison away from the main focus of the customers' experience. That especially bubbles up when the people counter you're using is just plain ineffective. Counting people in retail means very little if you're not also looking at that data holistically alongside location, weather, staffing, marketing -- looking at the whole health of the store, not just the doorway. Traffic is a non-negotiable baseline metric for anyone selling things in a physical space. The differentiation for actually measuring engagement lies in the translation of that metric in the context of other operational factors, like weather, in order to identify true store performance.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Macy’s expands in-store pop-up concept with Facebook’s help

    Yes, I agree! Plus, this has Rachel Shechtman's fingerprints all over it Remember when Macy's acquired STORY? This is part of the reason why, I'd bet.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    What will a ‘new standard for green retail’ mean for Starbucks’ results?

    You can't run a global coffee empire if all the coffee is gone, especially if the reason it's gone is because your own business practices contributed to sucking the little remaining life out of our poor, beat-up planet. It's an imperative for all businesses now, and I can't believe I actually have to keep typing this out: You've got to undo the damage you're doing now in order to sell anything in the future — otherwise you, your product, your labor and your customer will all be gone! Business as usual, especially in agriculture and manufacturing, is absolutely no longer viable. Anything helps.

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