Joanna Rutter

Marketing, Dor
I run marketing point for Dor, a foot traffic counter changing the in-store analytics game for retailers of all sizes. My take on the so-called apocalypse? Retail is going through the painful but necessary process of shedding terrible practices and boring brands to make room for in-store experiences that are actually compelling. I say bring it on.

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  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    AriZona Iced Tea taps ’90s nostalgia with pop-up

    I thought this was executed well. For AriZona to have pulled this off, they had to actually tap into their fan base and create something that resonated with them. This would have been, as my teenage brothers say, "cringey" had it missed the aesthetic mark.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2018

    Choosy marries AI and social tagging to disrupt fast fashion

    I'm most interested in how using user requests to quickly generate product on-demand can be done ethically and create less waste than the process I usually associate with the term "fast fashion." Yes, this reduces inventory risk. But does creating smaller batches of custom pieces responding to immediate trends create less waste by actually responding to consumer interests in real time (versus mass-production in quick batches and leftovers go to the landfill)? Or will this manufacturing process be just as rife with labor and environmental ethical issues as other fast fashion practices? How fast will fast fashion have to go before its practices cause it to break down? My hope is that creating clothes based on actual real-time demand, versus predicted demand, ultimately creates less exploitation and waste. Time will tell.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2018

    Amazon bans chronic returners

    If anything, this does open the door a little bit more for other e-commerce folks to compete by offering more lenient return policies -- though this dark accursed list of over-returners doesn't seem like any retailer's dream customer base! The answer to any question with the theme "Will this hurt Amazon?" can invariably be answered with a "probably not." And yet. This ban (yikes! What a loaded word today) does starkly give non-Amazon retailers a way to differentiate by providing better service, more grace and more humanity in interactions, in a way a returns-limit-calculating algorithm never can.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Can retailers find riches at sea?

    Shiver me timbers, it's retail upon the high seas! Where travelers are held captive amidst ye luxurious treasure and can't resist a bit of plundering! :) Seriously, though, cruise ships are a worthy experiment. It's a data analytics nerd's dream scenario -- all transactions and traffic happen within a self-contained ecosystemm where you can ask questions like: Are customers more likely to make a retail purchase after buying a rummy cocktail? Are conversion rates higher at certain times of day? How does that data impact daytime programming...argggh, now I'm starting to sound like a data pirate meself! ...I'll show myself out.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    Is an on-demand workforce heading to retail’s selling floors?

    Leases and store footprints are shrinking, so it makes sense that retail labor timelines would shrink too. On-demand labor can work well when executed with the right tools like Allwork (mentioned in the WaPo article above) and leadership willing to reinvent training methods and take risks.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2018

    J Sainsbury CEO’s singing hits a sour note on social media

    When we asked for transparency from the C-suite, this wasn't what I had in mind! Sure, everybody has unguarded moments...but this choice of song, in this setting and context... Just, wow!
  • Posted on: 04/25/2018

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

    Who decides what's healthy? Who gets to pick the product, price point and profit off of it? Who is excluded from access in the process of doing so? The Silver Lake neighborhood of LA is majority Latinx (42 percent) with a significant Asian (18 percent) population as well. I can't see the shelves beyond the brand names mentioned here, but I wonder: Does this store carry healthy products from companies that are owned by people in these demographics, or popular grocery items used in Asian and Latin American recipes? Does the product line and price seek to include or exclude people from shopping there? This shop is beautiful, but I can't weigh in on it being "the future" of the c-store unless I know the healthy products inside are affordable and accessible to everyone in the neighborhood it dwells in. Otherwise, it's an inconvenience store!
  • Posted on: 04/20/2018

    CVS gets real without retouching in new beauty campaign

    It's nice to see CVS match their mission and their message here, taking a page from playbooks like Aerie's #AerieReal campaign -- and why shouldn't they? It works! In beauty and fashion especially right now, feel-good ad content that reflects a more attainable aspirational self is resonating with folks and moving product (see: here and here). It's a no-brainer.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    REI lifts the sustainability bar

    I'd love more businesses to adhere to a triple-bottom-line model (People, Planet, Profit) and hold each other accountable, but like you say, often that last P comes before the other two.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    REI lifts the sustainability bar

    Thank you, yes! The fact that this is even a discussion has me utterly baffled.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    REI lifts the sustainability bar

    You can't sell outdoor gear when there is no more outdoors! Holding suppliers to environmental and fair trade standards isn't a retail trend. Pivoting like this is quite literally the only way that retail as an industry (or even a cultural concept) survives, to end current supply chain practices that are polluting the earth and exploiting labor. The fact that this idea could even be perceived as a radical or "alternative" business move is chilling to me. It's the most mainstream move there is.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2018

    Retailers must unite to bring dying downtowns back to life

    Power to the merchants! Unite, brainstorm, work with your reps to push forward policies and ideas that work for your city ... then hold them accountable! Downtown Raleigh, NC retailers do this very well. What is being proposed here is main street merchant democracy, as opposed to a council oligarchy or letting apathy and fear rule your town. Consider it endorsed.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2018

    Starbucks shifts happy hour to invite-only

    Great point! More food offerings would make this initiative more compelling.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2018

    Do men and women still shop differently?

    Putting aside the hunter/gatherer ancient knowledge we could pull from, modern women socialize each other to be better at this, and current norms necessitate that they carry the burden of managing their household (invisible labor) often on top of other visible labor (another job). These stats just tell me that men need to pick up the slack of price-comparing and managing their household's finances to meet women's shopping burden in the middle somewhere.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2018

    Research ties regular shift schedules to higher retail sales

    Wholeheartedly agree! The tools exist and are ready to be deployed and used for retailers who care about reducing turnover and increasing sales. You're right: It really isn't that difficult to staff to customer demand and create predictable schedules. All you need is a good foot traffic analytics system and a mindset of creating a healthy, sales-optimized staff schedule. Easy peasy from there!

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