PROFILE

Keith Anderson

SVP, Strategy & Insight, Profitero
Keith Anderson is senior vice president, strategy & insights, for Profitero, where he leads product strategy and the analyst team. Keith’s insights on technology and retail have been featured in Financial Times, re/code, Bloomberg, Forbes Magazine, and Shopper Marketing Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at RetailNet Group, Brand Activation Association, Food Marketing Institute, Retail Council of Canada, and other retail, technology, and media events.
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  • Posted on: 01/02/2019

    Whole Foods to expand nationwide to drive Prime Now growth

    For once, Amazon seems to be reacting to the speed of competitors like Walmart and Kroger and Instacart and its network of partners, which collectively are expanding online grocery availability on a local level much faster than Amazon has to date. In online grocery, winning that first order is a huge hurdle -- but if you deliver a good experience, you can keep a household loyal and grow baskets over time. While a centrally-picked fulfillment model may be the optimal logistic model for large, high-density urban areas, Amazon needs to move faster to reach households in the rest of the country. It will be interesting to see how Whole Foods evolves if it is expanded this aggressively.
  • Posted on: 12/18/2018

    When are outside Amazon experts better than inside ones?

    Amazon is indeed more complicated to deal with than other major retailers; most decisions are automated, and the automation is opaque and always changing. Additionally, demand for experienced talent significantly outstrips supply, and training and development options have historically been lacking. So beyond the rationales for and against in-sourcing, there are practical challenges. Outside partners can accelerate performance, absorb some of the volatility of doing business with Amazon and, over time, help internal teams level up and become more self-sufficient. As the article notes, it's a fragmented landscape of potential partners. We recently identified more than 80 agencies, brokers, and consultants offering wide-ranging services related to Amazon and other online retailers. (We published this as an asset for the industry here.) Given the above complexity, it's essential for brands selecting and working with partners to define success up front (and how it will be measured) and confirm that each partner has specific capability and competency in the areas that require the most help.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2018

    Why haven’t CPG giants figured out what makes small brands so popular?

    "Emerging" or "insurgent" brands are simply more responsive to new and fast-growing pools of demand. With nothing to defend, they're able to invest and act more aggressively. Large brands actually do understand this. Between 15 percent and 20 percent have even launched brand or technology incubators/accelerators, some as independently operating companies, to try to replicate small brands' success. The real open question at this stage is whether the new demand patterns are compatible with big, traditional CPGs' business models.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Walmart expands test of pickup-only grocery store concept

    Click-and-collect models, when picked from stores, can become disruptive if they're "too successful." Opening standalone pick up points can be a good way to support online demand while minimizing the impact on in-store customers' experience.
  • Posted on: 09/04/2018

    Walmart’s two-day shipping pledge comes with a caveat

    These types of initiatives are necessary to make e-commerce economically sustainable. The keys to success are offering shoppers transparency and meaningful choices.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2018

    ‘Jittery’ prices will come back to hurt Amazon

    Amazon dynamically re-prices based on competitors' prices and promotions, stock on-hand, third-party sellers' prices, item-level economics and other factors. Does price volatility potentially confuse or frustrate shoppers, sometimes causing them to check prices elsewhere? Perhaps. But if, when comparing to other retailers, Amazon's price is ultimately equivalent or cheaper, is trust really being eroded? We've analyzed prices on tens of thousands of items over the last several years and generally found that Amazon's prices are reliably competitive. I do think we'll see more retailers helping shoppers make choices that balance the economics of price and convenience, allowing them to pay less by picking up in-store, waiving return privileges, ordering in larger quantities, etc.
  • Posted on: 08/27/2018

    Shoppers may finally be using retail apps

    I attribute the trend to a few key drivers: divergence between the mobile web vs. native app experience; better app discovery platforms and simpler triggers for download; and steady investment in better functionality.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Walmart looks to automate grocery pick-up

    As click and collect or store-picked delivery models scale, the impacts on in-store stock levels and shoppers' experience can be significant. This model has potential to be considerably more efficient and simultaneously to minimize impacts on in-store shoppers' experience. It's another sign that Walmart (and others) sees significant demand for online grocery on the horizon, and that the conventional wisdom around the limitations of online grocery's economic viability is changing in light of more automated order picking, packing, staging and delivery.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Kroger Ship to take on Amazon’s Prime Pantry

    I view this as an important but largely defensive play to offer loyal Kroger shoppers the convenience and value they might otherwise seek elsewhere. Membership and subscription models like Kroger Ship are creating "forever moments of truth" that raise the competitive stakes by "annuitizing" consumption. If Kroger doesn't lock in loyal households now, the risk is that competitors will.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    Walmart still trying to figure out home delivery

    As availability and awareness of online grocery continues to grow exponentially, route density will increase, marginally improving unit economics. Flexible labor models have already improved the economics, but automation of order picking, packing, and delivery will have the most significant impact over the long term.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2018

    Kellogg urges retailers to cater to ‘brick & order’ shoppers

    The article has several good ideas. I'd add:
    • Making it easy to get started by offering trial incentives and making it easy to build a first order using loyalty data;
    • More effective coordination of in-store and online programs and activations;
    • Focusing on adding rich product detail and content to help shoppers make better decisions faster.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Kroger to deliver groceries using driverless cars

    Beyond the technical and logistical challenges, there will be cultural barriers to adoption. This won't change the game overnight. But it's a great reminder that some of the prevailing assumptions about online grocery economics deserve to be challenged. Labor and fuel costs remain two of the largest cost drivers, and there are high-potential technologies on the horizon (like this) that could significantly increase the long-term economic viability of home delivery.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Will Amazon’s PillPack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business?

    The number of Amazon's acquisitions and new category entrances exceeds the number of industries/categories it has transformed, but this (along with Amazon's joint healthcare initiative with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan) is certainly a wake-up call to the entire pharmaceutical value chain. Given the impact this deal (and others in the past) seems to be having on Amazon's share price and market cap, it is worth acknowledging that Amazon's M&A activities are essentially self-funding at this point.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Uber isn’t going along on Walmart’s online grocery ride

    One under-reported facet of grocery/restaurant delivery and other "alternative" use cases for Uber (and Lyft) is that the economics are worse for drivers compared to typical fares. I don't have insight into whether perhaps Walmart's partners were struggling to provide prompt service at scale via a network of independent contractors, but it's a possibility.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2018

    New Brookstone concept brings makers to the mall

    I love the way Brookstone draws shoppers in with unique or quirky items, especially those with a sensory or experiential draw like massage chairs, drones, speakers, mattresses, and more. If the Makers Showcase helps shoppers discover things they didn't know they wanted, this could be another successful approach for Brookstone.

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