Kenneth Leung

Retail and Customer Experience Expert

Kenneth Leung was the enterprise industry director at Avaya, responsible for vertical industry strategies.

Kenneth previously was with Cisco Systems, with the last position as senior marketing strategy manager for Internet of Everything campaign. His roles at Cisco included development of private sector industries strategy and messaging at Cisco as well as retail industry marketing.

Prior to Cisco, he worked at IBM software group in WebSphere Commerce and Information Management groups with responsibility in marketing management for retail and e-commerce. Before joining IBM, Kenneth was retail industry director for Informix Software where he was responsible for market management and programs.

Kenneth Leung is currently working on his first marketing book and pursuing future opportunities. Learn more

  • Posted on: 06/16/2021

    Is simpler better for rewards programs?

    One size does not fit all, it depends on the product you are selling and the behavior you are driving. If you are selling groceries, a tiered approach does not make sense because the share of wallet is finite and the rewards given isn't easily differentiated. If you are selling fashion/luxury goods, tiered make sense because you can offer exclusive access/services/shorter wait list at the higher tier.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2021

    How can retailers best navigate supply chain turbulence?

    I think supply chain challenge is going to last to Xmas. I think retailers need to communicate clearly and set expectations with consumers. This is not the time to overpromise and under deliver. With short term (hopefully) inflation it is especially important to give shoppers accurate information on product delivery schedules.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2021

    Will grocery basket sizes be cut down to their former size?

    People who enjoyed cooking during the pandemic will continue to cook more even as eating out becomes available. As people go back to commuting there is less time to home cook and the ability to eat out easily will take away the incentive to cook for the new WFH types. Basket size, I think, will go back to pre pandemic levels with a boosts depending on the region.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2021

    Best Buy puts multi-taskers to work

    I think the key is the broadening the skill of the store employee to be a retail employee. Doing delivery is probably not the best example of upskilling a store employee, but if they are cross trained for online customer service, product training, trouble diagnostics etc. it is a good thing for their career and for the customer.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2021

    Organized theft is turning San Francisco into retail’s wild west

    Living in downtown SF, I can attest the problem. With quiet streets I am seeing increased store theft, broken windows and doors, etc in my neighborhood. In some cases I don't blame retailers for closing because previously sales exceeded shoplifting and now I am not sure that is the case. Together with the current disagreement between the DA and police on how to handle property and drug crimes, I see more stores closing in quiet neighborhoods.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2021

    Will made-to-order polos have everyone wanting to wear Ralph Lauren?

    There is always a demand for logo wear in corporate settings and it looks like RL is testing whether it will work for regular consumers. The key will be adoption by consumers and whether RL can do it profitably without diluting the brand value.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2021

    Can Nike ‘Just Do It’ with a hybrid work model?

    Key is the employees being comfortable to close proximity workspace and whether those with children can get child care through school or other means during the work day. Having the physical togetherness is good for creativity and having the hybrid model does takes the stress out a bit for daily commute.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2021

    Has augmented reality tech reached an inflection point at retail?

    AR can be used to entertain, but for it to enhance the shopping experience it needs to deliver actual value such as information that drives purchase decisions. For specific scenarios where additional information/direction is needed, I think AR is a good option for tech-enabled consumers.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2021

    Will a new subscription program make Circle K a daily stop for members?

    I am guessing the initial tests worked well with delivery vehicle operators who are on the road early and refuel regularly, especially fleet vehicle drivers on an Easy Reward program. I think it will definitely drive traffic to the store for the regulars and convert some of the "fuel and go" customers to drop in.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2021

    Kroger takes flight with drone delivery test

    Right now it is a gimmick, and it's probably going to be amplified by social media influencers. Okay to test but given the weight and logistics limits and the first time one of those drones causes property damage ... I can see it deliver in the middle of a remote location like a beach (trees would create a problem when dropping it on a wilderness trail), but navigating a drone in the middle of an urban area just screams for liability issues.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2021

    Will immersive experiences revitalize U.S. malls?

    Malls can't rely on one thing to replace what is gone. Consumer tastes have changed and malls need to give shoppers a variety to reasons for customers to go, whether it is dining, healthcare, personal services, package pickup, entertainment based on local demographics. Not try to find the one "killer replacement."
  • Posted on: 04/22/2021

    Say goodbye to Walmart’s robotic towers

    Technology is there to solve a problem either as cost reduction or increase in customer service. Lockers worked pre-COVID for commuters who would pick up items on the way to and from work. With a reduction in commuting and a desire to minimize contact, it makes more sense to move to curbside for those who want it. People are easier to redeploy within a store to perform a different task, compared to technology in this case.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Are pop-up shops the answer to getting reluctant shoppers back into stores?

    Pop-up is good right now because shoppers are looking for "the moment" with discoveries after being stuck at home, and nothing like a pop-up with a limited time to drive the curious and get in/out quickly. Also, this allows you to experiment with short term decorations and merchandising concepts and locations to gather feedback from purchase and also social media metrics. If anything, retailers are trying to decide whether to reopen full stores and use pop-ups to gauge the neighborhood traffic before committing to the staffing to fully reopen.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2021

    Can omnichannel be as profitable for retailers as in-store sales?

    Retailers had to go online and deliver regardless of cost during COVID shutdown as store traffic plummeted. As we recover, retailers have a decision on how much it costs maintain the stores if customers don't return enough (close or convert to pickup and return fulfillment point if possible), and invest in e-commerce for ordering. The shipping costs and return costs need to be accounted for in the move to e-commerce. I personally like the Costco model which is "items maybe available for lower cost in store" for e-commerce. Shoppers have the visibility to decide whether to visit the store or pay more for shipping.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2021

    Why are McDonald’s restaurants leaving Walmart stores?

    I think COVID changed shopping behavior and there is much less "lingering" going on in shopping. If the MCD location wasn't performing pre COVID, it isn't going to perform well going forward. My experience with QSR inside stores is that they are traditionally placed for the person who doesn't want to shop to hang out while their partner is shopping. Or when it is really hot outside, they're a way for people to cool off before shopping. COVID simply accelerated the closing of low preforming locations.

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