PROFILE

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 at:about.me/kennethleung

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  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    Is it time to push the ‘go faster’ button on cloud computing?

    I think there are many places for cloud adoption but one has to be specific to what the area is. For corporate applications I think with the move to the cloud to reduce admin requirements and get the latest features, there is less friction. For store-based application it depends on the location. You still have the issue of cost and reliability of connectivity though that has greatly improved in the last 10 years.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Is Bed Bath & Beyond smart to draw the line on coupons?

    I think they need to make the coupon more of a communication vehicle than a discount vehicle, and better enforce the expiration dates and limits (which needs to be done at the POS system level rather than relying on employees). The coupon could be converted to other kind of offer leveraging the well known design.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2019

    Will Walmart clean up with its robotic workforce?

    Makes sense for Walmart to experiment with robotics. Walmart made its reputation with technology investments in supply chain and now ecommerce, as labor cost increases and in some areas reduction in availability, and tech costs decreases, it makes sense to integrate technology (or at least pilot it) to see how to drive efficiencies in the store.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2019

    Chrome extension shows Goodwill to shoppers, not to Amazon or Walmart

    Interesting technique. I think it will give them some press and hardcore shoppers. I don't know how many people who install the extensions (I have had to clean up extensions on my Chrome browsers because of UI and other resource issues) just to get offers on Amazon.com On the other hand, the data they collect (have to read up on their privacy policy) on the extension could be very interesting for them.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2019

    Is Dick’s making the right move by bringing its software development in-house?

    The challenge of doing it in house is that you are limited by the expertise available and you don't get the scale of knowledge of requirements in the future that you haven't thought of. Also third party vendors would be reluctant to share information with you. I remember long time ago working at a retail software company and we were told not to show our software to certain retailers who are known to leverage vendor IP for in house development. You also create a proprietary platform that is difficult to maintain when the talent changes.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2019

    Can baristas keep up with their robotic challengers?

    Robotic tech in retail is a way to deliver precise products where it is appropriate, basically turning into a coffee machine. Some people go to coffee shops just to get coffee and leave, some like a few minutes of peace and human interaction. Both can coexist. I like to use the bar example. How many people would want to go to a robot bar for a drink after work and stare at a drink dispenser?
  • Posted on: 03/25/2019

    Is there anything special about specialty retail?

    I agree. If you are going to a boutique you are looking for something special in a category that inspires you in some way. At the end of the day, all the mobile tech and digital displays don't help if the merchandise in the store isn't correct. I think sometimes we forget that in retail, the ultimate customer experience isn't information about the product you know, but to find something that delights you to buy.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2019

    Can Instagrammable moments turn into immediate and direct sales?

    This is going to be interesting. I think the big one is when the influencers who currently tag what they are touting to be able drive direct sales back to sponsor's account. Certainly in manufacturer and retailer's IG the ability to seamlessly purchase is good, but I think activation of the influencer ecosystem is the bigger game changing as it will drive accountability and direct sales
  • Posted on: 03/20/2019

    Brands and retailers get in on the esports marketing game

    Esports is a huge market in certain regions like Korea, and growing in other parts of the world. Just like any sporting endorsements, it comes down to matching the demographics against what the retailers and brands are targeting. Just like with other sports, you have to watch for "off the field" behavior issues; other than that, it works like any sports endorsement program.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2019

    Will other cities follow Philly in banning cashless stores?

    You will be surprised how many luxury goods purchases are done in cash. :-)
  • Posted on: 03/08/2019

    The rise of the chief artificial intelligence officer

    Artificial Intelligence expertise is definitely needed in retail. The question is whether it is a C-Suite role. Realizing the benefits of AI means integrating the insight created into execution into the line of business using resources from IT. I think appointing the Chief AI officer should be the result of implementing change in the organization to scale the success of AI across orgs, not necessarily as an instigator of it. Appointing a chief AI officer too early may actually be detrimental to the cause.
  • Posted on: 03/04/2019

    Will pairing nail salons with shoe stores be a good fit for DSW?

    I think it makes sense given the store square footage of DSW, and that they need something different than what Zappos and other online retailers have to offer. You can draw foot traffic (pardon the pun) with the pedicure and then cross sell open toe shoes (I see some store merchandising and display planning opportunities) in the adjacent area. As long as the service is competitive in quality I don't see a downside.
  • Posted on: 02/28/2019

    Where does J.C. Penney go after ending its Bombfell subscription deal?

    Given the challenges J.C. Penney faces, the key is to focus on fixing its core of stores and online business and merchandising now. If big and tall is a category that works, expand that in the store and online merchandising, THEN put it in a subscription service that it can support. The key to winning in retail these days is is to try fast and fail fast and move on.
  • Posted on: 02/22/2019

    Why is shelf management getting short shrift in supermarkets?

    Shelf management has been around for a long time, but it is a boring block and tackle task that is also labor intensive. As retailers shift online and try to make stores more efficient, the work on shelf management gets short shifted. I wonder if the next generation smart shelves will be designed with storage in the middle and space allocation will be done mechanically :-) We can always dream.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2019

    Where did Payless go wrong?

    Payless couldn't maintain its differentiation with newer competition such as DSW, plus I think people realized that cheap shoes are bad for their feet and with the emphasis of health and wellbeing, people are willing to pay a bit more for designer shoes of better quality. You can get low price shoes now at many discount outlets in the self service model, so Payless got backed into a niche it could not maintain.

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