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: 06/17/2019

    How well did Target handle its no good, very bad weekend?

    Technology glitches happen, as long as they don't happen too often. Looks like the human process worked in terms of communicating with the customers, handing out free popcorn and closing stores when it is obvious they can't process transactions. Would hate to be in POS vendors shoes right now. I am rather than surprised at the scale of the outage and that the system can't go "offline" mode and approve transactions less than a certain amount, just to clear the store. From my point of sale systems days, that was the "limp mode" approach to transactions when the system goes down.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Indochino bets big on showrooms

    This isn't really showrooming because they are doing tailoring measurement. Really, this is a customer onboarding site because most people don't know their measurements and don't know how to do it correctly. By getting the measurements accurately and then showing the fabric options, it appeals to the bespoken nature of today's customer. I do wonder how many times the employees have to deal with the "John Wick" tailoring request look though, LOL!
  • Posted on: 06/06/2019

    Are Wegmans, Giant Eagle and Tops wise to drop in-store childcare?

    Makes sense for these retailers given shoppers today are shopping faster in the grocery store and looking for convenience because of pre-planning. Plus the increased labor cost and liability to provide the service given the margins for a supermarket, it doesn't make economic sense. IKEA is a larger store and dwell time with a higher margin that can sustain the service.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2019

    Can department stores shake themselves out of the doldrums?

    The issue is merchandising and shopping experience. The basic department store model is being attacked from discounters and general merchandise. To win, I think department stores need to go back to being a destination for shopping and social gathering. There is always a segment of shoppers who wants to spend time in the store to get the branded experience, and do their first purchase there, then repeat purchase on the web. Department stores also need exclusive merchandise packaging or non-exclusive products from the brands. There isn't a magic bullet, but it is a way to go.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2019

    Do treasure hunt experiences provide the key to discounters’ fortunes?

    There will always be a segment of "computer jockey" shoppers that do as much of their shopping online for discounts and leverage the return policy. Those are customers that B&M discounters cannot win. What B&M discounters need is the assortment and new items coming through constantly for the shoppers who want to get out of the house and spend some time browsing and looking for things maybe before they visit with friends or go out for a meal.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2019

    Why is Party City closing profitable stores?

    In the new world it is better to be lean and flexible on your store footprint. Many retailers end up with too many sunk leases they can't get out of. With these profitable stores, some may have unfavorable lease terms, so in the long run they should move on to wait for better opportunities.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2019

    Is anyone going to buy Sears’ rebranding?

    The logo is not the problem, merchandising and customer experience is. Not sure how the logo ties into the core brand value of Sears. Actually I am not sure what the core brand value of Sears is today, which is the bigger problem.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2019

    Should (can) rivals meet the free one-day delivery bar being set by Amazon?

    It would be difficult to replicate for other retailers who cannot offer the value of Prime membership that includes entertainment and other benefits. It pushes a lot of pressure on e-commerce competitors who has to fight Amazon set expectations. For stores base retailers they can leverage physical experiences to attract customers and switch the conversation from fast shipping.
  • 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.

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