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: 09/10/2019

    Nordstrom Local hopes for big returns from the competition

    This one is something I would expect to do in a pop-up. Basically Nordstrom is connecting with customers dissatisfied with another retailer's offering (hence the return) and trying to convert them to Nordstrom products and experience, plus capture their contact information for future marketing. Given that it's in Manhattan it may work. At the end of the day the data will tell.
  • Posted on: 09/04/2019

    Simple answers to fix retail’s loyalty marketing mess

    Big issue is, many retailers still confuse a reward program with a loyalty program. You can always drive purchase through a rewards program, effectively doing discounts for certain customer segments. What you need is a loyalty program that target rewards and returns on investment on customers to drive purchases without only providing discounts.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2019

    Innovation: Are retailers trying to do too much?

    Doing more is important if it is coherent. The problem some retailers face is that they have lost sight of their core value and simply innovating to imitate the competition. Can't innovate just to be different, you have to innovate to improve the core value to your defined customers.
  • Posted on: 08/19/2019

    Kroger’s trucks roll into food deserts

    A very nice goodwill effort and it provides data to see if certain areas are ripe for stores in the future. Especially if they have a small format store that can drop into the area -- that is the intermediary step to a full line store.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2019

    Does a new product donation program for marketplace sellers make Amazon the good guy?

    Amazon is succeeded to become the inevitable villain and it will never be the "good guy" again. There is always room for improvement and there are always critics. All you can do is give credit where it is due and point out legitimate shortcomings and push for improvement.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2019

    Is it time for retailers to tier up their loyalty/reward programs?

    There is a difference between reward and loyalty from my POV. When you are doing rewards to drive repeat purchases, that's not loyalty, that's called discounting. Driving true loyalty to the brand is to get the customer to repeat purchase and advocate, WITHOUT having to continuous scale rewards to get them to do so. Retailers who want loyalty need to invest in the product offering and customer experience, and points program give you that extra push when needed.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2019

    Grocers develop their own tech responses to Amazon Go

    The technology has been there; the will to experiment has been lacking. What Amazon did was to take chances. I still question the financial performance of the stores and whether they would scale. Amazon Go is really a convenience store/corner store model and they haven't opened as many stores as planned. I think grocers need to have a holistic model for multi-model checkout experience based on the consumer, store location/layout, basket analysis, etc. There is no one-size-one-tech-fit all option anymore.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    Can an e-tail startup establish a physical presence using hi-tech vending units?

    Vending machines have been around for a while and this is a good way to test the brand attractiveness. Even if the customer doesn't buy from the vending machine it would be good awareness for online ordering later. Personally the location choice by the door is kind of strange for me because you have a lot of walk through traffic but how many people like to stand in the doorway to browse?
  • Posted on: 07/29/2019

    Has eBay created a viable alternative to Fulfillment by Amazon?

    EBay needs to compete against Amazon and find its niche. Amazon Marketplace took away some of the momentum from eBay and eBay needs to get to a new level to compete for the sellers business. Fulfillment is certainly one way to get on par with Amazon
  • Posted on: 07/25/2019

    Has Amazon ‘destroyed the retail industry’ in the U.S.?

    Amazon is getting criticized in the same way Walmart was criticized for destroying main street. The reality is as Paula said, "When a company has 50 percent of 11 percent of the retail market, and about half of that is as a broker for other retailers’ stuff, it’s very hard for me to call it a monopoly." Innovation in customer experience and supply chain is Amazon's forte and they have set customer expectation for ecommerce at a high bar. That didn't destroy retail, it only changed it, just like Walmart did on store format, price and supply chain in the past.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2019

    Walmart shakes things up, further integrating online and physical store teams

    I think merchandising for now needs to stay separate because of the store specific expertise such as shelving, planograms, layouts, and regional customer preferences is still different than "endless aisle" ecommerce merchandising. There are definitely synergies, but maintaining separate groups for now makes a lot of sense.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2019

    CEO says Walmart’s stores are the answer to Amazon – at least for groceries

    Grocery is not the single category for a company like Walmart but a compliment to overall strategy to drive traffic to the stores for those who prefer in-store pickup and a staging hub for deliveries of grocery and non-grocery items. I think retailers with large real estate footprint will over time need to "rightsize" their real estate for delivery and shopping. The challenge currently is that the retail space square footage cost is high to be used just for distribution for delivery. I do wonder what the math of "revenue per square foot" between a well merchandised store versus a well designed distribution hub looks like.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2019

    Location-based marketing is spreading beyond smartphones

    Automotive is probably where I see location based service to be the most relevant. By definition it is a moving target and the driver is constantly scanning for information. I use Waze and even though I have never clicked on the ads that pop up when the car is stopped, I have use voice searches to locate categories such as gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets. That is where the area of location-based advertising and context would help. I don't necessarily want the closest location that requires backtracking from my route, adding info and promotion during searches I think makes the best value proposition for the advertiser and consumer.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2019

    Fashion seekers hunt for treasure in Costco’s warehouses

    Costco always had an assortment of apparel of limited quantity and their product quality has been good. I have picked up a few things from time to time especially in casual and workout clothes. They also have limited assortment of jewelry and watches too. They do a good job to get the shoppers to always stop by to browse
  • Posted on: 06/27/2019

    Is email still the place for conversions?

    I think email has still got a place in marketing when used as an information delivery medium. Spam type email with loud hype headlines, not so much. Information based or transaction/status confirmation with cross-sell marketing messages I think still gets eyeballs.

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