PROFILE

Matthew Brogie

CEO, Repsly

Mat Brogie is part of the founding team, and CEO of Repsly, the world’s leading solution for high performance retail execution teams. Mat has spent the past 20 years of his career focused on bringing technology enabled business solutions to the consumer goods industry, having implemented solutions for tens of thousands of field reps at companies such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Pepperidge Farm and hundreds of others.

For more information, visit: repsly.com

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  • Posted on: 07/30/2021

    What’s holding consumers back from adopting AR/VR shopping tech?

    I put online shopping into 2 categories. My kids and I call the 1st "Dad shopping," which means you have a short list, and go get the things on that list as quickly as possible. "Mom shopping" means (in my family) having a list, and some other "ideas" and getting inspired on that journey to get the things on the list. Execution vs. Discovery. I think AR/VR has its place when it comes to discovery, but gets in the way of execution. As with all consumer facing retail tech, I am enthusiastic about the innovation and iteration and fully expect that "one day" the tech enabled shopping experience will be vastly different from what it is today, and that there shouldn't be "concern," just an expectation that adoption will require many innovative iterations.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2021

    Should retailers continue the chatbot deception?

    Chatbots are a fantastic way for companies to increase the level of support they provide to consumers. By taking XX% of issues off of the plates of much more expensive humans, organizations are able to invest more heavily in providing top quality support when and where it is needed most. The newer consumers in the market both expect bots, and are becoming more accepting of them so there is no reason for companies to hide the fact that they are leveraging technology, as long as they make it clear that it is part of an overall commitment to deliver the highest degree of service possible!
  • Posted on: 07/20/2021

    Can facial recognition outlast its bad press?

    I tend to lean heavily into exploring how advanced technology can help to make the world (in this case, the shopping experience) better. I also have a.) a strong belief that these kinds of technological advances are inevitable and b.) faith that measures to protect people from the misuse of technology will evolve alongside them. When I walk into any of a dozen retailers in my Boston neighborhood, I am greeted with a friendly welcome and often by name. I am super pleased when I can simply nod to "the usual?" If a human can do that for me, why wouldn't I want a machine to be able to do the same thing (or help the humans to do a better job)? The commitment that retailers should make, and open themselves to audit of, is to absolutely protect the data and privacy of the faces they recognize, and to enable people to opt out of having any information about themselves used in any way beyond the immediate transaction. If they can make that commitment, I'm all for the upside!
  • Posted on: 07/06/2021

    Can Apple and others make flex-work models work for store associates?

    I like the initiative Apple is taking. They're addressing the needs and desires of an ever increasingly demanding work force in a way that gives the company flexibility as well. Being able to scale up and down around online and support demand is incredibly valuable, and giving retail employees exposure to other forms of customer interaction makes them more valuable as well. I'm looking forward to watching how the retail workforce evolves along with omnichannel and appreciate Apple's innovation.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2021

    Can AI solve e-grocery’s erratic out-of-stock substitutions?

    E-grocery needs to do a great job with substitutions if it is going to keep the ground it has picked up during the pandemic. AI is really the only efficient/scalable way to become great at substitutions. Every shopper has their own specific needs, around the particular SKUs they select for their order, and around the process for completing their order cycles. I believe getting a deep understanding of these two facets of the problem is super important to solving it correctly. AI is getting more powerful every day; being able to understand why a shopper selected a particular brand, size, flavor, packaging of a product, how important each factor is for each individual selection, and what occasion the purchase is being made for is critical to getting substitutions right. Couple that with knowing how the consumer wants to proceed when there is an out-of-stock (i.e.; how much control they want in the selection of a substitute) and it is more of a user experience problem to solve. I'm sure that the AI technology is ready to help A LOT with the problem, and that leaders like Walmart will iterate rapidly to make the experience continuously better for consumers.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2021

    Kohl’s CEO says company is ‘stronger coming out of the pandemic’

    I love the innovation that we've seen from Kohl's over time, and Gass' perspective on B&M stores as the center of physical *and* digital activity. Being able to solve for a statement like that is exactly what it takes to differentiate the relationship with the modern consumer. I have long believed that retail is far from dead (ever since some of the pundits started making claims of retail's demise 20+ years ago); I do however firmly believe that there is significant systemic change underway across all of retail and that Kohl's shows all the signs of emerging as a winner.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2021

    How should (and shouldn’t) retailers honor Juneteenth?

    There is a line to be walked with this new holiday. I believe that it is completely appropriate to use the day to highlight Black-owned businesses and drive awareness about their existence and success. I also think that the day should be reserved as a day of reflection, or a day of service to the community. Nike got it right by closing for the day in order to "to provide educational opportunities that honor Black history and culture."
  • Posted on: 06/14/2021

    UPS entry could even the same-day delivery playing field

    The demand for same-day pick up and delivery will continue to grow very quickly, fueled in large part by expectations and experience generated during the pandemic. Today we expect to be able to get 10-minute delivery of a hot meal from our favorite restaurant, a bottle of wine from our local liquor store, and even a candy bar from the convenience store down the road. As the market size and demand for near real-time delivery continues to grow, we'll see significant innovations that make even the smallest deliveries commercially viable. There is so much R&D going into self driving vehicles, drones and other autonomous delivery that will do nothing but continue to heat up. There is no one better to tackle opportunities like this, and of this scale than a company like UPS with billions in EBITDA and over 100 years of experience innovating how inventory moves from source to consumption. I'm a bit surprised that they have taken as much time as they have to get seriously involved, but fully expect that they'll contribute heavily to the level-of-service expectations that consumers demand.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2021

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

    Things will normalize over time, but I don't expect they will ever be exactly the same as before the pandemic. More people are comfortable with a broader set of options around how to shop. That would suggest that we will trend towards fewer trips to physical stores (after the "post-fear" return peaks), and smaller basket sizes. However I fully expect that people will miss the exploration they can do in-store, and CPGs will respond to that with vibrant packaging, in-store promotions and other tactics for driving impulse buys to capture these shoppers' attention at levels higher than what we saw pre-pandemic. The fight to grow basket size will continue and once we are firmly in the new normal, I believe the trend will begin to bend slightly up.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2021

    Did the pandemic fundamentally shift retailer/vendor relationships?

    There has always been tension between retailers and vendors, and in my opinion some level of tension is good, even trickling some of that goodness to consumers in the form of more efficient execution/lower prices. Having said that, I have seen it go way too far, leaving small suppliers pinched to the point of causing harm to their business. I applaud Walmart for prioritizing small vendors; it appears that they've gotten the message that consumers do care about "local" and that having strong business partners at that level is truly good for business.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2021

    Will prescription med discounts help Walmart+ gain ground on Amazon Prime?

    Walmart's new prescription programs will absolutely help it gain ground on Amazon Prime! Amazon and Walmart have a fantastic competition going, and consumers will emerge as the winner in the end, with more choice and more flexibility and, even more importantly, more ways to make healthcare affordable.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2021

    Walmart gives associates free phones and a mobile work app

    I've hung around the back rooms of hundreds of Walmarts over the years, and have seen a lot of very forward-looking/cutting edge programs go through their respective life cycles. Many fall by the wayside while many stick for the long term; all contribute to the evolution of how retail operates, for Walmart itself as well as those that study the giant. This evolution feels incremental and a bit overdue, however I'll refrain from being too judgy since making the move from "multi-thousand dollar hardened devices" to mainstream consumer phones to run the associates' apps is a big step that I'm sure was not taken lightly, and as the kinks get worked out it will certainly deliver benefits around both cost and flexibility. I'm a fan of this move as I think it will increase the pace of innovation of the tools that associates leverage to provide an overall better experience for customers.
  • Posted on: 06/04/2021

    Voice assistant takes orders from McDonald’s drive-thru customers

    I am fascinated by the evolution of how people get their coffee in the morning, and how they get their burgers during the day! I'm sure that consumers of all kinds will be communicating with AI enabled systems and robots on a regular basis at some point in the future. There is so much effort, energy and resource going into creating these kinds of solutions that I have no doubt that it will become mainstream soon. A few years ago there was no "mobile order ahead" from the coffee or donut shop, now it is the only way many people get their morning Jo. I fully expect that McDonald's will have an app integrated into cars' infotainment systems where the driver will build the order on the way to the restaurant through interactive voice technology, and will skip the whole drive-thru line. McDonald's will be serving its "billions" in lines inside the store, through mobile order-ahead (walk up and drive up), through voice enabled drive-thrus, through online meal delivery, and many other to-be-developed methods. The inside operations of the restaurants will need to become hyper efficient as fewer people will be required for customer facing interactions, and higher volumes of orders are coming in.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2021

    Is retail going to the ‘doges’ with cryptocurrency?

    It is very interesting to watch the evolution of cryptocurrencies, which is playing out to be another example of how rapidly things can change! The good news for retailers is that payments accepted in crypto can be immediately transformed into USD (or other currencies) as part of the transaction, effectively de-risking the option for the retailer to offer crypto as a payment method. When it comes to how we buy, nearly everything new has some Wild West aspect to it, and eventually the market beats sensibility into itself.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2021

    Will a web game drive sales for a ‘farm-to-face’ beauty brand?

    With existing traffic of 250,000 sessions per month Farmacy has a great base to experiment with. There is a dual potential benefit here: increased conversions and increased traffic. If the game is actually engaging, there will be some viral effect. I think the effort vs. potential gain relationship is very favorable and would encourage Farmacy give it some runway and iterate a few times. My bet is they will see good results ... not game changing, but they will move the needle.

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