Mohamed Amer

Vice President, Executive Communications, Office of the Co-Presidents, SAP Industries
Living in Southern California, Mohamed joined SAP in 2003 as Solution Manager in charge of global grocery segment within the Retail Business Unit. Subsequently he led the Supply Chain product area for Retail in the Americas. For three years he led the Retail Business Unit in the Americas supporting business development, key customer implementations, and relationships as well as managing User Groups and Executive Customer Councils. Mohamed also led the building and championing of internal and external Retail communities. Most recently, Mohamed was the Global Head of Strategic Communications for the Consumer Industries at SAP (Retail, Consumer Products, Wholesale Distribution, and Life Sciences). In his current role, he is responsible for executive communications in SAP's Office of the Co-Presidents for all industries.

Prior to SAP, Mohamed was co-founder and President of NEXstep, an Internet supply chain software startup which was acquired by Viewlocity. He also held leadership positions in the retail management consultancy, Kurt Salmon Associates with extensive Retail and CPG client engagements as well as general management roles in the office products industry at Boise Cascade and Buhrmann-Tetterode.

Mohamed held a commission with the US Navy (Lieutenant Commander – naval aviation and naval intelligence) and has earned an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, an MA in National Security Affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School, and an MA in Human and Organizational Systems at Fielding Graduate University.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2018

    ‘Less is more’ when competing with Amazon

    Less is more is absolutely a viable and important strategy when competing with a formidable competitor. You can't compete with Amazon on depth or breadth of assortment and all the related infrastructure they've built up over the past two decades. However by truly knowing your customers, their needs and behaviors, and delivering a fresh and interesting shopping experience that engages in the moment and enhances your relationship with them -- you can differentiate and compete. Don't try to be everything to everyone, but seek to be indispensable to a sufficiently large niche to support your business; this not only offers a defensible moat, but can prepare you to take measured steps to expand profitably.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018 to offer easier returns for marketplace purchases

    No one bats a thousand. Not every item you purchase is as expected and this is more so when the purchase is made online. So by easing and clarifying the return process, you actually lower the hurdle-to-purchase for the consumer and can deliver higher conversion across Yes, you risk a rise in the return rate, but if your item descriptions and images are clear and complete, and can include customer feedback, then you can effectively reduce exposure to the returns bugaboo. This is a great move by Walmart that should benefit the company, third-party sellers and of course the key to all this: the consumer.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2018

    Empty malls spelled the end for Brookstone stores

    The challenge for Brookstone is the narrow nature of their assortment and the limited purchase occasions. Two additional drivers operated in parallel: 1.) Growth of online retailing especially with mega-competitors like Amazon as well as smaller ones such as The Sharper Image; 2.) the fall of foot traffic in malls and their slow erosion as consumer destinations per se. Retail profitability is sensitive to sales volume and is proportional to existing fixed cost. A 10 percent reduction in foot traffic can be calamitous to a specific store that depends on impulse and walk-by consumers. Inventory decisions and vendor relationships become even more important and any in-store cost-cutting can easily backfire. Without a strong and consistent source of consumer demand, the weaknesses in any business model will become magnified.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2018

    Wayfair to open its first brick & mortar store

    The opening of physical stores by Wayfair is significant not in pursuit of profitability but in realization that continued torrid growth will require physical presence as a further element of shopping convenience. The future of mainstream retail is a fully integrated online and offline retailing model and entails not only the right assets and resources, but a vision that begins from needs and behaviors of consumers rather than taking cues from a company's core competencies -- the latter must be pursued and developed in view of the former.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Zara bets on faster deliveries from stores to boost online growth

    Using stores as distribution centers for online orders is a very real and attractive option in an integrated in-store and online strategy. That requires having a single view of the demand and an integrated view of customer interactions from any touch point. Real-time processing and visibility across the retailer's integrated network from back-office to store become a necessary step to such a strategy. Falling short on the latter will jeopardize the execution. The rub comes at peak sales periods when in-store traffic and higher online orders compete for existing inventories which once more points to the need of having the systems in place to support the strategy.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    Walmart still trying to figure out home delivery

    Think of home delivery as a differentiating element in a menu of choices for the consumer. It is part of a larger fulfillment of demand and delivery of value. It's not a standalone profit and loss center and making business decisions based on that single lens will rob retailers of growing their business and attracting repeat customers. The focus needs to be on the overall cycle and re-adjusting upstream processes to make up for the higher per unit cost of fulfillment. In parallel, if you view the incremental purchases made by satisfied customers, I suggest these increases can boost profitability given the relatively higher fixed cost nature of traditional grocery retailing with its physical assets and inventories across hundreds or thousands of stores.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2018

    Is your culture your brand?

    Great insights Jeff! Trust is the cornerstone here. While we can measure it in hindsight via surveys, it doesn't fit neatly into a quantifiable design algorithm. You need to think and act through the steps you outlined.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2018

    Is your culture your brand?

    The core assumption of Denise's work is spot on and her current contribution of this instructional framework will be referenced for years to come. Silos were once considered a natural design outcome of specialization inside of companies. Optimize each work domain and the company will be further ahead at the end. Technological advances and rising consumer and employee expectations have forced traditional boundaries to tumble. Separating the external brand image from how the firm conducts itself and deals with employees is not only a modern-day artifice, it adds insurmountable complexity to decisions and the ability to sustain a sound brand narrative. The brand story is fueled by the company's internal resources as culture while its trajectory is guided by its ability -- and success -- in richly enhancing the lives of its customers.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Target looks to build rep as ‘America’s easiest place to shop’

    Ease of shopping and remarkable convenience are parts of the shopping experience which transcend the purchase of specific products or items. So while the battle to differentiate turns from product to experience, Target will need to ensure that the basics of having the right assortment, refreshed branded lines, strong inventory management and competitive pricing are pursued in parallel. In doing so, Target will ensure that the differentiation strategy has a significantly higher probability of success.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Amazon to start new Christmas tradition with its own toy catalog

    For Amazon, business does not move in a linear and predetermined direction. It's more circular because unlike machines, humans have emotions -- memories, relationships and experiences are difficult to incorporate into an executable algorithm. Adding a paper catalog serves to link the online brand with a physical object that can help customers imagine new possibilities while simultaneously adding to Amazon's trove of data and assessing the value of catalogs in their marketing mix. Amazon is also looking at the departure of Toys "R" Us as a vacuum that needs to be filled. The online and physical worlds are coming together in retailing and Amazon is making sure the company will be top-of-mind eventually in every lifestyle scenario no matter how customers approach the purchase journey.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Ride-sharers buy while they ride

    This is a natural evolution of a new frictionless commerce model and our near-constant attachment to mobile devices no matter where we are. So leveraging convenience with consumer impulse purchase behavior and an always-connected and mobile shopper, Cargo and similar models will proliferate and winners will be based on ease of use, and the ability to operationally execute and scale profitably.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Amazon announces Prime Day-and-a-half

    This year's Amazon's Prime Day will be 20 percent longer and I expect will generate between $1.4 to $1.5 billion in sales, a 40 percent to 50 percent increase over 2017's performance. In addition to a longer "day," Amazon has maintained, through 2017, an impressive Prime member compounded annual growth rate of 29.2 percent over a five-year period. The adoption of Alexa combined with the usual deep discounts and general excitement leading to Prime Day will attract new members as well as turning the event into a semi-official shopping holiday for Prime members and deal seekers. If I were competing against Amazon during Prime Day, I'd recognize that many of my customers are ready and willing to spend money on attractive deals. My main advantage will be my ability to provide immediate gratification, something that Amazon cannot do except at Whole Foods. So for 36 hours, I'd be guiding my customers to my own online deals, linking these to future incentives designed to bring my customers back, and prominently communicating the ease of in-store purchases and pick-up options -- above all be I'd be prepared to give up some margins for those 36 hours.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Walmart adds 3D virtual shopping tour for online home shopping

    For a company that invented mass everything, it's refreshing to see Walmart make these probes into new areas. That is a sign of true business leadership. I view Walmart's 3-D Virtual Shopping Tour as one of several efforts the company is taking to attract a younger, more affluent shopper. This is important to generate more growth for the company and over the long term it will give the brand much wider appeal.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Amazon calls on entrepreneurs to help deliver its packages

    The launch of Amazon's DSP program at a time of U.S. driver shortages is indicative of the company's strategic view. Deliveries are core to Amazon's success and, as it grows, it must secure resources to maintain that signature element of its brand. The DSP program is a step in that direction. Amazon's entire trust model is tested with every single delivery and the company will ensure they have a full compliment of proven options in how that is executed. As to entrepreneurial appeal, heck yeah!
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Will California’s new privacy law set the standard for data protection?

    California's new data privacy law begins to address consumers' concerns for their own data and shines a spotlight on ownership and legal, if not appropriate, uses of such data. This is a process and not a final play as we come to terms with how to deliver on customer expectations and protecting data. Strong and transparent identity management will be key to future commerce growth.

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