PROFILE

Phil Masiello

Founder and CEO, CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration Agency
Expert digital marketer for eCommerce, Mobile Apps and Amazon Marketplace Sellers. Author of "Think-Engage-Thrive: Marketing Actions To Skyrocket Your Brand In The Digital Age." Phil Masiello has founded or co-founded several disruptive business models, focusing at the intersection of emerging digital technologies and consumer lifestyles. Most recently, Phil was the founder and CEO of 800razors.com, an online seller of Made in the USA shaving products for men and women that compare in quality to the national brands at a fraction of the cost and conveniently delivered to your home. Prior to that, Phil co-founded Raw Beauty with former supermodel Carol Alt to market her skin care line Raw Essentials on the television shopping channels, retail and eCommerce. Prior to that, Phil founded The Daily Market Grab and Go Meal Stores, Fabulous Food Stores and several other notable businesses. Phil is an expert business startup builder in the B2C channel with a primary focus on lifestyle, health, beauty and fashion products. Adept at developing effective digital and social strategies and campaigns to build awareness, brand recognition and top line sales growth. For more information, visit <b><a href="https://www.crunchgrowth.com/"> CrunchGrowth Revenue Acceleration website... </a></b>
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  • Posted on: 04/24/2019

    Kohl’s goes all-in on Amazon returns

    Kohl's has stated that this relationship is driving store traffic. So this is a win for Kohl's and a win for the customer as it makes returns simple. Amazon certainly has the wherewithal to buy Kohl's if they see a strategic fit for building their fashion business further. If Amazon choses to deepen this relationship and move ahead with either an outright purchase or some sort of product assortment agreement, this would put pressure on other retailers who have not developed as strong a relationship with the consumer as Amazon has done. It could be a brick-and-mortar game changer.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    Why is Petco doubling down on same-day delivery with Shipt and Instacart?

    Certainly in many categories, same-day delivery has its merits. Especially when customers want instant gratification. But I would think Petco is using this to try to gain some sort of an advantage over Chewy. I am not sure that same-day delivery is enough. Chewy has formed a bond with its customers through many other ways over just fast and free shipping. Petco is probably losing ground to other players and they think they can make it up with same-day shipping.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2019

    Will former exec’s Godiva café plans spell trouble for Starbucks?

    I understand the expansion of other food items, especially those with some chocolate component. That has some merit and I am sure, with the correct real estate strategy, these stores can do quite well. But if the question is can they give Starbucks a run for the money the answer is no. Starbucks is coffee first and they do that very well. That is their core competency. Food is an add on sale to meet some meal part demands. Godiva is chocolate first and they should always keep that focus. Coffee will be a nice add on, but I do not think they are going to make a Starbucks customer make a turn to a Godiva store. Annie Young-Scrivner has the understanding of a good real estate and operating strategy for this type of store concept and that will be critical to driving expansion. But she needs to make sure the company does not deviate too far from its core.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Can Walmart beat Amazon, Facebook and Google at the online ad game?

    What Walmart has is the power to force the brands that sell in their stores and on their marketplace to spend money on ads. I believe they will take a large amount of business from Facebook and some from Google. I don't think Amazon will be affected in the least. The issue we are going to have online is the same thing that happened to television. Brands are going to spend money advertising and thinking in terms of impressions and not returns. The beauty of the digital ad world has always been the ability to track and measure the return. But I see brands spending on ads just to be seen and not paying attention to what they are generating. Just spending to budget. This is going to facilitate that mentality.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2019

    Should retail rivals see Amazon’s $15 minimum wage and raise it $1?

    Amazon is using this to stop some of the negative publicity around the warehouse workforces I would assume. Moreover, they are trying to reduce turnover, which is very costly to them. I would think that most retailers are faced with the same turnover problems. The costs of turnover would be greatly reduced with a more stabilized workforce and probably outweigh the costs of the wage increases.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2019

    Will Walmart clean up with its robotic workforce?

    One thing Walmart has done better than any business of any kind is to remove inefficiencies in its supply chain. From point of manufacture to point of sale, they have continued to reduce costs. The effect has been lower operating costs which allow for lower prices. Using technology to remove mundane tasks is a great strategy and continues this trend. Walmart has always innovated in removing costs, however, others have not followed. Amazon would be the only other retailer that is on the cutting edge of using technology to strip out costs.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2019

    Will Amazon, CVS or Walgreens win the speedy Rx delivery race?

    I think there are two main points to consider in this question. The first point is credibility in the space. Although Amazon certainly has a relationship with a majority of households in the U.S., they still have not fully developed the pharmacy business. PillPack was a start, but that business is still relatively small compared to Walgreens and CVS. Additionally, consumers generally have their prescriptions sent to the closest pharmacy. Short term I think CVS has the advantage. Long term I would never count Amazon out of anything. They have enough capital to buy either of these companies. The second point is who has the best distribution network already in place. Having to rely on a third party that is actually owned by one of your competitors is a difficult position to be in for a channel you want to own. For CVS to win long term, they would need a more controllable distribution mechanism. Walgreens' reliance on FedEx is costly and does not address same-day delivery, which consumers would want. Amazon has the warehousing and distribution already in place to make this work. Long term, my bet is on Amazon. When they decide to implement a full-scale approach to prescription medicine fulfillment, they will have the advantage.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2019

    Again, Amazon attempts to shed Whole Foods’ high price image

    Certainly Amazon has the data on their customers to incent them to shop at Whole Foods through these Prime deals. I would expect that consumers who have never shopped at Whole Foods before, because of the high price image, would take advantage of these promotions because they trust Amazon. The mistake Amazon cannot make is to downgrade the quality in an effort to chase profits. In my eyes, the key for Amazon is to get more volume through the stores to leverage down the operating costs, maintain quality and be more flexible on price. Targeting the Prime customers seems like a good strategy with a big payoff potential.
  • Posted on: 04/01/2019

    Are third parties the biggest reason delivery costs keep going up?

    Retailers cannot build out their own distribution network to deliver packages to consumers. So they have no choice but to work with 3PLs. Supply chain costs are not going to go down anytime soon. Fuel costs, labor costs, maintenance costs are all continuing to rise. Retailers need to look at the entire system to get costs out of the system. From the size of the box, the speed of delivery, the packaging materials, all need to be evaluated continually. Once a retailer achieves scale in e-commerce, they need to work with the carriers to find ways to make the process more efficient. For example, we have one client who worked with USPS to have their own branded "If it fits it ships" box with one rate across the country for two-day delivery. It helps them control their costs, provide a better customer experience and minimize packing issues in the warehouse.
  • Posted on: 04/01/2019

    Harris Teeter tests self-checkout store

    Giving customers control over the speed of their checkout experience makes sense for all retailers and especially food retailers. I am certain there will still be staff in the store to help consumers if they have problems with the checkouts, so the store will not be devoid of people. I certainly think that the love of self-checkouts is more prevalent with younger consumers. These smaller footprint grocery stores with below average basket sizes are perfect for self-checkout. This is a great execution test.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2019

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

    Dick's Sporting Goods is a retailer. They should focus their efforts on being a great retailer and taking care of their customers the best possible way they can. They should focus their efforts on retaining customers. Becoming a software developer when you have no core competency in it will distract from being a retailer. There is no competitive advantage to be gained from this initiative. Too many great development teams are already building systems far beyond what Dick's can think of. If you want something custom, partner with a development group that can do it better than you and stick to being a retailer.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2019

    Does direct mail or email deliver greater results for retailers?

    I think it is a retailer-specific strategy. Certainly, there are some specialized retailers that are still seeing value in their direct mail efforts. Those retailers that have been established in that channel for a long time. The returns that we have seen have been continually declining, under the 1 percent return on spend. Trying to start up in this channel is a costly and risky proposition if the consumer is not used to your brand in this channel. I don't see much value in this channel today. Between consumer behavior of limiting their mail delivery in favor of online bill delivery and consumers blocking third class mail, any brand should tread lightly and make sure you are getting a return. If the returns aren't there, move on to something more measurable.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2019

    Are people investments paying off for retailers?

    In brick-and-mortar retail, people are the brand. A retailer can shout about service all they want, but if the people do not deliver that service, then the brand suffers. So it makes all the sense in the world to hire the right people, invest in those people and make sure everyone knows what the brand stands for. Technology can create efficiencies throughout the supply chain, but technology cannot adequately replace the need for well-trained staff to take care of the customers. I am certain some retailers will make corrections and cut staff to the bone in an effort to improve the bottom line. But they will suffer in the long run. There are far too many examples of labor reductions causing short and long term increases in costs and loss of sales.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2019

    Will Walmart’s new tablet burn into Amazon Fire’s market share?

    The tablet market is a pretty mature market at this point. Walmart's opportunity is the price. They can probably sell a lot of units with an inexpensive price point, which is what consumers will expect in the Walmart stores. Will it be a contender in the long term over Fire? I don't believe it will. Focusing on children is probably an open area that others have not. Primarily because it is a market that parents expect kids to grow out of, lose the device or break it. So the price needs to be considered a "disposable" price point.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2019

    Will ending its price parity rule take the antitrust heat off Amazon?

    The price parity rule was unfair in that it restricted third-party sellers from covering all of the costs associated with selling on the Amazon marketplace. Selling a product on their own website is less costly. Amazon has the benefit of tremendous traffic to market to. But a brand may be able to sell their products for less on its own site and should be allowed to do so. Antitrust should be handled on a case by case basis. Amazon is an open marketplace and does not force a seller to use their platform. It is voluntary to sell, but they are Amazon's customers. There are many other places to sell online, so I am not certain antitrust applies. I would think Facebook would be more at risk because of how they operate and the handling of customer data. Facebook has a tremendous amount of data on consumers which does provide an unfair advantage to others. Google as well because of their stronghold on search as well as advertising as well as website analytics. They certainly have an unfair advantage with the amount of data they are able to capture and use. Not to mention penalizing websites from search results. The digital era has certainly added some unforeseen complications to outdated regulations. It will be interesting to see how these events unfold.

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