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Ray Allen

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  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

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

    There are definitely customers who would want same day delivery at least once, but it certainly seems like an exception case and not the optimal one for either the customer or the retailer. The fast followup will need to be a UX workshop to answer "How do I generate the optimal amount of goodwill from an exception situation and convert it into a a high value subscription?"
  • Posted on: 03/29/2019

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

    Having built commercial retail software and developed custom solutions both in-house and as a consultant for retailers, I think we are at a point in time where it makes a lot of sense for a retailer to selectively build in-house solutions. Technology companies, startups, and now even super Tier 1 retailers are leveraging their internal technical skills to raise the bar on consumer expectations. If you can't lead or at least keep up with their innovation in your segment, you will lose business to them. The development tools and technologies available today make it quite viable for a retailer to retake control of their destiny with strategic internal development and third-party components. This is not like in the '90s where if you wanted to build your own house, you had to cut down your own trees. The tools and components are available. On the commercial side, vendors are not adapting quick enough to this new reality. There are major conflicts developing in the business model, and the granularity and flexibility of their offerings. The model of buying or upgrading highly parameterized monolithic applications every couple of years to try and just keep up with the industry, isn't working. It is not a competitive model against businesses who have an agile architecture, control their own UX, and can quickly leverage new internal and external services to enhance their business. A retailer who hasn't discovered that they need internal technology skills, more agility, and tight cycles of continuous improvement to be a great retailer, will ultimately fail. That should be the impetus for their digital transformation. Kudos to Dick's for stepping up. Vendors who want their business will also have to step up and bring them nuggets of gold that create value in their world and operate under their control. The vendors who want to be successful going forward will have to decide if they can transform as well.
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