PROFILE

Ricardo Belmar

Sr Director, Worldwide Enterprise Product Marketing, InfoVista
As large enterprises in the manufacturing, retail, logistics, banking/finance and related industries embrace and accelerate digital transformations via unified communications, collaborative, mobile and cloud-based applications, the need to deliver the best user experience to all users, customers, applications, and devices is ever increasing. Ricardo helps these organizations find business value from technology investments by optimizing their enterprise network and applications to drive user experience and omni-channel customer experiences.

Ricardo is the Senior Director for Worldwide Enterprise Product Marketing at InfoVista. In this role, Ricardo develops market positioning and strategy for InfoVista’s enterprise solutions globally, leveraging his more than 20 years of IT industry experience.

Ricardo actively engages with industry influencers in retail, consumer goods, banking, payments, and restaurant industries on technology trends via Twitter and LinkedIn. He was named Social Media Mayor at the 2015 Retail Executive Summit, the 2015 ENGAGE Summit and 2016 RetailTech Conference by RIS News. He has conducted video interviews of senior executives from retail, banking, and restaurant brands as well as many industry analysts and is frequently interviewed by retail industry publications. Ricardo is also a supporter of the RetailROI charity organization.

For more information, visit: www.infovista.com
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  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Urban Outfitters buys into installment payment plan

    Payment technology continues to be a source of innovation in retail. As shoppers' needs diversify, it makes sense to diversify the methods of payments to facilitate a sale. Let's face it -- this is just another form of consumer credit. Clearly, it's seen much success in Australia and I see no reason to expect anything different in the US. As others have noted, if this does become more commonplace, expect to see a variation of it from Amazon soon.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Abercrombie & Fitch goes to college with a new store concept


    A&F's real problem is with merchandise. They need to really understand what their target demographic, age 18-25 wants in apparel. Once upon a time, they knew this, but realistically they were riding a fad. Once their demographic ages out of the target, the new incoming age group won't accept the same fads. They must continually evolve to succeed and survive, otherwise, they will remain stuck in the middle and as others here have pointed out, the middle is the one place you don't want to be in retail today. Will they learn from their new college format? Hopefully! Perhaps somewhere between this concept and their Polaris concept lies the right path forward for A&F.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Will America win the trade war?

    The primary reality not being raised loudly enough when government officials and politicians talk about trade wars is that this is not a zero-sum game. Today's supply chains are far too intricately connected and heavily globalized that to believe otherwise is purely naive. Gone are the days when you can assume a label that says it was made in any particular country was fully sourced in the same country. When even "made in the USA" cars only have to have 75% US-made parts to qualify, what are we really trying to protect with these trade wars? There can be no winner. Now, are there unfair trade practices? Absolutely. But imposing senseless tariffs and taxes won't accomplish anything positive, only negative results that hurt every individual and family consumer. It truly makes me believe our government leaders failed basic economics. Perhaps when you're one of those government officials (or politicians) you don't think price increases on consumer goods matters, but to the rest of us, it does!
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Will America win the trade war?

    Couldn't agree with you more, on both points (trade war and NRF's position). Let's hope this craziness won't last long enough to severely impact prices and families.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    WeWork doubles down on member-based retailing

    I see this two ways; one as a community building experience for the small organizations that lease WeWork space, and two as a loyalty and desirability factor for the large companies that lease space for remote or branch office employees. The groups seem to be evenly split among the WeWork customer base so it will be interesting to see how this works out. Taking this and the recent work with J.Crew and Lord & Taylor, it's interesting to see how WeWork is branching out to best leverage their space beyond pure office leasing. This makes sense as you have to wonder how long-term sustainable their model is, given the prices they are paying for the real estate. You can only make so much revenue by leasing out space to small companies, so continuing to add adjacent business models may work well for WeWork.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

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

    It's a good strategy as we all know retailers want to move in this direction of being the source of ultimate shopping convenience anytime and anywhere you need them. Target's campaign should resonate well as many consumers already think of Target as their go-to place for consumable everyday items. The added delivery and pickup options are a smart thing to promote. Is it unique to Target? Not necessarily, but perhaps their ad campaigns will give them an early-mover advantage. While these are great digital experiences to move forward with, Target should also continue to focus on their physical stores. They have been moving to remodel and improve layouts, but they still have a ways to go in this respect to capitalize on all the convenience features they are bringing to the shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Amazon to start new Christmas tradition with its own toy catalog

    There is no denying that a print toy catalog is a proven successful vehicle for driving holiday sales. Amazon is making a smart move to help consumers with the discovery process. Kids have always enjoyed looking through the Toys "R" Us catalog and Amazon surely hopes to capture some of that emotional attachment that is sure to drive parents to make purchases. Being Amazon, however, I expect some sort of a twist to the normal print catalog that better ties items on the page to their mobile app, especially knowing that Amazon will adjust pricing as we near the holidays. Perhaps they will work with some of the toy manufacturers to drive unique online content they can push via a scan of the page from the Amazon app. I would not be surprised to see some Alexa tie-ins as well -- you see an item you want in the catalog and you ask Alexa about it and she prompts you to make an instant purchase with an added discount. There are plenty of possibilities for Amazon to benefit from their ecosystem this season with the void left by Toys "R" Us!
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Ride-sharers buy while they ride

    While it may sound like one step closer to the world of Minority Report, this does make sense for incremental sales. Will it be a big hit and spread like crazy? I'm not so sure there really is a big market for these sort of impulsive purchases. It's a slight convenience, but still feel a bit awkward to me. If it's not done in a pushy way it may scale to a point of being worthwhile for most drivers. This is one to watch.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Study claims positive plus-size clothing messages may have a downside

    There really is nothing redeeming about this study as it seems to imply that if all advertising for women's apparel consisted of size 0 models, then every woman in the world would automatically and immediately start dieting to achieve that same size 0. That premise is absurd. I don't see how else we should interpret this study.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Study claims positive plus-size clothing messages may have a downside

    After reading the article I was prepared to write a long commentary on everything that is wrong with what was being said and suggested -- then I saw your comments Bob and I can't possibly sum it up any better! I don't think you can collect enough thumbs up on this one. The study assumes a basic premise that any plus-size woman is supposed to recognize they have a terrible problem and that somehow seeing models of a similar shape is going to reinforce the idea that they are wrong to be that shape. That is beyond absurd and far too offensive. I have to believe this study was created exclusively to draw attention to the University group that produced it by intentionally being contrarian and controversial for the benefit of no one.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Amazon announces Prime Day-and-a-half

    Let's face it, if you're a retailer, with over 100 million Prime members, odds are your customers are Prime members. For that matter, most retailers I know are Prime members, too, and they'll be shopping on Prime Day just like the rest of us! What should other retailers do? Ride the wave, and treat this just like Black Friday. Create sales and promotions that run before, during, and after Prime Day while consumers are in a shopping mood. You won't beat Amazon during those 36 hours, but you could at least gain some sales before and after. Don't try to win on price alone, focus on your core products and deliver value against those. Try to leverage your loyalty program as Amazon does and offer special perks for those customers on these days. I'm sure we can expect record sales this year far eclipsing last year's Prime Day. I also expect that the most popular products will all be Amazon devices (Echo, Fire TV, tablets, etc) and private label apparel products. That's what this is all about after all - getting shoppers more addicted to Amazon's own brands so that they will consume more in the near future.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Amazon announces Prime Day-and-a-half

    Doug, I think you can add a #5 to your list: 5) Amazon will issue PR the next day announcing how many additional millions of subscribers Prime gained during the day-and-a-half.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

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

    Time can't be turned backward. Once the data is collected -- and boy has consumer data been collected -- it either needs to be well-protected, or there will be nasty breaches that erode trust. Legislation like California's, and GDPR, serve consumer interests by protecting that data and building trust via transparency in the process. That's a good thing! CA's law is less stringent than GDPR and given where most retailers stand in their ability to leverage the data they have for personalization, etc., I don't see many being hampered at all by this. These laws are really meant to go after "big tech," aka "The Four" as Scott Galloway calls them as they tend to be the ones who eschew transparency in the interest of providing free services. For the retailer, the need to demonstrate value from collecting shopper data will not change. Most consumers say they are willing to trade personal data for value as most studies tell us today. By putting more attention on this issue as a whole, it will only cause retailers to be more transparent and conscientious about how they use the data to deliver a better customer experience. Again, that's a good thing!
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Walmart adds 3D virtual shopping tour for online home shopping

    It's great to see Walmart experimenting to find ways to leverage innovative new technology like VR in ways they can attach mass appeal to it. While it may not work for all shoppers -- I suspect many will find the idea of only looking at Walmart's curate room to limiting and will wish they could upload images of their own room -- they will no doubt learn quite a bit about how this technology can impact conversions and basket size. Macy's has found that the VR use int heir furniture department can mean the difference between shopper buying a single piece vs an entire room full of furniture! Personally, I see a lot of potential for these types of apps in product categories where the product is big, expensive, and prone to buyers remorse. Categories like furniture and home furnishings fit well, as would art, and anything else requiring a decision made on fitting a space to be a good fit. However, I see greater adoption of AR via the shopper's mobile device because nothing could be better for most shoppers than seeing the items in your own environment vs a curated room in a VR headset!
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Amazon calls on entrepreneurs to help deliver its packages

    This could be a very interesting experiment for Amazon and in their usual fashion, it's disrupting yet another industry. FedEx and UPS are ripe for disruption and who better than the Amazon juggernaut to disrupt it in the analogous way that Uber and Lyft disrupted the taxi industry. It's not clear to me that the ratio of delivery cars (and associated costs for drivers, etc.) to expected profit as indicated will be attractive enough to acquire enough entrepreneurs to make a dent in Amazon's relationship with FedEx, UPS, and the USPS. But it certainly will raise some eyebrows and there most likely are a number of people who will apply simply because the Amazon name is on it. Will this help improve Amazon's overall shipping costs? That remains unclear, but I'm sure that is part of what will be measured in this experiment, and yes, I am calling it an experiment!

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