PROFILE

Ricardo Belmar

Sr Director, Global Enterprise Marketing, Infovista
As enterprises in the retail, manufacturing, logistics, banking, and related industries accelerate their digital transformation via collaborative, mobile and cloud-based applications, the need to deliver the best user experience to all users and customers across all devices is ever increasing. Ricardo helps these organizations find business value from technology investments by optimizing their enterprise network and applications to drive omnichannel customer experiences and drive digital revenue. As the Senior Director for Global Enterprise Marketing at Infovista, Ricardo develops the marketing strategy for Infovista’s enterprise solutions, leveraging his 20+ years of industry experience to help enterprises protect digital revenue by optimizing their enterprise networks. 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, 2016 RetailTech Conference, and 2018 Retail Experience Summit by RIS News. He has conducted frequent video interviews of senior executives from retail, banking, and restaurant brands as well as many industry analysts and is frequently interviewed by retail publications. Ricardo is also a supporter of the RetailROI charity organization. For more information, visit: www.infovista.com
  • VIEW ARTICLES
  • VIEW COMMENTS
  • Posted on: 01/08/2019

    What’s holding back in-store mobile engagement?

    Nailed it, 100 percent. Focusing on discounts and special offers is not taking a customer-centric view, that's looking at it from the retailer's point of view. The mobile experience has to provide the value the customer wants, not what the retailer wants the customer to want.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2019

    Sears likely headed for liquidation

    The death spiral has been going on for years, this is simply the last turn before the complete collapse. Lampert got what he wanted from all of his financial manipulations -- extracting money for himself from any remaining valuable assets Sears had, primarily Craftsman, Lands' End, Kenmore, and of course the real estate. That's all he ever wanted and he fooled no one into thinking he intended otherwise. Yes, Sears made MANY missteps along the way that can't all be blamed on Lampert but, in business, it all comes from the top. As Chairman and CEO, he led the sinking ship and must take the blame. Certainly, this will be a textbook case study for business schools everywhere on how not run a business, and specifically how not to survive in retail. The fundamental lesson is that no matter how successful you were in retail's past if you can't quickly adapt to where retail is headed you cannot survive. No amount of financial trickery can change that in this industry.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2019

    Will AI, tariffs or some other news be the big retailing story of 2019?

    I agree with you, Brandon, that this may be the year of retailers going back to basics. What's old will be new again as the technology as others have pointed out here isn't new, but perhaps the application of it is and certainly demonstrating it in proven use cases. Focusing on customer service, and making the customer the center of your focus (as Amazon does) should become priority one for all. This should be the year that reality catches up to fantasy and we see retailers learning how to "get it right." Fast fail and experimentation are great and necessary, but at some point, you actually have to produce results!
  • Posted on: 01/03/2019

    Retail industry mourns the loss of Blake Nordstrom

    This is truly a great loss, to the Nordstrom family, the Nordstrom business, and to the retail industry. He will be missed. While Nordstrom, the retailer, will no doubt continue on and continue to be successful thanks to Blake Nordstrom's leadership, I am sure they will feel his loss greatly, although the co-president structure may ease the transition. Nordstrom has always had a very specific feel for its customers and that will certainly not change. My deepest condolences to their entire family.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2018

    Will 7-Eleven’s cashier-less store take hold?

    There is no doubt in my mind that cashier-less c-stores are in our future. While I don't foresee ALL c-stores going this route for various reasons (primarily shrink) we can expect many to do so. Another hurdle will be franchisee adoption and that will depend heavily on the CAPEX requirement. Consumers will warm to the idea, but the implementation is tricky and does depend on the customer base. Just look at Walmart's failed attempt to bring in scan and go technology to their stores -- customers rejected it. For 7-Eleven, this will be challenging but if coupled with improvements to their overall store look and feel, could be used to bring in new customers going forward.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2018

    Can Barnes & Noble’s in-store experts beat algorithms?

    Yes, books as a category can stand to gain greatly from experienced associates delivering powerful recommendations to customers. But why should this be newsworthy? Of course, knowledgeable associates can make a difference in sales! For some time retailers have been underinvesting in their associates and this shows the result. Can B&N pull this off and make a dent in their holiday sales? We shall see, but I do believe this is an area most retailers should pay close attention to -- not just for books! Associates are the front line, the face of the brand and need to be trained and equipped with the knowledge customers crave.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does fear motivate workers or make things worse?

    Natural, organic fear is often present for many people in their jobs. When it's self-inflicted it often becomes a personal motivator until such time that discrete fear is overcome. However, when it's forced down from management as part of a corporate culture it only serves to de-motivate workers from wanting to do their best and productivity suffers as a result. I agree with Paula's comments that it is truly amazing we're still having this debate in 2018. Having been in an organization that relied on these tactics as a management technique in the past, I can attest to seeing the terrible effect it has on employees to the point of demotivating them into feeling "it's just a job" and no longer desiring to be innovative and creative. It's no wonder that in organizations such as those you see higher turnover rates!
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does Starbucks have a big delivery opportunity?

    Having been to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, I am looking forward to checking out the NY edition. Yes, this may well be the ultimate expression of a coffee lifestyle! Where else will you get a $12 cold brew aged in whiskey barrels! (Yes it really does have a unique flavor for those who haven't tried it!). The concept is brilliant, but I have to say if every Starbucks were turned into one of these, it would lose its appeal. The uniqueness creates a sense of intrigue from the rarity of the location and the experience that results is much more memorable that way.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does Starbucks have a big delivery opportunity?

    Gene, sign us both up for the "coffee has no effect on me" club! Although you have me beat on the coffee cup count per day!
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does Starbucks have a big delivery opportunity?

    Delivery is becoming pervasive in just about every product category, so why not coffee? Yes, there are unique challenges in delivering a quality coffee product, but if Starbucks is willing to see this "experiment" though I have no doubt they will find a way to make it work. The question is -- will it be a profitable approach? Delivery costs more and at some point, customers will look at the premium they are paying for delivery over and above the premium they are paying for the product and some may finally say enough is enough! Starbucks will need to determine just how large a customer segment it is that wants coffee delivery. I suspect they have plenty of loyal fans that would make this worthwhile although perhaps not at all locations.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Retailing success doesn’t depend on silver bullets

    I recently visited that RH location in meatpacking and have to agree with you that it is a very different space! Actually has a meeting there as well and it was quite productive -- definitely redefines retail as a destination space.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2018

    Are holiday shoppers getting more ‘appy’?

    This really speaks to how retailers always need to understand who their customers are and what their needs are. Mobile apps are just another channel to the retailer, but to the customer, it's another window into the brand that they expect will give them the information and experience they want whether or not they come into the store at some later time. Retailers that pay attention to this throughout the year will certainly experience more uplift during the holiday season!
  • Posted on: 12/13/2018

    Retailing success doesn’t depend on silver bullets

    There are no silver bullets, as Ray points out. Just as you shouldn't deploy new technology in the store for the sake of technology, it all comes down to meeting your customers' needs! Retailers that get that right will succeed.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2018

    Will the maker movement inspire a new creative direction for malls?

    This is about discovery in the shopping experience. People used to go to malls to discover new products and, after all, the mall is where the stores were! Now people go to malls when they need to and want to buy something they have in mind. Discovery has moved to digital channels and unless malls do something different and unique to re-enable discovery, traffic levels will only continue to decline. I like this concept as it also leverages localization and introduces a "treasure hunt" mentality to the product discovery equation that isn't normally associated with the mall. Ideas such as this one and what we've seen with BrandBox by Macerich to bring digital native brands into the mall are a great idea that warrant more attention. I'm not sure this can save lower B- and C-level malls, unfortunately, but it's worth a try!
  • Posted on: 12/12/2018

    Kraft Heinz ‘embraced failure’ in digital transformation

    If you're innovating, you're experimenting. Your experiments can't be 100% successful or they wouldn't be experiments, they would be winning deployments. Even the champions of innovations at Amazon fail, and when they do they fail spectacularly (anyone remember the Fire Phone?). So yes, you can't be afraid of failure, you have to accept and embrace it as a means to learn and improve your products and services. That's all part of being innovative. Whether a CPG or retailer, not innovating is a recipe for disaster -- innovate or die is the age we live in. That said, you also can't experiment recklessly -- you have to have a way to measure progress and success or you won't know if your innovation is truly a useful and productive one or not. We often see organizations like Kraft Heinz setting up internal innovation labs or incubators to isolate and protect those groups working on experimental ideas. The goal is not to keep them isolated forever, but to protect them from the internal bureaucracy such large organizations tend to have.

Contact Ricardo

  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.