PROFILE

Rick Watson

CEO, RMW Commerce Consulting

Rick Watson founded RMW Commerce Consulting after spending 20+ years as a technology entrepreneur and operator exclusively in the eCommerce industry with companies like ChannelAdvisor, BarnesandNoble.com, Merchantry, and Pitney Bowes.

Watson was one of the first employees at ChannelAdvisor, spending 10 years there in various executive capacities and launching many of the company’s flagship offerings. He was then recruited to launch the third-party marketplace at BarnesandNoble.com, expanding the company’s product catalog by over 1 million items. After the successful marketplace launch, he served as CEO of Merchantry and led the company to a $30M acquisition by Tradeshift. Upon fulfilling the transition obligations of Merchantry to Tradeshift, Watson directed the cross-border product strategy of Pitney Bowes, a $450M business, comprised of Borderfree and the eBay Global Shipping Program.

Watson’s work today is centered on supporting investors and management teams incubating and growing direct-to-consumer businesses. For his latest project, in partnership with WHP Global, Rick was critical as the leading resource who architected the WHP+ platform, a new turnkey direct to consumer digital e-commerce platform that powers AnneKlein.com and JosephAbboud.com.

To learn more, visit: rmwcommerce.com

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  • Posted on: 12/06/2021

    Does this activist investor know what’s best for Kohl’s?

    I find it super ironic that in none of these conversations (Macy's, Kohl's, Saks) is there any discussion about the underlying consumer value proposition. Investors feel cheated by holding the stock for so long and want to be rewarded for their "patience." What happens when these new digital entities start losing marketshare to Target and Walmart due to lack of differentiation and inferior experience? Will investors at that point be happy to dig in and solve the true root cause problem with the CEO?
  • Posted on: 12/01/2021

    Is air freight worth the cost to Gap?

    Gap's problem is not profitability, it's that it doesn't have a real plan for the brand. AI is not going to solve any of their problems. The problem is flexibility. For decades brands prioritized unit costs to the exclusion of everything else. In an unstable world, flexibility is much more valuable, which means a diverse supplier base. It could take them years to adjust unless they prioritize it. I wonder if they could coax Mickey Drexler back. ;-)
  • Posted on: 12/01/2021

    Did Cyber Monday hit its peak in 2020?

    People forget - eliminating peaks is a good thing as long as you aren't losing share over the entire holiday season. Everyone needs to take a deep breath. By the way, Amazon grew during the same period, so there's that.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2021

    What’s driving shoppers to Amazon?

    Is this really a poll ? ;-) Amazon is one of the best supply chain companies. That's why people buy from them. Trust is a worry but they "do enough" to prevent people from leaving. Personally, I think Target has matched them, and is more profitable to boot. Amazon will need more retail to remain relevant in the future.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2021

    Will Macy’s curated marketplace distinguish it from online rivals?

    Name one vendor that will be on Macy's marketplace and not Amazon's, Walmart's or Target's. Go ahead, I'm waiting... Even after Macy's e-commerce splits from its retail group (which it will), Macy's online will still need a reason to exist. The marketplace doesn't answer this question for them. They just implemented CommerceHub only three years ago and still takes them two to six months to setup new SKUs. Mirakl will change this how and when?
  • Posted on: 11/17/2021

    Will new curbside-recyclable insulated packaging give Amazon a sustainable grocery edge?

    Amazon will not have a sustainable grocery edge until it has more of a retail footprint closer to consumers. It simply does not have the retail footprint to compete on the same scale as Walmart in the market.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2021

    Is physical retail entering a new age?

    The big question is not retail, it's department stores. If moves like the Saks/Saks.com split become a trend (look at Macy's ...), the major department stores' retail footprints could get starved. The new investors are putting money into the digital spinoff business, and the "legacy" retail business gets ... ?
  • Posted on: 11/09/2021

    Does Facebook, er Meta, now need stores?

    Ironically, launching any product often requires the efficiency and immediacy of stores. At this point, Meta needs it more for customer feedback and iteration as much as anything else. John Foley CEO of Peloton was famously asked this question at the height of the DTC revolution: why stores? The bottom line is people need to experience something new. He reported that if he could get someone on the bike for five minutes, it was 50 percent likely that person would pay them $2,500 for a new bike on the spot. That is powerful. Meta isn't nearly that far along, but the same principle applies. What neither advertising or stores will solve, however, is trust. Sadly, I think Facebook is a fatally flawed brand no matter what you rename it to.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2021

    American Eagle Outfitters is literally serious about owning its supply chain

    Congrats to Bruce Welty again :). He keeps going from strength to strength. I don't think this will become all too common, except for the largest retailers. If AEO is smart, they will just leave it alone and allow Quiet to continue to innovate.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2021

    Are the cards stacked against small and medium sized retailers?

    The biggest difference with the large retailers now is that Walmart and Target are the new malls for many brands. So many brands have "de-malled" hundreds of stores and instead tied up with Target or Walmart. Smaller retailers need to be more focused and curated. The answer is to niche down.
  • Posted on: 11/03/2021

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond ‘reach more customers than ever’ with Kroger collab?

    "More customers than ever" is hard for me to believe. I think why Wall Street is truly happy is that they see this as an eventual "exit" for Bed Bath. This partnership is going to take some time to produce value. It's not going to launch until first half of 2022, and then it starts with Kroger.com. The number of customers buying these products on Kroger.com will be somewhat limited for a while. It won't be until the store collaboration happens later (maybe in 2022?) that it becomes really worth talking about.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2021

    How disruptive is the rapid delivery model to grocery?

    It's disruptive in a certain segment and type of products. It will not eliminate the weekly family grocery run. Eighty percent of these companies will end up going out of business. This is like the new Uber which, by the way, is still not profitable after how many years? Yes this is convenient but Walmart and Amazon and Kroger will figure out a way to do the 80 percent and the 20 percent will be filled by one of these surviving companies.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Stores? Kroger don’t need no stinking stores

    No way Kroger competes with Publix with this strategy. Stores will either be coming on the heels of this, or Kroger will be exiting eventually due to high CAC and low profit per unit.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Will ‘hyperautomation’ determine retailing success from this point forward?

    My view of automation is basically Deming's. :) "The transformation can only be accomplished by man, not by hardware (computers, gadgets, automation, new machinery). A company can not buy its way into quality."
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Stores? Kroger don’t need no stinking stores

    I think Kroger will have a similar problem to D2C brands when entering a new market without stores - no one will know or care who they are. They will not ignite growth in these areas without building store infrastructure. It's unclear to me that this new approach will be profitable.

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