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: 07/21/2021

    Will a new private label be a good fit for Macy’s customers?

    Private label is a great idea for a retailer, but what is great about this particular private label? "And Now This" - I'd like to meet the agency that got paid for this name. I have trouble with these concepts which start and end with the idea of "we need a little more margin" rather than starting with what consumers are actually looking for. Macy's is not going to disrupt fast-fashion for instance.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2021

    Is Domino’s two-minute curbside wait guarantee a big deal or no big deal?

    I'm not sure this is that big a deal. It seems safer than driving to deliver in less than 30 minutes ;-).
  • Posted on: 07/01/2021

    Is the food delivery bubble ready to burst?

    This is not overhyped and still getting started. The industry is turning out to be a huge battle between folks like Kroger, Walmart, Albertsons, Instacart, and upstarts like Gopuff (which are still new/limited). Walmart has the upper hand right now due to its volume (as always) and likely they will figure it out. Kroger is investing a lot, but I don't love their Ocado separate facility approach. Amazon is important but doesn't have enough scale in the few Whole Foods stores it has relative to the competition. So we are in the first inning here, folks. Expect hundreds of millions of dollars in VC investment in this space over the next five years. Grocery has not even penetrated 10 percent online yet. If this even moves to 30 percent in the next 10 years, you can see why this is so important.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2021

    Is self-checkout tech the answer for DSW and other retailers facing associate shortages?

    Unless you are at a discount store, most consumers will not be willing to do this. I think this is fraught with a lot of challenges.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2021

    What should replace cookies?

    Cookies are wired into the HTTP protocol itself between a client (the browser in most cases) and server. The only alternative would be some new industry-wide standard of data exchange - likely wired into Chromium (the largest codebase) and forced on HTTP servers to support.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2021

    Do stores need to take shoppers on an ‘experiential learning’ trip to succeed?

    This sounds related to ownership psychology in retail marketing. If you can get a consumer to interact with your item, the value immediately increases as you go from "why would I ever want this?" to "can I afford to lose this?" in terms of your mind. This is true even if the sales clerk can make you imagine owning the product. The psychology is exactly the same.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2021

    Will chatbots take over as personal shopping assistants?

    The pluses are related to availability. Many questions are simple and can be handled by chatbots - stock, order status, even questions about product attributes. Outside of these boxes, chatbots fall down. That's OK. I'm confident a lot of these advances will continue to escalate. Ten years ago, who would have thought we would have had something like Alexa? The future is bright for this technology in my view.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2021

    Marc Lore says Walmart can’t connect to customers like Allbirds and Warby Parker do

    I think Marc Lore is trying to apologize for his previous mistakes as he is now speaking from experience here. While he was a Walmart employee he tried to acquire all these brands. Almost all these acquisitions did not go well. Is this Marc's "Sorry Doug?"
  • Posted on: 06/14/2021

    Is Netflix about to replicate Disney’s product merchandising success?

    I thought it was curious this new store was not connected to the user's Netflix account. So it could limit the personalization, at least until they connect the two.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2021

    Is Netflix about to replicate Disney’s product merchandising success?

    I think this is more opportunistic than "transformational." That said, it is a huge miss that Netflix didn't have this before so I'm excited to see what they come up with. I'd love to see digital content and customizations in the approach here.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2021

    UPS entry could even the same-day delivery playing field

    The standard is moving away from same-day and next-day into 10 minutes. UPS is a generation behind. It would need to acquire to make significant progress here.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2021

    Did the pandemic fundamentally shift retailer/vendor relationships?

    The changes to vendor relationships have been happening for some time. There are really two dynamics. One is lower quantity buys from retailers to brands. The second is extended payment terms to buyers. Yes the pandemic accelerated this, but the primary cause is a weak retailer not the pandemic. Everything smells like consignment or dropship these days.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2021

    Is now a good time for retailers to open new stores?

    This reminds me of a quote about the best time to plant a tree. There's a popular Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Location, traffic, product, overhead, sell-through - those can be the right and wrong decisions in any economy.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2021

    How fast can stores fill curbside pickup orders?

    Most retailers will need technology investments and major process improvements to meet these kind of commitments. Target and Best Buy have led the way here. The rest? It will be interesting to see which providers emerge as the standard.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Rent the Runway becoming Resell the Runway

    From all accounts, the inventory for this new initiative will come from their old rentals. This has upsides and downsides. The upside is that the authenticity is more assured. The downside is that this isn't really a marketplace and so inventory will be limited. As a result, I don't expect this to make a big difference in RtR's returns, or threaten any existing players.

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