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,, 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, 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 and

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  • 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.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

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

    I have a dim view of most companies attempting automation. "Hyperautomation" is not an urgent priority. Having well-trained staff is urgent. Writing and communicating well-defined processes is urgent. Having processes for continuous improvement that everyone buys into is urgent. If you attempt automation before any of this, you are just looking for a silver bullet.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2021

    Amazon asks, why wait for Black Friday when you can get Christmas deals today?

    This is going to be one of the strangest holiday seasons in some time. I predict stores could get a bump this year because consumers will become concerned about inventory.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2021

    HomeGoods finally has a home online

    Digital is not just about e-commerce. It's about convenience -- even if 99 percent of all purchases still happen in stores, people will still demand a great digital experience for being able to check inventory, pick up, etc. Delivery they can afford to make expensive (high minimums) to make up for the fact that they don't want to encourage it.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2021

    Best Buy says ‘relax, we’ve got you’

    Customer support is a real thing people care about, particularly with regards to complex electronics. There's an aging population and, to most people, the ability to get sound advice is table stakes for a retailer standing behind its products. I can't tell you how many friends buy Apple products simply because of that Genius Bar -- even if you have to stand in line for an hour, you know that when you get to the front someone is going to help you or, if not, replace your device.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2021

    Will Americans finish this year’s Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving?

    Most people will not shop sooner, there is too much else going on in their lives. Gifts will be fewer, and I predict this will be an "IOU Christmas." Meaning, with supply challenges, more people will give promises of gifts than in previous years. Retailers would be wise to adjust to this reality and make it easier for consumers to do so.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2021

    Whole Foods goes from free to $10 grocery delivery fee for Amazon Prime members

    You cannot think about the consumer experience, the fees you charge, and your financial model separately. They all need to be considered together. I'm left feeling that Whole Foods still hasn't really transformed to the extent it needs to lower its own costs. All told, Amazon's retail strategy with Whole Foods is still muddled several years in now.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2021

    Why are retailers falling short of their hiring goals?

    The massive crunch in this economy is from supply chain. Hundreds of thousands of workers who used to be in retail and restaurants are now in supply chain. And more to come. Retail and restaurant's only alternative is to keep raising wages and improving conditions until some kind of equilibrium is reached.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2021

    Buybuy Baby creates digital platform to help parents raise healthy and happy babies

    This is a great idea for Bed Bath & Beyond. Content, community, and merchandise are all essential parts of modern retail. The goal is to simply add to a consumer's trust. The extra engagement gives the retailer more data which also improves their ability to sell a wider range of products more effectively at the right times.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2021

    Where are the weak points in in-store fulfillment?

    Most people have not invested as much in processes, staffing, and technology as Target. Another big thing Target added was the ability to ship "eaches" from their main distribution centers through to their stores so that replenishment or fulfillment from the store level did not always have to break down case packs.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2021

    Will Kohl’s be known for something other than its retail partners?

    I think between Target, Walmart, and Kohl's, these large department stores with a nationwide or near nationwide presence are the new malls. If you are a brand or retailer, would you rather hitch your wagon to a declining mall, or at least be in a store that still has foot traffic and a reason for consumers to come back to it? I'm not sure Kohl's can beat Target or Walmart in this game, but can they create a better experience for these partnerships than a mall can? Absolutely.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2021

    Allbirds simplifies growth drivers to three trends

    I would say this definitely seems to resonate more on the coasts than in other areas. Most people are just going to buy Nike because that's what in the stores they visit and that's what they know. Over time though, Allbirds has really tapped into something and the shoes are super-comfortable. If the product was bad, and it was purpose-driven, no one would care.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2021

    Amazon finally catches the ‘buy now, pay later’ wave

    Payments innovation at Amazon has been anemic. Where is the vaunted Amazon innovation? When did Affirm launch? In 2012. Welcome to 2021 Amazon.

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