PROFILE

Suresh Chaganti

Co-Founder and COO, VectorScient

Having spent 20+ years in consulting and technology leadership roles across multiple industry verticals that encompass the entire consumer value chain — Omni-Channel Retail, E-Commerce,  Distribution, Manufacturing, Market Research — Suresh brings fresh and well thought out perspectives.

Suresh implemented multiple ERP, CRM and Warehouse Management systems, along with rolling out new sales channels in a variety of retail marketplaces such as Macy’s, Amazon Vendor Central, Amazon Seller Central, and Fulfilled by Amazon.

Suresh co-founded VectorScient, a Predictive Analytics software for Retail and Distributors.

To learn more, please visit: vectorscient.com

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  • Posted on: 09/16/2021

    Online grocery shopping is pretty much all about convenience

    It is a tough balancing act for grocery retailers. Online operations take significant investments with long payback periods. If they do not invest, they will be left behind. Partnering with Instacart and others will get them online, but with a steep price to pay, strategically. Business leaders need to make critical decisions without all the facts - which categories to sell exclusively in-store, which online? Should there be a price difference between online and in-store? Should the same promotion be run in-store and online? Should they encourage customers to shop online? Should they partner with Instacart? If so, should it be restricted to some categories? There are no easy, cookie-cutter answers. Each grocery retailer needs to analyze their situation and make these choices.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2021

    Will Walmart’s latest test ‘pave the way for autonomous delivery’?

    Autonomous vehicles are one of the potential answers, and one piece of the puzzle. Depending on the location (rural, suburban, downtown) the next 10 years will see drones and autonomous vehicles taking center stage. Both have been in the pilot/concept phase for long time, but are still five to 10 years away. Segmentation by product type and urgency will drive the choice as well - low weight and urgent items via drones and bulky ones via traditional methods. Neighborhood fulfillment centers also are an important piece of the puzzle, for under 10 minute deliveries. Coming back to Ford/Walmart, they are making sure they are placing the bets and will not be left behind. There is no certainty that autonomous vehicles will be a significant carrier of groceries in 10 years.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2021

    Will the Kroger/Instacart deal redefine grocery shopping convenience in America?

    This is a huge strategic play and will widen the gap between Kroger and Amazon/Walmart. Unlike regional grocers and smaller players, Kroger has the scale and competencies to not get disadvantaged by Instacart and make the most of the Instacart‘s delivery capabilities. From Instacart’s POV, this is a win as the competition is getting hotter with a multitude of delivery players crowding the market. Seems like a good win-win for both parties, and for customers as well.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2021

    Will its Public Lands concept store help Dick’s conquer the great outdoors?

    Experiential retail is the way to bring customers back into the stores. And for a relatively niche category like outdoor, there is immense potential to expand. Store concepts like these will help non-outdoorsy customers get comfortable and confident to try out. There is no question that this is a long term play. This is not just about expanding Dick's market share, but expanding the pie as a whole. The results will take years to come, because this is about shaping consumer needs and behaviors, one community at a time. But if anyone can do it in this space, it is Dick's. And it is in their interest and important to their survival to get this right.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2021

    Will Gen Z ditch Brandy Melville for wanting only pretty, thin, young, white workers?

    This doesn’t look good at all. These allegations are serious, and their happening at the founder/CEO level puts the whole operation in question. They got away for a long time with subtle discrimination, carrying only one size for women at 25 waist size. The story is well researched, the allegations are serious, abhorrent and most likely the allegations will be found out to be true. If Brandy Melville is serious about it, and has a strong board and external investors, we can expect some action like Uber and many others in similar situations have taken. On the other hand, it is possible that they will be tone deaf and just do enough to stay out of legal trouble, and try to be a counter-cultural phenomenon. Based on the early response from the company, one cannot rule out that strategy. There is always a segment of customers for that positioning too.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2021

    Why can’t CMOs And CIOs just get along?

    There are few reasons, and some are structural, organizational and cultural. At the risk of some generalizations:
    1. If reporting into a CFO, the IT organizations tend to be overly cost driven, focused on maintaining an existing technology stack;
    2. There is a lot of innovation in marketing technology, and a good portion of it is not enterprise-ready in terms of security, performance and service levels. When IT gets into the mix and raises objections on these, they are seen as road blockers, and will cause friction with marketing leaders who see lost opportunities with not implementing those technologies.
    3. Skills gap. More than ever before, data, analytics and insights make the difference to the strategy. If the organization does not have a data management team or a chief data officer, those roles fall into IT. While CIOs may be business savvy, they do not have teams and resources to execute.
    While all of the above true, there are plenty of IT departments and leaders who are stuck in yesterday and refuse to think out of the box and innovate.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2021

    Why does Amazon want a branded TV?

    It’s actually surprising that Amazon didn’t have their own TV until now. Granted, Amazon Fire Stick did fill the gap to an extent, but a TV with its own tweaked operating system with Alexa would take the integration into its ecosystem to the next level. Amazon has been largely successful in creating low-cost pieces of hardware that are gateways to selling its content and e-commerce - Kindles, Fire tablets, Echo devices, etc.; except their phone which was a notable failure. To be fair, phones are a different industry altogether. Amazon has long been subsidizing their hardware with an ads option. I expect same for TVs. Expect their TVs to be priced at par or lower than Vizio with very good specs, and supported by ads.
  • Posted on: 09/03/2021

    Can Amazon create the Prime Video of audio services?

    This move signals that the hype cycle/novelty aspect is over and the type of content is getting specialized. It is a sign of maturity. Satellite radio, concerts, and any live content that Amazon can license exclusively will be the differentiator. But the competition in Apple and YouTube is quite formidable.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2021

    Can marketers successfully shift focus from acquisition to retention?

    Good retention makes good business sense, but it is not cool enough to tout. That is the unfortunate part. Most talk about the number of new customers they acquired, with a cursory reading on how many active ones they have. The reality is very few have a good sense of what their Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is, and even fewer track the Lifetime Value (LTV) with the correct methodology. It takes a strong analytical mindset at the leadership level to look for these metrics. Most of the metrics tracked are top-line focused - Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is exhibit A. It just measures sales generated per each advertised dollar. But very few pair that metric up with the order fulfillment costs to see if they are actually making any money. And even fewer do that over the life of the customer they acquired. Retailers need to focus on retention, but the change will be slow to come. Businesses who do get it are the winners.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2021

    Does peer-to-peer resale make sense for Urban Outfitters?

    A peer-to-peer resale platform helps when the underlying product is at a luxury level, where buying a new one is prohibitively expensive and the item is long-lasting. Logically this lends itself well to brands like Chanel, Fendi, and a bit lower at Ralph Lauren, etc. These brands also have entry-level products to the top of the line running from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per piece. Above all, such brands have brand equity that people feel is aspirational and want to trade up, resell, etc. For Urban Outfitters, if the products are restricted to their own brands I am not sure how compelled people will feel to buy and sell. Obviously there will be a market but, at its price point, it isn't aspirational. We will have to wait and see.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2021

    Best Buy builds a virtual store to assist customers remotely

    This is a very interesting and innovative use and totally in tune with the times. Any innovation that impacts customers positively and improves customer experience is welcome, and this checks all the boxes. Now, some things that could derail the experience - slow internet connectivity, technical challenges, the need to download special software to initiate sessions, long wait times -- and the list goes on. Making the idea come alive at scale is where the real test is. Best Buy should be able to execute well on this.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2021

    Can IKEA’s store layout still amaze without a maze?

    I have less of a problem with IKEA's store layout. You know what you are getting into, and part of the fun is the discovery. The new format is not intended to accelerate the time it takes to traverse to the checkout. At least in the U.S., IKEA has a problem with installation. While many IKEA products are DIY, going to the core ethos of IKEA, categories like kitchen cabinets, appliances, and bedroom closets are not. I have shopped IKEA over years, and the installation process is completely broken. These are lucrative categories, and IKEA needs to pay attention to them before prioritizing the in-store experience.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2021

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

    BNPL is yet another payment method for retailers, and retailers take no risk. It is structurally similar to a credit card transaction. BNPL players are banks. This is yet another example where something that has always existed was tweaked and found a new market segment. Entities like Citi, MasterCard, and Visa could have been in place of Klarna, Affirm. But that's the nature of innovation. The risk is for BNPL providers with potentially higher default rates than credit card. The revenue model is still evolving, although there is a lot of potential.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2021

    Do new Shipt and Walmart programs signal big changes to come in the retail delivery market?

    Very significant incremental innovation. While consolidating their respective brands, Walmart in particular could be threatening to traditional players like UPS, FedEx and local delivery companies that work with businesses.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2021

    Email marketing drives sales results and sometimes drives customers away

    Email marketing works, but marketers need to realize that it is one piece of the puzzle. The top of the funnel - awareness - can not be done through email. Many brands overdo email because they use email throughout the purchase journey. Second is relevance and timing. It is absolutely possible, and much needed to understand every customer’s purchase intent and send email only when it matters, with the right frequency, with the product and offers that the customer is likely to be interested in. But way too much of one-size-fits-all ruins the experience, which causes customers to switch off and ignore.

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