Zach Zalowitz

Omnichannel Solutions Lead, SCApath

Zach Zalowitz is the Omnichannel Solutions Lead for SCApath, a retail supply chain consulting firm specializing in strategy and systems implementation. He has worked with over 40 leading suppliers over the last two decades on key digital transformation projects in a number of roles. Zach is widely considered a triple threat in the consulting space, having an extensive background across leading Distributed Order Management Solutions (IBM, Manhattan Associates, Aptos), a full understanding of store and call-center operational execution, and thirdly in change-management aspects of the transformation.

Prior to his role at SCApath, Zach co-led the Design Lead team within Manhattan Associates Order Lifecycle Management Professional services, where he was one of the first OMS U.S. consultants. He has spoken on the topic of Order Management at numerous events, most recently at NRF, and has been quoted in a handful of leading digital publications.

Zach has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, focusing on Supply Chain Management and a collateral in Marketing. When not focused on Omnichannel and OMS, Zach is an avid music producer and hiker, recently having ascended Kilimanjaro.

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  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    Why is Petco doubling down on same-day delivery with Shipt and Instacart?

    Same-day delivery is here to stay and is already an expectation of retailers. Whether they can rise to that expectation is another question. We still have so many retailers that have not effectively pulled off a BOPIS offering within same-day, and that to me is the first hurdle. End of the day, it's pick-and-pack (albeit, it's much more complicated in practice, but that's the core of it).
  • Posted on: 04/17/2019

    Apple owns the checkout at Decathlon’s sporting goods store

    This is great from a convenience factor to the customer but doesn't streamline the process, it spreads it out across multiple parts of the store. The operational snag is that people start queuing up at the checkout person wherever that may be and that sometimes causes issues with the flow throughout the store. Easier for Apple to do it in their stores from mobile devices given their uniform layout and relatively low SKU count, but doesn't expand well to larger, multi-SKU format like a sporting goods store (or grocery).
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Is Bed Bath & Beyond smart to draw the line on coupons?

    It's not a question about stopping coupons, it's a question about making them more personalized. I'm glad to see pricing and promotion tools being applied but, for example, tracking key events in my life or those around me and personalizing offering and coupon to that event still gets me in the store without letting me go crazy with 20 percent off (of a $350 comforter) on a weekly basis whenever I want.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2019

    Should retailers worry that secondhand apparel is flooding the market?

    I'm not certain this will have a large impact on the day to day mainstay apparel retailers. That being said, we've been seeing some disruption by companies like "Rent the Runway," but I think that's because it's a niche section. Companies should stick to their core-competencies of being the first-hand supplier ... it's seldom you see both a new and used car dealership doing both very well!
  • Posted on: 04/09/2019

    Will Rent the Runway become all the fashion for kids?

    This sounds like a great offering but is likely plagued with operational challenges, specifically around returns dispositioning back to a DC in addition to what is likely a different order profile for a child ordering clothes vs. someone shopping for a dress for a wedding. Less inventory turn.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2019

    Will rebranding deliver the results that Staples needs?

    I applaud the move, but it's going to be an uphill battle. I'll tell you this much, as someone helping run a small business I'd welcome a destination to go to for "all things entrepreneur." They need to go past this five-brands concept (which is really departmentalizing products) and keep to one brand, but go into different offerings all together, IMHO. "Yeah, I heard a really great presentation at a Staples last night on leadership in the office ... while I was there I picked up a few supplies we needed." -- that needs to be the trend. Here's the catch - What else were they going to do? The "do nothing" is the "die" part of "adapt or die".
  • Posted on: 04/02/2019

    Again, Amazon attempts to shed Whole Foods’ high price image

    The simple answer is that service, selection and freshness of product is enough for the vast majority. The price drop just reinforces the brand and shores up what would have been a second trip elsewhere. I still think Prime is grossly un-tapped in their stores, but I can see they're trying there.
  • Posted on: 04/01/2019

    Harris Teeter tests self-checkout store

    It only makes as much sense as the consumer is asking for it, and with the statistics shared in this article, half still do not want self-checkout. To me, there's some cognitive dissonance in this article (I believe intentionally). It's a little confusing hearing the article mention that this "won't eliminate jobs" but also mention "...labor shortages and labor savings as the two primary factors for growth in self-checkout systems." Also, it mentioned 50 percent still want full-service check-out. Many of us can recall a personal grocery store shopping experience where the self-checkout took marginally less time because there's always a bottleneck somewhere for one person and typically these grocers staff only one attendant manning all the self-checkouts (ID checks, voids, price checks, technical issues). The real value is actually a "no checkout" not a "self-checkout," but we're even seeing Amazon pull back from that to a degree. More to come here I'm sure, and hopefully grocery leads other industries in this area!
  • Posted on: 03/28/2019

    Will brands shine in a new online platform for shopping outlets?

    There’s potential here. What I think would be a progressive move is to consolidate inventory feeds across all tenants in a specific location, and build out a BOPIS capability that aggregates pickup across all the stores in that mall/outlet. Would increase mall foot traffic helping the brands they sell, and could be a sizable revenue stream if they take a portion of the sales. As always, inventory (in)accuracy will prove to be a major hurdle to overcome.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2019

    Does direct mail or email deliver greater results for retailers?

    As a Millennial, I can tell you there's still hope in direct mail marketing to draw awareness and a sense of "touch" to the brands I interact with. With so much now in digital form, it's great to see a well laid out catalog showcasing a wide range of products by a (namely apparel) retailer. Consumers don't get that breadth of product range in a .27 second Instagram Story advertisement. Funnily enough - As I write this I'm next to no less than three catalogs sent directly to me (Johnny O, Bonobos, GoodLife). As always, it's really industry- and demographic-specific on whether it's worth the investment. I for one think it is.
  • Posted on: 03/18/2019

    What does innovation mean to retailers and brands?

    Change through innovation is fundamental to company culture, and is more like a cruise ship than a speed boat. Clear leadership top-down to allow the flow of ideas from those closest to the customer, coupled with a fresh perspective from the bottom-up is a winning combination.
    1. Under Armour is a great example of this with shoe-sitting tech.
    2. ULTA is starting to innovate in the AR space but has also invested time and money into bringing in consumers for more than just product (e.g. taking floor space from product and putting in a salon).
    3. Express Inc - Forward-looking and ahead of the curve in my mind in offering fast fulfillment via store-network.
  • Posted on: 03/18/2019

    What does innovation mean to retailers and brands?

    Paula nails it here. Innovation is from within. Outsiders can help get a framework in place and spur conversations, but it comes in hiring the right people and not yielding to macro pressures that too often put innovation projects on the chopping blocks first.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2019

    Do retailers need to reevaluate their omnichannel strategies and tactics?

    90% of my 40+ projects were focused on transitioning digital experience into a physical store, and I can tell you from experience this is the more challenging of the two. Why? Because most of these retailers still have 70-80% of their revenue coming from bricks, and typically at a higher margin per transaction. I've found that most retailers are resistant to change because they're not focused enough on the change management aspects of an Omnichannel Transformation Project. From the customers' perspective, the jury is in! Digital, specifically Mobile purchase, will continue to trend up. The goal line will keep moving for retailers to provide a quicker and more convenient shopping experience, which is why you're seeing an explosion in BOPIS and "easy returns" (Buy Online, Return In-Store, aka "BORIS") projects. The bottom line is, an Omnichannel presence is no longer becoming critical. It's already critical.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2019

    Does new retail need a new prototype?

    I think we'll continue to see retailers re-think their approaches to personalizing their mix of products, services, and experiences to adapt to customers' ever-changing needs. A great example of this in the industry is Best Buy. We've seen a change in their layout to make "Pickup" and "Customer Service" now take a lion's share of the square footage at front-of-store. Best Buy has done this over the last few years and worth noting have not opened a new store in close to seven years. Target as well. "Exchanges and Returns" is now the first thing you see. Adaptation to client needs will ensure innovative retailers get rewarded for staying nimble.
  • Posted on: 03/14/2019

    Does new retail need a new prototype?

    I see this more as a comment on store layout and the use of that space for interaction. The benefit being the avoidance of heavy CapEx for an unsure outcome. One assumption we can make is that the technology mix can be changed to fit the type of store (in this modular example), but that regardless the technology itself can remain the same and to your point not need to be customized just because it's being used in different environments.

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