Zel Bianco

President, founder and CEO Interactive Edge

Zel Bianco and Interactive Edge have been helping companies, specifically in the Consumer Goods industry, run more efficiently since 1994. Zel’s focus is always on the needs of the client. He strives to be a real business partner to every customer — no matter what the size of the contract or the scope of the implementation. He wants to help companies eliminate the cumbersome and time consuming tasks associated with data management and organization in order to free up users time so that they can do what they were hired to do: generate insights to grow their business. Zel enjoys helping clients bridge the gap between category management and shopper insights. He collaborates with clients in the development of a process that streamlines the flow of qualitative data into customer facing presentations and reports.

As the president, founder and CEO of Interactive Edge, Zel is responsible for setting the company’s strategic vision and developing business alliances. He is also an industry thought leader who has enjoyed presenting at many industry conferences such as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the International Committee of Food Retail Chains (CIES), SAP’s SAPPHIRE and SAP’s TechEd Demo Jam. He has been honored to speak at both DePaul University and Michigan State University, and has donated the Interactive Edge XP3 software for use by students at both of their business schools. Interactive Edge and its customers have won numerous industry awards in areas including Customer Management, Visionary Innovation, and Demand Data Analytics.

Prior to founding Interactive Edge, Zel held senior account management positions in the advertising industry, at Young & Rubicam and other large New York agencies. He worked with many consumer package goods clients and was a part of the account management team that introduced the IBM personal computer.

More information about Zel and his solution for presenting demand data analytics can be found at the Interactive Edge website.

  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    NRF 2022: Albertsons’ CEO sees frequency driving grocery loyalty

    Yes it does, as we go shopping for groceries much more often than shopping for clothing and other necessities. The loyalty either builds quickly or it doesn't. Once you find "your" grocery store has the best produce, meats and fish, that pretty much does it, especially in a market like NYC where we don't have the big beautiful Harris Teeters and Wegmans that are found in other markets.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Has ‘just-in-case’ replaced ‘just-in-time’ inventory management?

    The option to keep additional supply for the "just-in-case" and tie up capital, warehouse and insurance costs may be high, but the alternative may be higher. Every business needs to understand their metrics and maintain a reasonable and responsible balance.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    What tech must restaurants put on their menu of services?

    Absolutely yes! Why have more "touchpoints" than needed? Everyone knows how to take a picture with their phone. They have to do it for COVID-19 testing, so why not use the same technology for menus? Also, when paying with your phone, you generally skip a step of having to wait for the server to go back and forth saving time and yet another touchpoint so, yes, this is here to stay.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    Reality hits omnichannel retail with a hard truth

    Unfortunately retailers, or restaurants for that matter, are generally on the losing side when trying to keep up with consumer demand for a seamless experience, whether ordering groceries or dinner. It has not been successful and the industry must find a way to make each side profit fairly. If not, the only ones making money will be the cloud services we all use -- AWS, Azure and Google.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2021

    Are in-person trade shows safe (enough)?

    We sponsor at the Category Management-Shopper Insights Conference every year and that is where we get most of our leads. Prospects spend time at our booth and attend our break-out sessions where we have a client present with us. I was so hoping that the show scheduled for late February will take place, but that is looking increasingly doubtful. Last year, it was a virtual show and no matter how much effort is put in by the planners, it just does not live up to the promises. People want to deal face to face with each other, even if we will be wearing masks for the foreseeable future.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2021

    Do Americans now prefer strip center shopping?

    Outdoor strip centers, I believe, are popular and will continue to be because they do feel more like a village when compared to indoor malls.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2021

    Bodega owners see ultra-fast delivery as a business killer

    We New Yorkers certainly like our conveniences - be it fast delivery at virtually any time of the day or night or the corner deli or bodega. There is still a mix of both in most neighborhoods. New Yorkers are also impatient and like to get out into their neighborhoods, so the corner deli or bodega will always be a go-to spot when you need a few items. The last thing we need in this chaotic town is more motorized delivery bikes and scooters taking over our streets and sidewalks.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2021

    DSW finds ‘narrower and deeper’ to be the right fit for its business

    In my experience at DSW, I was frustrated with being able to find a shoe, boot or running shoe I like, but not finding my size. Narrow and deep makes sense and as other posts have stated, some shoppers will be turned off but for others who like what they find, if DSW actually havs the most popular sizes in stock, it would certainly be the right fit.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2021

    What will it take to build a better shopping cart?

    I'd be very happy to get a cart that actually rolls smoothly instead of one wheel being bent or that has a string that is clogging up the wheels. That would be a major improvement and provide a better shopping experience. Technology is not always the answer, sometimes the answer is plain old common sense.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2021

    CVS to close stores and create new formats in health push

    Of course it remains to be seen if these changes will be successful or not but, for my money, I would rather go to a CVS Health to get prescriptions, flu shots, etc. than a regular CVS. If you walk the aisles of CVS, there are very few food products that are actually healthy. For the most part, foods that are loaded with sugar that do not contribute to good health. It just seems out of whack. If CVS wants to be the "go to" health destination, it needs to make a bold move, and this proves that they do. Not selling cigarettes is not enough.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2021

    Starbucks and Amazon open first joint concept store with more to come

    The location is just a few blocks from our office so I can't wait to check it out and report back, but I'm guessing this will be a huge success for Amazon and Starbucks. Think of it, even if they roll this out to just a small percentage of Starbucks locations, it should be a very quick win.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2021

    Walmart is stocked and ready to roll back prices for Christmas

    As I commented the other day, don't bet against Walmart. Given their strategic work on fixing their supply chain, it will provide a big advantage over their competitors. It will most certainly provide coverage to their diversified portfolio of ways to service their shoppers and perhaps bring in new shoppers to the Walmart family.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2021

    Walmart fulfillment centers will take productivity to a new level

    I would not bet against Walmart. Enough said!
  • Posted on: 10/27/2021

    What should retailers do about angry reviews?

    Some people are never happy no matter what the retailer, store, restaurant or other service business does. The key is to always make sure that the negative reviews are first acknowledged and responded to in a way that shows that the firm does indeed have empathy, understands the concern and pushes back where and when appropriate. The customer is not always right, and those consumers that are savvy enough to understand that will most likely be fair in their assessment of the business.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2021

    Could Crocs’ supply chain mitigation steps work for others?

    Perhaps some but not all strategies will be effective for other suppliers/retailers. Most can at least rationalize their SKU count to focus on best sellers. If we all need to live with not having the huge variety we enjoy in most categories, at least until the supply chain issue improves, so be it.

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