Newsletter Articles: Cross-Channel

What’s Wrong with U.S. Big Box General Merchants?

August 25, 2014

We’ve got a birthday coming up for our little two-year-old granddaughter, who is into all things “Elmo”. If something is red or fuzzy, it’s an “Elmo” this-or-that. And even if she just likes it, it is suddenly and decisively branded an “Elmo” product (no arguing allowed). The good news is, there isn’t a lot of […]

For In-Store Mobile Experiences, Retailers Should Look to Restaurants

August 25, 2014

Last week I attended the Connect Mobile conference in Chicago. It was, for me, an unusual mix of mostly restaurants and some more traditional retailers. All were there to explore the opportunity that mobile presents for their business, whether mobile marketing, mobile in stores, mobile for employees, or mobile for payments. There was a lot […]

The Case for the Customer’s Smartphone

August 25, 2014

It’s hard to go even a few minutes in a retail discussion these days without arriving at a certain place: the need for in-store employees to be better informed than they are, and the role that new mobile technologies play in making that a plausible reality. However, as we see in our most recent Store […]

Is Alibaba the Next Amazon?

August 11, 2014

China’s Alibaba Group has been gathering attention in the US for some time. Its impending Initial Public Offering (IPO) is expected to potentially be the biggest in history. It didn’t take place on the original reported date of August 8 (partly due to some pesky regulatory snafus), but it’s coming soon. While these things sort […]

Sympathy for the (Discount) Devil

July 15, 2014

We hear the same thing over and over in our surveys: retailers’ business strategies are confounded by consumers’ continued price sensitivity. As much as retailers profess that they would love to ditch a constant downward spiral of promotions and deals in favor of more rational prices and competition based on products, quality, and service, they […]

The Future of Stores: 3 Big Take-Aways

July 1, 2014

Last week I attended Future Stores in Seattle. The topic, obviously, was the future of retail stores. There was a blizzard of content – 20 minute rounds of presenters followed by slightly longer panel sessions, followed by roundtable discussions at the end of each day. It would take me pages and pages to report out […]

What Is Old Is New Again: GT Nexus Bridges

June 10, 2014

Supply chain visibility. A noble goal. One that I have been involved in pursuing in some way or another in retail since 1994, when I landed a job that involved haranguing buyers about keeping on top of their back orders and cancellation dates. RSR has tracked retailers’ progress against achieving supply chain visibility goals since […]

In the Moment @ IBM Smarter Commerce

May 20, 2014

One of the more circular arguments in retail through the last 15 years or so has been about the question, “How ‘real time’ does real time data need to be in retail?”  In fact, I think this goes back quite a long ways – I vaguely remember HP trying out some “right time” messaging on […]

What It Means to be Customer Focused: Momentum Report-Out

May 13, 2014

Last week, Paula and I attended Manhattan Associates’ Momentum conference. This was the seventh time I’ve attended Manhattan’s conference. In that time, I have seen them launch SCOPE and SCALE, their approaches to end-to-end supply chain. I have seen them move to a single platform to support that approach. And now I can say that […]

The Next Big Thing

May 13, 2014

There’s a big debate in the little world of retail research & analysis about the phrase “omni-channel”. Like any buzz-phrase, it’s been used as an umbrella term for a whole bunch of things. And so (inevitably) the whiplash reaction now goes something like this: “look, ‘retail’ is ‘retail’! Exactly how retailers service consumer needs has […]

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