Retail Executive

JAN-FEB 2018

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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MILA D'ANTONIO is a principal analyst in Ovum's customer engagement practice. She specializes in enterprise customer experience and omni-channel engagement, as well as digital marketing and customer service. Q Ovum recently published 2018 Trends to Watch: Customer Engagement. Please provide a brief synopsis. A IN THIS AGE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, delivering a customer experience that engages brands at all touchpoints and channels in the customer journey requires enterprises to be integrated, agile, and adaptive – ready to respond at key moments in the customer journey with the right messaging. As we look to 2018, we can see broad shifts taking place in the category of enterprise collaboration. Ovum cites three primary trends driving this change: the adoption of technologies like AI, customer engagement hubs, and APIs; greater implementation of customer journey mapping; and the use of self-service analytics, which has led to data democratization in enterprises. This rapid shift in the enterprise presents myriad opportunities for companies to realize productivity gains, streamline processes, rid duplication, and digitally transform. Enterprises on this path toward seamless internal collaboration will position themselves as competitive and agile organizations, ready to quickly and easily innovate and transform as trends and customer demands necessitate. A ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME, SHOPLIFTING, AND IN-STORE FRAUD are areas where facial recognition have shown positive results in those who have tested and implemented this technology. Side benefits have included time savings in following known shoplifters and reducing violence during apprehension. As this technology improves and costs decrease, the expectation is that more retailers will start to explore the benefits of facial recognition technology. Q From a safety and security perspective, how can facial recognition technology help the retail organization? DAVID JOHNSTON Currently the senior director of loss prevention and corporate security for Dunkin' Brands, Inc., David Johnston also serves on the NRF Loss Prevention Advisory Council and is a recent past president of the RLPSA. CHRISTOPHER WALTON is a leading expert in omni-channel retailing and an accomplished senior executive with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries. Most recently, Chris was the vice president of Target's Store of the Future project. Q Your blog, Omni Talk, both seriously and amusingly discusses the future of retail. Your most recent post, "10 Things I Think I Love and Don't Love about Walmart Right Now (Part 1)," features the things you love about Walmart, with Part 2 to feature the 10 things you don't love. What is Walmart doing right AND wrong that retail execs should be aware of? A WALMART'S ACQUI-HIRE OF MARC LORE AND JET.COM WAS BRILLIANT, and Wall Street clearly agrees, too – Walmart's stock reached an all-time high in November. One word captures this brilliance: "Marc-las" (my mash up of Doug McMillon and Marc Lore). McMillon set aside his ego to get help, and Lore did not disappoint. Lore brought an ethos of fast experimentation and a digital strategy 100 percent on point. But Walmart still carries a ton of debt — technological, architectural, operational, cultural, and, most importantly, the precognition of the Walmart brand within its customers' minds. This debt will be hard to rewire without disrupting operations or alienating Walmart's core customers. NIKKI BAIRD is a managing partner at Retail Systems Research, an industry market intelligence firm specializing in retail and technology. She focuses on trends impacting the consumer-retailer relationship, along with their marketing and operational implications. A NRF'S BIG SHOW IS PRETTY HARD TO MISS, though it's gotten so large as to become unmanageable. Shoptalk is on my list this year; I'll be speaking. I've wanted to attend the last two and just wasn't able to make them. After that, I don't have a lot of must-attend trade shows. I attend several user conferences but not as many trade shows. I won't be attending IRCE this year, and I'm usually too busy with client travel to make it to any of the fall trade shows. Q What industry events will you attend in 2018? RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 9

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