Will 2017 Be The Year Retailers Finally Get Real?

From Forbes.com on January 17, 2017…

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” – Plato

While struggling with the topic and content of this column, the trickle of underwhelming Brick & Mortar sales results from many retailers’ holiday season began to hit the press. Many of these retailers have only now seriously begun thinking about creating a sustainable business model for the future. For some the ship may have sailed. All of which got me thinking about an article I wrote for this column three years ago. It is just as relevant today as it was in 2014. So rather than beating my head against the wall trying to reinvent the wheel, here is the article from 2014, its warnings, and even prescriptions for a new retail marketplace. Continue reading…

Overt Signs Of Growing Optimism In December’s Leading Indicators

From Forbes.com on January 10, 2017…

In 2016, many retailers found themselves at the low end of estimates. Had they had the right predictive analytics, they could have understood the market better and managed accordingly. Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, weighs in on some of Prosper’s key predictive analytics and provides much needed knowledge for retailers. Continue reading…

CMO or SCHMO? Clinging To Old Marketing Models May Be Hurting Rather Than Helping Drive Growth

From Forbes.com on December 20, 2016…

Perhaps it’s the simple job description of the CMO that is outdated or maybe the complexities of today’s marketplace are too much for any one person to deal with.  Whatever it may be, it seems like the CMO position may be at a crossroad whereby it either needs to be redefined or eliminated.

The CMO description is simple enough: “The CMO is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of an organization’s marketing and advertising initiatives.  CMO’s ensure the organization’s message is distributed across channels to targeted audiences in order to meet sales goals.”  Some call the CMO a C-Mo, which is not to be confused with a schmo, which Webster Merriam defines as an ordinary person, not unusual in any way.  Today’s CMO is anything but ordinary.  Continue reading…

Amazon Is Shoppers’ Top Destination For Holiday Gifts, Increasing Lead Over Walmart

From Forbes on December 15, 2016:

With the holiday shopping season entering the home stretch, it seems that Amazon.com will be the Grinch who stole Christmas from competing retailers this year. According to the Prosper Insights & Analytics December survey of nearly 7,000 U.S. adults, more than one in four holiday shoppers (26.2%) indicate they have purchased most of their gifts from the online giant this year, increasing 10% from last year.* Walmart ranks second place with holiday shoppers this year at 14.5%, lagging Jeff Bezos & Co. by almost 50%. Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, JC Penney, Toys R Us, eBay.com, and Costco follow, respectively, with single digit percentage shares. [*Results are tallied from an unaided, write-in question posed to consumers. Figures include digital as well as brick and mortar locations, where applicable.] Continue reading

Adding The Human Element For More Accurate Economic Predictive Analytics

From Forbes on December 6, 2016:

Earlier this year I wrote about the need for better analytics and the quest for better consumer confidence indicators which could greatly inform the development of more reliable predictive analytics. With many businesses, and even the Federal Reserve, having difficulty developing accurate forecasts, the time seems right to develop methodologies outside of traditional economics. Many have argued that the current state of asking consumers about such vague topics such as future expectations or business conditions should be replaced with a more straightforward set of micro foundation questions that probe personal spending directly. Continue reading…

With Election Over Holiday Gifting Becomes Top Of Mind

From Forbes on December 2, 2016:

The presidential election seems to be weighing down consumer confidence, but what does it mean for purchase intentions? Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, highlights the disconnect between sentiment and consumer spending intent in her analysis of Prosper’s October data. Continue reading…

Amazon Intel from Fung & Prosper

Columbus, Ohio and New York — November 17, 2016

Prosper Insights & Analytics™, a leading provider of business intelligence solutions, and international think tank Fung Global Retail & Technology  announced today that they have expanded their strategic alliance to include a co-branded Amazon Shopper Intelligence service. This unique service not only provides essential insights missing from most retailers’ loyalty data, including encroachment by Amazon along with the reasons why, but also special analysis by Fung Global Retail & Technology to help retailers and investors understand the Amazon threat. Continue reading