July 20, 2015

Let’s review three initial lessons the retail industry can learn from what some observers called the “summer Black Friday.”

July 10, 2015

Here are three reasons that brick-and-mortar stores are still a vital part of any retailer’s omnichannel strategy.

June 25, 2015

While the Confederate flag has been an increasing source of controversy in recent years, retailers have long sold items featuring its image with no major outcry. But following the tragic shooting in Charleston, consumer sentiment against the “Stars and Bars” intensified to a degree that made selling Confederate flag-themed merchandise unacceptable to a large portion of the public within a few days.

June 15, 2015

There are three implications of Facebook’s latest effort to serve as a commercial platform. 

June 8, 2015

My latest retail IT-related travels took me to the Retail Experience Center at Microsoft headquarters (in Redmond, Washington), where I toured a simulated shopping mall environment that demonstrated a variety of innovative ways the company is using technology to enhance customer engagement for retailers.   Here are the three most interesting solutions from that visit:

June 1, 2015

Amazon  is facing increased competition these days. In some of the more publicized developments, subscription-based e-commerce site Jet.com is taking off soon, EBay is piloting a service to compete with Amazon Prime in Germany, and Google is reportedly planning to introduce a “buy” button that will turn searches into transactions.

May 22, 2015

I’ve been attending the annual CIO Symposium hosted by the MIT Sloan School of Management for several years now, and always walk away with a fresh batch of thoughts from top business, IT and academic minds. Here are three of the most valuable insights I learned at the recent 2015 edition of the conference.

May 18, 2015

A lot of attention has been paid to a variety of technologies currently disrupting retail, like beacons and wearable devices. Here are three technologies still in the development phase that hold potential to radically disrupt retail, and even life as we know it, in the next 10 years:

May 11, 2015

The theme of SAP’s annual Sapphire conference, in Orlando, Florida, was “Run Simple.” SAP focused on how its HANA business intelligence platform and growing number of HANA-powered applications can assist companies with the complicated task of creating simple enterprises that run on real-time data.

April 29, 2015

Now that the smoke has cleared from the initial release of the Apple Watch, retailers can take a more objective look at how this latest innovation in wearable technology might disrupt customer engagement and the overall customer experience. Here are three thoughts on how Apple Watch could shift the retail landscape.

April 24, 2015

In theory, the launch of a limited-time, 250-piece Lilly Pulitzer designer collection on Sunday, April 19 should have been a major coup for Target. Instead, it was a major disaster in marketing, CRM, and operations. By now, the story of how consumer demand for Lilly Pulitzer overwhelmed Target’s website and stores has been told many times. Let’s look at three lessons retailers (including Target) can learn from this experience.

April 21, 2015

Hard to believe, eBay has now been in existence as an e-commerce platform for 20 years. Since its launch in September 1995, countless individuals and companies have sold and purchased goods via eBay. In addition, many full-fledged omnichannel retailers have evolved from small-scale efforts to sell merchandise on eBay.

April 13, 2015

New technology innovations pop up in retail all the time. The Amazon Dash button made a splash on April Fools Day, and before the end of the month Apple Watch will offer consumers a whole new way to engage retailers.

April 6, 2015

Providing an omnichannel customer experience is one of the most rewarding and challenging efforts a retailer can undertake. I recently spoke with David Stover, global head of business-to-consumer omnichannel solution management for Hybris, about some of the benefits and difficulties operating in the omnichannel space presents retailers.

March 30, 2015

Last week, Oracle hosted its second annual Oracle Industry Connect conference in Washington, D.C. This seat of world power was an appropriate setting for a two-day summit explaining how retailers can use technology to obtain better control of every aspect of their enterprises.

March 20, 2015

Chain Store Age hosted its 51st annual SPECS 2015 conference on March 15-17, in Las Vegas. Here are three takeways from the conference concerning technological innovation in the store planning area:

March 10, 2015

For the past two months, New England has been dealing with an historically snowy, cold winter. As a lifelong resident of the region, I have had time to reflect on a few technology-related lessons retailers can take from my experience as a snowbound consumer.

March 2, 2015

I recently spoke with Deepak Advani, new general manager of the IBM Commerce business unit, to get some insights on the current state of retail IT and what kinds of offerings for retail IBM Commerce is focusing on. Following are three insights from our conversation.

February 21, 2015

The White House recently hosted a daylong Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University. Speakers ranged from President Barack Obama to Apple CEO Tim Cook to Walgreens president Alex Gourlay). Here are a few takeaways.

February 17, 2015

I recently had the chance to spend some time talking with Dan Ward, cofounder of app development firm Detroit Labs. Since 2011, Detroit Labs has developed apps in its downtown Detroit center, rapidly growing to 75 employees and serving a wide range of companies including Domino’s Pizza. Here are five tips for developing a successful retail app gleaned from my conversation with Ward:

February 9, 2015

Chain Store Age’s exclusive media partnership with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center offers many benefits. Among them is the chance to escape to the warmth and sunshine of northern California from one of the snowiest winters in the history of New England.

February 2, 2015

In another sign technology advancements are turning everyday life into the stuff of science fiction, Microsoft recently unveiled a new holographic computer system called HoloLens. Slated for official release this fall, HoloLens layers interactive 3-D holograms on top of the user’s physical surroundings, providing an “augmented reality” experience.

January 26, 2015

Here are three important ways mobile has become an indispensable part of the everyday retail IT landscape.

January 20, 2015

The National Retail Federation “Big Show” is always a good barometer of what trends will influence the retail technology landscape for the coming year, and the just-completed 2015 edition was no exception.