TECHNOLOGY

Office Depot names chief marketing officer

BY Marianne Wilson

Office supply retailer Office Depot has tapped a 30-year marketing veteran to lead its marketing efforts.

Office Depot announced that Jerri DeVard has been appointed executive VP and chief marketing officer. She will report directly to Office Depot CEO Gerry Smith.

Previously, DeVard was the senior VP and chief marketing officer for The ADT Corporation, the nation's largest security company. She led ADT’s centralized marketing across the residential, small business and health business units and was responsible for all strategic, operational and financial aspects of the company’s integrated marketing programs.

Prior to ADT, DeVard held various marketing leadership positions several national organizations, including Nokia, Verizon and Citigroup. She currently serves on the board of directors for Under Armour, and Cars.com.

At Office Depot, DeVard will lead the strategy for furthering the retailer's brand positioning and oversee the integration of all marketing and communications initiatives. She will be responsible for driving the growth and implementation of strategic marketing activities that build brand equity and increase market share.

Jerri has tremendous insight and experience leading global marketing efforts for world-class consumer brands, with a proven record of delivering business results while acting as a change agent,” said Smith. “We are excited to welcome Jerri to Office Depot as her leadership and fresh perspective will be instrumental in driving a more integrated omnichannel marketing approach that builds brand loyalty and positions the company for growth."

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TECHNOLOGY

Shoptalk 2018 reveals initial speaker lineup

BY Marianne Wilson

The president and CEO of Macy's, Jeff Gennette, and Google's president of global partnerships, Daniel Alegre, will be among the headliners at Shoptalk 2018, the nex-gen retail and e-commerce event.

Also on the bill: Alon Cohen, president and co-founder of Houzz, the home furnishings and design site. Shoptalk's final agenda will feature more than 400 speakers, an increase of 25% over 2017’s event.

Now in its third year, Shoptalk will be held March 18-21, 2018 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. More than 7,500 attendees, including over 700 CEOs, are expected to attend. The event will be sponsored by more than 400 companies.

In addition, more than 1,000 retailers and brands will enroll in Shoptalk's hosted meetings program, which facilitates onsite meetings for retailers and brands with emerging providers of technology and other solutions.

Shoptalk's agenda highlights the key technologies, trends and business models that are transforming the ecosystem for a digital age. Insights are shared by speakers in more than 100 main stage and track sessions.

While additional speakers are still being confirmed, the lineup, in addition to the previously mentioned, includes Ascena Retail Group CEO David Jaffe, UNTUCKit co-founder and CEO Aaron Sanandres, BJ's Wholesale chief digital officer Rafeh Masood, Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown, and Instacart chief business officer Nilam Ganenthiran.

"Our lineup of speakers already represents a broad spectrum of different company sizes, categories and geographies, and we'll be adding even more global companies to the agenda", said Zia Daniell Wigder, chief global content officer, Shoptalk. "This international focus is essential given that retail and ecommerce are changing everywhere around the world and no single geographic region dominates in terms of innovation: To fully understand how these industries are evolving, a global lens is now essential."

For more information, visit Shoptalk.com. The preliminary agenda can be found at Shoptalk.com/agenda.

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TECHNOLOGY

Study: Amazon influences how shoppers research merchandise online

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is expanding into one of the go-to destinations for product discovery.

This was according to “Amazon: The Big E-Commerce Marketing Opportunity for Brands,” a report from Kenshoo. The study is based on 3,100 consumers in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and France.

According to the study, Amazon is moving beyond its reputation as the biggest online marketplace in the United States, and playing a bigger role in people’s shopping journeys. For example, more consumers visit a broad list of online sources when researching information prior to a purchase. For 72% of shoppers, Amazon is a top resource for product discovery and research. This is second only to Google (85%).

For 56% of customers, Amazon is the very first site they visit when researching merchandise. Even if shoppers find a product elsewhere online, 51% usually check Amazon to find alternative ideas, compare prices, or gather more information before making a purchase, the study reported.

Amazon also augments research that shoppers conduct in physical stores. In fact, 26% of customers admit to checking Amazon for alternatives, background information, and prices when they find a potential purchase in a physical store.

According to the report, most consumers are attracted to Amazon as their go-to research resource based on the sheer breadth of products that the online retailer carries. Amazon’s customer recommendations also help customers make a purchase decision. Specifically, 23% will sneak a peek at Amazon recommendations under the “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” and “Customers who bought this brand also shopped for” categories while researching products.

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