Behind 5 of Last Week's Consumer Headlines

Madewell’s Shoppable Fall Lookbook Is Here

  • I like that Madewell did a quiet Fall '16 press preview last winter, while waiting to show the collection to customers until... July
  • I like how the collection is available for pre-order now
  • I don't like how, if customers actually want to pre-order said collection, they need to first call (?!?!) or e-mail (?) customer service to find out delivery timing and price


P&G Starts Online Subscription Service for Tide Pods  

  • Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club which, among other value-adds, fortifies its subscription commerce tech 
  • Laundry detergent screams "subscription refill", making Tide Pods as good a place as any for P&G to introduce online subscriptions
  • While I'd like to express surprise about more retail and CPG not launching subscriptions, I know firsthand that there are infinite competing priorities on everyone's tech roadmap 


Retailers Rethink Inventory Strategies

  • Home Depot is targeting a 15% sales increase by 2018 on the same or less inventory, which is ambitious
  • Unless the buy is starting from a pretty poor place, this means sales need to come through lower stocks that are replenished more frequently and/or inventory that's never stocked in the first place (i.e. e-commerce drop ship)
  • The article also mentions having fewer items on store shelves, which implies more restocking by associates and use of an extended online aisle -- hopefully the resources in stores and plans for e-commerce exist


 The State of Phygital CX Today and How to Stay Ahead of the Curve

  • Of the experiences described, the essential ones enhance the customer journey by facilitating what customers already expect brands to provide (i.e. pre-order options at Starbucks; recent order recall at Panera)
  • But brands are missing out if they're not using technology to leverage people and customization options in which the company already is invested (i.e. Neiman Marcus customer/associate texting; Audi showroom vehicle configuration)
  • Still, the biggest differentiators I see are the ones that provide experiences not previously possible (i.e. Disney Parks Magic Bands; Hilton room choice through app)


Top 10 Luxury Retail Efforts of H1

  • My favorite (digital): Westfield Malls' technology enabled shopping in a London Hotel, though I didn't see it in person
  • My favorite (in store): Bloomingdale's #MuseumHack scavenger hunt
  • Sounds good, but I didn't make it to the store: Selfridge's EveryBODY "inclusive intimates" concept
  • Disappointing: Barneys Beacons