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Challenges often lead to change and the last three years we have seen an unparalleled transformation of commerce for consumers, retailers, and vendors alike. Finally, retailers acknowledge that the consumer is in charge – ably armed with social, local and mobile technologies. In the year ahead, savvy retailers will learn to master their new reality, cutting through the hype and deploying the best new solutions and business practices. The democratizing effects of consumer technology have fundamentally redefined retail business models and time-honored management principals. Mobile consumers are demanding real-time product information, relevant communication, peer commentary and personalized in-store experiences.
Every day, retailers watch the efficacy of traditional marketing, merchandising and service methods erode as consumers defect to multi-channel competitors that engage and inspire with new innovative omni-channel approaches. This consumer led innovation is forcing retailers to explore an array of social, local, mobile and loyalty solutions targeted at consumers and the associates that interact with them. While “social experiments” abound, at the top of retail wish lists are mobile associate selling tools and consumer facing applications that. Mobile adoption in the retail enterprise is growing fast, and soon tablets and other mobile devices with digital shopping applications will be ubiquitous for associates and consumers alike. Retail as we knew it will never be the same…
In my 30+ years as a retailer, retail technologist and clienteling, loyalty & CRM expert, there has never been a more exciting time. It’s been rewarding for me to see how an idea about leveraging technology that I envisioned and developed for my own small retail business in the mid 1980’s has grown into a significant segment of the global retail technology industry — and I had the opportunity to start and lead Retaligent to become the segment’s early recognized leader and the springboard for what happens next. I founded Retaligent in 2005, spinning-off my earlier developed mobile retail clienteling IP from Symbol Technologies and its predecessor, ImageWare Technologies. The journey has been nothing less than incredible. I had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Grupo Sanborns, Hudson’s Bay Company, Harrods and others. In late 2010, we at Retaligent reached a new milestone. Working with Microsoft’s Worldwide Dynamics team, and their global partner ecosystem, I lead the team that developed and brought to market Charisma 1:1, the next generation Clienteling, Loyalty and CRM solution. A couple of years ago Retaligent Solutions was acquired by Raymark, a globally recognized retail technology provider, headquartered in Montreal. The transition gave me the time to survey the industry on a global level, meeting the best and brightest from leading companies in retail, retail technology and online/mobile commerce. I had the opportunity to advise leading innovative companies in the UK, Silicon Valley, India, New York, and the Southeast. Like the proverbial Phoenician trader, I’ve gained unique perspectives and insights, influenced in part by deep retail industry knowledge and the collective wisdom of tomorrow’s retail innovators.
Innovation in retail is exploding so I decided to jump back in and re-apply my vision, entrepreneurial energy, executive experience and unbridled passion for retail technologies to yet another endeavor. To that end, I launched Clientricity, LLC. a customer-centricity advisory that leverages a network of industry luminaries and my unique retail and technology domain expertise. Clientricity does three things well. First, it provides mid-sized and larger retailers with customer engagement strategy services, solution design and implementation/change management consulting. We know more about Clienteling and Assisted Selling than anyone else in the industry so providing leadership in this area is something we are passionate about. Clientricity also provides retail industry technology vendors with an array of services ranging from solution strategy development, industry insight, market planning, management consulting and retail clienteling, loyalty, CRM social, mobile product road-maps and other subject matter expertise. We also provide advisory to investors and companies that are looking for new opportunities or need fact-based insights before contemplating a transaction or investment decision. You can learn more about Clientricity on this site or by visiting the RetailTechExec blog which contains a compilation of some of my published prior work, including videos, white-papers, brochures, newsletters, editorials and articles that I have authored. You will also find my most current thoughts related to retail Clienteling, Loyalty, Social, Mobile & CRM.
You may want to start by reviewing a March 2011 post called “Customer Centricity: A Primer for Retailers.” With frequent guest articles and original content, this site brings together the brightest minds in retail Marketing, Operations, Merchandising, eComm/mComm and IT. We will share real-world lessons, strategy and insights related to implementing transformational retail customer-centric solutions. Whether you are a retailer or a technology provider, I hope you find the posts valuable and I welcome your comments and perspectives. Take a moment to sign up and I will send you a periodic compilation of the “best of the best” related to the topics above. If you passionate about retail customer engagement, in-store and omni-channel best practices you may also want to join my LinkedIn Group, The Clienteling, Loyalty and CRM Retail Forum. You can follow me on Twitter at @RetailTechExec and @Clientricity.
Again, let me thank you for taking the time to visit and if you think I can help you in any way, I’d enjoy hearing from you.