The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

Subscribe To My Feed

Follow Me on Pinterest



Read my blog on Kindle



Looking for a job in product innovation or product design? 


example: innovation, product, mobile, design

city, state or zip

Jobs by SimplyHired




Entries in digital innovation (4)


Three Things Traditional Retailers Still Need to Nail

At the Summit in Seattle this week, retailers focused on the issues that they face as they continue to defend against threats to their growth from online-only etailers and the changing environment and behaviors of their digital consumer.  One keynote, which included CEOs from Birchbox, Houzz and Zulily, highlighted the success these online retail disruptors have had as they attack the traditional brick and mortar business model.

Walking around the show floor, and listening to these disruptors, certain themes emerge, reflecting the ongoing struggle traditional retailers have as they try to keep up with the digital age. While it is clear some are thinking about building leading technology products, others continue to treat digital as an IT function that follows the general course of business.

1. Mobile - With the amazing amount of time consumers are spending on mobile devices, it's clear that retailers are still trying to figure out how to best leverage the millions of devices that customers own. From mobile payments to omni-channel campaigns to apps, the strategies for capturing mindshare and purchases from a consumer's phone are emerging. For some attending, monumental changes will be required to adopt the technologies that connect phones to the shopping and checkout process in-store.

2. Social - While the Expo floor had a number of vendors that claim to socially enable ecommerce, most of them focused around analytics and personalization, as opposed to purchasing from social platforms. The notion of social selling was practically non-existent in keynotes and in the exhibit hall. The introduction of Twiiter's and Facebook's Buy buttons seemed to be barely a whisper in the crowd, while "omni-channel" selling was all the rage.

3. Analytics -  While most retailers would tell you they live and breathe their analytics, and are highly advanced in their capacity to analyze customer data, the one thing that is clear is that the knowledge is still not being applied to enhance consumers' online and mobile shopping experiences to the degree it is with native digital retailers. Zulily's CEO stated that every day they publish a new site, and each visitor sees a home page that's customized for them.  I am pretty certain that I have never gotten a customized home page when visiting or, despite the fact I shop there often. 


The McKinsey Seven Traits of Effective Digital Organizations (Excerpt)

1. Be unreasonably aspirational.

2. Acquire capabiltiies.

3. Ring fence and cultivate talent.

4. Challenge everything.

5. Be quick and data driven.

6. Follow the money.

7. Be obssessed with the customer.

"The age of experimentation with digital is over. In an often bleak landscape of slow economic recovery, digital continues to show healthy growth. E-commerce is growing at double-digit rates in the United States and most European countries, and it is booming across Asia. To take advantage of this momentum, companies need to move beyond experiments with digital and transform themselves into digital businesses. Yet many companies are stumbling as they try to turn their digital agendas into new business and operating models. The reason, we believe, is that digital transformation is uniquely challenging, touching every function and business unit while also demanding the rapid development of new skills and investments that are very different from business as usual. To succeed, management teams need to move beyond vague statements of intent and focus on “hard wiring” digital into their organization’s structures, processes, systems, and incentives."



Digital Innovation and The Media

Amidst all of the reporting about the Jill Abramson departure from the New York Times were several mentions of this killer digital report that was recently made public and analyzed the state of digital at the Gray Lady.  Some analysis of this report has been made, mostly in the context of the NY Times drama. However, the report stands firmly on its own, even without the journalistic Game of Thrones that has given it even greater meaning.

Notably, the report rehashes the meaning of disruptive innovation, gives more responsibility for audience development to players outside the marketing department, and promotes the notion of practicing and testing, seems to indicate just how slowly and begrudgingly the New York Times company (along with many other media giants) has faced the digital age. Meanwhile companies born in the digital age and driven by digital technology innovations have already stipulated these facts years ago, and built brands and media platforms that assume the world is changing.


Here is The Full New York Times Innovation Report


Jun252011 on Thinking Inside the Box at CM Summit

How does an artist like from the Black Eyed Peas take on a role at corporate technology giant, Intel, and maintain his personal brand as an innovative businessman? Oddly, he doesn't recommend thinking outside of the box.