PROFILE

Bethany Allee

Executive Vice President Marketing, Cybera

First time retail business person, long time retail shopper. Coming at you as a results-driven problem solver with 20+ years of battle-tested experience in high tech marketing. Passionate about transforming and growing organizations through correctly identifying business objectives and aligning them with technology leadership.

Learn more at: www.cybera.com

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  • Posted on: 02/26/2020

    Will fulfilling third-party vendor orders give Walmart an edge over Amazon?

    This is what Walmart has been missing. Walmart has worked hard to make their shopping experience as seamless as the Amazon experience, but they were missing the diversity of products. The introduction of WFS not only bridges that gap, but it puts Walmart in a position to be a powerhouse. Walmart has the better reward/loyalty component (Savings Catcher) and the physical retail footprint -- they are out-innovating Amazon when it comes to the shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2020

    Should grocers just say ‘no’ to big CPG brands when it comes to shelf decisions?

    For larger retailers, it makes sense to work with CPG captains as part of an advisory board. Smaller food retailers are disrupting the industry - they should minimize their input from CPG captains and manufacturers. Specialty food retailers are seeing massive growth compared to their larger food retailer counterparts. The data from the 2019 Specialty Food Association (SFA) report showed that specialty foods grew by 10.3 percent versus 3.1 percent for all food at retail. The data indicates that specialty stores listen to and center themselves around their customers' needs - and they're winning.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2020

    Consumers hate paying for shipping more than just about anything

    I'm not sure that resistance to shipping cost really means customers are resistant to shipping costs. It feels like customers are railing against friction in their shopping experience. Thinking about shipping is friction. Every retailer has to face the fact that Amazon defined the seamless shopping experience and if they want to compete, they must match or beat Amazon's operational excellence throughout the shopping experience, including shipping.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2020

    Will the FTC redefine anticompetitive behavior after its big tech acquisition inquiry?

    Current oversight does an OK job of policing anti-competitive behavior - the problem is that technology is advancing faster than governmental processes and procedures designed to police technology. I also believe technical strategy can be extremely difficult to understand, unless you are entrenched in the technology and the business. I'm curious how far back this inquiry will go, because if they've really decided to recognize the issue, they need to go back to the mid 1990s. That is when some of the most impactful long-term acquisitions were made.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2020

    New York Stock Exchange owner eyed acquiring eBay

    eBay is a platform for exchanging commodities — ICE and NYSE are, too. This move is so forward-looking many cannot see the connection. Imagine a world where the notion of "going public" can happen on a smaller and more efficient scale. To start, this could have been a hybrid of Kickstarter with tracked profit sharing. There are some very interesting ideas this acquisition could have put into motion.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2020

    7-Eleven tries out an Amazon Go-like store

    The c-store channel is near and dear to my heart. It is also antiquated. A commitment to digital technologies is a competitive difference that is currently causing massive disruption in the channel. In addition to being the leading innovators in the space, 7-Eleven has the respect and credibility needed to make things happen in this extremely tight knit community.
  • Posted on: 02/06/2020

    Should retailers brag about doing good?

    Brands should totally brag about doing good - the sensitivity is in how they communicate their contributions to conscious capitalism. The charitable work needs to align with their brand and vision. Data shows that the best marketing a brand can do to build long-term loyalty is to align with its customers' need to strive towards a greater purpose.
  • Posted on: 02/06/2020

    Did Barnes & Noble engage in ‘literary blackface’?

    Re-imagining classic novels and updating them to be more reflective of today's society is a cool idea. Giving African-American kids a way of directly seeing themselves in literature that's frequently required reading is a good intention. The problem is with the authenticity in execution and the positioning. While Barnes & Noble could be viewed as insensitive, they should also be seen as pushing the envelope in the difficult conversation that is inclusion. I'm optimistic they'll do better next time and I hope the backlash doesn't prevent them from trying again.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2020

    Is hot food the ingredient Amazon Go has been lacking?

    With tobacco sales on the decline, food service has the fastest growth and highest margin in the c-store space. It's a sound move to integrate them into the Go platform. Can automated food play in the seamless shopping experience? Automated food platforms have been working in Japan for almost 20 years. It's also worth keeping in mind that Amazon is innovating and they have enough money to play with expensive platforms. Bezos and his investors have seen the rewards of making expensive, long-term investments. I bring this up because the fact that Go is an expensive platform in a rapidly shifting c-store environment is almost a null point.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2020

    Kimberly-Clark solves some mysteries around click-and-collecting

    Most stores with click-and-collect have a coupon function built directly into their application. This is a time for CPG brands to heavily invest in the relatively low-lift promotion of store-specific digital coupons and bundling to gain exposure for their product availability through the medium and capture shifting market share.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2020

    Will a resale shop deliver bigger sales for Nordstrom?

    Based on the growth ThredUP has seen over the past year, the market for high-end secondhand items is extremely hot. Currently about 6 percent of the clothes in circulation are secondhand, this number is expected to more than double as it grows to 13 percent within the next few years. On a smaller scale, I've seen data that says the secondhand market is a revenue changer. YoY, the non-profit I work with, Dress for Success Austin saw 800 percent growth in our consignment sales. We sold the same type of goods at the same price points, didn't change our promotions, and the market demand grew that much within the span of a year. Secondhand not only represents good value, it plays to the eco-friendly message many consumers now use to guide their consumption.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2020

    Will 2020 be the year of less flash and more substance for in-store tech?

    I don't know if it's so much a return to basics as it is a maturity in the tech. With maturity comes an ability to embrace and appreciate the subtle and effective. Four years ago we saw flashy robo-automated presentations representing the future of where the industry is headed and the reality is that now that AI, ML, and the seamless shopping experience are in practice, it looks less flashy than the lights and glitter we originally saw at NRF. Besides, flash is relative. Flash for me is seeing sexy ROI numbers.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2020

    Is it ethical for resellers to raise the price of Kobe Bryant merchandise?

    Welcome to the world of sport and celebrity memorabilia. If the debate is on ethics, it's much broader than Kobe merchandise. You'll need to go back to Babe Ruth and the birth of celebrity athletes. Brands like Nike assume risk when they make merch for athletes. One can go into their local Nike outlet and find high-quality jerseys and gear for athletes who don't appeal to the public interest and where Nike may be taking a loss. The investment doesn't always pay off for these brands - so why should they feel guilty when they are able to maximize their profit on something they were willing to invest in AND something the athlete themselves not only signed off on, but was compensated for? If you step back, this price inflation stands to tremendously benefit the long-term value of that athlete's brand and stock.
  • Posted on: 01/29/2020

    Are retailers ready for the coronavirus?

    Specifically speaking to American retailers and restaurant operators in America - What steps can they take? More data is needed to see if a response is warranted. In the meantime, wash hands, clean surfaces, and prepare food to proper specifications -- the stuff they should be doing anyway.
  • Posted on: 01/29/2020

    Can a former Victoria’s Secret exec turn J.Crew around?

    Singer's biggest challenge is the same as most specialty clothing retailers - how to create a brand and seamless shopping experience that is interesting enough to attract consumers away from both Amazon and Target. I hope she can do it, J.Crew is great and worth saving.

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