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: 05/29/2020

    Socially distant Americans find comfort in retail therapy

    Before COVID-19, buying trends favored experiences. With experiences limited, it's natural that the consumer experience shifted to nesting. Houses fill up quickly. Experiences will make a comeback, but they'll look different - and this is an opportunity where retailers can capitalize. Goods packaged together to provide experiences will see growth for the foreseeable future.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    Should they? If they want to. Every store/company should make their own safety decisions. Before you dismiss this as careless... For me, I've already stopped shopping at stores that don't offer safety decisions and policies I agree with. This weekend, I went into a local chain I've been a loyal customer of for almost 30 years. They had social distancing measures in place, but the cashiers weren't wearing masks and there was no plexi protection. During my checkout process, when social distancing was not an option, the unmasked cashier sneezed. It told me this business is not interested in my well being and I will not shop there again. 30 years of customer loyalty down the drain in an instant. The moral of the story is - safety policies should match the policies of your customers. If they don't, you'll lose customers.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Lowe’s and Home Depot get a boost as customers stay-at-home

    Home Depot offered new curbside service throughout the lockdown. This was key in helping them maintain and grow sales during the pandemic. As restrictions started lifting, they said curbside would no longer be an option. My local Home Depot said curbside service would end May 15. They were slammed with orders and complaints and Home Depot (at least in my area) recognized the importance of continuing this service as a mid- and potentially long-term option for their customers. An opportunity is to sell more kitted items. Want to redo your deck? Here's the kitted recommendation. Looking to start an herb garden? Here's a pre-set grouping of seeds, soil, containers...
  • Posted on: 05/18/2020

    The new normal will look a lot like the old normal

    An extremely pragmatic and sound take on this experience. One of the changes I believe will stick around are in-store shields. The supplies were acquired, they're cost effective, and they are an easy defensive measure - they'll stick around. What I hope also sticks around: in-store efficiencies and a hurried-ness while shopping. I've never been one to meander in the store, so I appreciate the current "get in, get what you need, and get out" shopper mindset.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    Are Amazon’s at-cost face shields an act of goodwill or predatory behavior?

    It's mostly goodwill, and for the bit that doesn't fit inside the mostly - our frontline needs this equipment. Get it done. One thing I've seen in regards to face masks is how sign companies are pivoting their business, because they have the right equipment to make face shields -- and they're charging about $15 per shield. Brilliant business pivot that can benefit larger chains and independent shops.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    How can brands support shuttered independent retailers?

    Retail has only really started broadly exploring the importance of partnerships and indirect sales models over the past five to 10 years. Other industries understand and have been able to capitalize on the scalability and profitability of indirect sales models. These commission models are long-term viable and now is the time retailers should focus on their partner strategy.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    McDonald’s publishes playbook for reopening restaurants

    The keys to successful reopening are strict standards and communicating expectations to owners, employees, and customers. This playbook includes communication tactics and tools for communicating with and handling customers. Nice job, McDonald's!
  • Posted on: 05/12/2020

    Is the coronavirus pandemic sparking a meal kits comeback?

    Thanks, Dave!
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    What should retailers do about social distancing renegades?

    There are going to be the renegades who go to a store with the goal of disruption - this is unfortunate and I'm not qualified to give advice on how to best avoid this disruption. The best defense is a good offense. For more minor infractions, the ones that stem from consumers not knowing what's expected, stores are best served by communicating their expectations before consumers get to the store. Social media, websites, PR, signage in front of the store, a location to pick up a flyer with store policies. From the minimal opportunity I've had to witness interactions, many store conflicts happen as folks are entering, because they weren't aware of the policy. Stores should start there.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    Is the coronavirus pandemic sparking a meal kits comeback?

    Kits of all kinds are crushing it right now, because they lessen the burden of procurement. With supply chain issues present and recurring, reducing the need for consumers to figure out how to get the items they want and need is a winning business model. Long-term viability will stem from a combination of savvy subscription models, a solid partner/supplier network, and diversification/evolution of services (AKA what Netflix did).
  • Posted on: 04/29/2020

    Will shoppers go to the mall because Simon says it’s okay?

    Unless Simon/other malls can prove that malls are a safe space, no thanks. Optional thermal testing? No, thanks. Mandatory testing is what will make other shoppers feel safer. Are the masks required? If not, again, no, thanks. Malls do have a unique opportunity to give consumers a safe place to roam around in public, but there must be more mandates and less suggestions for this to be a reality.
  • Posted on: 04/29/2020

    Best Buy is getting back to business with scheduled appointments

    Best Buy's scheduled sales appointments are an effective and responsible way to reopen stores. This is the only way I am willing to go into a retail establishment at this time - especially in an area where masks are not required. This is a model other retailers will benefit from. There is no mention of masks in their process - I would expect the associate to wear a mask and the customer be required to wear a mask. Then the process becomes exemplary.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2020

    Do malls need to add curbside pickup service to reopen?

    Before the pandemic I hated going to malls, because I don't like crowds. There is a much higher likelihood that with curbside, I will purchase goods from malls. Not only short-term, but long-term. The retailers I'm seeing be the most successful with this strategy right now are small specialty retailers who, because they have a focused audience and product line, are using their social media "stories" to showcase and sell their goods. I live in a smaller town, we have a retailer here who sells "the bohemian life." This translates to dresses, jewelry, plants, personal care, and home decor. They are selling out of inventory every day, because consumers are home, bored, and looking for affordable ways to spruce up their home and wardrobe.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2020

    Are Target’s skyrocketing online sales retail’s new normal?

    What's being redefined is convenience. Before COVID-19, the retail industry was begging consumers to transition to a hybrid model where digital apps are used to streamline the brick-and-mortar experience. Because of COVID-19, adoption was forced. I live on a street of retired people. None of them used online ordering/curbside prior to COVID-19 - none of them. Now they all use it and while I do foresee some store run-ins, I think most of them are enjoying weekly, organized groceries and goods delivered to their door.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2020

    Of all times, why is Cub Foods now running stores around-the-clock?

    Catering to a public where many folks are now on non-traditional schedules is a way to remove density and better serve customer needs. Other supermarkets will follow suit. In Texas, many of our grocery stores will start to offer expanded hours next week. Expanded hours work well for congested areas, but they are not cost beneficial to retailers in rural areas, nor do they add tremendous benefit to those customers.

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