PROFILE

Cynthia Holcomb

Founder | CEO, Female Brain Ai & Prefeye - Preference Science Technologies Inc.
Does Your Ai Solve for Female Intelligence? Do Your Personalization Technologies Solve for Female Preference? • FemaleBrain.AI is an Intelligence Consulting Service enabling both Female Ai Thought Leadership and Technical Services. • Every retailer and brand that sells digitally to females must have a Female Ai Strategy in place to be relevant in the time of Ai. • According to Bloomberg, women make more than 85% of the consumer purchases in the United States and reputedly influence over 95% of total goods and services purchased. • Does your Ai think and shop “like” a female? • Is your company experimenting with Ai initiatives? If so, this is the time and opportunity for your company to introduce and lead in Female Ai Intelligence. • As Founder of four companies and based upon my retail and apparel career, working for top retailers including Nordstrom, I have spent the past decade developing patent-pending methods and systems, leveraging Ai to solve for Female Intelligence. • FEMALE AI DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES. • Scientifically speaking there are cognitive differences between the way men and women think and shop. • Need Evidence to Validate the Need for Female Ai Initiatives? • Decades old 3% conversion. • Return rates of 25%-50%. • 97% of digital customers walk, they buy nothing. • Resulting in lost customers; lost credibility and wasted resources affecting every aspect of your product, supply chain, ROI, and our climate. • Female Ai consulting services offers technical expertise and deep industry knowledge necessary to evaluate, uncover and solve the most complex of female intelligence business use cases for both retailers and brands. • Ready? • Drop me a note, I am ready to work with you and your teams.
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  • Posted on: 10/23/2020

    Trader Joe’s and Wegmans satisfy, others falter, through the pandemic

    Trader Joe's is the store next door. Compared to shopping other large chains, customers are greeted by happy, positive associates through the entire shopping experience! No edge, no tossing your food on to a fast running conveyor belt, with your food piling up as you, the shopper, rush to prevent it from falling on the floor while the person checking you out acts oblivious -- as a cover to his/her anger towards you and your mere existence. One can't make this up! Costco is friendly. A shopper does not feel like the enemy in the eyes of the Costco associates when shopping Costco. The bottom line, big grocery uses its employees as replaceable, revolving cogs in an everchanging human associate landscape of dismissive corporate leadership which, guess what? Results in dismissive customer experiences. Big grocery take notice. Shopping at Trader Joe's is neighborly, featuring good prices, interesting and tasty food offerings, and a place where the employee is valued resulting in top customer experience ratings for Trader Joe's. It's pretty simple, human logic. In the end it is always about the intangibles. Treating people well is cheap.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2020

    Amazon will pay you to know what you bought somewhere else

    This is interesting. Given the extensive individual customer intelligence Amazon has acquired over the years via Amazon.com, Alexa, Ring, and the vast network of other Amazon services and devices this new Shopper Panel is curiously benign. Are these receipts the final frontier in the Amazon journey to predict what a customer wants to buy before the customer even knows him/herself? Or are these receipts just another step in the challenge to train machines to replace human customer decision-making? Interesting questions to ponder as we as a society proceed with little questioning, further and further into our individual digital lives managed by vast leagues of autonomous algorithms.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2020

    COVID-19 Essentials is a startup designed to end with the pandemic

    COVID-19 has ignited a new health-based awareness of how to protect one's self from contracting viruses in general. Flu, cold, pneumonia, etc. infect millions and millions of people annually. New health self-care and personal viral-protective products are on the horizon. The dramatic COVID-19 experience has injected a "virus situational awareness" into the lifestyles of millions of people. Like touching a hot stove, the lessons will not soon abandoned or forgotten in the human psyche.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Should local book stores be taking on Amazon?

    The #BoxedOut campaign messaging depicts the real-life satire book stores across the country experience trying to survive under the Amazon retail economy. Whether or not the messaging is viewed as negative or positive, quite clearly any reasonable person understands the content and context of the messaging and that it is relevant to the future of book stores. An emotional reminder, a renewed awareness to the book-loving public of what is close to being lost.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2020

    Macy’s is turning stores dark for the holidays

    Let's face it, the day of the physical department store is pretty much over and has been now for about a decade. During that time, Macy's traded discounting and couponing as their form of a stopgap against the retail innovation happening in plain sight. A non-decision decision, likely caught in a quagmire of internal political indecision favoring shareholder short-term value rather than face the risk of innovating and reinventing Macy's vision of itself to ensure its own long-term relevancy. Layered on top of the couponing, an in-store glut of racks of clothes so dense, even the most ardent of shoppers are overwhelmed and fatigued just entering a Macy's store. Macy's has exacerbated their problems by being stuck in the relics of the past. Turning two Macy's stores into two Macy's dark stores is just another test, a reflection of internal "what to do next to save Macy's." All of this said, there is a new, rather interesting dichotomy to shopping Macys.com. A bright side. The in-store glut of racks of clothes digitally re-merchandised on Macys.com actually is easier and more interesting to shop. The product image size is larger and much more appealing than the small 3rd party images on Amazon.com. As with Amazon, there is deep product depth and customer choice but again, 3rd party sellers on Amazon create a digital shopping hodgepodge of product. Macy's has the opportunity to reinvent itself digitally. Turn massive inventories into easy to shop Macys.com. Bring in new retail tech going way beyond basic filters. Enable shoppers to cut through 1000s of options through the filter of their own sensory-preferences of fit, look and feel. Macy’s could be the first to cross the digital shopping sensory chasm. And finally, stop the discount coupon game. It is annoying and downgrades the Macy's brand. Like bait and switch, it creates a sense of mistrust and overwhelming shopping friction. When people want to buy a product they love, don’t force them to play the retailer mind game of variable product pricing. Individually relevant product recommendations, fair, competitive pricing and speedy home delivery. Reinvention made simple.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2020

    Bed Bath & Beyond CEO’s turnaround plan may just work

    Nine months later, yes improvement was positively made in the direction of Tritton's "omni-always" goals. Bed Bath & Beyond's new website is clean and simply merchandised with nice visuals allowing a shopper to instantly change product colorways, especially in bedding, which many Bed Bath & Beyond competitors fail to address. Tritton's five-pillar strategy focused on product, price, promise, place, and people is the real challenge. Product, price, place is much easier to master than people and promise. Transitioning years of inbred "this is how we do it" behavior into authentic customer-centric in-store customer service is extremely difficult on so many levels in so many stores in so many geographical regions. The risk of failing to change the hearts and minds of front-line associates, as a means to fulfill the new Bed Bath & Beyond promise, is very real. My bet is on Mark Tritton.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    Staples to accept returns from other stores

    Staples and Kohl's share a commonality. They are both big stores with lower foot traffic relative to their competitors. This is a good idea on behalf of both retailers to bring new consumers into their stores, and at the same get back on the radar of the shopping public.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2020

    Will Dollar General win over higher-income consumers with its new store concept?

    DG's popshelf looks fun to shop and browse. Transitioning to a "fashion" play is smart, as fashion is a value attributed to selling higher price point products. Fashion will be an important part of the differentiation in terms of why popshelf is a viable stand-alone complement to the DG dollar stores. The video in the article displays a concept store of well-organized Target-like merchandising of novelty products with a fashion vibe designed to inspire the desire to buy on behalf of the newly intended popshelf customer. This positions popshelf as a bargain fashion product destination for all. Sort of like Tuesday Morning meets T.J.Maxx meets Target only cheaper.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2020

    Amazon rolls out virtual vacation tours that include shopping

    What will Amazon think of next? I like it! Fun, inexpensive entertainment taking interactive virtual experiences to the next level. A challenge will be executing a great experience given the number of human, language, and weather variables all intersecting at once. I bet Amazon has this covered. Which leads me to wonder about the end goal, the use case, the motivation for this new, multi-dimensional, experiential data collected via Amazon explore and how will this data be used by Amazon?
  • Posted on: 10/07/2020

    Retailers say the new stimulus plan can’t wait until after the election

    It is very difficult and has been over some time now, to determine based upon bills actually passed in Congress as to whom Congress really represents. Congress supplies lots of lip service to the American people as cover to personal pet projects, layered under tons of political pork which has resulted in the disenfranchisement of the American people. Proof? Congress in 2020 has an approval rating of 17%, yet we Americans keep electing the same people over and over again to Congress. The bureaucracy of government shields lawmakers from the personal accountability that we in the private sector face as we make our living and economic contribution to society through hard, serious work. All the while those in the bureaucracy continue to enjoy the excitement of favored "pay to play" political schemes with our taxpayer money. The stimulus is the latest "pay to play" scheme for Congress. Demonstrating a complete disrespect and lack of empathy for the individual, hard-working Americans that Congress was elected to serve. Congress, please take the pork out of the COVID-19 stimulus bill and get it passed today. Real lives are at stake. Congress gets paid no matter what they accomplish or do not accomplish, along with great health care. Maybe Congress should be paid on what they accomplish for we the American people? What do you think?
  • Posted on: 10/06/2020

    Will Levi’s Secondhand store give the brand a sustainable advantage?

    Quintessential, only the rarest breed of brands have the authenticity to resell secondhand clothing decades later. Very smart, very relevant, very cool.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Can one site make men love, not hate, shopping online?

    Why is MenHateShopping.com retail news? A great question to ask retailers and technologists. Another question, why do retailers provide female shoppers with so many, many more product choices than male shoppers, especially in apparel, shoes, and accessories? Do retailers investing in huge female-driven product inventories know something that has escaped the purview of social scientists and tech engineers who design the tech females must use to shop online? MenHateShopping.com uncovers the clear dichotomy of the obvious miss on the part of retail shopping tech. Males and females do shop differently. Heck, they even think differently [cognition]. For two decades engineers have considered a “one size fits all” approach to digital shopping technologies, assuming females shop the same way as males. In reality, this assumption is a technical blind spot; ignoring 49.6% of the world's population is not a good business decision. Thus, the same old apparel online shopping stats continue year after year; 3% conversion, 35-50% return rates. Noteworthy evidence: Statista estimates "return deliveries will cost $550 billion by 2020, 75.2% more than four years prior." Worse, the $550 billion does not reflect the additional costs of reverse logistics. In the end, MenHateShopping.com has summed up the difference between male and female shopping so eloquently: “Unlike most e-commerce sites, MenHateShopping.com doesn’t overwhelm users with thousands of mediocre brands and products.”
  • Posted on: 10/02/2020

    Did Amazon just end criticisms about its COVID-19 safety record?

    I agree wholeheartedly with you Paula. There is always an orchestrated narrative built into the release of corporate numbers, especially around internal health and safety metrics. Amazon has a number of warehouse health and safety issues to manage now. Turns out warehouses with robots are creating a high number of warehouse worker injuries, as humans try to keep up with robots. Human safety is always gauged by the present and what is being done now to protect employees. Safety records are a constantly evolving metric. Yes, other large retailers should release their safety records as well.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2020

    Is it time to hit the ‘panic button’ as women leave the retail workforce?

    It is hard to imagine retail without or with few female associates. Females direct many or most of the purchases in a family's household. Specific categories of retail, especially fashion retailing of apparel, according to Statistica, "was valued at approximately 368 Billion U.S. dollars as of 2019." The retail reality -- females are the predominant purchasers of apparel for themselves, children, and husbands. Retail has a business decision to make. Many sales associates earn $15 or less per hour. Child care per hour, with even one child, costs as much or more than $15 per hour. Staffing stores with students and retirees are not a long-term solution to grow and develop a robust and engaged female workforce to nurture future female retail leaders. Retailers seriously need to consider the effect on the challenges to ROI of a male dominated retail workforce, especially in apparel. Alternatively, how is ROI effected by the loss of vital female to female interactions between female associates and the female customers they serve?
  • Posted on: 09/29/2020

    Are Amazon Prime delivery shoppers disrupting Whole Foods’ stores?

    Whole Foods is a glimpse into the future of Amazon's algorithmic commerce. Algorithmic commerce, for now, requires humans to pick and pack. Requiring Whole Foods' in-store customers to navigate pickers and store associates to act as stressed out store guides. Possibly this is all on purpose? After all, is not Amazon the great disrupter of many of the small, incremental elements of our day to day traditional human ways of living? Shopping, Alexa, in-home drones -- the list is long. The Amazon end game? A great question for those interested to ponder.

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