PROFILE

Dan Frechtling

President, G2 LLC, a Verisk business

Dan oversees product and marketing for G2 Web Services, a payments technology and service provider operating in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

Previously, Dan ran global product management for hibu, a leading provider of digital services connecting local consumers and merchants in the US, UK, Spain and Latin America. Prior to that, he was Vice President Marketing and Vice President Client Solutions for DS-IQ, where he re-launched digital couponing products for SUPERVALU and developed and executed marketing strategies for digital media at Walmart.

Earlier, he was general manager of DVD games and youth electronics as Director of Worldwide Marketing for Mattel. At Stamps.com he helped launch the first server-based web postage technology.  At McKinsey & Company he led engagements for consumer and technology clients.

Dan earned his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and his BS in Journalism/Economics from Northwestern University. He speaks Mandarin Chinese.

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  • Posted on: 07/16/2020

    How murky has COVID-19 made retail data?

    Some data, like panic buying at the outset of the pandemic, is anomalous and can be ignored. Other data, such as the more dramatic behavioral changes among Millennials and Gen Z than among Boomers, can be segmented. But the most reliable data comes from identifying trends that have accelerated. Three years of transformation happened in three months, as Accenture's CEO has pointed out. This includes online-to-store fulfillment, home delivery, and subscription services. Data in these areas is more robust and predictive on the path to a post-COVID economy.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2020

    Will Americans keep looking for new e-tail sites as stores reopen?

    If the survey is accurate that shoppers seek out new products and positive delivery experiences, the highly visible e-commerce destinations are once again best positioned. Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, and other marketplaces will be the top-of-mind, most convenient channels for online retailers (where they risk commoditization as "sellers") to continue to be discovered. Buyer needs will return to normal levels. Certain categories inevitably will drop as home containment-driven demand wanes. This includes home cooking, fitness, office supplies, and weapons (yes, weapons and accessories have spiked as a reflection of tumultuous times). Ironically, same day delivery needs may also relax as consumers have the option to return to physical stores.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

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

    Investment in supply chain is crucial. It's an enabler for BOPIS, but it's more than that. Both stores have adapted to increased demand in categories like basic DIY and lawn/garden. Both made investments in distribution prior to COVID-19 being a concern. Home Depot has built up mechanized Rapid Deployment Centers and new direct fulfillment centers. Lowe's is spending $1.7 billion on its supply chain, including e-commerce. If they can continue to replenish inventory, both will take more business from independent hardware stores that lack comparable omnichannel, assortment and stock capabilities.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    Is the coronavirus pandemic sparking a meal kits comeback?

    The question about positioning has two facets: 1) appeal of kits over conventional cooking and conventional restaurants, and 2) home delivery. Both are wrapped up together in the pandemic. First, kits need to win consumers. If Blue Apron and others can solve prices, portions, packaging, and variety, consumers trying meal kits will stick with them. But that is unlikely to happen as providers focus on keeping up with a surge in demand. Blue Apron says it is boosting marketing and meal flexibility, which hardly seems enough. Second, home delivery needs to beat store quick trips. A package at your door makes sense when you're cooped up at home. Unfortunately, it may not when you're driving home from work and the grocery store is on the way. That's not to say many consumers won't subscribe. But that is a shift forward in demand from those who would have become subscribers anyway. I suspect old habits will return after the pandemic for most buyers.
  • Posted on: 04/29/2020

    Can Amazon weed out marketplace fraudsters via video chat?

    I agree with the others who call this a step in the right direction. But it is a small step. A useful analogue is money laundering, a close cousin of fraud. Legal persons are commonly misused in complex schemes to hide the true beneficial owners and conceal the real activity. There is a thriving business of recruiting nominee owners, directors and managers everywhere from college campuses to retiree communities. These straw-men and straw-women stand in for the real perpetrators. Video calls are a marginally better way of verifying identity. But when identity of a legal person isn't the real fraud going on, it's a false sense of security.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2020

    eBay pledges to get small businesses ‘up and running’ online

    One of the soundest strategies for non-essential businesses is getting online and growing online. Coresight estimates 50% more retail stores will close in 2020 than 2019, which itself was a record year for closures. eBay's move is meaningful. Stay at home consumers are shifting to the internet in droves. Transaction volumes in most retail sectors have seen a 74 percent rise in March compared to the same period last year, according to ACI Worldwide. Only Amazon has more US users per month than eBay's 109 million monthly unique visitors.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2020

    Which retail businesses are ‘essential’ during the coronavirus outbreak?

    Perhaps we can define essential businesses by defining what they are not.
    1. They are not recreational or entertainment locations. This includes gyms, theaters and gaming. In my hometown, this also includes ski resorts. Not only are these non-essential for survival, but they can be substituted at home through streaming and other exercise choices.
    2. They are not hubs or gathering places. This includes hospitality retail, such as hotels and bars, unless operating as take-out. This stretches the definition of essential, but is critical in these days where the size of groups and the proximity of individuals determines the spread of the virus.
    3. In cities under shelter-in-place rules, they may be open areas too. This includes parks, playgrounds, ball fields, dog parks and other open areas. I saw park staff trying to cordon off a 60-acre park over the weekend and wished them good luck.
    As others have said, this must be a local decision based on the severity of the outbreak and the characteristics of the location, among other factors.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2020

    Should Amazon pay a penalty for counterfeits sold in its marketplace?

    Establishing trademark and contributory liability are the key differences here. This would require significant retooling of methods to detect counterfeits. It can be difficult to determine whether a product is counterfeit until it is in one’s hands and tested by the brand owner. Trying to identify counterfeits by looking at observable online characteristics such as price and product images is fraught with false positives. What are marketplaces to do? They may employ a growing army of reviewers, similar to the way that Facebook has hired more moderators to police content. They may limit doing business with new sellers, sellers from China, and sellers with low prices. If we are willing to accept higher prices and lower selection alongside higher safety, consumers will tolerate that trade off. If we expect an elite level of precision -- low false negatives and low false positives -- this will benefit the larger marketplaces that have training data for machine learning.
  • Posted on: 03/01/2020

    Walgreens embroiled in a stressed-out pharmacist scandal

    The Walgreens spokesperson committed at the end of the NYT article to check the metrics. The next question for Walgreens is, which metrics? Are the metrics based on efficiency only or are they balanced by quality of care too? Are patient satisfaction, pharmacist employee engagement, and professional development included in the metrics? Does field management have the patient care experience to deduce what the metrics are saying? Most pharmacists are primarily concerned with health outcomes and service quality. But they will bend to the metrics of their organization when pressured enough, unless they are brave enough to speak up and speak out as Walgreens staff has. 
  • Posted on: 02/15/2020

    New York Stock Exchange owner eyed acquiring eBay

    This is a nothing burger that somehow made it to a business headline. ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher was refreshingly honest: "Curiosity, and the fact that we know people there, led us to open a dialogue. And that's kind of the end of the story." eBay is a a digital commerce pioneer and a household name. It has a growing user base and is and under public pressure from activist shareholders. And that's how casual conversations become rumors that turn into news.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2020

    Is Trump declaring war on counterfeits or Amazon and other e-marketplaces?

    This is a proper use of regulations to stop a market shortcoming. Counterfeit goods are 3.3% of world trade and rising, according to the OECD. A report several years ago by Euromonitor estimated 8% of China's economy was at that time driven by counterfeit goods. Online marketplaces profit tremendously from counterfeits sold by third party sellers, because most buyers buy them willingly. The frequency of adverse outcomes such as injury or sickness are tragic, but too rare to influence marketplaces to police more rigorously. So unless regulations AND enforcement intervene, the manufacturers bear the costs as they compete with cheaper knockoffs of themselves in the same retail channels.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2020

    Did Domino’s gouge Time Square revelers?

    The door swings both ways. As others have pointed out, elasticity of demand can mean cheaper prices for consumers as well. Who's to say the rational price for pizza isn't $30, and $15 is a steep discount? Well, the buyer says so. Amazon tests prices million of times per day depending on demand, sometimes even after an item is added to the cart. Even Walmart has changed its EDLP mantra to contend with Amazon. And don't be surprised if the price on a mobile device is less than the price at the counter. Uniform national pricing began to wane in the 1970s. We've only gotten more consumer-friendly since then.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    What happens now that Nike has called off its deal with Amazon?

    I agree with Kiri's comment that this leaves Amazon with grey and black market goods. Nike will still have a presence, just not the kind it can control. Leakage through distribution channels is so prolific that shoppers will continue to find Nike on Amazon, perhaps to their shopping disappointment. As others have mentioned, Nike is singling out Amazon over other marketplaces. This may be the early influence of Nike board member John Donahoe before he becomes CEO John Donahoe. Donahoe joined eBay in 2005, shortly before Amazon's growth rate surpassed eBay's, a position it has never surrendered. Sometimes business is also personal. I don't expect many brands to follow Nike's lead.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2019

    REI’s new #OptOutside message: Save the planet

    The only real risk is the one REI took five years ago. For five years REI has sacrificed one of its top five sales days to connect with groups and individuals in a heartfelt way. It is putting people before profits. This campaign has encouraged more than 150 other retailers to close their doors and state parks to waive fees on Black Friday. It has also spurred scores of local hikes and co-brands as other groups latch on to the #OptOutside "movement" as it has become. At the same time, it enjoys significantly higher loyalty than other retailers. According to Digital Commerce 360, 53% of REI.com customers are repeat buyers, compared to 38% for average retailers. And membership has increased 31% since 2014.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2019

    Have esports become more than a game for Five Below?

    Five Below is not the first retailer to see promise in eSports gaming events. Chipotle is sponsoring eSports tournaments with DreamHack. GameStop is opening its own gaming facilities as online gaming steals share from console gaming. The shift to cloud gaming epitomized by Stadia (from Alphabet), and all-digital consoles from Microsoft and Sony may spell the end of selling software at retail for GameStop So GameStop is retrofitting stores for survival. Five Below, on the other hand, is investing for growth with Nerd Street Gamers. With a reach into the teen and tween market, Five Below can attract a key demographic and generate revenue for years to come as they age up. This gives Five Below an advantage, but it's not likely to be a winner-take-all market.

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