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: 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.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2019

    Google Shopping gets an upgrade

    Google succeeds by simply being an alternative to Amazon that will appeal to shoppers who don't visit Walmart. But beyond that, Google can delight with a refreshingly clean UI. I compared a search for Asics men's running shoes on both Google and Amazon and was impressed with the clarity of presentation. Google provided a simple list of what I was looking for while Amazon was cluttered with ads. Amazon's first results were competitive offers for Reebok--not at all what I was looking for. Surprisingly, Google listed more choices (500+) than Amazon (431). Google's filter feature was remarkably superior as well, allowing me to select by size, width, price, material, and more. While Amazon still wins on speed of delivery and a loyal Prime user base. I'm glad to see Google's upgrades to Shopping compare surprisingly well to the industry standard.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2019

    Will new credit cards lure Americans to Walmart more often?

    In the past, Walmart was reluctant to offer discount programs because they might undermine their everyday low price position. But these new cards reflect a re-thinking. Five percent back on purchases at Walmart.com, including grocery pickup and delivery, and 5 percent back on in-store purchases when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months offer attractive savings. Some might object that the in-store savings only last 12 months, but that is partially offset by the savings on grocery pick-up and delivery. Plus, cardholders can redeem points in more places, such as travel through Capital One’s travel portal. For frequent Walmart shoppers, getting cash back on grocery, restaurant and travel spending are appealing, and they may encourage consumers to more routinely shop on Walmart.com.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2019

    Direct-to-consumer brands aren’t so direct anymore

    Acquiring digital native or direct to consumer brands means more than owning the brands themselves. It means owning the talent that has learned to grow through experimentation much like technology companies. These acquired companies, like Dollar Shave and Chef'd, master the test-and-learn cycles because company survival depends on it. They also can spawn innovation in product development, marketing and delivery in ways large CPG companies don't. That's the upside of acquihires. The downside is losing talent that don't assimilate into the larger corporate culture.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2019

    Kroger to make customers pay for cash-back debit card payments

    If Kroger is paying the retail rate for a signature debit card transaction run through one of the card networks, it may cost between $.25 and $.55 for $50 cash back (though the numbers vary a lot). If they recover $.50 of that, they can argue they are fairly covering their costs and note other retailers and banks do the same. While this may be factually true, is the negative publicity and social media worth the extra fees Kroger could earn? This is not an isolated decision, but part of a comprehensive plan to manage costs within Kroger. As shoppers report narrower selection and elimination of premium services like the deli section, Kroger is making a series of other changes that could cost it to lose customers. At least the debit fees are easier to reverse, even if the bad buzz is not.
  • Posted on: 07/04/2019

    Will meatless meat, CBD and cold brew coffee help food retailers differentiate?

    I agree with Steve that CBD stands above the rest. By 2024, market size is estimated to range from $5–$20 billion globally. It was called “the most disruptive force in the world today” at an investor conference in London this month. CBD has become increasingly popular to deal with anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, pain, seizures, and other ailments. It has been added to shampoos, dog treats, coffee—even hamburgers. CBD is also a sought-after dietary supplement ingredient. The number of products carrying CBD as an ingredient and the affinity of e-commerce makes CBD the most significant of the three trends. Unfortunately, CBD (often confused with THC) faces “chronic” uncertainty due to opaque FDA rules and a web of federal and state rule frameworks. Once the FDA puts a stake in the ground, expect products and retailers to proliferate.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2019

    Toys ‘R’ Us prepares its American comeback

    A reborn Toys “R” Us can be operate small scale and online. Six stores in the right locations can succeed. Manufacturers are likely to support them since it’s a small bet to ship inventory or sell on consignment with only six stores. An online store with drop shipping or a similar model carries little risk. The clearance of debt gives the business model more buoyancy. Ona larger scale, Geoffrey would run into the same buzzsaw of Amazon.com and mass merchandisers like Target and Walmart that use toys as loss leaders. And a half dozen doors won’t give it the ability to buy online, fulfill in store. Don’t expect an epic comeback, but the positive PR being generated will float a lean revival — if they avoid backlash from ex-employees who missed out on severance.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2019

    What is Jet.com’s future after its reorg within Walmart?

    Walmart needs to maximize e-commerce sales on a holistic basis. The revenue trends at Jet.com are immaterial if overall online sales grew an impressive 34% as they did last quarter. Like many companies that make large acquisitions ($3.3B in this case) there's a before-and-after difference. Before acquisition, the excitement of the "new" leads managers to forecast investment and growth in the asset. After acquisition, investment in the asset must compete with other uses of capital and can get crowded out. The before-and-after dichotomy is fine unless it makes it harder for Walmart to retain human capital to make Walmart e-commerce better. After Walmart became the #3 online retailer in 2018 and has set sights on being #2, we'll see what's next.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

    The court narrowly agreed iPhone consumers are "direct purchasers" and did not suggest the antitrust claims of the class action group have any merit. In my opinion, the protection that Apple offers is well worth the premium (to the extent there is one) of purchasing from the App Store. Within the Android ecosystem, we have seen malware, unsafe software, piracy, and apps that facilitate illegal activity when "side-loaded," or purchased from third-party app stores. Past analyses of the App Store found 85 percent to 90 percent of apps are free, so that tests the claim of monopolistic pricing. Consumers eventually still "pay" by viewing adds, making in-app purchases, and upgrading. But these are choices driven by market forces, which seems incompatible with monopolistic practices.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2019

    Trump is deaf to retailers on tariffs

    Good analysis, Neil. The US position is rational, consistent, and resolute. The points you make are around winning the long game rather than winning the next general election. It would be a mistake to let the chaos of today's politics cause us to consent to continuing intellectual property abuse and ignore the past lessons on China's exceptional ability to introduce bureaucratic delay. There is still time for negotiators to make progress. Exports on the water that left China ports before today are exempt from the tariffs. That gives a couple of weeks for agreement to be reached.
  • Posted on: 04/29/2019

    Will Rite Aid and Walgreens gain health cred by restricting tobacco sales?

    The moral and economic argument for Walgreens is that by continuing to sell tobacco products they have an advantage in smoking cessation more than smoking adoption. Having a loyal market of nicotine buyers equips pharmacists and technicians to offer advice on quitting. This not only is the right thing to do, it also allows Walgreens to play to both sides of commerce — starting with tobacco.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2019

    Retailers still haven’t solved last mile challenges for fresh foods

    The juice is not worth the squeeze for consumers. According to CapGemini, only 1 percent are willing to pay the full cost of delivery. As a result, supermarkets only recoup 80 cents for every $1 they spend on delivery. How do they get past this? They may:
    • Reduce the cost of ordering using apps and websites;
    • Reduce the cost of delivery using third parties like UberEats, GrubHub and Instacart;
    • Focus operations on densely populated areas.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    The Apple Card is the best thing to happen to Apple since the iPhone

    Apple Card is a straightforward way to keep money inside the Apple iEcosystem. The 3% cash bonus incentivizes Apple consumers to transfer more payments via Apple Cash, buy more Apple Store gizmos, make more in-app purchases, and transact more in mobile games. At the same time, it makes Apple Pay itself more top of mind for Apple users, nearly 60% of whom still haven't enabled Apple Pay on their iPhones. Keeping the consumer in a closed commerce loop was a home run with Amazon Prime but only a pop fly with Apple Pay as we know it. Apple Card will be at least a single.

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