David Leibowitz

WW Director, Industry Strategy, Microsoft
David has worked in the shoes of retail, having held senior leadership positions or consulting to many well known global fashion and footwear brands. He has incubated new market (product & services) offerings across CPG and enterprise technology and education. He has also launched award winning software in use by retail/CPG, K12 / Hi-Ed and Finance industries. Currently with Microsoft, David helps organizations globally drive the reinvention of cross-industry experiences. You can find him writing at Postings are solely the opinion of the author and the author reserves the right to be wrong in many cases.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2020

    Is Walmart about to become the king of online resale retailing?

    Very promising. Should be great execution aligned to the resale/recommerce economy trend. Also, it begins to position as more of a MARKETPLACE to compete/contrast with Amazon. Watch both of these spaces!
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    Apple is not the first, and there have been some extremes. In a piece published last month, I covered temperature checks in Italy and China. And Emirates was taking blood tests (with a 10 minute response time) of airline passengers to confirm non-infection before flights.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2020

    How should stores reopen?

    While retailers should gather inputs from local field leaders, ultimately the plan to reopen (and in what capacity) should be based upon local/federal guidelines along with the guidance from the retailer's health, HR, legal, and retail operations teams. A consistent approach across the fleet of stores to safety, customer service and compliance is paramount. In additions, some decisions will not be solely be left to retailers. For example, NYC and LA are already enforcing the use of face coverings in public when shopping. Other local mandates may follow. It's possible that occupancy load and capacity might also be restricted by governing bodies as shelter-in-place restrictions are eased. We are also starting to see some industry leaders begin to share their strategy. For example, Kroger has just released their Blueprint for Business here:
  • Posted on: 05/24/2019

    Do the benefits of using facial recognition in retail outweigh the risks?

    I agree that sentiment and theoretical marketing use cases may not outweigh the risk, and transparency is critical. Filter to an initial set of scenarios that aren't considered "creepy." Start slow, with safety/security and ease of transacting in mind (rather than leaping to how to cross-sell/upsell) and the technology may be more readily welcomed. Consider:
    • Pay by face;
    • Loss prevention (known offenders);
    • A second factor of authentication (is this really your loyalty number, are you entitled to that friends and family discount, forgot your card and don't want to reveal your name/phone number or other PII out loud for the entire checkout line to hear?).
  • Posted on: 02/11/2019

    Are apps and voice assistants the keys to e-grocery adoption?

    An app to create a grocery list is good for the FIRST trip. But what about follow-up trips? Voice assistants will begin to shine when they add value through AI and ML. Sure, you can ask your assistant to "add three cans of beans" to your list, but that merely saves you a few swipes on a screen. But what if instead you could simply request "add ingredients for a killer taco casserole from my favorite foodie blog?" Or if your assistant pinged YOU (instead of the other way around) and suggested "Based upon your last trip and your typical consumption, you many be running low on a few items...shall we add them now?" And once we lay this foundation, other opportunities emerge -- like automated recurring subscriptions or integration with calendars ("You're going on away on vacation for a week, so let's hold on another milk order..") or IoT for actual home consumption ("You're running low on dog food. You might want to order now or Fido will be sad.").
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