David Spear

Senior Partner, Industry Consulting, Retail, CPG and Hospitality, Teradata

Dave brings 25+ years of experience working across the Retail/CPG industry and Consulting space, driving strategic innovation, value and ROI. Dave continually finds himself at the intersection of brand, consumer and digital, which typically necessitates some level of digital transformation work. Currently, Dave is a Senior Industry Consulting Leader for Retail, CPG and Hospitality industries at Teradata, where he consults with a portfolio of 50+ clients across the Americas. A big believer in Client Centricity, Dave is a student of building trust and long-term relationships with key stakeholders.

Prior to joining Teradata, Dave has held numerous roles at large enterprises such as IBM, Capgemini, Coca-Cola and UPS, while also leading a small entrepreneurial mobile company for nearly 5 years. Dave graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned his MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and has 4 boys.

  • Posted on: 03/30/2023

    Should AI Insights Be Shared With Consumers?

    Insights can be derived through a variety of means (basic descriptive analytics or fancy AI-driven analytics). Regardless of method, the retailer ought to leverage these new learnings in prudent ways, and always adhere to current privacy and governance guidelines/laws. I agree with Mark Ryski on the pace at which AI is moving. Of course this can be good, but I foresee a retailer of significant size getting into trouble because several algorithms arrived at the wrong conclusion, weren't validated, or sent insights in real-time, causing harm to the consumer. Yes today's buzz is all about AI, but retailers must be wary and take a slow, methodical data-aware approach to it, otherwise, it could become highly problematic.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2023

    Will Amazon’s Warning About ‘Frequently Returned’ Items Make It More Popular Than Ever?

    I like this idea. Any tip or insight that a retailer can give to a consumer about a particular item is extremely helpful and should boost the overall experience. I always look at product specs and reviews but not everyone does, so these spotlights should help drive down returns and, due to Amazon's scale, even a half point drop in returns equates to millions in savings.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2023

    Why is Walmart Closing Its Portland Stores?

    Crime is just one of many factors Walmart considers when closing a store. The article touches on many other factors and when taken holistically, the Portland stores fell on the other side of the red line. Walmart, like all retailers, is in business to turn a profit for its shareholders and, when stores underperform, decisions must be made. This was not a political decision. It's pure economics.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2023

    How Can ‘Consent Fatigue’ Be Overcome?

    I see an even murkier path forward with consent and companies' use of personal information for marketing purposes, primarily due to more stringent privacy laws that are being enacted. It's kind of like the perfect storm. Consumers want preferred treatment, but don't want their personal data shared irresponsibly with other, unknown parties. And companies seek more customer 360 understanding, but fear legal backlash if they get creative with consumer data. Threading the needle is a real balancing act.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2023

    Is Free Shipping A Thing of the Past?

    Profits matter and you'll see more and more retailers altering their free shipping models. It's economics 101.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2023

    New Starbucks CEO Plans to Work Behind the Counter

    This is one of the best investments of Mr. Narasimhan's time early in his CEO tenure. I've always been a huge fan of getting out into stores at least once a month to put your eyeballs on the operation. I refer to this as getting your "boots muddy." The learning that emanates from these half/day-long activities is like gold from the connection with associates to the reinforcement of the notion that no one is too good or in too high of a position not to work on the front lines. I hope he sticks to this plan because it will pay huge dividends for him and the new culture he's fostering within the company.
  • Posted on: 03/24/2023

    Will AI-generated Models Replace Human Models In Ad Campaigns?

    Ian, Extremely well said. AI with bad data is artificial and, similarly, using AI-generated models - though they may look good - neuters the experience, leaving the consumer with less motivation to make a purchase.
  • Posted on: 03/24/2023

    Walmart Lays Off Fulfillment Center Workers as Sales Slow and Robots Go to Work

    Retailers are simply reacting to market dynamics and, unfortunately, we're heading into a turbulent storm that will result in less discretionary spending by consumers and more layoffs. Walmart is trying to get ahead of this. It should be noted that Walmart has tinkered with innovation since Sam founded the company. It's in their DNA, and so they'll continue to look for more efficiency in every nook and cranny in their operations.
  • Posted on: 03/24/2023

    Will AI-generated Models Replace Human Models In Ad Campaigns?

    Most of us know that one of the core attributes of a brand is authenticity, so what happens when the brand starts to replace its hardworking male/female models with AI generated images? All for the sake of inclusivity? I'd much rather see a real human being wearing the brand's products. This is real. This is true. This is authentic. And it's an important part of the overall shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2023

    Amazon Gets Ready to Go to Court Over Its Biometric Data Collection

    Two years ago, there were 11 states in the U.S. that had separate privacy legislation waiting to be debated in house chambers. Obviously, we have CCPA in California and, like the EU, I have no doubt there will soon be some type of national privacy law that will come up for vote. That said, Amazon's programs are opt-in and consumer's need to understand what this means in terms of how a retailer could use their personal data. There are tremendous advances associated with loyalty and customer 360 when retailers apply the right data at the right time. But negative situations do bubble up, as we've witnessed several $100 million+ lawsuits in the last three years with the EU's GDPR legislation.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2023

    Is ‘Warmth’ the Secret Sauce for Many Brands?

    Jeff, great points. Outstanding brand managers know that a brand has to be treated/managed/cared for as a living, breathing thing. The connection that consumers make with brands can be complex to understand, but essential to the lifetime customer value from repeat buyers who continually make it their "go-to." Great companies invest resources to uncover these insights and capitalize on them.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2023

    Will 2023 Become Known as the Year of Trading Down?

    Inflation is still hurting everyone's wallets. Despite attempts to rein in higher costs, many food items are 11 percent to 25 percent higher than 12 to 18 months ago, and consumers with constrained budgets are having to make difficult choices between groceries and gas. With this dynamic, we'll see consumers trading down in categories that they never imagined they would. Retailers need to take a hard look at all items and work with CPGs to develop value offerings that are compelling and unique.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2023

    How Can Grocers Improve In-Stock Levels?

    Stephen, You are spot-on re: vendor segmentation. Such basic analysis reveals some eye-popping results, where some vendors are notoriously out-of-stock. If patterns emerge, retailers must take actions to mitigate these situations.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2023

    Refurbished Electronics Platform Reebelo Sets Up Shop in the U.S.

    Reebelo's intense focus on the electronics category will enable it to gain share and experience significant growth in the U.S. market. I've purchased slightly used laptops in the past and have had outstanding experiences with the devices. Moreover, given today's inflationary dynamics and seemingly added financial headwinds, Reebelo is positioned extremely well with consumers who have less to spend on electronics.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2023

    Are Retailers Getting Returns Under Control?

    Returns are definitely a cost of doing business, but there are so many good practices and new digital tools to limit exposure. I've recently purchased many items online and have used a variety of "sizing" tools, including sizing reviews from previous buyers who provide detailed information on fit. Then, there are analytics that can and should be applied to all return products. These insights turn into patterns that shape and inform future decisions for return policies and programs.

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