Dion Kenney

COO, Mondofora

Dion is the founder of local-search marketplace, and a business consultant at y2 Strategic Group. Dion’s primary areas of interest include retail tech, local business, consumer trends, technology as a transformational tool, entrepreneurship and innovation. His education mirrors this tech/business mix with a Master’s Degree in Experimental Atomic Physics and a Wharton MBA.

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  • Posted on: 05/18/2022

    Are shoppable ads finally ready for prime time?

    Exactly! I do this already while watching movies: search IMDB for actors' names, what model car is that, where is this filmed, etc. I am (and everybody else is) in information twitch mode.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2022

    Are shoppable ads finally ready for prime time?

    The technology is still at a very rudimentary level, but shoppers would definitely use it. Prediction: the technology will be embedded in articles, videos, and blogs to capitalize on consumers' "in the moment" impulse buying.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2022

    Will the lack of skilled people derail retail’s digital supply chain transformation?

    There are two separate issues at play with the manpower requirements for digitizing the supply chain. The most visible issue is the availability of skilled people. There is a pervasive belief that technology advances mean lesser talented employees can perform more complicated tasks - particularly when the conversation turns to AI. The reality is that technology is a force multiplier, but it requires a higher level employee. The second issue is that many companies are looking for employees already trained in these technologies. They no longer consider training employees in the technology to be their responsibility. With the rapid proliferation and evolution of tech, companies really need to re-think the training component as a cost of doing business.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2022

    Does virtual selling make for lonely salespeople?

    I completely agree. For all of the advantages of the virtual environment, I find that the absence of in-person contact reduces effective communication and creates an awkward human-to-human interaction. This is exacerbated over time, as the sense of isolation erodes people skills.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2022

    Do Netflix subscriber headwinds hold lessons for retailers?

    As a business, I like subscription revenues. After all, your revenue is guaranteed whether people leverage your service 100 percent of their waking hours or not at all. As a consumer, I'm very leery of subscription based services. I can go months without using a service, or sometimes I completely forget I have a recurring monthly charge for a service that I'm not using. When I remember them, the feeling is always that I am being abused - the worst customer association a business wants. The lesson to subscription businesses should be to make sure they stay relevant and positively engaged with their customers.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2022

    Would grocery delivery be a healthy addition to Apple’s business?

    Apple has always been a trailblazer, not a trend follower. It would be inconsistent with their history and culture to create an Instacart-like service.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2022

    How long until the metaverse reaches mainstream appeal?

    When talking about concepts like the "metaverse" it's important to distinguish between "launched with initial interest" and "mainstream acceptance." There are a lot of interesting technologies and applications for them that never get mainstream acceptance. At this point in time, the metaverse concept is primarily of interest to high-tech early adopters and business strategists worried about being blind-sided. I can't imagine my mom doing her shopping in the metaverse any time in the foreseeable future, if ever.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2022

    Victoria’s Secret expects to have a beautiful experience on Amazon

    There is little question that selling on Amazon is both a blessing (the largest online shopping audience) and a curse (fees, negotiations, leverage, etc.) Big name, high quality brands have an advantage in selling on Amazon in that they are a known quantity and audiences will seek them out. They'll still have to negotiate hard with a sophisticated Amazon team on fees, placement, etc. Small, lesser known brands have to compete for audience attention based on price, features, etc. rather than name recognition and brand loyalty. They will have very little leverage in negotiating with Amazon, but are generally accustomed to fighting in a competitive market. It is likely to be the mid-size, not-giant brands that will truly struggle in the Amazon world, where the power of search optimization and name recognition cleave the world into "A-listers" and "everyone else."
  • Posted on: 04/21/2022

    Will customers know everything about products with digital ID?

    Product digital IDs will be one of the great tools to enhance the shopper's experience. While it might appear that the appeal is in the marketing dimension, the real value will be as an early entrant into the world of Augmented Intelligence - expanding our decision making capability rather than replacing it (Artificial Intelligence). Combined with pattern recognition tools and gamification enhanced interfaces, retailers will have found the Holy Grail of customer shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2022

    Did stores prove their worth during the pandemic?

    The pandemic dramatically demonstrated the value of brick-and-mortar stores, and local retail in particular. The old chestnut "you don't know what you have until it's gone," and the reality of what an "all e-commerce future" would look like was immediately and rudely obvious to all.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2022

    Will Amazon have to ground its drone program?

    A very quick, back-of-the-envelope calculation - the number of packages to deliver, the number of distribution points and delivery points, the number of controllers, variability of weather conditions, mean time between failure, etc. ensures that we would be seeing Amazon drone crash reports in the news on a daily basis. This is a concept that should have never gone beyond the hypothesis stage.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2022

    Expensive gas slows foot traffic

    Anyone that lived through the gas crises of the 1970s remembers the impact of energy prices on daily life. Gas prices and scarcity made us more thoughtful about how and when we used our cars - for commuting, for travel, and for shopping. Foot traffic to stores will undoubtedly be reduced, but it may be less directly observable coming on the heels of the pandemic, which also kept shoppers out of stores.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2022

    What’s the path to becoming a retail industry thought leader?

    I've always heard that "genius" is the ability to look at the same data points as everyone else but to see insights missed by them. I don't know how you train yourself to see things missed by everyone else. It certainly starts with curiosity, and a willingness to look deeper than surface issues might suggest. In Dave's case, I would say that insight is only one aspect of what makes him a thought leader. Being able to frame insight in a relatable and actionable way is for some a superpower. Making the hard work of observation, analysis, and synthesis seem effortless is the modern world's version of magic.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2022

    Will JCPenney’s core customers come back and show their love?

    I like JCPenney. When I go to the mall, it is the entrance I use and where my shopping begins and ends. But retail is changing, shopping is changing. Every day brings new, innovative uses of tech - both in-store and beyond the store, and shoppers' expectations are changing. I don't know that a new campaign without any changes in the business model or leveraging of new tech-enabled capabilities is going to drive the change they are looking for.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2022

    What are the hurdles to becoming data-driven?

    One doesn't create culture in a single step. It is an ongoing process, made by many incremental discussions and actions. To become enculturated as a data-driven organization requires developing the means to collect and analyze the data, which is relatively easy. It also requires a pervasive mindset of how to internalize, analyze, and synthesize data into meaningful conclusions, which is much more difficult. It is hard to convince people to trust the data when their emotions tells them otherwise.

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