Jennifer McDermott

Consumer Advocate,
Jennifer McDermott has almost 12 years’ experience in retail communication, studying and promoting local and international brands. Jennifer’s current role as a Consumer Advocate includes data analysis, strategy and media commentator for a wide range of topics and issues including impulse shopping, ecommerce, discount codes, credit card debt and consumer behavior and debt. To learn more, visit:
  • Posted on: 02/04/2019

    Did Trader Joe’s make the right decision to end grocery deliveries?

    Trader Joe's has made a huge investment in expanding in New York City. If delivery isn't cost-effective for them, it makes sense to shut it off. With its strong brand loyalty and expanded physical footprint, I don't think this will hurt them at all.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2019

    Social media responsiveness builds Millennial loyalty

    Good customer service breeds loyalty, whether that's social media or traditional models. However, part of the reason social media has become such a relied source for customers is that usually, it garners the quickest response. An email or phone call might be responded to in 48 hours, but once you've gone public with your query or complaint, suddenly a brand is clamouring to get back to you. This has become learned behaviour, so will only continue.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2019

    What do shoppers really want? Do retailers have a clue?

    I think one of the major problems is the disconnect between the teams working on tech innovation and customer experience. Too often they operate in silos, creating inconsistencies. Better communication and collaboration is needed to ensure offerings online are aligned to in-store and vice versa.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2019

    Amazon takes multi-pronged approach to owning the last mile

    Arguably one of the most consistent areas of backlash Amazon faces from its consumers is in fulfillment. Amazon's aggressive investment strategy in logistics is an effort to provide a solution to the consumer rather than take on UPS and FedEx directly. In the coming years, as Amazon's own delivery experiences are honed and it can offer a cheaper, faster and more reliable service, why would consumers opt for other routes?
  • Posted on: 01/23/2019

    Will a different kind of ‘innovation hub’ open the future to food growth opportunities?

    I love the idea and wish the best for the SnackFutures team. As some of my peers have noted below, the success will hinge on openness of the broader Mondelēz team to take on broad new ideas. I understand that the team has already had a few successes that they plan to roll out in the next year. Let's see if SnackFutures achieves change rather than just acting as a PR platform for the company's innovation proof point.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2019

    Will Amazon succeed with brand sampling rooted in machine learning?

    This is definitely a new success stream for Amazon. Sampling leads to conversion, greater brand loyalty (mostly for Amazon than the products being sampled) and higher total value of purchases. Not only will they be able to make money off selling the program and access to highly targeted consumers to retailers but also, the customers who will sample-then-buy. Genius.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2019

    NRF: Will success in mobile shopping depend on progressive web apps?

    Given how high mobile engagement is, conversion is shockingly low. I'd wager that mobile consumers have a lower attention span, or purchase time frame window, so speed is crucial in conversion. I think PWAs will be one piece of addressing the problem, but asking consumers to take additional action, such as installation, will make adoption sluggish.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2019

    NRF: What’s the next step for omnichannel grocery?

    I think the Freshippo grocery concept could absolutely work in the U.S, but it will take some time to get there. Many grocers have a huge chasm between the physical and online experiences. The concept teams appear to work in silos. The experience needs to be more than just seamless, it needs to be consistent. Grocery chains who close this gap will have huge success.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2019

    Sephora adds choices and personalization to rewards program

    One of the best things are about the Sephora Beauty Insider program is that the benefits are so visible and this upgrade will only strengthen this. If being able to choose more is confusing to customers, I imagine they'll soon get past that!
  • Posted on: 01/08/2019

    What’s holding back in-store mobile engagement?

    Consumers are most certainly interested, often there is a disconnect between mobile offers and experience and that of in-store. Staff who aren't properly trained in the latest deals or the technology are unable to assist, leading to customer frustration and subsequent disinterest in the digital platforms offered.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2019

    Will AI, tariffs or some other news be the big retailing story of 2019?

    I think the evolving face of the physical store will be a huge focus for 2019 including new payment technologies and AI-led experiences. How this will drive the retail workforce will also be a huge industry issue as building the retail leaders of tomorrow means being able to employ them at the coalface. The standard to which retailers will be held account for various social justice issues will also be raised, with complacency not an option.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2019

    Will PepsiCo’s robots replace the pizza delivery guy on college campuses?

    As Mark noted, vandalism and loss are likely to be high; if not of the robots themselves then the snacks contained within. As such, I wonder how much of this is a serious test case rather than an effort to align the brand with tech innovation.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2019

    Will smart shelves work for Hannaford and its customers?

    Smart shelves are long overdue. I would like to see how adopters will use intelligence gained from what people are picking up and purchasing, or discarding before check out, to cross-sell while addressing consumer concerns around privacy from data capture/personalized targeting.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2019

    Why are retailers publishing paid-subscription magazines?

    While building content is an imperative exercise for brands to build authority, only very few retailers could get away with charging for it. It would take testing, and there would need to be a strong value proposition as doing so without the right content would not only be a costly waste of time, but could actually impact sales by turning customers off altogether.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2018

    Should Santa be modernized?

    Where to start with modernizing Santa... a white old dude in cos play hanging around malls and kids. I'm fascinated that in today's woke society he is still a vehicle for brands at all.

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