PROFILE

Kenneth Leung

Retail and Customer Experience Expert

Kenneth Leung was the enterprise industry director at Avaya, responsible for vertical industry strategies.

Kenneth previously was with Cisco Systems, with the last position as senior marketing strategy manager for Internet of Everything campaign. His roles at Cisco included development of private sector industries strategy and messaging at Cisco as well as retail industry marketing.

Prior to Cisco, he worked at IBM software group in WebSphere Commerce and Information Management groups with responsibility in marketing management for retail and e-commerce. Before joining IBM, Kenneth was retail industry director for Informix Software where he was responsible for market management and programs.

Kenneth Leung is currently working on his first marketing book and pursuing future opportunities. Learn more at:about.me/kennethleung

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  • Posted on: 12/07/2022

    The sky won’t fall, and other retail predictions for 2023

    People are slowly coming back to physical stores because they are buying items that require tactile feedback like clothing and accessories. Also, environmental concerns are leading some consumers who are delivery super shoppers to rethink the packaging. There will be a lot of experimentation, but given the interest rate increase driving up cost of capital, I think the experiments will be more conservative and expect shorter payback time.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2022

    What drives social influencers’ abilities to influence purchases?

    The fit between the brand of the influencer and the retailer brand is the key. Also need to check if the influencer had previous interactions with the brand (positive or negative). Nothing worse than engaging with the influencer only to find out he/she submitte negative comments about your brand less than a year before you signed (seen it happen).
  • Posted on: 11/30/2022

    Can Alexa find a path to monetization?

    I have Alexa in my kitchen for years and it is basically a timer, reminder and music player. I just don't see voice shopping going beyond a niche application because shopping is visual and interactive. I think I used Alexa voice once to add an item to the Amazon shopping cart, but in general the application just isn't there. I see Alexa more as a music/entertainment experience enhancer than for shopping.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2022

    Will cracking down on serial returners solve retailers’ return problem?

    For every process there is always people that is going to abuse it. As long as you state up front what the limits are, most customers are okay with that. Sometimes you have to fire your abusive customers to control the issue.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2022

    The stigma around secondhand gifting is fading away

    The stigma of secondhand items has faded with the new generation who are used to thrifting to mix and match and for sustainability purposes. Gifting among people with that viewpoint is not an issue and it feels more personal than a gift card. Really it is a matter of the audience in terms of acceptability. From a retailer point of view it is a lost sale but I think given inflation and sustainability trends, it is something retailers have to live with in the long run.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2022

    Saks Off 5th aims to deliver on schedule

    Never understood the obsession with two-hour delivery window. It costs a fortune to implement and it is a tiny time window to please the customers (Remember the old Domino's Pizza 30 minutes or its free promotion?). Predictable and trackable shipment is much better to implement for the company as a whole and for the majority of customers.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2022

    Is it time to shut down the free returns party?

    It is a box that is very difficult to close for most retailers, especially in the online space where people are now trained to buy things in different sizes and return the stuff later. You can't have your cake and eat it too at this point. The way I would do it is start with the most steeply discounted items with big "no returns" signage and start educating your customers. Some people would say that would affect loyalty, I would argue those customers who are affected aren't loyal in the first place, they are just bargain shopping. Brand loyalty is about lowering price sensitivity, not just driving sales.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2022

    Will dynamic pricing work for restaurants?

    Restaurants already do limited dynamic pricing, it is called happy hour specials or early bird specials. The key there is you need predictability and it can't be so dynamic that you have to walk up to the board to see what the price is at the time.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2022

    What are the biggest emerging threats facing online delivery?

    Agree, with inflation rising faster than wages, consumers aren't going to pay a premium for delivery, and the retailers have to deal with high costs of labor which is the last mile to get the goods to the door. Something is going to have to give on this model as the economy slows.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2022

    How far will Marc Lore’s mobile ghost kitchen concept go?

    I can see this working for corporate catering, ability to finish products on site would improve quality. How profitable would it be for individual home delivery given cost of fuel and labor?
  • Posted on: 10/24/2022

    Does Krispy Kreme fill a hole in McDonald’s menu?

    Makes sense; McDonald's is in the breakfast business, not the donut business. Krispy Kreme is already retailed in places like convenience stores. As long as the logistics hold up in terms of freshness, it is a nice touch and saves the family from fighting over where to stop for breakfast if someone wants donuts and others want a breakfast sandwich.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2022

    Will a cheaper, faster Uniqlo catch on in the U.S.?

    Fast retailing is not just about merchandising, it is about being nimble in opening concept stores and judging how well it draws in the market. There will always be fast fashion given changing trends....
  • Posted on: 10/11/2022

    Do retailers have the right stuff for Christmas?

    The bubble of backlogged orders needs to be cleared before smart retailers would order additional items. Given the uncertainties, retailers can't afford to over order new items for this holiday with the amount of previously ordered items still arriving or sitting in warehouses already from last season.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2022

    Does Sephora need a same-day delivery subscription?

    I think there is a niche of customers that will pay the $49 a year for emergencies (I am thinking beauty influencers, event planners, frequent travelers). The question is whether this can be done profitably in terms of program costs and long-term customer loyalty. Same-day deliveries are expensive transactions for retailers when the service is unlimited.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2022

    Is the customer really the most important thing in retail?

    The customer is first, but profit is always paramount. You can't lose money on every transaction to make your customers happy. Giving away products to make your customers happy is not sustainable. The key is to generate profit on almost every item that you sell to your customer, preferably immediately, since Lifetime value of the shopper is getting smaller and the timeframe shorter.

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