Michael Day

Retail Industry Executive, Genesys

Michael Day is a global retail, marketing/loyalty, retail cloud and AI technology leader, with diverse omni-channel, multi-format, and multi-national retail industry domain operational experience and expertise.

Michael spent twelve years leading global strategic business development and highly customer-centered programs for Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club, and Walmart Stores. In addition to helping grow U.S. operations, Michael also represented Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart in over thirty different international country markets. Michael was Costco’s first Representative Director in Japan and has over 20+ years of Japan retail market leadership experience.

In his current position with Genesys, Michael’s role is to leverage his diverse global retail and retail technology background to help accelerate retailer adoption of AI-driven customer journey orchestration and enable retail teams to optimize their blended channel customer interactions.

Prior to Genesys Michael helped lead the global go-to-market execution of Teradata for Retail Omni-Channel/Connected Customer, Big Data Analytics, and Data-Driven Marketing program strategies and solutions.

Prior to Teradata, Michael led highly targeted multi-channel consumer engagement programs for specialty and vertical retail, and the product development and management of personalized E-Commerce Loyalty platforms for American Express, MasterCard, and the Affinion Group.

Michael holds a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and a B.A. in History and Communications from the University of Washington.

Michael is a Marine Corps veteran. He served as a commissioned officer, with occupational specialties in Armor and Logistics Management.

  • Posted on: 03/10/2022

    Are Walmart’s associates about to become its best customers?

    Good move and 1.6 million is nice big number. This move is consistent with what both Sam’s Club and Costco have been doing for many years: offering free membership as an employee perk.
  • Posted on: 02/18/2022

    Yeti is leaving Lowe’s to focus on DTC and key wholesale accounts

    Looking at the consumer trends and the numbers, DTC can be a very good move for Yeti. 79 percent of consumers bought something from a DTC company in 2020. That leveled-off to 60 percent in 2021, but the trend towards DTC for consumer goods looks here to stay. Nike is indeed out-front here: 39 percent of Nike's $44 billion in 2021 revenue came from DTC. In addition to potentially healthier margins, as they transform their digital capabilities, consumer goods companies realize both the potential brand control and first party data benefits of DTC enabled direct relationships with their customers, especially their most profitable customers and brand champions.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2022

    Why has Kirkland Signature been so successful?

    As export director for Costco back in 1995 I had a front row seat observing and participating in the development of Kirkland Signature. Things got started when we began selling Coca-Cola in containers to Japan (at that time Coke's most profitable market by far -- a can of Coke cost $1 available in ubiquitous vending machines across the country). Coca-Cola did not take kindly to Costco leveraging buying power to then ship Coke to Japan, undercutting and disrupting their pricing structures. At Coke's adamant requests we discontinued the shipments. Jim Sinegal wanted an alternative solution: we would develop our own cola label and call it Simply Soda. The stipulations from CEO Sinegal were as outlined above: "any product we develop must be of equal or better quality compared to the name brand." For soda that meant things like carbonation and fructose levels, etc. had to meet a high bar and our bottling partner Shasta Beverage was tasked with meeting the quality standards--and subsequent Costco product quality verification testing--for Simple Soda. Simple Soda went on to be a huge export success and we shipped it all over the world. It was thrilling when I was living in Japan as Costco's first representative director to walk into a retail store and see Simply Soda (having too met very stringent Japanese quality standards) selling for half the price of the name brands. Simply Soda was the first Costco private brand and later in 1995 "Kirkland Signature" was launched. Later on when I worked at Walmart and Sam's Club and discussed Kirkland Signature with private brand executives they were always skeptical that Costco would adhere to such high quality standards for private brand development. "How to meet those standards and still materially differentiate in price?" Like many things that make Costco special, Jim Sinegal and team found a way.
  • Posted on: 02/04/2022

    Will Amazon’s customers go along with its Prime rate increase?

    Same comment as last time on this question, and Amazon Prime value has just gotten stronger in the mean time. Even at $129 Amazon is not going to have much attrition. Also, Amazon continues to offer lower subscription rates to grow membership with targeted demos with lower household income subscribers, etc.: Posted on: 04/27/2018
    Is $119 too much to pay for an Amazon Prime membership? Amazon will not miss a beat. The value IS there. As with Costco (the membership program Jeff Bezos used as the model when he launched Prime) people now have an emotional attachment to Prime membership. Like Costco, Amazon Prime membership, at its current price points, remains for the most part inelastic, etc. Members might complain but few will cancel their Prime memberships.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2021

    Costco reports very Costco-like quarterly results

    Plenty of news in the recent results for CFO Galanti to be happy about. Considering north of 70 percent of operating income in the membership warehouse club channel continues to come from membership fees, that nearly 2 million quarterly growth in executive members (paying $120 annual membership compared to $60 gold star membership) might be the best news of all. Executive members not only pay 2X the regular Costco membership, but also represent the higher disposable income cohort that helps drives both the merchandise volume the model needs to optimize, and also materially contributes to that other 30 percent of operating income. One of Costco’s continued challenges moving forward is to keep these executive members (and all members) traveling to and shopping in the physical Costco locations where driving treasure hunt impulse buying — of higher margin merchandise — continues to be something Costco merchants excel at. That said, the news this week around Costco beefing up their “Costco Next” program (showcases an expanded online selection of curated items from some of Costco's most trusted suppliers) speaks to their attempts to both improve their online offerings and at least try to contain inroads Amazon Prime continues to make across the Costco member base.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2021

    Will paid perks pay off for Williams Sonoma?

    In "The Customer is the Channel" chapter of "Remarkable Retail," Steve Dennis lists two table stakes for retailers now and in the near-future: 1) Enabling true blended channel orchestration and seamless omnichannel shopping; 2) Organizing around the customer: seeing the customer as the primary organizing principle. Amazon Prime has shown us many things, the most powerful perhaps: realizing the brand loyalty output in leveraging the data and managing the technology to speak directly to customers with convenience, value, and personalized relevance. This IS organizing around the customer. So, no real surprise in seeing Walmart, Best Buy, Nordstrom. Neiman, Gap and Williams Sonoma following the lead of the standard bearer Amazon Prime in launching membership programs backed by free shipping. We are embarking on what some are starting to call the membership economy were establishing a recurring revenue stream and deploying data to understand in detail and enable the building of a protective value fence around your most-loyal, most-valuable customers, can be two headliner benefits. But, like Amazon Prime: the value has to be there to maintain the appeal for customers. That is the never-ending challenge ahead for retailers launching subscription programs.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2021

    Will physical and digital retail operations perform better on their own?

    More and more, with each passing day, the retail shopper is calling the shots and they want blended channel. The sales metrics show it and have for a long time: blended channel shoppers, pretty much across the retail landscape, spend more compared to single channel shoppers. If the future of retail success is indeed organizing around the customer, if the customer is now the channel, this silo move makes no sense at all. It also raises the question: why is Amazon trying so hard to get their physical retail GTM right so they can scale it, if not to augment their e-commerce success (and data mastery) and go after more market share via blended channel offerings?
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Will Best Buy’s latest acquisition be a healthy addition for the chain?

    Walmart’s recently announced partnership with Epic, one of the top vendors that hospitals and health systems use for data analytics support, looks to be a leading indicator that their roll-out of Walmart Super Center Health Clinics will continue in 2022 and beyond. Dollar General recently hired a chief medical officer and sees big business opportunities offering some healthcare services to their customers and they describe most of their stores as located in “health deserts.” It is not surprising to see Best Buy join the "retailer offering healthcare" party. “The retailer has identified three segments within the category as growth opportunities: consumer health, active aging and virtual care.” The virtual care opportunity does directly speak to Best Buy’s strength and perhaps differentiation: “We have the distinct expertise in helping customers make technology work for them directly in their homes.”
  • Posted on: 04/27/2018

    Is $119 too much to pay for an Amazon Prime membership?

    Amazon will not miss a beat. The value IS there. As with Costco (the membership program Jeff Bezos used as the model when he launched Prime) people now have an emotional attachment to Prime membership. Like Costco, Amazon Prime membership, at its current price points, remains for the most part inelastic, etc. Members might complain but few will cancel their Prime memberships.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2018

    Segmentation is central to Nike’s success

    It is a golden time to leverage data and manage technology to speak directly to your best customers with personalized/customized relevance. Building that foundation still starts with optimizing your capabilities to mine POS/purchase history data for the most actionable insights. One can then layer on click-stream data, social and real-time data and the go-to-market art-of-the-possible around integrated customer and merchandise data, etc. “Ultimately, we know when we deliver the exact right product, experience and storytelling it makes a tremendous difference.” It is really table stakes now for a progressive brand like Nike to put a material strategic emphasis on loyalty and a scalable granular understanding of their top-tier customers by spend, by profitability, by behavior and lifestyle, etc. This is a great call-to-action for retail across the board and a notable example in Nike: Taking the words “off of the wall” and making it happen at scale.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2018

    How should IT buyers be pitched?

    The responses on the graph probably tell the story: "A relevant product/service" leading the way at 77 percent, etc. In this time of (consumer) technology-driven transformation, retailers/retail leadership are looking for the right, relevant technology solutions to help enable many of them to still be here five years from now, etc. The more relevant a vendor can be in truly understanding the customer’s business problems, and aligning solutions with retail pain points (both strategically and tactically), the better in terms of forging those deeper relationships with retail IT buyers. This is where account-based marketing and driving optimal alignment between technology vendor marketing and sales can help.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2018

    Is Walmart aiming for a new customer with personalized text shopping?

    To follow up on Catherine’s comment, “Walmart has tried before to win an upscale customer with little success”: Over the past 10-15 years Walmart has had a vision in place to expand the base to bring in deeper-pocketed consumers for at least an occasional Walmart store visit, etc. (To include, I recall, sponsoring a full-fashion spread in Vogue magazine touting that “EDLP Back to School Fashion” can indeed be fashionable). The material differences between those brand extension one-off marketing attempts of the past and a more focused strategy now: 1) Millennials and Gen-Z (and their collective present and future-forward buying-power); 2) Technology ("Amazon Affect"); and 3) Customer Data ("Amazon Affect"). Walmart needs #1 to grow and without the right plans in place for #2 and #3, they can’t bring #1 home at any real scale, etc. This all feeds in to CEO Doug McMillon’s strategy of helping enable the brand to expand beyond the core customer base by building trust and loyalty through data refinement and enabling an ever-improving shopper experience, and eventually data-enabled personalization. By building this strategy through Store No. 8, Walmart Labs and Silicon Valley, the rest of the organization can keep a focus on meeting the needs of that core customer.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2017

    It’s good to be Home Depot

    Home Depot has been a good retail example in terms of executing a leadership vision to leverage technology and manage data to improve the customer experience (for both sides of their business: consumer and contractor, etc.). Most specifically on the consumer side: concentrating on how to make the very large box, concrete floor, impersonal shopping experience more inviting to female consumers (who traditionally favored the home improvement shopping experience at the other big box competitor).
  • Posted on: 10/12/2017

    Amazon gives teens their own Prime logins

    Demographics are very much with Amazon on this. Surprised they did not make the move sooner.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2017

    Thrive Market co-founder: ‘Data and storytelling go hand in hand’

    I would say at this point in the game that most retailers do not do well enough when it comes to data and storytelling. As time goes by they will do better. They have to. Yes, there's no ambiguity here: a brand's position on social issues is more important today than ever before. If there is any doubt, if additional quantitative validation needed, just take a poll of consumers born between 1980 and 2000.

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