PROFILE

Nicola Kinsella

SVP Global Marketing, Fluent Commerce

Nicola has over 20 years’ experience in technology that spans eCommerce, supply chain and logistics. At Fluent Commerce, an enterprise SaaS distributed order management company, she heads up Product Marketing. Her job? To use her unique blend of hands-on tech and marketing expertise to craft compelling product messages — ones that will resonate with retailers and brands globally, and fuel both sales and partner enablement.

Prior to joining Fluent Commerce, Nicola spent 5 years at Bridge Solutions Group, an IT consultancy that specializes in distributed order management. Awards received during her tenure included: Forbes Best Management Consulting Firms: IT-Implementation 2016, 2017, 2018 and IBM Business Partner Award: 2016 IBM Commerce Winner.

To learn more, visit: fluentcommerce.com

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  • Posted on: 01/13/2023

    Are targeted online ads going away?

    Less targeting will be a challenge. You have to cast the net wider and can't charge as much per ad. But it might also help people discover new markets that they might have missed if they only used super targeted advertising. Regardless, it will put more focus on advertising ROI. And in the world of retail, that means making sure that the items you're promoting are in stock so you don't waste spend on acquiring customers only to disappoint them. My prediction for 2023 is that advertisers will begin to think about how they can make their advertising inventory aware.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2023

    Is now the time for retailers to double down on cloud investments?

    Cloud solutions provide the digital agility retailers and brands will need to face the challenges of the future. Ones we can't necessarily predict. And the up and coming market disruptors are all cloud first. Those that stay on legacy monolithic systems are going to get left behind as competitors innovate and enhance their customer offerings faster. While cost cutting and efficiency is essential, staying on legacy tech is a short term tactic, not a strategy for long term growth.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2023

    Do drinking and shopping mix?

    When fundraising for non-profits we always get more donations where alcohol is involved, and the "Don't drink and Prime" meme seems to be a recurring theme on social media, so it can definitely help loosen wallets. But it will be important to track whether it drives an increase in returns as well.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2023

    Is green hushing just prudent risk management?

    Hitting net zero targets will be hard. There is no doubt about it. But "green hushing" will not only work against overall decarbonization progress, it will cause long term brand damage. While it might feel easier in the short term to suppress information, brave brands - ones that value their long term longevity, credibility and legacy over the impact of short term news cycles - will set goals and publish them, but also be open about the challenges they face in achieving them, and how they plan to mitigate those challenges. Taking full ownership and responsibility is always the best path forward when it comes to building brand trust. Smart PR teams have many strategies for turning a "crisis" into a positive brand event. I have no doubt they can do the same with their green goal communications as long as their CEOs and CMOs are brave enough to let them.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2023

    Will others follow Shopify’s lead and cancel recurring meetings?

    A lot of companies have too many "standing" meetings. They should be challenged. Especially as modern tools give us more options for reducing meetings. Group chat tools. Documentation tools that allow asynchronous collaboration. The ease of pre-recording video messages. But like everything it's a balance. With lots of "two-person meetings" managers can end up having a slightly different conversation with each team member, resulting in misalignment and frustration. What's more, to solve big problems you need to tap the combined brain power of a slightly larger group. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And the reality is, it's still faster to talk something through than type it out -- especially for team members who speak different native languages. Group meetings help ensure remote employees are all on the same page. They let your team ask clarifying questions quickly, and have open dialog in real time. At the end of the day a lot of more one-way information dissemination meetings could probably be cut, but the interactive, collaborative, value generating meetings will continue to be essential.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2023

    Are experiences stealing discretionary dollars away from retail?

    Absolutely! People are craving experiences. While some of them will trigger additional purchases -- like travel accessories and "going out" clothes -- it won't be enough. Retailers need to pivot. The act of shopping hasn't changed all that much over the years. How can it be different? More exciting? More interactive? To thrive, retailers will need to challenge the status quo experience. Innovate. Provide something new and fresh. Take the blending of physical and digital experiences to the next level.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2022

    Do DoorDash layoffs signal tough times ahead for same-day delivery services?

    DoorDash was growing fast even pre-covid. The pandemic fueled even more demand. Which mean that unlike many businesses that start to plateau once they get to a certain size, DoorDash continued to rise. They increased revenue by 69% in 2021 to $4.88B. So it's not surprising they ended up with some over-hiring. Getting the balance right is difficult, even in more stable markets, as evidenced by recent layoffs at the likes of Salesforce and Amazon. I don't see this as a reflection on retail as much as a right sizing of their business based on a more mature, lower, growth rate. There are still plenty of retailers looking to add a same-day delivery options to their portfolio of offerings over the next two years.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2022

    Is Kroger lagging in e-commerce?

    Living in New Jersey I don't have first hand experience with Kroger's digital operations, but from a strategic perspective this merger will be interesting. Albertsons will almost double Kroger's store footprint and give them more stores in the U.S. than Walmart. If executed well, this will let them achieve economies of scale that were previously unavailable, and reach more customers with their 30-minute offering. But they'll need to have a strong plan for rolling this out successfully across their digital and fulfillment operations. The "how" of their strategy will be critical.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2022

    Walgreens rolls out 24/7 delivery and parents with sick kids do the happy dance

    This is definitely a plus for consumers. And a big boost for the brand if executed well. You can generate a lot of loyalty by helping a parent take care of a sick child -- it's an emotional moment, and emotions are powerful. The biggest challenge will be inventory accuracy. Will Walgreens increase safety stock levels to make sure they don't oversell? Increase cycle counting in stores? Increase the frequency of inventory position updates they send to their commerce channels? Optimize inventory updates by SKU velocity? It will be interesting to see how when they can keep their promises.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2022

    Is being the low price leader critical to Amazon’s ongoing success?

    No. Amazon used to be the low priced retailer. That's how they built market share. But they don't have to do that anymore. There are plenty of products on Amazon that can be found cheaper elsewhere if you hunt, but people don't. Why not? Because the convenience factor is just too high, especially for Prime members. They know things will show up. Fast. They don't even have to think about it. In short, Amazon makes it so easy that price is less relevant to their decision. It's trust in their inventory accuracy and fulfillment promises that make, and will continue to make, Amazon successful.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Black Friday is back as record number of Americans are expected to go shopping

    People are busting to get out. This is the first "more normal" shopping season in three years, so I'm not surprised by the numbers. In-store sales will definitely be higher. What will be interesting is how digital sales compare to last year. We'll probably see a bigger spread for digital spend (over 2-3 weeks) rather than it being concentrated in a four day period, but let's wait and see.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2022

    What price will Target and other retailers pay for their holiday sales promotions?

    We're seeing all our customers run early promotions, just like they did last year. And they've already started. But there are multiple factors involved. One is making sure they don't miss out on sales when other retailers are offering deals, another is a technical strategy. What happens when you compress sales into a single day of frenzied buying? Commerce sites' response times can become slow under the load. Especially those sites still run on legacy tech. This results in a poor customer experience, lost sales, and massive pressure on IT teams. So promotions help spread out the load which enables retailers and brands to provide a better overall holiday shopping experience. So no, I don't expect that the margin spread this year will be significantly different from 2021.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2022

    Will travel keep retail’s 2022 holiday from taking off?

    While some will spend less, in a recent holiday shopper survey we conducted, 27 percent of U.S. consumers responded that they planned to spend more than they did last holiday season, with 12 percent planning to spend much more. There is still a lot of pent up demand, but it will probably shift away from those categories popular during the pandemic (think leisurewear and home goods) to other items (like "going out" clothes and travel inspired purchases like luggage and resort wear).
  • Posted on: 10/21/2022

    Does Lululemon need a teen strategy?

    I don't agree that they're not targeting teens. They absolutely send merchandise to younger influencers who post videos about their Lululemon wardrobes (and model their favorite pieces) that the 12-15 year olds - particularly girls - covet. They can't get enough. Just because Lululemon isn't doing overt marketing campaigns directed at teens doesn't mean they're not targeting them, it just means they understand their audience.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2022

    Will Target own the Christmas season as it moves past its inventory glut?

    Target should definitely watch the staffing issues. Long checkout lines are an awful customer experience. But overall they've done a great job of clearing out inventory -- and they keep innovating. Unlike other stores, Target has remained fresh, providing customers with new in-store shopping experiences. In addition, they've done a great job of store fulfillment and online inventory accuracy which, through pickup orders and people checking stock online before coming to a store, drives additional traffic. Well done Target.

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