PROFILE

Shikha Jain

Partner, Simon-Kucher & Partners

Shikha Jain is a top-line growth advisor with a client portfolio that spans the B2C world including fashion/apparel, footwear, beauty, consumer goods & durables, specialty retail, consumer services, consumer internet, and luxury goods. Shikha works with CXOs to build effective go-to-market strategies and commercial excellence on all revenue growth topics.

Advisory areas span consumer segmentation, value proposition, and activation strategies; portfolio architecture; price setting and optimization; promotional effectiveness; digital journeys; channel expansion; governance; and transformation.

Over the last decade at Simon-Kucher, Shikha has developed a strong acumen in North America markets, though her experience ranges across Europe, Asia and Latin America. In addition to helping her clients grow, she also devotes her professional energy to furthering diversity and inclusion in the workplace and studying the role of sustainability to drive future business growth.

Shikha received her MBA with a concentration in Strategy and Marketing from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business. She started her career at a global investment bank as an analyst, focusing on M&A and capital markets advisory. She holds a B.S. in Economics and Mathematics from Smith College.

To learn more, visit: www.simon-kucher.com/en/industries/consumer-and-retail

  • VIEW ARTICLES
  • VIEW COMMENTS
  • Posted on: 05/11/2022

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

    The last-mile delivery landscape continues to evolve as the hot new space. Every type of player is eyeing this massive market - pure play delivery companies (JOKR, Instacart, GoPuff, Getir), restaurant delivery (Doordash, Uber Eats), disintermediation by grocery chains, mom and pop stores and now APPLE. The pros - Apple has so much data on its consumers that it can personalize and push recommendations. The cons - this is very far from their core offering and established companies have ironed out the speed bumps. If Apple can do grocery delivery profitably in the long run then it might disrupt the space. However established players are finding it difficult to grow key metrics.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2022

    Will ‘shrinkflation’ grow into a big problem for CPG brands?

    It is common in the CPG world to practice shrinkflation, especially to hit profit metrics. However CPG companies should consider whether this move sacrifices long-term growth for short-term financial gains. When consumers start to notice, they use it as an opportunity to evaluate their purchase process and look for alternatives on the shelf. Thus the bigger risk is losing consumers altogether (and then they may never come back). It is better practice to increase prices using a differentiated strategy incorporating consumer segments, product roles and so on. Best practice is to also be transparent about rising costs and communicating the value that is provided.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2022

    Is resale a better fit for lululemon than other apparel brands?

    Integrating a resale program not only shows that Lululemon is committed to sustainability, but also that they are building quality products that last a lifetime, or in this case multiple lifetimes. Confidence in both of these aspects is key and stands out to the consumer, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, who look for these values in the brands that they choose to support. Moreover, when it comes to apparel, consumers rely on durability as a proxy for sustainability primarily because it is something that feels tangible to them. Sustainable choices are quickly becoming the expectation rather than the exception in the demands of the consumer and retailers that do not follow suit are likely to continue to lose volume.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2022

    Will retailers be ready when the third-party cookies crumble?

    While retailers may not be ready for it, cookies are quickly becoming a thing of the past. This could actually be a good thing. As companies will have to rely more on first party data and contextual-based advertising, they will have a better opportunity for personalization and marketing efficiency, which will stand out to the consumer. First party data will allow retailers to collect valuable information about their customers which they can use to create individually curated experiences, resulting in higher customer loyalty.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2022

    Are price freezes and pledges worthwhile in inflationary climates?

    Communication around pricing should be tied to the overall value proposition of the retailer. In this case both Aldi and Old Navy are considered the low price/best value for money options and appeal to the cost-conscious. As the concern around inflation continues to worry consumers, they will continue to trade down into retailers that will stretch their dollars. We will continue to witness the same phenomenon across the entire retail landscape. A good example is dollar stores as they are already seeing an uptick in traffic.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2022

    Target launches new program for used apparel

    Big retailers like Target and Urban Outfitters are hopping on the resale train, making this rising trend one of their top initiatives in order to keep up with the ever-changing consumer behavior and desire for both sustainability and affordability, specifically with Gen Zers. This new generation of shoppers has normalized resale as part of their daily consumption, given that it mirrors their values and is widely seen as "trendy." The question is, will the addition of this new marketplace drive the consumer to make more purchases from the retailer itself?
  • Posted on: 04/06/2022

    What are the hurdles to becoming data-driven?

    Having worked with countless retailers and consumer brands, the biggest challenge that they tend to have is arriving at a single source of truth. The primary reason that they tend to become less data-driven is because data fidelity and reconciliation is time-consuming and can lead to frustration especially for speedy decision-making. The cultural change required is convincing decision-makers that the investment needed in systems, tools, people, and process is worth the effort in the long-run.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2022

    Meijer to host its first ever summit for sustainable suppliers

    It's also about relevancy. Sustainability is the leading concern on almost every consumer's mind and especially with Gen Z and Millennials. If Meijer and similar grocery stores want to be appealing to the next generation of consumers, they will need to adapt their business practices to fit with this mega-trend. Consumers are also wary of greenwashing, so this is a great way to proactively show vs. tell that they are investing in and pivoting towards sustainability.
  • Posted on: 12/20/2021

    What happens when D2C brands diversify product lines?

    Expansion into adjacencies is only natural. A pure online brand needs physical stores especially if their products require touch/feel/try. In parallel, once they've established themselves in their core categories, it's important to have something "new" in order to keep bringing back their loyal customers, especially in categories that are durable vs. consumable to build customer lifetime value. Without innovation or newness, brand heat will dissipate.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2021

    Will consumers ever get over the price hurdle for sustainable goods?

    It's about the consumer demand in conjunction with company objectives. As younger consumers make up more and more of the workforce and build wealth, they will shift their demand to green-friendly alternatives. In fact, the willingness to pay for sustainable goods is decreasing and will continue to do so until it becomes table stakes. This is the equivalent of digital transformation that has been happening over the last few decades. No company operates on pen and paper anymore. Similarly, a few years from now, companies that are not sustainable may no longer exist. Reader beware: I am the lead author on the Simon-Kucher sustainability study.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2021

    When should holiday marketing start?

    As consumers are becoming more aware of the supply chain challenges in mainstream news outlets, it is absolutely fair game to message how early commitment can lead to lower delivery costs and minimizes risk that an item will not be available. The key will be helping the consumer understand that they should not wait for a “better deal” that is just around the corner. If a retailer has a promotion in early November, communicate that this is equal to or better than the Black Friday offers. Lay out in the website that there are strict delivery deadlines and pre-Christmas delivery will cost more and more the longer consumers wait.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2021

    Christmas 2021 may be one for the record books

    I think it is clear there has been pent up consumer demand that will drive a record setting Christmas season. The challenge for retailers will be to fully capture this demand:
    1. Supply Chain: While the original article from NFR mentions retailers' investments in supply chain systems, the sudden surge for the holidays paired with backlogs in the US ports + shipping challenges will leave retails little room to move if they require more inventory;
    2. Employment: COVID has changed the purchasing landscape permanently to give Online Sales the edge, but some consumers are returning to in-store purchasing for the holidays. Retailers may struggle to hire seasonal workers amidst a more structural hiring challenge they've been facing all year.
    The retailers about to meet these challenges will be most successful:
    1. Early commitment: Retailers able to implement and communicate earlier promotions to beat the Black Friday and Christmas rush could push through orders before supply chains become even more constrained for the season;
    2. Shift to proof of purchase: With growing consumer awareness of supply chain constraints, would there be an opening to provide delayed presents via proof (perhaps a product 1 pager of the purchased item with a time estimate).
  • Posted on: 09/28/2021

    Whole Foods goes from free to $10 grocery delivery fee for Amazon Prime members

    Interesting move by Whole Foods, specifically the way they are positioning the main drivers of the $10 delivery charge. First, the transparency that this is an effort to pass on increased costs to the consumer speaks to the overall rising costs in the unit economics for grocery deliveries. Second, the intentional choice to add a delivery fee rather than increasing product prices speaks to an assumption of consumer acceptability of one type of fee over the other. In similar situations (and most notably online shopping in general), some of the reasons why carts are abandoned is because of steep or additional fees that were not transparent at the start of the transaction. In this situation, positioning and differentiating the delivery fee will be critical. A flat "convenience" fee is typically the 1.0 strategy but a 2.0 strategy involves thinking about the full range of consumer needs and willingness-to-pay. For example, differentiating by time(s) of day, day of week, or speed of delivery. However, as an overall impact to the Amazon business, Prime Members that shop on Whole Foods are are unlikely to be deterred based on this decision. Free delivery from Amazon overall is likely still the main driver of the Prime Membership.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2021

    How bad will product shortages get this time?

    This time around, cost increases are being passed on to the consumer. In order to avoid backlash, Costco (and others) should make sure that the communication is clear. There are long-run implications to take into account as well, such as the upcoming holiday season, and the fact that inflation will only further bifurcate wealth disparities. Some of the same problem-solving mechanisms from last year might be deployed, but much of it will come down to proactively adjusting pricing and marketing strategies to fit the times.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2021

    Online grocery shopping is pretty much all about convenience

    It appears convenience will continue to be the primary reason online grocery works, with the main drawbacks being the ability to select one’s own produce or losing the enjoyment of going to the store. Now, with hybrid models in both work and school and families juggling schedules all from the home, lower priority mundane tasks are being outsourced, and necessity kicks in. Grocers can key into these new and growing felt needs with a needs-based segmentation that better serves target audiences, defines a long-term growth plan, and tangibly informs business moves. Winning strategies will differentiate their value proposition and messaging, acquisition strategies, promotions, offerings, and marketing investments around these consumer segments. By putting the shopper at the center of the business, a good segmentation can also be leveraged to form membership strategies around meeting the individual segment needs, build loyalty programs, and design incremental tiers of service offerings (like priority delivery or elevated shopper interaction capabilities). This capability to understand consumer needs is infinitely closer in reach to the grocery industry through ecommerce, thanks to increased data and machine learning.

Contact Shikha

Name(Required)

  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.