PROFILE

Suresh Chaganti

Co-Founder and Executive Partner, VectorScient

Having spent 20+ years in consulting and technology leadership roles across multiple industry verticals that encompass the entire consumer value chain — Omni-Channel Retail, E-Commerce,  Distribution, Manufacturing, Market Research — Suresh brings fresh and well thought out perspectives.

Suresh implemented multiple ERP, CRM and Warehouse Management systems, along with rolling out new sales channels in a variety of retail marketplaces such as Macy’s, Amazon Vendor Central, Amazon Seller Central, and Fulfilled by Amazon.

Suresh co-founded VectorScient, a Predictive Analytics software for Retail and Distributors.

To learn more, please visit: vectorscient.com

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  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Will axing commission fees entice Amazon sellers to move to Google Shopping?

    So true. Awareness is a big challenge. There is probably a place for another marketplace, but Google is not positioned as such. They are positioning Google Shopping as a gateway, whereas customers look for guarantees, customer service and recourse. In that sense, Google isn't even playing in the same area as Amazon or Walmart Marketplace. I just tried to place an order using Google Shopping. To begin with, there is no separate website or portal. The recommendations based on my search and browsing history are good - This could be a point of differentiation, although the UI is highly cluttered. The checkout experience is as expected, but it is not clear what Google's responsibility if any is if the order doesn't ship as expected or if one has returns or any customer service issues. That is the gap they need to fix.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Will axing commission fees entice Amazon sellers to move to Google Shopping?

    Amazon has a significant head start. Google with 3,700 stores is a very minor players - and those stores are also on Amazon. Google is waking up to the reality that their product portfolio is reaching the limits of growth. Search has been getting chipped away at with people directly going to Amazon or shopping through Instagram or Facebook. Google has to do a lot more than eliminating commissions. It doesn’t seem to have cohesive strategy to provide great user experience. It is very disjointed. That is why the uptake is so slow, and customers don’t use it as much.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    What didn’t Jeff Bezos know and when didn’t he know it?

    Amazon's strong arm tactics extend beyond that. The Wall Street Journal documented a number of instances where they engaged companies with bait for acquisition, sought proprietary information, and promptly launched competing products. I am personally aware of instances where Amazon is forcing brands to sell on Vendor Central based on the data they see on Marketplace. There is a suspicion in the seller community that Amazon sponsors some level of unauthorized reselling of the products that are not on Amazon yet. They then use this data to approach brands to put products on Marketplace or Vendor Central. The last one may sound like a conspiracy theory, but seeing WSJ's investigative reporting, I'd not be shocked if it turns out true.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    What didn’t Jeff Bezos know and when didn’t he know it?

    Jeff Bezos’ performance is disappointing, but expected. Apple, Amazon and Facebook bend over backwards to portray an image that they are not very big, and claim innocence or ignorance about indulging in anti-competitive practices. It is laughable.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2020

    Has retail adaptation become more about survival than competitive edge?

    In my opinion, the pace of innovation in retail has been pretty dramatic in the past 20 years compared to any other similar periods before. The barriers to entry have vanished. What this means is the upstarts have been setting the customer expectations with innovative business models and delivery models. The biggest players then can easily catch up or acquire these upstarts. The middle of the pack ones can neither innovate nor follow fast enough because of investments needed. Of course there are many who have money to invest but can’t get their act together. This dynamic then forces the middle of the pack to be the late majority and join when the capability becomes a must-have. That situation becomes a survival question, and this is the situation that a lot of retailers find themselves in.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2020

    What can you learn about ecommerce sales driving on the NJ Turnpike?

    It is an interesting exercise and set of observations, but as Ron himself mentioned in the article the study is unscientific. We shouldn’t be drawing any conclusions or even forming an opinion. But I am mighty impressed with the level of detail and disciplined note taking.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2020

    Are boycotts becoming bigger risks?

    The Goya situation was so predictable that the CEO must have known what he was doing. In general, the environment is polarized and brands that take perceptible positions on the “right” are at risk of social media shaming and boycott - think NFL, Nascar. Brands that take positions on the “left” are lauded - Nike and NBA. If brands choose to wade into the conversation forcefully, it is their choice. Otherwise, it is best to ride it out.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2020

    Will COVID-19 bludgeon Halloween sales?

    It appears Halloween will be muted but not so much that only 27 percent will participate. Companies are thinking smart - having flexible packaging is the key. Except for candy, other props are not perishable anyways. I think some protocols/recommendations will evolve - only giving out individually packaged candy, putting candy outside for self-serve, etc.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2020

    Retailers need to reorganize like a 21st century business

    Investments that were expected to happen over few years are now planned to complete in a year or less. The biggest elephant in the room is the ability to fund these investments. The revenue models, costs, margins, and lifetime values are all going for a massive recalibration. Physical retailers already stretched because of revenue loss will find it hard to shore up funds for these new initiatives. So my advice is simple. Before thinking about how to execute and the best practices around execution, marketing and operations leaders should check with the CFO and these initiatives should keep the CEO/CFO as active participants.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2020

    Has retail permanently downsized?

    I don’t think anyone has a crystal ball. One thing is for sure, e-commerce got accelerated by few years of growth. So the delivery models will shift. The physical store print will likely further reduce, and jobs will shift more to customer service, fulfillment and returns. So “physical retail” will shrink, but overall retail may even grow.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2020

    Should online marketplaces be required to verify third-party sellers for safety’s sake?

    Marketplaces have vested interest in ensuring the sellers are authentic and do not sell fakes. We only have to see eBay to see how an overly greedy marketplace operator can lose both consumers and sellers. Unfortunately, Amazon, the biggest one now, is doing the minimally required checks on this.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Is there a path to profitable grocery delivery?

    Mathematically, grocery delivery will not be profitable without certain volume, customer willingness to pay fees and reduction in operational costs using automation. All three require front-end investment with long payback periods. Hard to foretell, but I can’t see how local chains will be able to compete based on delivery. IMHO, they should pursue differentiation using other vehicles and not aggressively join the delivery bandwagon.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Best Buy connects strong sales to frontline worker performance

    I noticed on my visit the other day, three different associates stopped by asking I needed help, and offered to place online orders for out-of-stock items. The Geek Squad is another area which is heavily personnel dependent. Amazon can no longer differentiate based on not collecting sales tax; the differentiation is in immediate gratification and customer service. Product assortment is key and ensuring in-stock availability for high velocity items would be critical in addition to good sales people in the frontline.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Is there a path to profitable grocery delivery?

    Grocery delivery is hard to do for good reason. More time and money for pick, pack, and cost of shipping. In an in-store environment, the customer does all three. Based on the data I see, each order needs an additional $7 in fees to get parity in profitability. And it also needs automated pick, pack processes and micro fulfillment centers. Secondly, the volume needs to go up. As impressive as the recent run up is, it not only needs to be sustainable, but to also grow significantly. Without such volumes, the overall delivery model will not be profitable. In short, this is for deep pockets and has a long road to profitability.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2020

    How will digital transform trade shows?

    Moving online has been out of necessity. Many events that otherwise were charging several hundred dollars went free. There is tremendous value for those seeking it. But there are significant challenges too -- dilution of attention and lack of opportunities to have impromptu conversations. But this delivery model does open up good revenue model once travel restrictions are lifted. $1,000 for in-person and $100 for online ticket with immersive VR experience is pretty good value for either group.

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