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: 02/20/2020

    Consumers hate paying for shipping more than just about anything

    This is one factor that makes online retailing so hard, and a game for deep pockets. A differentiated brand and product has some opportunity to implement certain thresholds for shipping. But typically after a $100 purchase, nearly every store - except probably items that need freight shipping - does free shipping. Stores like Wayfair that do even the freight shipping free are not profitable. Retailers have to find savings and efficiencies somewhere else, and leave free shipping alone.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2020

    Should retailers scale hyper-localized store elements chainwide?

    Scale the concept. That means empower the local store to infuse certain local tastes and needs in terms that would be organic to the products they are selling. A hangout ambiance is good for a coffee shop, but not so relevant for shoe stores like Foot locker. Many actually do localization to some extent. You find local pros in Home Depot which is absolutely relevant to what the store does. You find Barnes & Noble creates that relaxed vibe and is relevant to a large extent, with information about local events. Panera and Starbucks have bulletin boards to infuse some local feel into the experience. Obviously none of these are hyper-local, but the intent is to be part of the local community. But an inorganic/disjointed in-store experience is not scalable because it would not move the sales. It would be a talking point, but not much else.
  • Posted on: 02/20/2020

    Are loyalty cards key to online-to-offline attribution?

    Loyalty data is an excellent source. But not a silver bullet. Attribution modeling - determining which marketing channel contributed how much - will never be 100 percent accurate. That's because data leakages are everywhere. Customers may forget to punch in loyalty program, browse on devices they don't own, they may block cookies or there could data leakage for any number of other reasons. Rather the question to ask is, is it possible to get a very good directional sense of what campaigns, channels, and creatives are contributing, and how much this influences the eventual sale? The answer is a resounding yes. It is also possible to figure out the relative investment mix and the right sequence of campaigns--between digital, e-mail and in-store promos, etc. that gets most ROI.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2020

    Would Lumber Liquidators floor customers with a new name?

    Rebranding is great. Unless it is accompanied by eschewing unethical/sloppy business practices, though, it won’t go too far.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2020

    Will store associates become the ultimate personalization tool at retail?

    High touch services have always had an element of personalization. Think of salons, spas, specialty clothing, etc. The challenge for the brands is to straddle the fine line between being an annoyance and truly helpful. Recall that Sephora a while ago introduced a color coding system to call for help. That indicates that customers largely want to be left alone, with help being close by.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2020

    Shoppers have a love/hate relationship with self-checkouts

    Self-checkouts are here to stay, and it is a matter of customers getting used to it over time. Anecdotally, in my area I see Walmart and Meijer expanding self checkouts, with additional options for mobile scan for speedy checkout.
  • Posted on: 02/13/2020

    Grocers are given failing marks on food recall transparency

    The report raises awareness on a very important issue. Anecdotally speaking, I don't remember seeing posters in grocery stores on the current recalls. As the report points out, it is not mandated by law. Few good corporate citizens may be showing the info as a best practice, but clearly a majority of grocers didn't care. For grocers, this may be an opportunity to build trust by voluntarily and proactively sharing the information, prominently. And of course there is merit in the FDA formalizing the policies.
  • Posted on: 02/13/2020

    Will technology even the last-mile playing field with Amazon?

    Definitely an interesting trend. It is like a peer-to-peer network of warehouses. This is a massive shift from shipping only from own-warehouses. This means sellers have to stock the product at the closest points of consumption - from within one hour to two days of delivery. It requires a huge amount of flexibility and agility, and Machine Learning has a major role to play in recommending based on trade offs. It is a welcome sign that an alternative to Amazon is emerging, though I fully expect Amazon to jump in soon to be a player in this space. It will be like Ford and GM investing in a rideshare company like Lyft.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2020

    Will Staples’ new concept Connect with small business owners?

    Good concept, but they certainly missed being proactive on this. They could have so easily been the Airbnb for meeting rooms and private offices.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2020

    Brandless halts operations. What went wrong?

    Brandless itself is a brand, whether they acknowledge or not. That means, customers have some expectations. Like many, the concept itself is not bad. But is it priced appropriately? Probably not. Have they chased growth by heavily sacrificing profitability? Probably yes. It is a failure of business strategy. And the economics did not work out.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2020

    Why isn’t voice commerce taking off?

    I agree. I have had only one Echo - speaker only, and didn’t go beyond using it as a novelty. An Echo with a screen and multiple linked devices could have been a better experience. The use cases probably need to be campaigned more. It is still in the very early adopter phase I think.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2020

    Why are so many organic grocers landing in bankruptcy court?

    Each of the failures is attributable to a failure of strategy and is not about the attractiveness of organic grocery as a category. In fact, demographic trends point to organic grocery being more attractive. But bad strategy and unsupported expansions will take down even the most attractive businesses.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2020

    Why isn’t voice commerce taking off?

    Voice-only is an inferior experience. Voice assistants can in theory be personal assistants -- Like answering "tell me what brand I ordered last month" kinds of questions. But they are quite far from that. Privacy concerns, an inability to process complex commands, and an inability to have contextual understanding limits the e-commerce uptake.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2020

    What does it take to earn the trust of consumers?

    The mandate has always been clear and it is reinforced here. Provide good price-value equilibrium, have policies that ensure that the customer is always treated fairly and respectfully. Do it consistently and the trust will set in. All societal responsibilities ranks lower and it is not surprising at all. Chasing these goals without getting the basics right will not work.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2020

    7-Eleven tries out an Amazon Go-like store

    Kudos to 7-Eleven for innovation and not waiting for too long, or for others like Amazon to set the pace. Developing algorithms and technology in-house is even more impressive. That means this technology could be a source of differentiation and points to the fact that they can react quickly to tech disruptions.

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