Zel Bianco

President, founder and CEO Interactive Edge

Zel Bianco and Interactive Edge have been helping companies, specifically in the Consumer Goods industry, run more efficiently since 1994. Zel’s focus is always on the needs of the client. He strives to be a real business partner to every customer — no matter what the size of the contract or the scope of the implementation. He wants to help companies eliminate the cumbersome and time consuming tasks associated with data management and organization in order to free up users time so that they can do what they were hired to do: generate insights to grow their business. Zel enjoys helping clients bridge the gap between category management and shopper insights. He collaborates with clients in the development of a process that streamlines the flow of qualitative data into customer facing presentations and reports.

As the president, founder and CEO of Interactive Edge, Zel is responsible for setting the company’s strategic vision and developing business alliances. He is also an industry thought leader who has enjoyed presenting at many industry conferences such as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the International Committee of Food Retail Chains (CIES), SAP’s SAPPHIRE and SAP’s TechEd Demo Jam. He has been honored to speak at both DePaul University and Michigan State University, and has donated the Interactive Edge XP3 software for use by students at both of their business schools. Interactive Edge and its customers have won numerous industry awards in areas including Customer Management, Visionary Innovation, and Demand Data Analytics.

Prior to founding Interactive Edge, Zel held senior account management positions in the advertising industry, at Young & Rubicam and other large New York agencies. He worked with many consumer package goods clients and was a part of the account management team that introduced the IBM personal computer.

More information about Zel and his solution for presenting demand data analytics can be found at the Interactive Edge website.

  • Posted on: 11/30/2020

    How will Tony Hsieh’s legacy live on at Zappos?

    The challenges faced by retail leaders today are never ending and can be overwhelming. That is why it would behoove retail leaders to practice many of the guiding principles Tony put in place at Zappos, and tailor them to their own organizations. It is challenging to keep up with the huge changes our industry is currently undergoing. To be able to meet the internal focused ones on top of the huge external ones, especially now during COVID-19, is a tall order that is more effectively executed with an attitude and outlook like the one that Tony had. RIP Tony Hsieh.
  • Posted on: 11/24/2020

    Target CEO points to one-stop shopping as key to chain’s success

    I would say they are getting closer to that goal, but unless they figure out produce, meats and fish, they will not get there. I don't see buying those categories at Target anytime soon.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2020

    Are CPG brands headed for a very merry Christmas?

    The sales increases will stick around and, unfortunately, so will COVID-19. We will see the large CPG brands that consumers have come to love and trust continue to be the leaders in the months ahead. Most have planned for and executed effectively in getting their supply chain and operations ready to meet the challenges of having fully stocked shelves at most retailers.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2020

    Are garages optimal delivery drop-off points?

    As long as the homeowner remembers to lock the door from the garage into the house then this will work well. Most homeowners will be ok with this, especially if they can see what is going on and confirm the delivery. Given that we are looking at a long period of living with COVID-19, being able to have more options for delivery is a good thing. Will it have some pitfalls? Yes but, again, the more options that are available for us, the better.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2020

    Will self-driving, electric vehicles power Walmart’s contactless delivery future?

    This has great potential but I still worry about how they will navigate safely with human beings being the biggest danger to overcome. Sometimes things can get out of hand. There was a group of about 10 men driving down Broadway the other day in ATVs and off-road dirt bikes. Combine crazy maniacs like that with the hundreds of motorized bikes delivering food from DoorDash and you very quickly come upon a situation where the self driving electric vehicles had better been programmed to avoid human obstacles.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2020

    What will President Joe Biden mean for retail?

    Joe Biden was and will always be asking questions like "what does this bill mean for the little guy?" I think he realizes that retail and those who make it hum are essential in helping us all keep our sanity. This empathy will carry over to helping make retail strong again. It will not happen overnight, but I am confident it will.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2020

    Stop & Shop goes back to the future with nostalgic brands

    I think that much of this is driven by parents of young children who relate to the products, TV shows and games that they grew up with. They now are home with their kids and passing on some of these feel-good products and experiences to their kids. Some of these nostalgic trends will stay after the pandemic as some of them were likely to come back into fashion even if we did not have a pandemic to live through.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2020

    Do online grocers have a transparency problem?

    Finding images of nutrition information that should be displayed very clearly should not be so difficult for customers. Shoppers should also be able to search by nutrition, ingredients and other information that may be vital. Just being able to search for gluten free is just not going to cut it. This seems like some retailers took the cheap way out and did not plan and test their sites to be user friendly. "Consumer focus," which we all harp on, needs to go beyond talk. It needs to be implemented all the way to the actual website user experience.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2020

    Do retailers need to make price optimization a priority right now?

    I think it will accelerate the adoption of price optimization tools as pricing will continue to be the focus moving forward. The issue will be that if most of your competitors adopt the same technology, then service, out-of-stocks and all the other logistical problems that are still a source of frustration for shoppers will be the point of difference when price is at parity with the competition.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2020

    Will its values-based approach turn Hive into an e-grocery powerhouse?

    This is and will remain a very challenging time for many families and for Hive to be truly appropriate and true to its values, it must address in more formal terms what it is doing to help support those in need who may not be able to afford many of the products and product categories showcased at Hive. Perhaps I missed something, but giving back to those in need would be a great incentive for those shoppers who are willing and can afford to pay more for products curated by Hive.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2020

    How crucial is last mile fulfillment to 7-Eleven and the c-store channel?

    I agree with David Naumann. This is an expensive proposition and if you had many other choices for delivery or pick up would you choose your local 7-Eleven? C-stores are great and they have become the hyper local "general store," but I'd be hard pressed to find a category in a c-store that could not be fulfilled elsewhere.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Should local book stores be taking on Amazon?

    I am feeling a little like Amazon is taking over our lives, so being more aware of how independent retailers feel is not a bad thing. We do want there to be competition and if we all shrug our shoulders and say Amazon is too big to compete with, then we are done.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Are employees or execs holding back data-driven cultures?

    If so, they are doing it at their own peril and that of the organization they are supposed to be leading. Every modern organization knows that data is the most valuable asset they have in order to compete effectively. Having the people that have the skill sets to understand how to turn that data into actionable insights and recommendations is critical. CEOs who are not taking a laser focus on making sure their employees are trained in this area are not effective CEOs and should be replaced.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

    Patagonia wants to ‘Vote the a**holes out’

    Although I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, it is a risky one to place on their products. Time will tell whether it resonates among their most active shoppers.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    C-stores focused on being even more convenient during the pandemic

    C-stores with gas pumps have a great opportunity to drive more traffic as shoppers must stop for gas. Use that occasion to drive those shoppers into the store by making offers too good to pass up. 7-Eleven is doing a very good job in promoting coffee, snacks and healthy choices. On a recent road trip, I was able to buy three bananas, two packages of peanuts and an iced coffee for around $5. Many c-stores also have video monitors on each pump that are used to showcase offers as well as loyalty programs. C-stores will come back faster than many other retailers for many of the reasons stated in the article from Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer.

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