Co-founder, CEO, Fast Simon
Zohar is an experienced technology entrepreneur and executive. In 2013, Zohar co-founded Fast Simon, Inc. (the company behind InstantSearch+), leveraging his experience to bring state-of-the-art site search to millions of publishers and e-tailers at an affordable cost. Throughout his career, Zohar has been the driving force behind over 20 software products that have since been used by millions of users worldwide. Zohar has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Technion, Israel, and an MBA from INSEAD, France.
  • Posted on: 02/21/2023

    What’s holding back merchandising execution?

    eCommerce has transformed into a fast-paced, non-stop complex industry, operating continuously. New products, seasonality, inventory levels, and prices are changing rapidly, as are consumer tastes, online reactions, and purchasing trends. The globalization of the industry expands stores across borders and currencies, which adds to the complexity. Merchandisers are managing many channels and staff members with varied skill sets. Myriad systems and a host of apps can lead to potential errors which are transparent to everyone. Upset shoppers can taint the brand quickly. Automation frees merchandisers to do more meaningful work and apply smart techniques like personalizing the customer journey, optimizing search merchandising (aka searchandising), and visual discovery. Merchants can stay ahead by instantly reading and acting on every signal, dynamically defining and altering collections, and matching their needs with the buyer's opportunity.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2023

    2023 could be the year of the recession that never happened

    The road rules for developing effective strategies are as important as ever in retail. Merchants must navigate new business models and constant industry pressures, doubling down on what they can control and being transparent with customers. Here's a chance to focus on managing inventory by using merchandising to optimize inventory on display, and demand forecasting by applying behavioral data on site to better forecast style, range, and size of inventory orders.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2023

    Retailers should be prepping now for economic recovery

    I’ve seen recessions swing us back to more reasonable business behavior. A few areas where retailers can double down, continue to invest, and how they can come out strong on the other end: Audit Vendors and Design Win-Win Partnerships. Audit your vendor footprint to find wasted licenses or seats. Look into multi-year agreements with discounts. Rightsize Salaries and Roles to Match the Revenue. Right size roles and compensation. Restructure incentive plans for shared success. Conduct Analytics and Planning. Conduct advanced analytics and planning to avoid making poor choices. Based on a year of sales, what sizes and ranges are the most possible for your clientele? Can you offer exclusive yet in-demand items and pair them with excessive inventory to drive sales and pair back that older inventory? Optimize Inventory. Excessive inventory pummels the balance sheet, forces excessive discounts, and adds time bombs like spoilage. Now is the time to optimize merchandising strategies to present or bundle excessive inventory items in the most favorable way to drive sales, potentially avoiding profit-shredding discounting. Determine Technology Investments with Instant Impact and/or Automation. Determine what you can automate with off-the-shelf software that doesn’t deliver a large expense and pays dividends forward. Put off large-scale projects.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2023

    Are targeted online ads going away?

    It is hard to tell which way the pendulum will swing as it is in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. While every politician offers a rallying cry for privacy, someone has to pay the web experience bill, which has been predominantly paid through personal advertising. Lack of personalized advertising will hurt merchants as well, as targeting new customers becomes harder and much more expensive. These costs will have to be absorbed by customers. However, the "opt-in" option can definitely work when it is juxtaposed with paying real money. It is already here. You can opt in to see ads with free movies on Amazon and Netflix -- instead of buying or renting a movie. You can opt in to be on an online merchant's email list in return for a first-time 20% discount. Perhaps a future where Google would charge a fee for search or navigation unless you opt-in, is not so far away?
  • Posted on: 12/15/2022

    Will Christmas 2022 be the terminal squish of retail’s mushy middle?

    The issue with the “mushy middle” is an abundance of inventory that lacks direction and the ability for shoppers to find products they need and want. Middle retailers try to appeal to the masses, offering hundreds of styles that can be difficult for consumers to search through. For example, if consumers search online for a “brown top” and 300 items appear, they will get overwhelmed, probably abandoning the inquiry, and the retailer will be left with all these tops. However, by using smart online merchandising to promote excessive inventory items in both collections and relevant search terms, the retailer can strategically target their audiences, leading to more sales. A favorable social media review can make all the difference for middle brands. Target's social media program engages influencers to review products, which can lead to the item going viral and boosting the brand to a sellout.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2022

    Are retailers failing to keep up with the Joneses?

    Digital marketers "ignore" Baby Boomers for a few reasons: First, digital marketers tend to skew toward their own age group and younger, which is relatively much younger than Baby Boomers. Second, the big wave in D2C was started by young founders, selling products to their own age group, using targeting vehicles they were familiar with, such as Facebook, that applied to younger generations. Third, while they have mostly caught on at this point in time, Baby Boomers were lagging in the adoption of digital technologies in the past couple of decades. There is no doubt that Baby Boomers represent a golden opportunity for many brands that could create products for this demographic, as it is the wealthiest by far.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2022

    The sky won’t fall, and other retail predictions for 2023

    Retail would reverse its trend vs. eBusiness in the past 3 years of the pandemic, for the simple reason that consumers want to go out again. Since eBusiness advantages are here to stay, many experiential retail models and same-day shipping/warehousing retail models will thrive. While there has been a correction in the capital market, the impact on the real economy is lagging, and shoppers' sentiment is not gloomy.

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