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A collection of featured Commentary.

Amazon vs. the Mall

I didn’t shop at all on Amazon.com during the 2017 holiday season, which apparently puts me in the minority of U.S. shoppers – including within my own house, where my wife and teenage daughter made backdoor packages from Prime a near-daily occurrence in December.

​​​​​​​Please Stop Scaring My Wife

I’m not much of a “holidays” guy. I think that’s because my late mother wasn’t much of a holidays gal. Back in the 1960s, my family’s Advent calendar tradition was watching her get progressively overwhelmed by the decorating and shopping and cooking and social obligations until she snapped.

We debut a new, occasional blog series with the Path to Purchase Institute's Steve Frenda.

Letting consumers call the shots isn’t always such a bad thing. As a trend, consumers demanding more explicit information about when, where and how products are made wasn’t exactly met with open arms by the industry ...

In case you’ve missed this little bit of news since its launch on Oct. 2, allow me to re-introduce you to our new and improved website, ShopperMarketingMag.com. Wait a minute: new and improved? Isn’t that an oxymoron, a redundancy and/or a tautology?

My summer began unceremoniously this year with a thumb caught in a door that was slammed shut by a sudden burst of thunderstorm wind. (That, admittedly, is a far less seasonally romantic image than the ones evoked by Johnny Mercer and Frank Sinatra all those years ago.)

After yet another weekend of spotty internet performance, my eyes were drawn to an article with a wonderfully direct headline: “How can I make my home Wi-Fi faster?” The site being Recode.net, I braced for techno-speak about mesh routers, GHz bands and CAT 6 cabling.

It’s official: Consumers now have as many options for subscription-based razor blade replenishment services as they do product options on the retail shelf.

In half a decade, if things go according to plan, Aldi will be the #3 supermarket chain in the U.S. behind Walmart and Kroger. 

The sales and marketing activities that for decades have been treated as two separate functions must align for consumer product manufacturers to succeed in a changing marketplace.

May marks my fifth month as executive director of the Path to Purchase Institute, and I don’t mind saying the experience has been an eye opener.

One of my many “mini-jobs” at the Institute is to help hand out media credentials at our events. ... I’m on guard against certain types of reporters who, whenever they bother to peek into our little corner of marketing, always opt for the “How stores get you to buy things you don’t want” angle.

Oh, so now you want to measure in-store behavior?A holiday season in which online-sales growth again convincingly outpaced brick-and-mortar increases – while store traffic fell by double digits – has kept discussions about the future of traditional retail hot and heavy so far in 2017.

I’ll confess that we did indeed peek at the 2016 Kantar Retail PoweRankings when finalizing our choices for the 2017 Hall of Fame class.

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