Hello everybody, happy St. Patrick’s Day. You are listening to the OMNI talk Fast Five brought to you in partnership with Microsoft, the a&m consumer and retail group takeoff and sezzle. The OMNI talk Fast Five podcast is the podcast that we hope makes you feel a little smarter. But more importantly, a little happier each week too. As we said, Chris, it’s March 17. I’m your host Anne Mazinga.
And I’m Chris Walton.
And we are here once again to discuss all the top headlines making waves in the world of omni channel retailing.
It’s Friday on Top of the morning.
I see you’ve got a little get up on today.
That’s right and I do I do have a little get up on today.
Oh my god you are gonna do a terrible accent too
Terrible fake Irish accent as well. But I’m doing my best. I’m getting pulled into character here today. But we’ve got a great show today and we’ve got our boy this is one of my favourite shows every month.
Oh my God
The accent is pretty terrible.
Chris thinks he puts on like 1990s Black Celtic starter jacket and he’s got an Irish accent all of a sudden
Fun the story though Anne, this was 2002 in San Francisco. I once convinced a let’s say a bevvy of gentlemen while I was with some other people that I was their Irish brother. I was with some Irish friends of mine I went on to pretend I was an Irish brother and they paid for all our drinks and my cab home that night because they were afraid that I wouldn’t know how to get home.
Is that because you were wearing a start a jacket that come to
start a jacket and actually the starter jacket this starter jacket is 32 years old I can I wear this. I got this for the Celtic Suns game with Larry Bird was in town I was a huge Larry Bird fan growing up. But we digress Anne this is this is honestly my favourite show every month because a&m is back with us and
they are thank god you guys this is gonna be a show with just Chris the whole show doing a fake Irish accent I think we’d all we our numbers would drop significantly
But let’s introduce our guests today. We have returning once again. Dave Ritter. How many times has this been for you? You’re kind of a pronoun.
Oh, yeah, I think five or so.
Are you five timer now? Are you the first five timer?
It’s tough to follow that accent though. I’m not sure I want to talk for a second in the queue behind that.
The first five timer though. This is we got to celebrate.
I feel like we should celebrate today. Do we do people celebrate on today? Right?
New York City for sure.
The river green and Chicago.
Yeah. Well, let’s introduce our first timer here. Michael Pendergast. Tell us about you, Michael, and welcome to the show.
Well, thanks for having me. It’s great to be here for my maiden voyage. So I’ve been with a&m for about four years prior to that I spent over 20 years out in the retail business as an operator, doing all sorts of different things in fashion and brands and lived a pretty exciting career. And it’s great to be with you here today.
That’s awesome. And where were you an operator Michael.
So I spent a bunch of time at Tommy Hilfiger. I then ran as the president chaps by Ralph Lauren, also spent a bunch of time in the crazy world of hip hop, ran all of Jay Z. And Beyonce is consumer product interests, including apparel and other things, and then help them sell that company and then went to work for the company that purchased it, doing things like licencing, and m&a and running a platform company also spent some time as a partner of a smaller cap fast fashion company.
Okay, I had the distinct pleasure to travel the world and spend at least way too many weeks that my wife would be happy about over in China, in Asia, Vietnam, all sorts of fun places, but figured out how to innovate the supply chain down to about 45 days from hitting the button on a PEO and getting it to clients, and factories. So it’s really kind of a diverse background. But about four years ago, CRG was really starting to grow and got the call to come over and decided to make the leap and haven’t looked back since and really excited that was able to do that and excited to be here today.
Now that’s why we love having you guys on the show if you guys bring operator like pragmatism to the discussion and given the topics we have today, and I think this is going to be right up Michaels alley. So yeah, yeah. So David, why don’t you introduce yourself a little bit, just remind the audience I know it’s your fifth time on the show. People are probably very aware of who you are now, but for those that may be listening for the first time, tell us about tell us who you are.
Dave Ritter good to see everyone. I am a long term consultant in the the retail space. I kind of specialise in the intersection of technology operations and retail. Have been a partner in consumer retail group at Alvarez and Marsal for two years now after a longer career at McKinsey, so excited to be here.
Awesome. Awesome. All right, and I think we should get to it. Let’s do it. We got the brains on Brad here today. Let’s get to it. Let’s put To The Test let’s put them on the spot this week, which is my favourite thing to do. In today’s Fast Five Anne we are we are going to talk about DoorDash and Uber Macy’s plans to overhaul its website, the latest live streaming news from Alibaba, Twitter testing a new shop feature. But first we’re going to take off with what is quite honestly loads of news from Starbucks this week. Holy cow,
we’ve got like
We’ve got like triple venti is happening right now in the world,
Hold my Latte.
Hold my Latte. That’s right.
With a black guy. Yes, exactly.
So tonnes of news out of Starbucks this week, in addition to headlines about their CEO stepping down, moved to reusable cups, potentially becoming the Evie gas station of the future. It’s a desert topic. The news that caught our eye most this week was that Starbucks announced plans to expand its community prototype to 1000 locations by 2030. So according to story change the rage, Starbucks is quote ramping up the global expansion of its community store concept as part of a new commitment to make it stores more inclusive and accessible. And quote, It currently has 150 of these stores in operation who knew who literally didn’t know that?
Yeah, the store concept is different in that it provides dedicated programming and experiences that support economic opportunity in the local community and create pathways to opportunities for employees. According to Starbucks, the first prototype launched in 2015. And the US stores are focused on things like again, according to chain storage, local, quote, local hiring, having dedicated space for communities to come together for events, partnering with local artists and working with diverse contractors and subcontractors on supporting service members, veterans and military families. End quote.
That’s a mouthful, huh?
There’s a lot
A lot has a lot.
They’re announcing in that statement
Yeah. Dave Ritter, I want to go to you first. 1000 stores, this is a big move, is it not?
Yeah. So listen, at first I respect Starbucks. I don’t think this is that big a move? For the last 15 years try to pull up community concepts. Whether that’s painting the community name on the wall for adding event space, having Jim’s store store with local vendors? I mean, do we really think this is differentiated or that much different? I love the notion of this. I just don’t get that big a deal or that different than a lot of things that are already in the market. I mean, even financial services, like Capital One has launched Capital One.
For me. This is it’s nice, but it’s not particularly exciting.
Did it surprise you that they said they have 150 of these already in operation?
It did surprise me. But I guess that also kind of speaks to how it has passed shackling different
Right, right. Yeah, I mean, that’s my take, too. I mean, I think I think this is, this is this is what crazy story. Like when you read that in line with all the other stories they announced this week. It seems like they’re trying to get ahead of the PR, like everything they announced this week was like sustainable community giving, you know, and it makes me wonder if I’m gonna be jaded and cynical here, because that’s what I do. But makes me wonder if they’re just trying to get ahead of this like, PR nightmare they have around unions, yes or no,
I completely agree. It’s like the the wording that was used in this, like, people may have realised like, Oh, this is a community focus, Starbucks. But did they know of the 15 quotes that I just had to read in that intro? Like were those specific words associated with these community concepts prior to the Union discussions? But Michael, what are your What are your thoughts? I saw you nodding along here?
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I mean, look, I think it’s interesting, and I think it’s necessary for them. But at the end of the day, it just feels like window dressing. I think the right phrase, the big point in that article was the last sentence that talked about the union, the unionisation movement that they’re faced with. And that really seems like a huge thing. I mean, look, they’ve got 9000 locations. So what happens if a lot of those locations start unionising? That creates a very dynamic, complicated challenge for them to face. So I think that’s really the story. And it really the important piece of the story is, you know, the interesting thing about Starbucks, and I’ve always thought this is that there’s two main reasons why they’re successful. One is their product.
The product is fantastic, right? Whether it’s the the coffee, or the tea, or the actual food, it’s great, and it’s consistent. And then the second thing is the customer service that you receive at Starbucks is fantastic. It’s very consistent. I’ll never forget the very first time I ever went to mainland China. We took and this is kind of an interesting story. But we took a six hour boat ride out of Hong Kong into mainland China, and I got off the boat, and it was definitely Stranger in a Strange Land. But as we were driving another two hours to a factory in the middle of nowhere, there was a Starbucks and I’m telling you it was exactly Like the Starbucks that is near my house here felt that host Yeah. And it was wild because even the way their customer service was it was the same same. So I’ve always thought that those two things are really what makes Starbucks very successful.
Yeah, I 100% agree. And yes, I mean, the big takeaway here from all of us, I mean, sounds like we resolutely are thinking the same thing. This feels like kind of a smokescreen type announcement, which I think you have to think so to win, they have 150 days already, this prototype was blowing the doors off anything, we’d all know about it and be pretty gung ho about it at this point. So makes you wonder what’s all going on here. Alright, let’s move on to headline number two Anne. We’re trying something new here in honour of our a&m guests as we so headline number two is actually a combination of two headlines. The first is that DoorDash is piloting a returns pickup programme.
And the second is that Uber looks to be getting into retail tell you more about what both those mean, According to TechCrunch. For the first headline DoorDash confirmed it’s testing a new feature called quote, return a package. Yes. And quote, that allows customers to use the service to return packages to the nearest post office UPS or FedEx location. And then chain store age also hinted very overtly, I might add in their article about Uber. Uber could have plans to become a retailer coming off its holiday shop this past December, its recent acquisition of the liquor disservice liquor service, Jesus,
No one would ever do a liquor service
Oh, yeah, maybe. But anyway. So David, I got to ask you first going back to you which of these announcements if true, was the more important headline of the week? I have no idea which one you’re going to pick?
I think the DoorDash headline is the bigger idea. I mean, I think with the growth of E commerce, we’ve seen the returns and reverse logistics kind of explode as an issue many of our clients are facing. I mean, also in the market, you’ve seen PayPal, buy happy returns, so they’re starting to be, yeah, m&a activity. I think we’re seeing early days of kind of a disintermediation of reverse logistics into the components of the reverse logistics, similar to what we’ve seen in the delivery front, where it started, as, you know, Instacart or whomever did everything and now it’s going from pick pack, last mile delivery, I think we’re gonna see the exact kind of thing happen through the returns. Value Chain.
Which is a big deal, right? Because UPS and FedEx have owned that for years. While I also think that the Uber story is interesting. I mean, we’ve just had a lot of this marketplace discussion, right? I’m sure they’ll have a marketplace, I’m sure it will be reasonably successful. I struggle with why I go to Uber Eats to make that purchase, as opposed to, you know, the Amazons of the world. So for me, that’s why I went with DoorDash.
Right. Michael, do you agree with David on this one, or any colour you’d add?
Yeah, I agree completely. And I think the interesting piece is this whole entry into the marketplace, because there’s two people that I think really can get affected by this one is the USPS. Right? Because if they really develop this, it’d be interesting to see what type of business they can take from the Postal Service. And then the second thing is Amazon. Like, it seems like a thinly veiled opportunity for them to start going after that marketplace and really start competing with Amazon.
Yeah, interesting. Yeah. No, it’s funny I, when I first and and and I got to give an a tonne of credit on this one. Because when I first we first talked about the headlines this week, I was like, I was soundly in the camp of, you know, leading with the Uber story, because I was like, oh, Uber, yeah, totally makes sense. They’re developing a marketplace, they’re gonna create their own retail, just like every other, you know, delivery, third party delivery services going to seemingly attempt to do, but then and you brought up the really interesting point that it gets it I think it’s at the angle that David was talking about in terms of why the DoorDash stores more important.
100% I mean, I think that David, David, you’re absolutely right. When you’re talking about you know, just how the the whatever they’re calling first mile logistics, even to talk to Navarre, yesterday, your spin on it, right? Like you are like, Yeah, who’s in charge of that, that returns process and how mild returns? Right, exactly. And I think that, you know, when you start to think about DoorDash, and how many how much they’re doing their white labelling for Walmart, they’re white labelling for so many people.
I mean, I did a Walmart plus order two days ago, and it was the DoorDash person that was contacting me, not Walmart telling me that my order was going to be delayed and you know, being really that point person that you go to. So I think that, you know, DoorDash bringing returns into their universe just helps further bolster them and all of their future plans as their own retailer. But then as this this white label retail or white label pickup service that they’re providing for so many other retailers that the customers don’t even really know about, but
makes them it makes DoorDash even stickier. Exactly, you know in the services they’re providing David
the other thing it does is market density matters. And the more that they can keep their drivers occupied, the more profitable they can be. So the more that they can pump through the channel, it’s whichever whether it’s last mile delivery or last mile return, first mile return. It’s just more it’s a it’s market density and a path towards more profitable model.
We’ve been long on DoorDash for a while in the landscape because you’ve got restaurant delivery that gets at that point you have got the delivery for the other brands whether it’s groceries or other retailers to come on the platform their own dash Mart’s yeah now returns right it’s hard, you’re hard pressed to find somebody that has that full range of capabilities to the same extent
well, and as you’re we’re seeing more and more even like malls and other places try to start to like test out these new services of being the single point of contact DoorDash is the first place that a lot of these companies are going to to facilitate that they’ve already got the network set up.
That’s like the Southwest Airlines of delivery really, right low cost option. Just got to get you there to you,
Right. All right, you guys. Let’s go to headline number three. According to CNBC, Macy’s is overhauling its website and planning to train its employees to be personal stylist. The proposed redesign quote includes personalised website landing pages for online shoppers based on their buying history.
Also an upgraded dashboard to show loyalty members how many rewards points they’ve accumulated, upcoming orders and unique style recommendations and quote, there’s going to be an elevated digital experience according to rich Lennox Macy’s Chief Brand Officer, saying that there will be simplified Global Navigation a refreshed modern search bar and personalised customer dashboards he went on to add. In addition, CNBC also said that Macy’s will train its employees to help customers one on one with style choices, certain employees will be enlisted into its style crew. Sounds cool, yeah. Where they will be or they will be paid a commission for helping to rack up sales as part of their participation in their programme. And for any social media posts that lead to business. Mike, let’s go to you first on this one. What are your thoughts? If you can’t tell Chris and I have plenty on this one. But what do you what are your thoughts here?
Well, it’s funny staying in line with the St. Patrick’s Day. I feel like I’m not going to be like the angry little drunk. Like,
That’s great. Do it. Do it, please. Oh, my God go into full character on this one. Because it’s totally deserve it.
It says I think one of you just said this. It sounds cool. But at the end of the day, it’s it’s sort of a to use a slang term. It’s kind of a yawn. I mean, yeah, it’s a really don’t even think it’s that interesting. To tell you the truth. I think it ignores some of the fundamental challenges that may see his hat Macy’s has had in their business, both from a brick and mortar standpoint, but also from an econ standpoint. Well, it’s interesting when Macy’s first came online with EECOM, 10 1215 years ago, they were by far in an industry leader.
They were elated from a percent to total of their brick and mortar business that they were doing. All of the other department stores, use them as best practice. And I read that article and saw the percent that they’re at today, I think, was 32, or 35%, it was very underwhelming, especially coming out of COVID would have loved to have seen that be higher. So I think there’s other fundamental things that they should be doing in this just seems like window dressing. I also think the challenge is, how do you really manage this? You know, I think that the fragmentation of stylists in the dress code thing was interesting, too, because that gets very fragmented. And then what does that do for your brand messaging, as well as Macy’s, that leads to how are they going to continue to differentiate themselves? If you have this interface that the stylist could be anybody, then they kind of lose the differentiation of the Macy’s brand as well.
Yeah. And there’s another point too, on that, too, that I want to get your guys’s thoughts on, specifically, because I think you guys, you know, are closer to this day to day than I am. But I thought in general, my thoughts are the same as yours. Like, I’m like, This is not anything cool. This is like just stuff you should be doing. In general. Yeah, the part that I have more of an issue with is actually the service idea. I hate that they’re going in this direction, because I don’t think their business model fundamentally supports it in terms of how Macy’s has traditionally operated. And that’s what I want to get your thoughts on?
Yes, because your margin structure is defined by how much service you provide. And your margins have to be able to calibrate for that. And so when you think about it, like, if they’re going to do this, this means they need to hire better people, they need to invest in the technology to make them better at service. And I would argue that Macy’s doesn’t have that in their business model right now. That’s going to be a very incremental cost for them to do. And my favourite example of this, which I’ve talked about on the show before and it’s perfect for today is about two or three years ago, I went to a Macy’s and I asked somebody, where can I find St. Patrick’s Day coding for my kids to wear to school? And the person literally said to me, the sales associate literally literally said to me, what St. Patrick’s Day. So like, that’s a huge jump, if you’re going to take your organisation to that level to provide this type of style service which they’re going after like the stitch fixes of the world. That’s what that’s what they’re trying to get into the marketplace here from a press standpoint. Yeah, so David, or Michael, it sounds like you agree.
How many Guinness did you have before you asked her what?
It was like two weeks beforehand. You know,
I don’t know. But no, go Michael. Yeah,
yeah, you hit you hit the nail on the head because speaking from experience as a retailer and as a wholesaler, Mm hmm. There was always an issue with Macy’s customer service. And that’s going back 20 years ago, right. So it’s never really been an embedded fundamental accelerator for them, if you will. So now, they’re trying to take it to a know a whole other level, and it’s not accounted for in their margin. And it’s not accounted for either in their, their HR circle, if you will.
They don’t attract, they don’t know how to recruit. And they also don’t know how to cultivate that customer service or high level of customer service, like a Nordstrom does. And I think Nordstrom is a perfect best case example of Yeah, the ability for them to clientele. The ability to really read and react to their client’s needs is terrific. Macy’s just has never really played in that game. And it’s never really been something that they excel at. So now how are they going to do this online? Just seems it seems difficult.
Yeah, it’s a great point. They’re the mass market department store, which is why they’ve been getting killed by off price, too. And so to your point, they don’t have a right to win, you know, in this space with this strategy, in my opinion, but and what’s your colour you’d add here?
You know, I, I want to say like if Macy’s did figure out a way to do this, if they could if if they could do this, I do think it’s a smart move, I think going one to one having content on your own website, offering one to one engagement, if they could do this, if they it would require a huge shift, like you and Michael are talking about. But My bigger question is, how are you driving traffic to Macy’s?
How are you getting this next generation to go there? Even if you did this huge overhaul, I think you still have a huge hurdle. Again, that requires tonnes of time, money and resources in order to get the Gen Z customer like on your page.
And that’s a great point, too, because the other announcement they made this week is they’ve coached the design the private label design talent from Target. Yeah. Which that sounds like for all intents and purposes is the same strategy that Bed Bath and Beyond deployed to answer that question, but as we’ve seen, and talked about on the show, ad nauseum. That’s not a strategy that gets people in the stores, because people will still just buy that product online more and more over time, as well. So I know, David, what’s your final thoughts here?
So I mean, I couldn’t agree more with what everyone has said. It sounds like I don’t think Macy’s truly knows their customer, to be honest. And to Mike’s point. Nordstrom does a little bit better. But let’s Nordstroms bought Trunk Club and right Oh, yeah. And had to roll it back in. Even in a in a in a mass kind of department store. Name, like Nordstrom did is famous for customer service. They’ve struggled with this, the notion that Macy’s is going to be able to do this at scale successfully, I just find hard to believe.
I think Dave brings up a really good point. There’s a generational shift. And it’s almost like two generations that have shifted away from the department store. Mom, the department store model fundamentally, was always successful, because it was very broad in nature. And now they need to be very specific to cater to Gen Z’s needs and once and the whole department store arena is not really doing a great job of that.
What I mean, quick take you guys, what do you do here? I mean, is there anything that Macy’s can do right now to save themselves,
they’ve got to get more specialised, you walk into a Macy’s, you have no idea what it stands for. So to do that, though, there’s such a large entity with such a large, broad skew category classification came very hard to understand or see a vision of how they can get to to a much more specialised place. I actually thought it was interesting, the whole exercise that they did of, should we split off ecom away from brick and mortar, should we figure out a way to monetize the REITs retail real estate investments that we have in brick and mortar. So there’s something there, but from a front end retail standpoint, it’s gonna be tough for them.
I think the modernization of the website, it makes total sense that I mean, I did personalization engagement seven years ago, so that feels like late. I think they need to you got to modernise and try. But then I like the notion of anchor categories or departments. I don’t know what they stand for. I think they at some point, they’re gonna have to figure out what they stand for and make and shouted because right now it’s, you know, everything from furniture to pessaries right it’s it’s everything
Right? What’s the what’s the difference is a good thing. I mean, we have a big debate on whether they should do this when you guys were last on the show, too. And no, I think yeah, I mean, it’s just it’s funny. We’ve got a lot of smoke window dressing headlines. I think Michael used an earlier you know, story. We got a lot of window dressing headlines here this week, which is fascinating to hear. But that just more sounds like more evidence that you know, Macy’s got a tough road ahead.
Alright, let’s keep moving. headline number four. There was lots of action happening on the live stream front out of China this week. First, Diane Von Furstenberg and Halina Rubenstein and others are among the global brands ramping up their own live streaming channels. And Alibaba now says this is interesting. That brand runs streaming accounts are overtaking influencers as the biggest generator generators of gross merchandise value for some e commerce platforms. For instance, retailers generated 60% of GMV on Alibaba group’s consumer to consumer live streaming e commerce platform Taobao live and the 12 months ending September 30 of last year. And also in somewhat related news this week, Alibaba is dedicated platform for luxury brands. Tmall luxury pavilion,
I hang out there all the time.
Oh, yes. So do I’m always cruising the pavilion and they rolled out a one on one private live streaming feature to replicate it the exclusive shopping experience in a physical store. Michael saved me from this disastrous headline read getting Tongue Tied today. What did these headlines say to you? I’m curious about the future of where live stream commerce is headed, if anything?
Yeah, look, first of all, this one I loved because you did get intrigued with the whole influencer world. And we’ve done a tonne of work with influencers. I think it’s very interesting that the live streaming is is taking on this life that it is. And it’s great. I think, you know, you take sort of the voice back from influencers and sort of define your own voice. I think the challenge long term is does the marketplace still feel that it’s as authentic right as influencers are because it’s great to hear Diane Von Furstenberg talk about her brand and what she loves. But at what point does that turn into what old school media turned into sort of curating a story that isn’t as authentic as if a group of influencers were curating it for you?
So I think this was a natural evolution that was bound to happen. But I kind of liken it to sort of the reality shows that are out there like the housewives. In the beginning, they were super authentic. Today, you watch the housewives, and it’s just a step away from a sitcom. Right, I can clearly tell that it’s stage. So it’d be very interesting to see the evolution of this, I think it’s, it’s in the beginning, going to be very well received, going to be very powerful, terrific thing for brands to get the message out that they’d like to get out. But in the long run, does Generation Z really respond to it? I’m not 100% sure that they’ll they’ll have the longevity that they’re looking for?
Yeah. Interesting. That was that was a great answer for a couple of reasons. One, I think we fundamentally agree with a lot of your points there. And two, we found out that you’re a closet. That’s what does it house Real Housewives fan, which is also awesome. But and I think I think you’ve got some points to add on this too. Because I would argue there’s kind of a middle ground. Yeah, in this and how Michaels describing this, which I know you’ve been thinking a lot about, which would be good to hear your take for the audience.
Yeah. So we just interviewed Vincent yang of a company called firework and his the conversation that we have with him, his company works with retailers and brands to do live streaming on their own sites. You know, he really believes that, you know, that’s how you’re going to see the return on investment from investing in this kind of content. And I think that you know, what’s most important here, those numbers that you quoted in that article are no surprise. I mean, when the when you’re a customer, and you’re on the brand’s own website, and you’re having the experience to buy right next to and in on that that retailers site, that is a much more seamless experience for both parties, it’s better for the customer, because you are engaged there.
And it’s way better for the brand or retailer because you have that one to one connection with your people who are interested in it doesn’t mean that you can’t still use influencers. And I think we’ll still see an influencer relationship. They’re driving people to the brand site. But I think that it’s not that, you know, there’s still this, this difficulty in for brands and retailers and seeing the ROI directly from paying and influencers lots and lots of money, which Michael, you you mentioned before, like there, that’s a huge, huge investment from the retailer’s perspective.
And now moving this on platform just makes a lot more sense. You’re seeing three times the engagement, significant increases in conversion, but also reduction in returns from people being able to engage and see that content, that product that they’re buying directly from a representative brand.
Yeah, I mean, I think I think I think you’ve dead right. I mean, I think both guys, like the car I’d add would be like, you know, whether it’s whether it’s the brand’s own site, or whether it’s the brand’s own page on a social media platform, it seems like that’s the direction things are going to move. And to Michael’s point, too, it’s going to take some time to filter out what is the right level of authenticity authenticity for each brand in terms of how they deploy right influencers on their site or on behalf of their own profile pages to make that happen versus like the traditional like marketplace approach with an influencer just right controlling what they want to put out into the marketplace. Um, David, what do you think?
I two points here. I mean, I think first the term influencer is so abroad, I think this is a shot across the bow of the long tail of quote unquote influencers that don’t really influence that much. That’s first. The second is and I think maybe more interesting is this is in my mind just a continued evolution from celebrity endorsed to celebrity brands right. I think we’re standing with Rihanna. Why in the world would she use she is the influencer and she is the brand. Yeah, I think I think we’ll see more and more rather than paying someone to be your influencer, that they’ll disintermediate become their own brands.
Mm hmm. Yeah, right. Kind of like my my man crush Tom Brady did this week announcing like IP on like trademarks on like, 16 different product categories for those that follow him closely. Alright, let’s keep moving.
Alright, headline number five. Twitter is testing a new shops feature. According to retail dive Twitter, this week released a new feature that allows brands to sell up to 50 products at a time on their profile pages. All you have to do is go to a brand’s page, click the View shop button, and then you can buy items directly off of the Twitter platform. Michael, you had some good things to say last round this ties in nicely. What are your thoughts here?
Yeah, this the angry leprechaun went home and he’s sleeping now. Oh, really? Happy leprechauns out at the bar having to hell right. All right. dancing and singing. Look, I love this. I’ve been waiting for this. I think this is the future we’ve all been waiting for. I mean, how many times if any of us gone on the social media platform, saw something that you wanted to buy and just wished you had the ability to click through to it and buy it?
I think, you know, obviously, we’re part here in my house of like the Yellowstone movement. So watch Yellowstone X ray comes up at the bottom. Yeah. And I know some of the people that that are involved with the show. They’re now talking about converting X ray into click through as well. So you can buy the clothes that are on the actors.
Yes. I think Amazon just did it the Country Music Awards. Yeah,
Exactly. So I love this. I think this is a natural evolution. There’s not there’s definitely some pitfalls for them. They’ve got to figure out the technology. They’ve got to figure out the right inventory management, the right partnerships with the vendors, how they can monetize the experience. But But I think I think this is the future that’s been waiting to happen.
Fasten, okay, so it’s funny, because like, when we first talked about this yesterday, I was kind of where you were, and then and pulled me back a little bit. And but like, I’ll kind of give you guys and give the listeners an idea of where my head was with this. And now granted, I say this without trying it, because I tried to try it on Twitter. But I couldn’t find how to do it, it was very hard, because they’re probably in pilot phase. But in principle, there’s a dominant, I’d add to what Michael said to which I’m glad Twitter’s finally trying to do this. But I actually like the hook of it to where it’s 50 products that can be refreshed and updated. So that keeps me wanting to come back to that pro brands profile page more often. Because it’s like, Oh, hey, what am I going to look at today?
But the thing that I don’t love about it, though, when I think about it long term is it’s really not that different than how Instagram works, or how a feed in Instagram works. Were just that seem curated content is coming to me anyway. And I can already transact from there. And then I got to think about why am I on Twitter to begin with, which is more of like the news following people, which is like, do I want to conduct commerce do I want to buy in Twitter? Yeah, as much as I do when I’m scrolling through Instagram to be inspired. So net net, I kind of came came off my high horse. And I’m kind of getting the hang over to use Michael’s analogy here already on this story. But Anne you can sum it up better than I can.
I mean, I read this. And like, after, after the last story that we were talking about with brands kind of taking their content and taking their customers back onto their own platforms. Yeah, I think I might have overhyped social commerce like this with the last few years for the last few years, I actually think that we’re gonna start to see retailers pull back on this.
It’s not, they’re selling through channels that they don’t manage, I think, again, we take it back to what the customer experience is going to be. If they are not limited to looking at 50 of your products, you can still put that out on social, you can still put out your curated products, you know, as a way to draw people in, but then drawing them into my own site as a retailer brand, giving them more content, like what they were seeing on Twitter or Instagram, once they get to my site, and then having the entire ecosystem of my products available to them in that same spot. Makes more sense to me then seeing something like this. I still think there’s a place for it.
Yeah, but but it’s not as big as probably we’d like it to be
I think I kept it up more.
Totally agree. It’s very interesting, because I’m going to say something controversial. Okay. I thought about this before in regards to the social media platforms. Why has an Amazon scooped one of them up? Right? If if it was that important for it, because they’re always progressive and ahead of the curve. So if this was really a medium where they had access to customers, and they could sell product to customers and really control the messaging, you would think that potentially maybe they would scoop went up, but they haven’t. So the question then comes up is, is this just going to fade away? And then it’s going to go all back to the brands? And the brands gonna control their message? Or is there an opportunity for this to work in the future? And then you see more consolidations of people like an Amazon, scooping some of them up.
That’s a great reference point to and you know, and I have to add to, you know, Amazon tried to create their own social network, Amazon Spark, which I think they tried for a couple years shut it down. And I think 2018 I always thought it was because they just couldn’t get it to work. But maybe they realised your point, Michael, maybe they’re, maybe they’re just like, there’s not that much there either. It’s hard to know this. These are new wrinkles being added this conversation daily.
But I think that that opens up our next conversation about what does this look like in the next iteration of social in the internet, and that’s metaphors. And you do have the opportunity then to have those social connections, but then you also have retail happening and shopping and commerce happening in the same way. I think that that’s kind of the next iteration of this that will really show us
Your conversational commerce, even like, that starts to play into this too. David, any thoughts here before we go to the lightning round?
Yeah, I mean, I think you have to think about it for Twitter’s lens in the retailer’s lens for Twitter, I think you have to do this, right. It’s kind of hard to monetize that, that there’s potentially huge upside. I, you know, Twitter’s gonna have some different data. I wonder if they can be better. The jury’s out. I think I come in hands camp. I think that it’s going to be overhyped, probably. But, uh, but I think Twitter still has to give it a run and, and really invest behind it and see, just on the notion of what it could be.
Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, you have people that are really investing in like, things they care about, like news and politics and other things that they’re getting from Twitter as a platform versus just social platforms where it’s, you know, following up on people, Dave, I think that’s a great
yeah, it’s a totally different mindset. 100% All right. Well, let’s close this out. This has been a great show.
Alright. Lightning round time, guys. We’ll start with you, Dave. Dave, Kitsch, a new site that Vanity Fair is calling only fans for chefs, allows chefs to sell products in private dining lessons or table side conversations. If you were to start your own kitsch site, Dave, what would your specialty be?
So I love to cook, but I’m not particularly good. I think I’d have to go something around sandwiches. And maybe maybe peddle the sandwich press. Like a good panini.
I think that’s where I’d have to go
Panini Dave I like it. I’ll subscribe
Grilled bunnies with David Renner Yeah, all right. Let’s keep it with Dollar Shave Club announced a new church influencer marketing campaign this week featuring Gonzaga basketball star Jew Timmy, Michael, question for you who has the better chin in your opinion, the recently unretired Tom Brady, or Tony Mineiro. himself, John Travolta.
Tom Brady. 100%.
Yes, there was only one. answer there Michael.
Full disclosure. I’m is I mean, northeasterners have been up here my entire life. Love the pets love Tom Brady.
Yes. Yeah, who doesn’t? I mean, if you don’t love Tom Brady, there’s something wrong with you. In my opinion. I don’t know.
It’s almost unAmerican.
It is right? It is. Yes, it is. 100%
All right. Michael, we’re going to you again Instacart is rolling out. Its in store navigation and other tools for workers including an interactive map that will help their shoppers more easily locate products throughout the store. Who would you want to voice over your personal in store navigation Michael?
James Earl Jones.
All right, going Darth Vader on.
Darth Vader Serious Voice but he’d have to do it in a comical way.
*unclear* In aisle four.
That’s so great. A whole show of voices of things we can find with James Jones voice. Aisle Five. Can we go that? All right. Last one. The Senate passed a bill this week to end Daylight Saving Time forever. David what is one St. Patty’s Day memory that will forever be saved in the daylight of your memory banks.
Oh, this could get me in trouble. I live in Chicago for a long time. So 7am, kegs and eggs feels like the thing that I’ll most remember St. Patty’s Day followed by a trip down to the Green River.
Nice nice yeah, I can’t go wrong with that.
That sounds anyone remember their St. Patrick day’s in Chicago. I feel like they’re very faint.
You remember part you remember the start of them. You don’t remember the end of that. And you remember the after of that. Alright, Happy Birthday today to Kurt Russell Grimes. And the man who has never looked at Dale for 35 Rob Lowe or as I like to call him for all our Canadian fans out there, Youngblood and remember if you can read or listen to one retail blog in the business make it omnitalk.
Our Fast Five podcast is the quickest fastest rundown of all the week’s top news and our twice weekly newsletter tells you the top five things you need to know each day and also features special content exclusive to us. And just for you and it fits all within the preview pane of your inbox. You can sign up today at http://www.Omnitalk.blog. Thanks as always for listening in. Please remember to like and leave us review wherever you happen to listen to your podcasts or on YouTube. And yes, please leave us those reviews because we are rocketing up the charts we reached number eight in the Apple podcast retail podcast rankings last week, so we are jammin so please help us out. We want to get as high as we can on that list. And so David, Michael, before we go if people want to get in touch with you guys learn more about what you guys do at a&m, get your advice. What’s the best way for them to do that?
So you can learn more about us? http://www.AlvarezandMarsal-crg.com. Or email me personally, it’s DRITTER@Alvarezandmarsal.com. Just feel free to reach out on LinkedIn. We’re kind of omni channel in that way.
Yeah, right. Right. Always, always available. Yes. All right. David Ritter, Michael Prendergast, thanks for joining us today. It was a blast. Of course to everyone out there listening as always Be careful out there.
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