myPOV: Every retailer known to humankind is transforming into omni-channel goodness. That is - if you Koolaid their press releases and earnings calls.
Sober help is on the way; Stuart's on the case to separate the digital overachievers from the underperformers. In the win column? Kohl's, with stats like these:
- 19 percent digital revenue bump year over year; mobile makes up 70% of total digital traffic, and nearly half of digital sales.
But the stat that jumps out at a "crusty-channel" retail dude like yours truly is:
- Offline stores fulfill around 30% of digital sales. That's the online/offline blend that shows you're getting real omni-chops.
Things are going well at Urban Outfitters. Stuart reports digital is outperforming offline stores; double digit growth levels make up 40% of total revenue.
But it's not so swell with Ralph Lauren, where digital sales are down 18 percent. The GAP has had a low end (Old Navy) propping up high end (Banana Republic) problem, but Stuart sees a crack of light in the CEO's candor. For another retail digital surprise, check Stuart's Target keeps on track for omni-channel transformation, even if Wall St is impatient. And that's your retail digital roundup.Diginomica picks - my top two stories on diginomica this week:
- Pure thinking takes storage out of itself - We don't write about storage much on diginomica, but Martin gives it his vintage erudite twist. Gist: data storage is changing fast, and "the name of the game is moving up the value chain."
- How contractual infrastructure dependencies almost killed off Brazilian fintech Neon Pagamentos - Sometimes cautionary tales are worth more than success stories. Angelica digs in, emerging with a fintech warning and adversity (seemingly) overcome.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Chasing the puck as HCM evolves - what Workday is seeing - As tech gets more advanced, the gap between the possible and the need for change widens. As Phil writes: "A core theme of Pryor’s talk last month was the notion of a shift in HCM practices from a hierarchical approach in managing people to a new ethos of people enablement. How prevalent was such thinking out in the field, I wondered? Goldt says it’s catching on."
- Box CEO Aaron Levie welcomes GDPR, launches new data residency options - With Box CEO Aaron Levie noting that GDPR has just trended higher than Beyoncé as a Google search term, you know the world is changing. Phil gets Levie's take at Box's EMEA customer event.
- Unilever teams up with Microsoft to deliver AI-assisted decision making to users - Derek filed the kind of AI use case I like - e.g. no tinkering. "Moran explained that Unilever is in the midst of a ‘digital transformation’. However, Moran doesn’t want to deploy technology for technology’s sake – and instead is dogmatic in focusing on the business value. "
- Reality bites for itelligence at The New Reality, SAP UK's largest partner event - Den primes the pump for our wall-to-wall Sapphire Now coverage - watch for that next week.
A few more vendor picks, without the quips:
- TiVo builds its corporate data democracy with Splunk - aims to identify customer problems before it gets the complaints call - Derek
- What does Adobe’s acquisition of Magento Commerce mean for the digital experience market? - Barb
- What the world needs now is GDPR, says Salesforce’s Data Protection Officer - Martin
Jon's grab bag - After blaming articles-not-written on
craptastic companies we haven't heard from in years who were never welcome in our freaking email in the first place GDPR inbox overdose, Brian gives us a one-of-a-kind whirlwind event tour in Brian's half time score aka tech event season frolics, spiked with snark for vendors whose idea of the factory-of-the-future is a twenty year old bar code reader.
Speaking of GDPR, Den's got more media fallout in Media in a post-GDPR world - hint: the zombies still walk the earth, as we find out which media outlets have an opt-in business model and which ones
scraped our data and sold it out of the back of a van don't.
Den wrote a weekend brunch special in Solving for the right talent is a hot mess. Here's why - with quotage from HR tech maven Naomi Bloom, whose retirement hasn't lessened her fire to fix that which is broken. Finally, I offered an aromatic bouqet to PR/comms folks in "I get to review this before you publish it, right?" A media day botch job we all need to avoid.
Best of the restLead story - Design thinking, lean and agile were supposed to be about customers all along. Pieces by Joe McKendrick, Hank Barnes, and Jonny Schneider.
myPOV: I've always thought of design thinking, lean and agile more as common sense. But in larger companies cutting through the layers of BS takes real skill - and a well-defined methodology. So it makes sense for us to try to define and understand what these overused terms mean. Are they relevant to customers, or just slick-sounding puffery that helps service firms grease the contract wheels?
In Design thinking, lean and agile are finally converging, Joe McKendrick argues that the convergence is needed/useful. I'm not sure these terms were ever in conflict, except in the noggins of purists who need to get out more. McKendrick references a nifty illustrated piece by Jonny Schneider, Understanding how Design Thinking, Lean and Agile Work Together. Schneider's piece is an expert breakdown of the differences between the three.
I see it a bit differently. I see a valuable aspect of each:
- lean thinking - the minimum viable product (MVP) model as an antidote to over-budgeted, waterfall clunkers.
- design - a modification of MVP to remind that most MVPs should have design smarts and user experience chops, even in early stages.
- design thinking - understanding your customer/audience won't happen if you don't involve diverse voices from outside company walls, early and often. Done properly (which is rare), design thinking imposes that discipline.
- agile - how you deliver in an iterative style, turning the pretentiousness of "continuous improvement" into actual products people can use.
Hank Barnes nails the customer angle in Customer Understanding is Essential for Every Role:
By understanding your customer deeply, you are better able to anticipate needs, create solutions that matter, and display empathy throughout the process. Sure, some teams may have more formal tools for collecting and managing customer information, but today, customer understanding is the responsibility of everyone.
If these terms don't get you closer to that, they don't matter.
- Is the I in AI incremental and dumb? - Nothing beats an old school blogging chain for getting to the heart of things. In this case, IBM's Vijay Vijayasankar takes on Den's prior AI incrementalism piece. Vijayasankar thinks we can overcome the sloppy AI terminology issues that Den calls out. He reframes the incrementalism issue with this vital point: "AI – or any tech for that matter – doesn’t need to do everything a human can do for it to be extremely useful for a business."
- Voices carry, but is business ready for where Alexa will carry us? - Brent Leary with a guest spot on Paul Greenberg's blog, musing on the enterprise impact of voice UIs. I see many hurdles, though I liked Plex's hands-free voice for loud shop floors enough to shoot a demo video.
- Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce - McKinsey has a knack for future of work ditties. Basically, become more human if you want a future job - empathy, creativity, leadership, critical thinking, techno-savvy, and entrepreneurial.
- Talking Competition: Methinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much. - Dave Kellogg with tips on how to talk about your competition without coming off like a sanctimonious, overconfident hypocrite.
- Three Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Zero Trust Security - Louis Columbus of IQMS demystifies Zero Trust security. If we can get this right, it beats the heck out of two factor identification.
- Kubernetes won – so now what? - James Governor on what happens when you win the ecosystem game decisively. It's not necessarily simple.
- Review of the SAP SuccessFactors Analyst Conference 2018 - a late but worth add, a very fine podcast from Steve Bogner and gang, one that is relevant well beyond SuccessFactors, given topics like project delivery, partner quality, and influencer relations.
WhiffsShall we start with some garden variety boneheads?
- I accidentally threw away $60M worth of Bitcoin - no harm done, just take some overtime at work.
- Skydiving wife whose husband tried to kill her twice has not divorced him - for the "loyalty not always a virtue" file.
- Most GDPR emails unnecessary and some illegal, say experts - via Frank Scavo. Hey, at least we got to reconnect with some of the most interesting businesses on earth.
Speaking of daring GDPR to come after you, Scavo doesn't think it's compliant for LinkedIn to somehow send connection invites to everyone in my email contacts, but that's exactly what LinkedIn did, resulting in: an invitation to connect with myself.
So @LinkedIn somehow spammed my entire contact book with connect invitations (that shouldn't even be possible, even if I pressed the wrong button), resulting in this absurdity. cc: @LinkedInHelp though it's too late for help. pic.twitter.com/B5ZPwAe591
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 30, 2018
I'm still pondering the pros and cons of accepting the invite.
I know, plus he spammed me
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 30, 2018
If you need a bit of GDPR catharsis, check this. You may have to click through to see the short clip:
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 27, 2018
Oh, and Den thought my snarkphrase for AI/tech vendor cure-alls, project pan flutes, deserved it's own Twitter handle. Suddenly I was interacting with my own catch phrase:
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) May 25, 2018
Is it just me, or are we circling a giant cosmic bowl? I guess we'll know more next week. See you then...
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does.