Smart Quotes: Inside the Best Minds in Retail

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Smart Quotes: Inside the Best Minds in Retail

By Joe Skorupa - 10/29/2013
By Joe Skorupa

You could do worse than emulate John Bartlett within the flying circus that is modern retail. In 1855 Bartlett printed a compilation of "familiar quotes” and expanded it through nine editions selling more than 300,000 copies in his lifetime. It continues to be a classic to this day and is updated frequently.  In the spirit of Bartlett here is compilation of some of the best quotes I have collected and organized by topic.

Big Data

"Why do retailers need real-time information? Would anyone riding a bike want to make a left hand turn on a highway based on a snapshot taken 15 minutes ago?” -- Frank Andryauskas, Former VP Retail Industry Solutions for MicroStrategy

"Big Data sometimes gets a bad rap from over use and vendor hype. But if you think there is nothing new about Big Data you are mistaken.” — Todd Michaud, Founder and CEO of Power Thinking Media

"Amazon and other pure plays are driving toward getting both predictive and prescriptive analytics. They’re analyzing and understanding information at an alarming rate. Brands have pulled products off of Amazon because they’re learning more about them than the brands themselves.” — Todd Michaud, Founder and CEO of Power Thinking Media

"Big Data is high volume, high velocity and high variety information assets that demand cost effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.” – Jeff Roster, Research VP, Industry Market strategies, Retail & Wholesale for Gartner

"Why don't I talk about Big Data? Because I am focused on intelligent answers and not speeds and feeds. It doesn't matter if it is quick if it's the wrong answer.” — Michael Saylor chairman and CEO for MicroStrategy

Customer-centricity

"Charging everyone the same thing and treating everyone the same way, as retailers do today, is 'Six Sigma' thinking which is great for producing widgets on a production line, but it makes no sense in a world where customers are inherently different.” – Peter Fader, Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Profession of Marketing, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

"Retailers are treating everyone the same way who walks in their stores and this doesn't make sense in the world we live in where all customers are not equal.” – Peter Fader, Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Profession of Marketing, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
 
The Future

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Lori Mitchell-Keller, SVP and Head of Global Retail for SAP quoting futurist Alan Kay

"Futurists in London in 1901 met to help prepare the city for the future in 1925. They discussed, researched and wrote a report that included a recommendation to prepare for a pressing need. The need was to get ready for 1 million horses that will be used for transportation in the city in1925.” – Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of ChangeLabs
 
Innovation

"Retailers are always wondering about what or even if they should be investing in technology. Let me put it this way, as you go through your budget process keep in mind that you are not going to out-invest Amazon.” — Joe Dalton, Chief Products and Marketing Officer for PivotLink

"It's a misnomer to think of gamification as playing games. Gamification is a lot like shopping. It's about insight.” – Karen Etzkorn, EVP and CIO of the Home Shopping Network

 "No retailer will catch up to Amazon unless they spend billions of dollars on fulfillment and technology.” – Al Meyers, director Retail and Consumer Practice for PricewaterhouseCoopers

"It used to be the vision of Bill Gates to have a computer on every desk. Today, the vision is to have a computer in every hand.” — Tom Litchford, Vice President of Retail Technologies and Executive Director of ARTS

"It used to be that companies were built to last. Now they are built to change.” – Lori Mitchell-Keller, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Retail for SAP
 
"Change is slow until it isn't. This is no time to be a fast follower.” – Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of ChangeLabs

"70% of Nike's e-commerce business is from orders for customized products.” – Ed Schmults, CEO of technical sports apparel retailer Wild Things

"I don't know of a major retailer that isn't already buying or trying to buy a software company. They're realizing they can't do this on their own, they need the advanced technology.” – Bob Willett, former President of Best Buy International and CIO of Best Buy
 
Omnichannel

"Retailers estimate $45 million of revenue is lost per billion dollars of revenue due to lack of cross-channel capabilities.” – Gaurav Pant, research director for EKN

"One order management system, one database, one inventory. Without these you will never seem seamless to your customer.” – Andy Laudato, SVP & CIO for Pier 1 Imports

"Putting a tablet in the hands of an associate does not equal personalized service.” – Meena Patel, AVP Retail Business Consulting for Cognizant

"Recording sales and who gets credit for it has to become channel agnostic and when you do that you will increase sales.” – Ken Silay, director store technology for Chico’s FAS

"The sooner we drop the ‘e’ out of ‘e-commerce’ and just call it commerce, the better.” – Bob Willett, former President of Best Buy International and CIO of Best Buy
 
Retailing

"If you keep marketing and selling to baby boomers then you are executing a formula for going out of business.” — Joe Dalton, Chief Products and Marketing Officer for PivotLink

"Leadership is ability to overcome the gravity of success that is pulling you back to legacy processes.” – Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of ChangeLabs
 
"Where you find ego you find margin. Attachment to a process adds cost and needs to be broken to achieve breakthroughs.” – Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of ChangeLabs
 
"Do less better. Focus.” – Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of ChangeLabs
 
"If we wait for conditions to go from good to perfect, we’ll just be waiting, waiting, waiting.” — Bill Simon CEO for Walmart
 
"An achievement-oriented culture is very pro-employee — it’s so much more fun than one that isn’t. Excellence is a tremendous amount of fun; mediocrity is not.” — Kip Tindell CEO for The Container Store

"Retail is very simple. We buy in bulk and we sell in singles. But, god, we make it complicated. – Bob Willett, former President of Best Buy International and CIO of Best Buy

Social Media

"Everyone in retail says they are doing social media, but until you integrate it with the database it’s all show.” – Jon Kubo, Chief Product Officer for 8th Bridge

"Retailers are investing a woefully inadequate amount in social media to be prepared for the retailing world of 2020.” Al Meyers, director Retail and Consumer Practice for PricewaterhouseCoopers

Technology

"Mutually suspicious, loosely coupled is the key to dealing with complexity. You don’t want to deeply embed something that will have a short life in the company. For example, the average e-commerce platform is in use 28 months. If that is the case then we need to build in a way that allows us to swap components to improve flexibility and reduce the need to modify software.” – Andy Laudato, SVP & CIO for Pier 1 Imports

"Through 2015, 15% of enterprises will adapt their information technology capabilities for extreme data, socially mediated content, and new connected devices.” – Jeff Roster, Research VP, Industry Market strategies, Retail & Wholesale for Gartner

"No one taught us to use Angry Birds. Why assume it should be different for store applications?” -- Steve Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for TBC

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