A starlight tour is a practice of police arresting Indigenous people and rather than bringing them to the station in town, police drop them off at the edge of the city. The police take their warm clothes in the middle of a winter night in Canada and force them to walk home. Often resulting in them freezing to death. Then we cover a story that started with a string of home invasions and robberies that began happening in 2008. Each time, two masked men were involved and were careful not to leave any evidence behind, so police had very little to go on in terms of suspects. When the perpetrators escalated by killing Karissa and Karen Lofton, and Delores and Ebony Dewitt - the police created a task force to solve the double murder.Sources:https://www.grunge.com/308625/the-messed-up-truth-of-canadas-starlight-tours https://www.youthofcanada.ca/post/anais-essay-the-starlight-tours https://zeph456.medium.com/saskatoon-police-and-the-infamous-starlight-tours-a5d3c3015d6chttps://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/winnipeg-police-operating-starlight-tours-study https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-mmiwg-genocide-1.5161681 Dateline Season 23 Episode 17https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/scott-jason-thomas.htmhttps://www.oxygen.com/one-deadly-mistake/crime-news/jason-thomas-scott-convicted-as-maryland-mother-daughter-killerSupport the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/badsign)
EP284 - 2022 Annual Predictions h 2021 Predictions Recap Jason: Made to Order apparel business > 9 figures Yes Retailer offers viable health alt insurance option to consumers No Grocery E-Com > 10% someone deploys(not pilots) MFC Yes Amazon Shopify Competitor (shipping solution) No Retail Media > $20B Yes Bonus – More store closures in 2021 than 2020. No Jason Total Score: 3 of 5 Scot: Amazon move to same day prime by opening a huge wave of neighborhood DCs (near DSPs) Yes Shipping (Shopify) – launch own DSP No Shopify marketplace No ‘zero friction addiction' sticks – I've seen 30-40% repeated a lot, I think it's 60-80%. commerce penetration says at 16% or better in 2021. Yes spac/ipo? Dnvb wave Yes Bonus: post-covid anti-consumerism/materialism wave No Scot Total Score: 3 of 5 We have a tie, including the tie-breaker. Here are some relevent links: eMarketer recap of Retail Media Networks Bricks Meets Clicks analysis of digital grocery space 2022 Predictions Jason: NFTs, Web 3, Metaverse, and Ultrafast delivery services are all overhyped and don't deliver meaningful commerce revenue in 2022. Shein exceeds $30B in annual sales, disrupting apparel industry Adoption of BNPL services slows down to less than 15% CAGR in 2022. Amazon opens more than 100 Amazon Fresh grocery stores Last Mile evolves Veho, X-Delivery, shipium, or Instacart gets aquired Scot: Amazon launches a competitor to Shopify webstore, possibly via a headless solution on AWS Amazon wins ultra-fast delivery. Gopuff, Gorilla, or Jokr goes out of business in 2022 Metaverse gets lots of buzz but no revenue Livestream commerce goes mainstream in the US Fabric gets acquired Don't forget to like our facebook page, and if you enjoyed this episode please write us a review on itunes. Episode 284 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, January 6th, 2022. ttp://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Transcript Jason: [0:23] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 284 being recorded on Thursday January sixth 2022 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scott Wingo. Scot: [0:40] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott she listeners happy New Year Jason and listeners it's 2022 here we are we made it. Jason: [0:49] I know I feel like I'm already winning because the intern type 2021 in the show notes and when I read the intro I caught it in my head I feel like that I'm impressed with myself right now. Scot: [1:00] Boom yep and there that was bad timing because there is a performance review coming up so that in turn is going to be in some pretty pretty thin ice here so we'll see hopefully they make it through. Jason: [1:13] Might be another year probation before he gets to start taking a salary. Scot: [1:18] Yeah most important question are you watching the book of Boba Fett. Jason: [1:24] I am I am we have to be careful not to do any spoilers but. Scot: [1:29] Never spoilers never a million spoiler. Jason: [1:31] Spoiler free pass. Scot: [1:33] I believe he got eaten by that giant thing in the desert oh sorry those spoiler. Jason: [1:39] Yeah. Yeah there are I will let I'm not going to reveal anything but there is sand in the new episodes. Scot: [1:49] Yeah yeah he want he like Star Wars you get a lot of sand in some people hate sand but Boba doesn't seem to mind. Jason: [1:57] No I think he's had to adjust but yeah really well done show been enjoying it felt like there was a end of the year there was kind of a little role in television programming in our household so it's been exciting too Taz some of these series come back. Scot: [2:13] Let's jump into it cuz this is sometimes one of our longest episode so we're going to try to try to not go too crazy long. Jason: [2:20] I feel like we just lost half our listenership right there. Scot: [2:23] Like I don't believe that this is gonna be a three-hour I am happy that Joe Rogan is starting to do these like three-hour heh, episodes it makes me feel better about our one hour winds so this is every the first show of every year is been are many many year, tradition to go through our past years predictions and then formulate our predictions for the upcoming year, and that is this show it is the 2021 prediction review 2022 prediction Revelation show feel like we need a sound effect for that, but. Jason: [3:00] I have a sound effect but I feel like I'm going to leave yours in. Scot: [3:02] If you can beat that you know over override it there. [3:10] So the way we do this is we do have to show is kind of doing our predictions and kind of self scoring ourselves in Jason's it's kind of, banging your head against a book typically self-flagellation or whatever it's called and then and then we are back after the show is hopefully we learn from these predictions we made and we, cast them forward to see what's going to happen this year so I feel like Jason we should I think you actually won last year if I remember. Jason: [3:41] In a major upset I feel like I had been like over 45 the the previous app that seasons. Scot: [3:48] Yeah yeah so you get the dubious honor of getting to rate your 2021 predictions first so why don't you kick us off. Jason: [3:54] Awesome yeah and spoiler alert we do not learn from the previous years. Scot: [4:00] Well part of making predictions is you yeah yeah yeah you got to kind of put it out there and that's risky. Jason: [4:07] Sure so I'm always looking forward to this episode I'm super excited about it I get you know jazzed weeks in advance and then I like dust off last year's forecast and suddenly I'm a gloomy because I realize I'm not near as clever as I remembered myself so that'll just set the tone up front so my first prediction last year was that more personalized made to order products would be taking off this year and my specific prediction was made to order a parallel with grow to be a nine figure 9 digit, business in 2021 and so good news bad news that happened so, if you add up the revenue from Indochina oh and suit supply, proper cloth and not standard you actually get now about 250 million in Revenue which is, considerably higher than nine figures. [5:14] In hindsight it wasn't that good of a prediction like we are pretty close to nine figures before last year. And so it wasn't as stretchy as I had hoped and I had in mind a lot of more. Well we're in consumer products pivoting the made to order and I specifically had been watching some some Amazon Pilots around made to order and they didn't really grow this year at also, technically I guess it was it happened but I don't feel very good about my first one. Scot: [5:46] Okay yeah well it's a win just take the W dude. Jason: [5:53] Okay all right yeah well I'll try to be more more strict going forward or just make better predictions so my second one, there's been a lot of initiatives around retailers weaning in the healthcare and I propose that at least one retailer would, launch their own health insurance or offer some alternative solution to health insurance, and while there were a bunch of investments in health care and Amazon you know in particular has done a lot in the last year I don't think that really happened so I'm giving that a no. Scot: [6:29] Yeah and in fact that was like a huge loss because Amazon Unwound their big partnership that made it seem like they were going to do a lot more in this myth. Jason: [6:37] Yeah that there is some Nuance there they they were part of a Consortium and they bailed on the Consortium but then they invested a lot more money and did several acquisitions, and expanded the scope of their own internal initiatives and it almost look like the the internal stakeholders didn't like partnering with Goldman Sachs and Berkshire Hathaway but nevertheless. I'm I'm not taking that that win that that didn't happen so. Scot: [7:09] What attracted such a big L kind of swamps the W from the first one. Jason: [7:14] Yeah cleaner it correctly so the next one was interesting I said that e-commerce would grocery e-commerce penetration with grow above 10% and I said someone will deploy not just pilot these micro fulfillment centers for grocery in both of those things basically happen so bricks me clicks which is one of the more credible sources out there for tracking grocery penetration has us at about fourteen percent penetration right now. So we definitely passed that ten percent threshold obviously aided by, the pandemic and the various waves and then several retailers leaned into mfcs a couple small retailers did deploy them, across all of their stores so like a chibi for example is aggressively rolling out mfcs Walmart I want to say spent like 14 billion dollars on on MFC so real money is, is getting invested in there so I think generally I feel good about my my grocery production number three so so. Two yeses and a know so far. Scot: [8:29] Is this a bricks and clicks thing is that a can mere mortals get that or is that something you get. Jason: [8:35] Well there's a there's a paid version which is well worth it if you follow the industry but they do publish their monthly forecasts for free on their website at bricks me cliques.com. It's pretty interesting so there you know we get. Grocery sales data from the US Department of Commerce and e-commerce data but we don't get grocery e-commerce so there's the grocery e-commerce we only get from a couple of these third-party private. Data providers and they all do it primarily based on. Big panels of consumer surveys so that's what bricks me clicks does but they they have some like pretty interesting data like you can look at what percentage of those grocery e-commerce orders were home delivery versus curbside pickup and stuff like that. Scot: [9:26] Very cool there's a how do they get their data. Jason: [9:30] Panel so they're there. Yeah they're serving a bunch of consumers yeah. Scot: [9:38] All right I'm going to remember you you did that. Jason: [9:42] You make you make use with what is available. Um and directionally emarketer published some grocery data and they kind of roll together a bunch of people's forecast there's another company out there called mercado's that publish them data and it also aligns, directionally that there we are over 10% where they disagree more is where we started before the pandemic so some of them have us starting at like two-and-a-half or three percent some of them have as high as six percent before. Um over 10 now. And if you're super interested in the interest of prolonging the show frequent friend and guest of the show Professor Dan McCarthy they he and his students just published an interesting. Cohort analysis of, um how the pandemic impacted digital restaurant sales so closely related to digital grocery right and obviously a lot more people ordered restaurant food for delivery during the pandemic but his interesting question was, um [10:49] Was that you know a pandemic Spike and it's going to go down back down to pre-pandemic levels or is it a permanent shift and what can we suss out and the way they did it is they looked at cohorts that. They ordering from restaurants for home delivery before the pandemic and how their behavior change versus first time users and what they found is like most of the growth was. Households that were already using restaurant delivery increase their usage and it appears to be more sticky the smaller cohort of people that ordered from restaurants for the first time during the pandemic, that behavior did not stick and they're not continuing to order but still the sales are up higher. There's a nice long digression for you that wasn't one of my forecast. Scot: [11:33] Always appreciate the commentary. Jason: [11:36] Yeah I'm here for you man so forecast number four was. I predicted that Amazon's Shopify competitor would be revealed, in this is a thing that we had heard about called project Santos but no one really knew what it was I said hey we're going to find out what it is and I think it's going to be a shipping solution to compete with, to fulfill orders for Shopify and take take you know a piece of the Shopify gmv. And it was in fact revealed so that's the good news it was not a shipping solution so so project Santos turned out to be, a point-of-sale system for brick-and-mortar retailers that Amazon is developing, and has still not released but is purported to be small business POS system that's going to compete with Shopify and square and some other folks in that space so, I'm giving that a no. Scot: [12:42] All right I agree on the phone. Jason: [12:44] Cool cool. Interesting news and Evolutions there to talk about on one of our subsequent new shows is there some interesting patterns that Shopify and others of, have filed in that space so we get to my fifth prediction my fifth prediction was that retail media networks were going to take off in 2021 and that they would generate more than 20 billion dollars in ad revenues, and put things in perspective like the year before we had only seen about 10 billion and AD Revenue so that was a meaningful prediction and that. Totally happen so according to emarketer we did 24 billion, in calendar year 2021 in ads that were invested in retail media Networks, um Amazon is on a run rate right now to do about 30 billion dollars a year and everybody and their brother is launching a retail media Network so the Gap is launching a retail media Network which is. Interesting most of these, retail media networks are selling ads to what we would call endemic Advertiser so your Duracell batteries you sell batteries at Walmart you buy an ad from Walmart for Duracell batteries to help more people find them. [13:57] Gap doesn't sell other people's stuff so there are no endemic advertisers on the Gap right and so super interesting that even they are trying to monetize their traffic. You know you name it they watched a retail media Network this year and just today I want to say Best Buy which already had a retail media Network, launched a new rebranded retail media Network and they're now selling ads to non-endemic advertisers as well so so that when I feel like I hit pretty well. [14:28] So you add that up and that is three corrects and and to to mrs. and folks careful listeners will note we also made a bonus prediction and the case that we tied, in my. My bonus prediction was that we would have even more store closures in 2021 than we did in 2020 and I was wildly wrong, so caveat here are the data everyone uses when they quote store closures is this core site data and core site is kind of anecdotal data and it's totally tracking Big Chain, retailers but based on their data there is like 41 percent fewer store closures in 2021 than 20/20 so so we'll call that a huge mess, um I would argue that all the store closures that happen this year were small independent retailers that got wiped out by these big chains, and we really don't have a good data source for for those but nevertheless I'll accept that I lost the bonus round badly. Scot: [15:28] Yeah in fact isn't there a record number of stores opened. Jason: [15:33] Yeah so a separate issue from the store closings is hey where there are more openings and there, there there were so not a record number of openings but the but from that course I data set more store opens opened than closed last year which so we would have had a net increase in stores. That that's interesting I wouldn't encourage retailers to pay too much attention to that because it really matters. The nature of the closed and open stores I get almost rather follow, net gains or losses in retail square footage because if you have a bunch of Macy's stores closed and you have a bunch of Dollar General stores open your closing 100,000 square foot store and opening a 10,000 square foot store. Scot: [16:22] Awesome and then you had all right so then if we include your bonus you're even so three wins and three else. Jason: [16:35] Exactly I like to think of it as three wins and two L's and the bonus only comes up if you can tie me. Scot: [16:41] Okay alright let's see how I did so. Jason: [16:46] Yeah I'm excited to hear this. Scot: [16:48] Yeah so just to remind everyone this was done a year ago in January of 21 we were merely. Nine months months depends on when you start depending I guess nine months into two covid. Jason: [17:01] That's a calendar year ago but it was actually four years of Lifetime ago. Scot: [17:06] Yeah it feels like it for sure, all right so my first thing I always like to kick off with an Amazon prediction so my Amazon prediction last year was that we would move to same day Prime by opening a huge wave of neighborhood DC's. And they would be near dsps and I got that one right that one, don't feels obvious like I don't feel like I was making too much of a prediction but at the time I remember being worried about it because I think they they were still doing most of the dsps this is where time dilation happens during covid the four-year thing you mentioned. They've just built up an incredible amount of. They call him I called him neighborhood DC's they call him delivery stations now I think is the official name where they have built you know just tons of these these interesting new. Footprints where they house a bunch of these dsps Under One Roof and then they for deploy a lot of that days things to be delivered into that out of a fulfillment center and then the the dsps just line up and deliver that stuff so it's been really interesting to watch them build that, so I would count that one as a win. Jason: [18:18] Yeah no I totally agree I'm often surprised by how many people still have this outdated model of Amazon and they imagine the Amazon is primarily doing two day shipping. Scot: [18:29] Yeah no it is they have really cranked it up especially I'm out I'm in North Carolina you're in Chicago and you guys are probably getting stuff you know. Jason: [18:38] Yeah we we are we were in early market for same-day delivery and we're kind of an epicenter for a lot of of their delivery products and the vast majority of stuff I order, um my I get two offers for wind to have it delivered between 4 and 8 a.m. or between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. the next day. So some stuff I get same day I would just tell you there were I was listening to an Amazon earnings call and someone asked them if they were were concerned about all these ultra-fast delivery services that were popping up all these VC funded, you know 15 minutes to 1 hour delivery services that are mostly sent in one one-block radius in New York and the Amazon CFO was like. You know those those Services deliver, an assortment of 4,000 skews to a five-block radius we're currently delivering about 400,000 skews Same Day to all of America we feel pretty good about our offering what's the. Scot: [19:42] Boom drops the mic walk. Haha okay sticking to Logistics which is interesting because I was poking around and Logistics a year ago and I you know in hindsight the perfect prediction would be there's going to be a supply chain problem but I did not I did not pick that one sadly instead I said you know Shopify, so my logic here was kind of looking at the chessboard at that point in time we all know Amazon's kind of, turning the guns toward Shopify if your Shopify you know those guns are turning towards you so one of the things you do is try to get into the delivery world. They have tried but they pretty publicly there was Toby was in, was it Bloomberg he did kind of a cover story on one of the Business magazines and in there he basically admitted that you know hey were. Pretty bad at this fulfillment stuff and I think they had a customer say that they're embarrassing really bad and you know it almost seemed like there are not going to go deeper into fulfillment so I missed on that one but Asterix. I think they should and I think it's going to be a pretty big strategic. Blind spot if you're an arm the rebels in e-commerce you're gonna need to help them get the products to consumers in that last mile that's going to be where the battle is and I feel like it's a bit of a soft underbelly for them right now. Jason: [21:11] Yeah generally agree. An interesting side note that the CEO of instacart just got named to the Shopify board and I inadvertently started a little bit of LinkedIn debate about like how soon it would be before that was a potential conflict of interest and a lot of people chimed in that they thought instacart was a potential acquisition Target of Shopify which might be one way for them to to get into the the Fulfillment business. Scot: [21:48] Yeah but even that's a conflict of interest rent mean proofs proves your point not you know. Jason: [21:53] Yeah I mean clearly I'm right but that's a separate issue. Scot: [22:07] You don't think this will ever happen and everyone else in the world thinks it will so you know, this one's tricky I could make some argument that they are doing more on this and then that same article they do start to talk about it being more of a central by it I'm talking about the shop app that they have, um doing more around that centralizing your your Shopify, you know whole experience in aggregate including some search functionality they have added some search haven't looked at lately but I've seen to Twitter traffic that they have added some stuff there, but I'll all I'll take the L on this one I but I still think. That it's going to be something they do more of down the road probably in a different flavor than a traditional Marketplace but I think it's an area that they have to explore it is more in their wheelhouse than the Fulfillment sign. Jason: [23:02] For sure I certainly agree with that and I would encourage you to double down on that prediction for Fort Wayne tonight but I will say like two things I was clearly wrong on the shop a. [23:17] Like is getting much broader adoption than I would have expected because I would argue it's mostly a shipping tracking app. It has some like Merchants search capabilities it doesn't really have product search capabilities at least in general release but it's. At various times it's been the most downloaded retail app and it's bouncing around in the top four so a lot of people are getting that app and so per your point, you know they have a bunch of merchants they have a bunch of users with this app which is really hard to do this app has some Marketplace of like features and then you know I don't know you I'm sure you saw but bradstone, got to go visit Shopify and do an interview with Toby and he in his article he kind of painted a picture that that. Internal stakeholders at Shopify were wildly divided and didn't agree about. If Shopify should do a Marketplace and what it would look like and so that that makes me think. They're you know having the same debate we are and Toby himself weighed in that he's like. You're not going to see us compete with our Merchants so if they do a Marketplace as probably going to have to look. You know considerably different than the kind of marketplace I think some people are thinking about but but it's an interesting space. Scot: [24:41] Yeah, yeah and then so we'll see if this comes up again in predictions and then I the super risky thing I did last year was made a covid prediction I've learned my lesson there remember to week two weeks and we're done anyway we my prediction was we will be shocked how much quote-unquote zero friction addiction sticks I've seen 30 to 40% repeated a lot and I think it's going to be much much higher and then so I think there is some good data that points to that we haven't seen a decrease in the growth of you know online even as we've gotten into a post covid World we're kind of getting back into one with with all the Quran right now but and to your point there's a lot of interesting data like like Dan and his group did that show that it's been pretty sticky. Jason: [25:37] Yeah no I think that's totally fair a lot of people are in correctly predicting that that it's going to revert but yeah I think I think all the tangible evidence points to it being sticky. Scot: [25:52] Okay and then my fifth prediction was given all the heat around these specs and IPOs that we would have 20:21 would be a banner year for digitally native vertical Brands either going pilot getting Acquired and doing IPOs, I want to made this one I felt like it was going to be much more around these facts but then the specs pivoted and started doing these really weird esoteric things that end up, not doing very well but where I kind of snuck the win out on this one is we did have three companies that we've tracked in our kind of the oh geez of digital native vertical Brands go public so we had War be Rent the Runway and I'll Birds now they haven't done great since they went public but they did get out and they had you know the kind of met their pricing and went public and are still out there and so so there you go so that was a yes. Jason: [26:51] Yeah yeah I will certainly give that one too. Scot: [26:54] All right so at this point I am let's see three yeses and to nose. Jason: [27:02] So we're tied so the bonus comes up what was your bonus. Scot: [27:07] My bonus was that there will be I was much more optimal another covid so I got lucky on the first one I felt like we're going we're going to in 21 we would be post covid and people would kind of stop buying stuff just generally and really focus on going out and doing things and seeing the world over the holiday I went down to Orlando for three or four days and it felt like, there's definitely a segment of the population that that's out there doing that they all seem to be in Florida right now and maybe some in Texas but I think if you look at the data there's nothing to really support that in fact the we've talked on this show about the e-commerce data and Retail data and it all seems quite robust so we have not hit a.n.t. consumer materialism wave that that I predicted. [28:03] Cough so it turns out that I think we're effectively tied is that I'm doing the math right on. Jason: [28:09] I think you are and and I think all our listeners will agree that a tie is basically a huge win for me. Scot: [28:15] Given our past history yes it's the first time we've had a feels like soccer or that we're in England where that is a possible outcome. Jason: [28:23] Exactly I think I think my high school soccer team just just tied your your Premier League team. Scot: [28:31] Yep cool so yeah that but you know it fun to do these things because I would say in a volatile world like we aren't getting half of these things right I think you would agree with me that we're pretty awesome you know we there's other people out there that make predictions and they throw so much junk against the wall they get like five percent right but and they do big Victory lap so I think if you look at our records pretty good pretty solid. Jason: [29:01] Yeah no I agree and I don't think we sandbag very much either I mean sometimes in hindsight they feel like sandbags but I feel like we stretch ourselves so, so I will definitely take them. So how are you going to like pay off that that self-congratulatory pat on the back Scott you're gonna have to come up with some Whoppers for this year. [29:32] I don't I don't what do you want to do I'm sure we lost all our listeners except for my mom so whichever she prefers. Scot: [29:39] I'll go first so so my predictions this year, so my Amazon prediction number one and this is for 2022 is I predict Jeff Bezos is going to have a midlife crisis and run around it was in Miami with hot chicks and other exotic locations and take a lot of selfies for Instagram. Jason: [30:05] If you had said in dubious fashion choices than I might give it to you. Scot I'm not sure but I think as of January 6 that's already happened. Scot: [30:16] Yeah yeah yeah okay you got me that ones are what they call retcon and in the world where it has already happened alright or series prediction is I'm gonna I'm gonna double down kind of on your prediction I'm going to steal your prediction from last year and say I guess this isn't exactly what you predicted but I do feel like, Amazon is very serious about Shopify in that same article I was talking about where, Toby was there a next Amazon you know an anonymous sex annum Amazon Source you have to take that with a grain of salt said these guys crushed us they came out of nowhere and destroyed us and where we were blindsided, that seems. [31:03] Pretty pretty Amplified but I do think they have their guns trained on them so I'm going to say we're going to see Amazon come out with a serious competitor this year, and I think it's gonna you know, I imagine it could even be like a web store offering even though they started this and got rid of it I think they're going to get pretty serious about it and now I could see them come out with a, you probably won't have a lot of Headway in the first year but they're gonna I think they're gonna go right out these guys the thing that's hard to predict, there's some interesting things they could do it with AWS and headless so I'm going to kind of give myself a little space there that it could be headless versus kind of a more monolithic type SAS kind of an offering but yeah, so I think they're going to get pretty serious about. Jason: [31:54] Okay yeah yeah I could I like that I can't I see that and you could imagine bundling like AWS Commerce platform with a bunch of the traditional merchant services from Amazon like fulfillment and payment and stuff like that. Scot: [32:08] Another Amazon one is and you kind of foreshadow this when you're talking about the Amazon thing there's there's hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions going into these do have a name for them fast. Jason: [32:23] Yeah well ultra-fast delivery is the. Scot: [32:25] Ultra-fast slurry okay these companies so there's like go puff and there's one that has like an animal name like. Gorilla yeah Joker yep yeah I've been I don't know how DC is letting them do that one but anyway you know so these guys have raised billions of dollars and it's a hot Market but I think Amazon is kind of going to train their guns on that and I think they're going to put a real hurting on them, I think we'll see I'll be pretty risky here and say one of them will close their doors one of those so I'll put it here in the notes so to keep me honest so, go puff gorilla and or Joker one of those three big ones probably doesn't make it out of 22. [33:19] Okay, so that's 1/2 so this is my third one I realize I'm actually short protection will have to do one on the flyer the Bezos wanted kind of counted in my head but that was early prediction you know the at the end of 21 we had Facebook changes name to metaverse and since they did that you can't throw a rock without reading a thousand articles about the maneuvers. In fact today on Twitter there was a big Walmart video you know kind of showing an metaverse shopping experience mock-up kind of thing that was kind of fun, the I think there's going to be I think there should be a lot of hype and 22 I'm actually kinda already burned out on it and a lot of you know what does metaverse shopping look like and there's going to be lots of excitement and smoke but no fire and no Ray. So I think it's going to be the flash in the pan when we look back on 22 so I think it's going to not a lot of activity there I think it'll be like, you know chat Commerce and social commerce and a lot of these things that had a lot of buzz in their era AI Commerce machine learning Commerce all these things that had huge amount of Buzz and then turned out to not really have substance. [34:37] Okay and then the inverse of that is I think one of the things that there's been a lot of talk about that is going to have substance is live streaming of kind of video live video e-commerce integration so I think that one is going to be more mainstream there's there's a little. Amazon has tried this and failed it's big and Ali Baba I'm I'll qualify this and say in the u.s. too so I'm not trying to be sneaky here and you know, there's not a lot of I've seen some startups trying to get traction here but they're in like supermicro verticals but that's how I things get adopted is you kind of build some habits in these small behaviors and then they can go mainstream so I think we'll look back on 22 when we do our 20:23 show and we will see live streaming has gone mainstream so that is one and then let's see, I may have to come back with another. Jason: [35:35] Yeah I'll let you you can make fun of mine and then you I'll let you cherry pick after hearing my. Scot: [35:41] Okay any reaction to my my for so far. Jason: [35:44] No I so a I should have come to rehearsal because I feel like we're gonna get off the right off the bat with some potential overlap but. I definitely. [36:00] I think we're going to see some way Amazon very seriously competes with Shopify I think it's not going to be the way most most people expect that your your description seems totally plausible is we're about to see I have a, an opinion on some of these ultra-fast delivery services and The Meta versed both of which you touched and then I got to be honest I am nervous about live streaming like I could I definitely am not bearish I could see it going either way a ton of Commerce happens via live stream in China and we're starting to get a lot of Commerce. Video content get consumed in the u.s. what's not working very well at the moment is the buy now button at the end of those videos and so you kind of have, indirect livestream commerce's is already starting to happen in pretty high volume here in the US and a bunch of people are investing in in. Trying to take it that that last click. And I have reasonable confidence that it could work so at the very least I know a lot of retailers and a lot of my clients are going to be trying it pretty pretty heavily this year so we shall see. Scot: [37:15] I came up with my fifth. Jason: [37:17] I knew if I just rambled that I would give you enough room for one. Scot: [37:20] Yeah this one is a risky one but you know our friend Faisal started Fabric and I'm going to predict that that company has so much Buzz they're going to get acquired in this year so that was risky because they're super early stage where is it it'll it'll it'll have to be a big number to take them off the table at this point but I think someone's going to going to, pay that number. Jason: [37:45] Yeah to fun ways that could go I feel like he's pretty – on Shopify so it would be awesome Shopify acquired them but you could also Imagine AWS acquiring them and and making two of your predictions come true. Scot: [37:59] Yeah or or adobe or you know IBM IBM's kind of on the sidelines lately they've got a whole. Jason: [38:07] Yeah yeah they kind of got out of the those software platforms I would be I mean but not to say they couldn't pivot and come back in for sure. Scot: [38:14] Yeah yeah and then let's see I said Adobe I've and Salesforce. Jason: [38:20] Interesting okay well I'm going to jump into mine and again we did not dedupe these I bundled several of yours and made them more negative, so my first prediction is what's not gonna happen and I lumped in a bunch of very trendy things that people are super hyped about and I said I don't think any of these are going to be economically meaningful in 2022 so it's in ft's which I know, are near to your heart than mine I I do believe there's some Niche use cases where in Ft is totally makes sense and I know you play in some of those, those Niche cases but there are so many people that just think crypto in general and nft is in particular are going to be, a huge part of Commerce I don't think they're going to be very economically meaningful and in 2022 even more so I don't think web 3 is going to have any impact I'm starting to get a lot of questions about, how Bigcommerce is going to change because of web three in my answer is it's not, I think the metaverse is going to fail pretty miserably as a Commerce, play and I'm also going to say all of these Venture funded ultra-fast delivery startups are going to fail so that's not to say that. [39:36] Amazon, instacart or even go puff couldn't win but like all these these Sand Hill Road back startups that are delivering in Manhattan I don't think any of them are gonna change consumer Behavior enough to really matter economically in, so that's my Chrome Legend hey all the cool things that talking has like to talk about aren't very important one. Scot: [40:02] Well I don't think that overlaps too much no no I I disagree but we'll see. Jason: [40:09] Knox awesome those are the. Scot: [40:11] What's your specific prediction like there will be less in ft's and 2022 and is in of T volume. Jason: [40:19] Yeah yeah. Scot: [40:20] Let's put that one down oh that's that's the prediction last in a $50 transacted. Jason: [40:26] Well so like I don't so full disclosure I can throw out a number but like I don't know of a credible source for tracking in Ft Revenue dollars. Scot: [40:40] Yeah there's some there's gmv trackers so open sea and is the biggest Market Place than there's like three or four others. Jason: [40:46] Okay I was mostly thinking like the there's there's not going to be meaningful revenue from the US Department of Commerce retail sales data that's enough. Scot: [40:57] Wow that's there it's going to take them 50 years before they can spell it. Jason: [41:02] Well I know they're not going to report it that's what I'm saying but I'm just saying like there's an Amazon Walmart the the top 10 eCommerce sites in the US are not going to have any meaningful revenue from in FTS. Yeah but nobody's going to do anything with webbed three in Commerce and nobody's going to buy anything with a virtual reality headset. Or from gorillas outside of one block. Scot: [41:40] Okay. Jason: [41:42] So I'll try to get less – now a company that we've talked about on the show a couple times that people don't talk about enough and I'm kind of using them as a surrogate for a whole new trend but is the the. Ultra fast fashion brand Chien which is a apparel brand the. The they're estimated to have sold about 10 to 15 billion dollars worth of Apparel in 2021 and I think they're going to exceed 30 billion dollars in apparel sales and 2022 which is going to make them. A top 3 apparel retailer in the US. [42:24] And I said they're kind of a surrogate for a trend this is democratized merchandising so this is, instead of Mickey Drexler deciding what the cool kids should wear in high school instead of easy deciding what the cool kids should wear in high school this is, algorithms watching what the cool kids post that they are wearing in high school on tick-tock, and then making it in two weeks and selling it to all the kids that want to be cool, and so it's kind of the perfect manifestation of what Amazon called hands off the wheel where they stopped having Merchants pick products and instead kind of use data to, to drive their catalog and I think she is gonna continue to have great success there and it's, it's disrupting the fashion industry more than a lot of people in the fashion industry realize but I think, it's going to become extremely evident in 2022 that it's disrupting the apparel business. Scot: [43:23] And then are you are you putting a specific number on it and if so how much is that over last year. Jason: [43:27] Sorry I thought I said it yeah so I think they're going to sell more than 30 billion dollars of Apparel in 2022. Scot: [43:34] What they do in 21. Jason: [43:36] The estimates they're not public but the estimates are between 10 and 15 billion so more than double. Scot: [43:42] Okay all right. Jason: [43:44] Again not trying to sandbag. So third one and I guess I'm going back to my my negative Nelly so one of the hottest trends of 2021 and the prediction I have seen the most people do and I fully expected you to do so I'm, totally bombed is that buy now pay later services are going to continue to explode, and in 2021 by some estimates they grew 30% in their you know wildly adopted, it's the fastest-growing payment type in in e-commerce in 2021 you're starting to see it expand from just e-commerce to in-store purchases as well, and it's moving down Market to you know from from expensive High consideration items to a lot of lower cost more impulse items so by all accounts the future of payments and credit is buy now pay later in my prediction is that it slows down and 2222 I'm not saying it's necessarily going to flop, but I think you're going to see only about 15 percent growth over 20. [44:52] One versus the 30% that they had this year so I think the rate of growth Cuts in half and I think there's a couple reasons behind that, I think the bill is going to come due for a lot of these products and a lot of these consumers are not going to be able to pay for the products they purchase, and I think you're going to start to see a ton of writedowns and the financial reality of renting money to subprime lenders without like significant collateral is going to kind of start to, catch up with some of these companies I think the Credit Agencies are going to start to lean into this more and that's going to take away one of the competitive advantages that they had and I think we might even see some some regulation because like there's some, some very financially responsible companies in the buy now pay later ecosystem but there's also some, some kind of rebranded payday loan players in that space and so I think there's just going to be a lot of erosion of trust and and some- stories that will slow down the rate of growth. Scot: [45:59] Gaap negative or positive on the next. Jason: [46:04] Yeah we're going positive again I'm yeah I'm alternating I'm and I'm going to throw an Amazon one to you I think Amazon opens more than 100 grocery stores in 2022. Not whole food so Amazon Fresh doors, um and that you know again that that would be about three times as many stores as they have ever opened Amazon book stores or five star store so. It's not the thousands of stores that some people have talked about but it's also a much faster pace of brick-and-mortar growth than we've ever seen from Amazon. Scot: [46:41] Yeah that I will be excited to see this one. Jason: [46:46] And you know most of them will be in Chicago so that'll be fun for me. Scot: [46:50] Of the 500 stores they'll be like 75. Jason: [46:54] Yeah exactly I'll be surrounded, yeah so I think that's a super interesting space I've talked about it a bunch it was you know the growth of digital commerce was one of my grocery commerce was one of my big ones and I think it's just the big category of consumer spending that Amazon. Doesn't play meaningfully and Whole Foods is very Niche and I just think it's a moonshot imperative for Amazon to win Grocery and I don't think you can win digital grocery without having brick-and-mortar grocery as well. [47:29] So that I think gives me 4 so my last one, is I think there's going to be a lot of interesting Activity one of the categories of e-commerce I'm most interested in watching in 2022 is Last Mile, there's going to be a lot all kinds of different Evolutions but the specific prediction I'll make is one of these new, um I'll call them FedEx UPS competitors is going to sort of get get acquired or have some meaningful liquidation event and so so there's a couple of startups that are kind of, Next Generation parcel delivery services like vejo index delivery ship IAM is a bunch of X Amazon guys and I'm going to say that, instacart original business model could even slow down and instacart could get acquired, primarily to be a last mile delivery service by someone so so one of those companies gets acquired, as part of the buzz around owning your own Last Mile in 2022. Scot: [48:38] Yep and does that include so there's all these like ship Bob Shapiro those kind of guys your that's not. Jason: [48:45] I think there's going to be a lot of I think they're an interesting space to in most cases they're not actually delivering products they're they're facilitating delivery of products or tracking delivery of products and so I tried to keep this pure to the, guys that have access to trucks and are driving products to people's houses but. Yeah so no I'm not I won't call it a win if it's if those are the only ones that get acquired. Scot: [49:13] And then any other bonus prediction so I kind of had to stretch to get my 5 but anything else you want. Jason: [49:20] So so yeah you know I do all my best thinking on dog walks and so I you know I might thinking about all these cool predictions and I came home with like 40 of them and so I struggled to narrow it down to these five and so then kind of the next class of predictions that just sounded. Too easy in a way but you know last year digital Commerce kind of slowed down a little bit compared to Brick and Mortar Commerce it was a huge year in brick-and-mortar growth. Because e-commerce had grown so fast the year before so I think that that. That Paradox gets inverted again this year so I think we see way faster e-commerce growth than we do brick-and-mortar growth, I think curbside which was a big thing in 2020 and 2021 becomes even bigger thing in 2022, I think you're gonna see a ton of stores redesign their parking lot I noticed H-E-B just opened a new store and as 26 Bays, for curbside pickup so I think those those are the big things in the you know the big macro story that we'll see in 2022. I recognize that less controversial than my official five predictions. Scot: [50:34] Yeah okay cool I think that's a good set of 10 predictions there any anything else you want to just let people marinate on that for little bit. Jason: [50:42] No I if folks strongly agree or disagree I'd love to hear about it on social media and if you have different predictions, throw them our way on Twitter Facebook and we'll be happy to debate them on our next show. Scot: [50:59] Yeah yeah maybe we could introduce some listener predictions as part of this going forward that would be kind of fun it also reminds me we need to we haven't done a deep dive in a while and maybe you know we touched on in ft's web 3 meta those are pretty good topics for deep Dives maybe even buy now pay later so usually we hit a new slow down in the e-commerce world, kind of in that March April May time frame after we get the q1 results so maybe we'll throw some deep Dives in there so that, if those topics are interesting we're happy to kind of go deep on those I guess looking back the live streaming when I don't think we've done a deep dive on that either so those are all areas where between the two of us we have a pretty good bit of domain knowledge that we could make sure that is out there and available if you want to go deeper on one of those topics so let us know think about your preferences on 20-22 content around that type of a topic as well. Jason: [51:56] Yeah I will look forward to all of that. And of course if you did find this show fun at all or you learned anything the best way you could reward us as jump on iTunes and leave us that 2022 five-star review all those reviews you wrote in 2021 don't count anymore so you need to get back on iTunes and leave us up fresh review and feel free to make fun of Scott in the review that's always appreciated. Scot: [52:22] Or Jason's title. Jason: [52:24] One of my many titles. Scot: [52:25] All right thanks everybody. Jason: [52:29] And until next time happy commercing.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Monday morning news briefs with an update from WWJ's Charlie Langton at the scene of a deadly shooting on Detroit's westside. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott has your Wednesday news briefs with more on a murder in Lincoln Park, plus Detroit residents want a water main fixed. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott has your Tuesday news briefs with the latest from Reporter Mike Campbell on cancellations and delays at Metro Airport. Plus the Oakland County Prosecutor addresses talk about the Oxford school shooting suspect being incompetent to stand trial. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott has your Monday news briefs with an update on a suspected murder-suicide in Troy. Plus the Monday morning drive was slowed by snow and sleet. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode I record live from the production facility of Feral Fungi and have an in-depth conversation with it's owner...Jason Scott. Jason has had a lifelong passion for mycology which evolved into his ownership of this unique company and also as a teacher of the many facets of the mushroom. Jason and I talk about what makes his products special, and what the spagyric process entails.. We also talk about 'AlcheMycology' and the bourgeoning mainstream psychedelic mushroom acceptance.. Drop In!www.feralfungi.comJason Scott Bio: Jason Scott is a Mycologist, Ethnobotanist and Spagyricist who has studied traditional Hermetic Alchemy, from history and philosophy to practice, for the past 9 years. He has a background in Ethnobotany and Plant Medicine that started on the Big Island of Hawaii, and has carried back with him into his home: the Pacific Northwest. Born and raised in Oregon, Jason has an intrinsic interest in the Fungal Queendom and all of its aspects: from cultivation and mycoremediation, to historical and cultural relationships. Jason has studied various different healing modalities including Ayurveda in Nepal and Western Herbalism all over Oregon and Washington. He is on an ever-deepening journey of education to understand the practical applications of his interests, and the golden threads that connect them. Jason has been published on the topic of AlcheMycology, exploring fungi through traditional Alchemy in Radical Mycology by Peter McCoy and Verdant Gnosis Volume 3, compiled by Jenn Zahrt, Catamara Rosarium, and Marcus McCoy. He has taught through these topics all over the United States. He is the Founder and Owner of Feral Fungi where he produces Mushroom Spagyric Tinctures, and curator of AlcheMycology.com where he shares some of his teachings and writings along side other fascinating discoveries in the world of Fungi. Get bonus content on Patreon See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
On today's episode, we hear important updates from UCCE Orchard Advisor Luke Milliron and West Coast Nut publisher Jason Scott about the North Valley Nut Conference in 2022. Supporting the People who Support Agriculture Thank you to our sponsors who make it possible to get you your daily news. Please feel free to visit their websites. AgroPlantae - https://www.agroplantae.com/ Agromillora – https://www.agromillora.com/ Bee Vectoring Technology -- https://www.beevt.com/ California Citrus Mutual – https://www.cacitrusmutual.com/ The California Walnut Board – https://walnuts.org/ Soil and Crop – https://mysoilandcrop.com/ TriCal, Inc. - https://www.trical.com/
EP283 - Year End Review It's our final show of 2021! We recap the US Dept of Commerce November Advanced Retail Sales Data. We do a deep dive into the retail industries growth from 2019 through November 2021. In those 23 months, the retail industry grew 22%, historically fast growth. There were clear winners and losers. If you want to follow along on with all the data, here is a visual recap of retail growth 2020-2021. (PDF Download). We also highlight the six most important trends of 2021. Amazon fulfillment capacity growth (Amazon and Walmart become shipping companies) Social Media becomes the discovery channel for e-commerce (led by live-streaming) Ultrafast delivery services Amazon invents and starts to scale a grocery store (Amazon Fresh) with just walk out technology Retail Media Networks explode, led by Amazon's $30B in ad sales. Retailers now compete with social media networks for eyeballs Apparel has shifted from designer led to consumer led, as evidenced by the meteoric rise of Shein We're so very grateful to our audience, both for the time you have shared with us, and for generous opinions, feedback, and knowledge that many of you have shared. We wish you all the very best holidays and New Years, and look forward to seeing you in 2022! Episode 283 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Tuesday, December 21st, 2021 http://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Transcript Jason: [0:23] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 283 being recorded on Tuesday sept December twenty first twenty Twenty-One I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scot Wingo. Scot: [0:39] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners Jason how are the holidays treating you so far. Jason: [0:46] They are treating me really well it's been super interesting what's going on in our industry and getting ready to take the family to California to see my mom and brother. Scot: [0:59] Very fun California versus Chicago seems like a smart smart choice this time. Jason: [1:04] Yes early and my relationship with my wife we agreed that we would visit her Michigan in-laws and Thanksgiving and my California relatives in December seems weather prudent if nothing else. Scot: [1:16] Yeah smart I like your like you're negotiating strategies so we are recording this here live on December 21st so we are in the very last tail end of holiday 21 and Jason you had some some interesting data that you had parse through that I thought we could start with it's going to be largely kind of the November data but it's kind of the best data we have, until we get into January and see how the holiday played out and then we'll do a quick checkpoint on what you're hearing from clients and then I think both of us wanted to kind of share our big stories for retail and e-commerce for 2021 so why don't you kick us off with some data. Jason: [1:57] That sounds amazing so yeah so the data we are talking about is the US Department of Commerce data we get a an update every month so you know last week we got the, the update that includes November and in general November sales were up sixteen percent from November of twenty twenty so I always coach people that we should look at year-over-year not month over month so pretty healthy growth in 2021 from 2020 if you look at year-to-date so January through November we are up about 18% from 2020 and if you look at e-commerce we were up about 12 percent from November of 2020 so I you know I always put this data out on social media and I got a ton of, interesting responses this year on that data everyone's like hey Jason why are you comparing to November of 2020 like we're in the middle of the pandemic everything was all topsy-turvy like it's like comparing, pandemic 2021 numbers to pain demick 2020 numbers isn't very helpful to me because everything is so confusing. [3:13] And so I kind of took that to heart like you know it is the best kind of comparison we have about how we're doing but I said oh you know the more interesting comparison is maybe we take. One step back and we compare the. The the last two years of data to two years ago so we kind of compare how much growth we've had during the pandemic with what girls look like before the pandemic and I hadn't hadn't really done that in a while and what I found was interesting and in a few cases it surprise me. Scot: [3:46] I feel like we should create a new word for this I'll work on it in the vein of a ship again yeah that's just boring I don't know. Jason: [3:54] Yeah yeah de or. Yeah every CEO in America has learned to say you're over two years ago by the way and for it's super funny for non-gaap metrics in the and in the 10-qs they. Like it's they kept they completely cherry-pick like if the number is good they take versus last year and if it's bad they take versus two years ago. Scot: [4:18] Yeah yeah that's the nice thing you need everything every number needs to be up into the right. Jason: [4:23] My takeaway there is you CEOs are oily. Scot: [4:25] We know we're strategic. Jason: [4:29] Got it potato potahto. Scot: [4:31] Cool what did this year over your year over year over last year review. Jason: [4:37] Yeah so if we say hey from how much has retailgeek grown in 2020 and 2021 as a two-year stack it has grown 22 percent, so you know people talk about like all the struggles and challenges we had during the pandemic but if I see if I got in a time machine and no pandemic just told every retail CEO how would you feel about growing 22% over the next two years, the vast majority of CEOs would have jumped at that and then if you said and our life is going to be totally disrupted by this pandemic. [5:14] I think every retail CEO in America would have said I'd be thrilled to get through the next two years with 22 percent growth so that was interesting and then I said I wonder how that compares historically so I got in the hot tub time machine and I pulled all the data from 1990 through today and I restated every year as its growth versus the previous two years to kind of come up with this standard metric to compare against the 22 percent and 22% is unprecedentedly high it's by far the biggest two-year growth we've had since 1990 there's only a few years that that just tickled 15% so I can 2000 we hit 15 percent and in 1994 we hit 15% but like, most of the. The this last decade we were kind of tickling in the kind of six to eight percent growth so 22 percent growth. On average for the whole retail industry is a huge win and unprecedentedly more growth than we would traditionally get does that surprise you at all. Scot: [6:26] It doesn't sort of make sure I understand it's all retail so it's offline and online in Aggregate and then you can't just divide it by 2 right because there's compounding in there so it's not really two years of 11 it's probably like I don't know 12 in an 8 or something. Jason: [6:41] Yes so you are correct now and. That 20 yes and all of this data it does include compounding the the compounding is an interesting point which will come up in a another piece of data in in just a minute but yeah so this is all like literally looking at the. Aggregate sales for 2019 and the aggregate sales for 2021 and saying how much bigger was 2021 than 2019. Scot: [7:08] Yeah did you run a kegger so in MBA school they would say well you can actually unpack the compounding by look at the compounded annual growth rate. Jason: [7:17] Yes yes I am familiar with the math I did not. Scot: [7:21] Okay it was two years it's not going to be that substantial yeah repeat. Jason: [7:24] No that's the yeah it's right typically like with like a five-year Horizon it makes a lot more sense but yeah it would have been interesting but it just I had to your data so I was just trying to come up with an Apples to Apples. Scot: [7:36] Not feels feels like a wind. Jason: [7:38] Yeah so then I said alright well that's interesting on average retail is a huge win. [7:44] Very obviously there are winners and losers so I said alright well let's look at all the categories that the US Department of Commerce gives us. Based on that 2-year stack and there were you know and who was at the industry average who wildly outperformed the industry average and who underperformed the industry average and there are some things that made total sense to me and we're not surprising and then there were some pretty big surprises in there so, the the category that out of the US Department of Commerce data that grew the fastest was, non store sales which is kind of our e-commerce proxy right and it grew 39 percent so almost twice as fast its total retail that's pretty intuitive you know again you're hearing a lot of. E-commerce growth is slowing. Wagon November as more people went back to stores you know compared to this like you know pandemic impacted 20/20 but when you look at onto your stack, e-commerce is still the fastest growing part of retail at group 39% from 2019 and that certainly didn't surprise me the next two categories sporting goods and building materials, also really didn't surprise me because we kind of talked about them being, the big pandemic winners that like you know people then go to the gym so they bought stuff from Dick's Sporting Goods people didn't go on vacation so they built a new patio with materials from Home Depot and so kind of all the that Services Revenue. [9:14] Shifted into retail and that gave sporting goods and building materials a big a big kiss. Motor Vehicles which at one point people were saying like oh my God that's going to be a horrible category in the pandemic Motor Vehicles actually outperformed the industry average so they grew at 24 percent versus 22 percent for total retail. And then here's where we start getting surprises. Slightly below the industry average was furniture and Home Furnishing so that grew at 21 percent versus the industry average of 22 and if you just asked me to bet I would have said in the same way that building materials and Home Improvement stores. Got extra spending from the pandemic I would have expected furniture stores to get extra spending from the pandemic as well and so it surprised me that they were only at the industry average and the only my only hypothesis is. Did they have more disruptions from supply chain like why. Was it just harder for them to scale up to make more sofas to meet the increased demand and so they, they grew healthy but they didn't grow as healthy as they might have because they they couldn't double their us Workforce to build more couches. Scot: [10:23] The feels right the furniture industry has been here in North Carolina that's our primary one and they're just destroyed by the supply chain they can't there was a series of events that couldn't get phone because of the fire and awesome remember that that seems like a year ago but it actually wasn't go to the summer and then with this quote-unquote Supply pain they haven't been able to get the other inputs like anything fabric while that stuff made in China and shipped over here and sitting on a boat somewhere. Jason: [10:50] Yeah and I feel like it's a double whammy for them because it's harder than ever to make stuff but there's actually they could sell more than ever before if they could make it so it's like, it almost feels worse than knowing there's demand that you can't meet. Scot: [11:01] Yeah it's painful. Jason: [11:03] Yeah so then general merchandise grew at 16 percent versus of retail 22 percent and then the one that surprised me most that I talk about a lot is grocery grew at 16 percent versus the industry average of 22 percent and I would have said man a ton of spending shifted from restaurants to grocery stores they were another pandemic winner and so I'll be honest I don't have a perfect hypothesis for why. Again sixteen percent is Healthy Growth and by historical standards it's better than any two-year period since 1990 so I don't want to say oh you know they had a rough time they had a good time but surprising that they were below the industry average to me a little bit. You have any great Insight that I didn't think of on why that would be. Scot: [11:52] I don't maybe it's like a mix thing underneath the hood like the e-commerce grew so much doesn't it like well I'll be in this category are rules so if. Jason: [12:02] Imperfect yes so you are right like one of the wrinkles in all of this is. The way the US Department of Commerce treats e-commerce as another category which is unfortunate right because you know when someone shifts from buying a exercise bike in a Dick Sporting Good to buying a dick exercise bike from Dick's Sporting Goods.com. The sale leaves the sporting good category in enters the non-store category and so that's. That's not really Apples to Apples and then of course this is all done with surveys that are in perfectly filled out by human beings and so how different retailers respond to that survey is also inconsistent so you got it. This data is super helpful directionally but you definitely don't want to get too wrapped around the axle of the minutiae of the data because it's just an imperfect methodology. [12:52] And so then the the categories they did the worst, do make sense with one outlier for a couple hours for me so gasoline only grew at 14%, you know again make sense to me that they you know underperformed when people aren't commuting to work surprising 14% sales are still pretty good growth clothing is near the bottom at 12% growth so again clothing over the last two years did not shrink they still grew at 12% which might have been their average rate of growth I should do that waiters pulled just the category growth over the last 30 years. But compared all these other categories obviously closing was was poor and the Very lowest category is restaurants and bars which still grew six percent so that all makes sense but then there were two two categories in the cellar that I would have expected to do better health and personal care grew at 11% and Electronics and Appliances grew at seven percent so those are both pretty far under the industry average and you know those are two categories. They had some complication they had pros and cons you know within that category but by and large I guess I was surprised to see them so well. Scot: [14:06] Yet Health and Beauty one because Aaron was zooming like the makeup sales shot way up so it's got to be a you know it was e-commerce. Jason: [14:15] Lipstick sales actually went way down because of the Mask but mascara and skincare went way up it's so funny bye. Um so, then I just did one other sanity check so you know people like a couple people a couple of Industry analysts even like responded to my data and said yeah just don't believe the numbers and I'm like just some understanding you you're saying you don't believe the US Department of Commerce numbers not like I didn't make any of these numbers upright bike. [14:45] And and the US Department of Commerce data is imperfect I would argue it's. The best we have access to and it's it's a bunch of you know PhD in statistics that have you know the force of law to you know to enforce compliance with their survey so I it's better than any other survey out there for whatever that's worth but so I thought how can I do a chance sanity check on this data and I'm like oh all the public retailers are required to report their growth every quarter so we could try to create a year over two year growth for all of these public retailers and compare it to the industry data and some of these public retailers are in a particular category so you can you know pretty safely assume all their sales are in that category so you could kind of use that as a sanity check so I pulled I don't know I guess it's about 25 companies and I converted their quarterly growth into a two-year stack and here I will confess I took a shortcut and if there's any mathematicians that want to help me solve this problem I will toy do it these. Draws numbers are not compounded growth so the problem is we don't have annual growth rates from the Retailer's we have quarterly growth rate so basically you have to. Aggregate for quarters of growth and then. [16:11] Calculate it over two years and so I took a lazy shortcut and I just added their. 20 growth to their 2021 growth so we have basically seven quarters of growth for most of these retailers and it's it's what they call a two-year stack which means growth from 2019 plus 2020 and while the math is not right there by the way right because of. Like the compounding problem of your 2020 growth include your you know growth over 2019. This is how most retailers reported in their earnings so when they talk about to your growth for these non-gaap measures where they try to put themselves in the best light and they report their two year growth they're almost never talking about a compounded number like if you read the footnote. They're they're adding the growth from those two years so this is how they're doing the math in most cases for whatever that's worth but so that's way more precursor than we need the retailer that grew the public retailer the grew the most over the last two years total shocker to me I would not have expected in a million years is Burlington Coat Factory. That Drew 85% and to put that in perspective, they sell apparel which did not do very well in the pandemic and they turned off their website their e-commerce site the month before the pandemic. So they didn't sell any a long line. Scot: [17:34] They're not really opening a lot of stores either. Jason: [17:36] No I mean they may have opened a couple stores over the whole two years but like this is mostly comp sales growth so it actually kind of, factors out new store. Scot: [17:46] Okay so it's cops okay. Jason: [17:47] Yeah this is these numbers that ye are based on currency adjusted comp sales just in the u.s. wherever possible so so Burlington's a total outliner congratulations to them surprising to me Amazon is was the second fastest grower and all public retail at 61 percent over two years which. Doesn't surprise me that super impressive but you'd expect to see them near the top of this list then you see Dick's Sporting Goods at 57 percent and again, like from from the industry data Sporting Goods was the second fastest growing category behind e-commerce so Amazon as a proxy for e-commerce and dicks is approximately for sporting goods makes total sense but then things start getting interesting the next fastest grower was Ulta which is personal care at 36 percent so they grew much better than did the. The personal care category now they're less than half the personal care category the slightly bigger version of them would be Sephora but Sephora is actually owned. Buy a house of Brands and so it's harder to get their data. [19:01] Bed Bath & Beyond group 35% which is impressive Target group 34 percent, Home Depot which again was in one of these these outperforming categories grew 33% was group 28% by comparison Best Buy grew 29% in this it doesn't surprise me the best bike route 29 percent but this is. Makes that the fact that Electronics was one of the slowest growing categories at 7% make even less percent make even less sense I guess it's it's hard to imagine how. Electronics only grew seven percent over the last two years when you know everyone bought all this extra equipment for homeschooling and home entertainment and then with Best Buy growing 29 percent it's even harder to imagine. Scot: [19:53] Yeah maybe in a perfect world you could then split like something like that into store non-store store / e-commerce and maybe that would tell the story. Jason: [20:00] Yeah yeah again that's like one of the few the, my few answers to to a number of these anomalies and then I know this is like all these numbers in a podcast sock but like then you start getting into like Abercrombie & Fitch 28% Costco 26 percent, Cole's Nordstrom's Walmart grew at 21% which again for you know a huge company, the fortune one company to grow at the industry average is pretty good Nike grew at 20%. T.j. Maxx at 15% and the the bottom three. A surprise into not surprises so the second worse and third two words were Dollar Tree in Dollar General at 10% growth which is kind of surprising. You know consumers were kind of flush with cash with all the extra economic stimulus they weren't really slowing down their spending and so like you know maybe it wasn't a great season for the value shoppers but a lot of the news was about how these dollar stores were opening tons of stores and we're really thriving so interesting that they both only Drew. 10% and then the the worst performing public company on this was Macy's which grew six percent over the two years not totally surprising. Scot: [21:18] Isn't that the one that Prophet G said was going to crush. Jason: [21:24] Be there be there the future of retailers Macy's not Amazon yeah this chart unfortunately yeah contradicts that prediction so we'll have to wait and see are you Scott Galloway fans you just hang on hang on to your stick to your guns. Scot: [21:38] Good luck with that. Jason: [21:41] Yeah so that's my the rabbit hole that the stupid November numbers took me down so as you can imagine none of my clients got any deliverables in November. Scot: [21:52] When people tell you they don't believe the data what are they reacting to. Jason: [21:57] I think there's a couple categories there are people that are like hey it's the the month-over-month is interesting but like. Who cares right because these are all anomalous months and that's why I went for this two-year stack and and so. My point was I think like when people are saying hey I don't I don't believe the data I actually don't think they meant they don't believe that this is the data that the US Department of Commerce reported I think they're both saying in some cases, I don't think the US Department of Commerce can count very well and what they mostly hang their hat on is is the non store sales not being right and that's fair right like when someone at Best Buy fills out a survey the US Department of Commerce would like them to put their e-commerce sales in one box and their store sales in another box. [22:47] And do they do that I don't know right and does every retailer do that. Properly and consistently I can tell you that the person assigned to fill out the surveys is generally not the most senior accountant at the it's usually not the CFO. Um so so that is imperfect and then what I think they're saying more is. Maybe don't make all your future plans based on like this snapshot of the world because you know we are looking at a unique set of circumstances that resulted in this data right so if you mistakenly thought my takeaway was retail is better than ever and you know everybody should double down because you know retailers is the most thriving industry in the world 22 percent growth is amazing and it's going to continue forever. [23:36] Yeah no that's not what I'm saying I'm just saying that like it's interesting there were positive and negative impacts on all these businesses as a result of the pandemic but on the aggregate. The impact was disproportionately positive and I don't think that that is sustainable right like I you know I think we will hope to drop down to the regular the sort of pre-pandemic growth levels and potentially. We pulled some growth forward and we might even see some more lean years because we you know absorb so much growth this time. Scot: [24:10] This a long way of you saying you now agree with the the Goldman Sachs chart that showed five years of acceleration. Jason: [24:15] No no I think that still is pretty clear and they were primarily talking about e-commerce which definitely didn't happen. Scot: [24:23] Checking. Jason: [24:25] So that's my my deep dive into data and if there's there can't be anything more fun than listening to a podcast about a bunch of dudes being a bunch of numbers so I will I'll do two things I'll try to put some of this data in the show notes but what I'll do is I'll put a link in the show notes to download some charts with this data in it. Scot: [24:46] Very cool I actually like you spewing data so maybe I'm just an audience of one. Jason: [24:53] You may be in a liar. Scot: [24:56] So what are you seeing so that kind of gets us through November what are you seeing here in December I poked around on the usual spots for the Adobe and the sales force and a couple others and it's really weird they've been kind of quiet since since kind of the Cyber week what what are you hearing from your clients. Jason: [25:17] Yeah so I don't know like there's not good data that's already reporting December sales for holiday but so anecdotally talking to a bunch of clients and talking to some of these companies that do have internal data. December is looking like a good month right and so the. My kind of aggregate estimate is holiday for 2021 is going to end up being about. Nine percent bigger than holiday 2020 and again you say well as nine percent good or bad by historical standards it's pretty darn good most most years we get about a holiday grows less than the rest of the year because there's so much extra volume in it so most years we get about five percent growth in holiday in 2019 we got four percent growth 9% is a big number and last year was a pretty big growth year and so. Um you know also around nine percent so nine percent on top of 9% is a. Pretty big deal I have seen some estimates that think it'll grow even more than nine percent this year to put that in perspective the last time before last year there grew nine percent would have been like 1999 so so not only do we have great growth over two years we do have great holiday growth one huge caveat. [26:43] The trend up until about a week ago was, that more people were returning to the store store traffic was going up we were seeing kind of pre-pandemic shopping behaviors and e-commerce was still a big deal bigger than ever before but the rate of growth was swelling because, there was so much pent-up demand and go to stores lots of people were planning on getting together with their family like there was a funny Walmart stat about you know how much bigger the turkeys were that got sold this year than last year because people were, we're entertaining a lot more so, unfortunately in kind of real-time chats with most of my clients in the last week we have seen foot traffic to stores dramatically curtail and it feels like. We're very quickly getting a lot of negative Media news around and I say media but I guess it's based on the data about Omicron and the hypothesis is there either, Omicron has people scared and so they're not going to stores or a second hypothesis is everyone desperately wants to have their family gathering so they're being extra cautious leading up to Christmas but in either case, we're seeing this last-minute pivot to e-commerce and that has some impacts like the shipping companies that actually been doing. [28:04] Much better job this year than last year on keeping up with ship again in but if suddenly everyone you know runs towards e-commerce these last two weeks that could really put. [28:15] Shipping in Jeopardy in a in a really vulnerable time when they have a lot of Labor challenges so yeah I don't know it's kind of a Debbie Downer bit of news in this whole thing. Scot: [28:26] Yeah yeah I'm a crime that has a it's going to put next year kind of up into a question mark of what happens is and then. The thing that's really frustrating trying to operate a business during this time frame is the bookmarks of good and bad are so wide that. Dirty you have no idea but you drive a truck through and right there 180 degrees so you read one new source it's like oh it's super mild and it's almost going to act like its own vaccine then you see another source and it's like we're all gonna die. Somewhere hopefully we're somewhere in the middle there. Jason: [28:58] Amen Ya Know It's Tricky yeah and kind of evaluating all these data sources that's like the new the new societal challenge right. Scot: [29:09] It really is. Jason: [29:12] So I'm wondering so that's that's kind of my holiday snapshot some good news and some bad news in there I wanted to take a couple minutes on this podcast because I think this is going to be our last show of the year to kind of zoom out from the minutiae and just kind of think about the year in totality and kind of, don't know you know highlight what we think are the big things that happened in our industry this year that might impact us going forward how do you feel about that. Scot: [29:39] Let's do it you want to go first. Jason: [29:41] I mostly wanted you to go first because I thought I would surprise you and make you get bet answers while I thought about it. Scot: [29:48] Okay I'll go first so so I'm going to try to limit it to three because we. Yeah we could go on for for a long time here so I think the highlights of this year for me, it would be a Jason and Scot show if we didn't think a little bit about Amazon the. Build out of Amazon's shipping infrastructure and I feel like we say this every year but it's accelerating and there's some really good data we want to have a guest on that's publishing some data on this just Amazon has built more capacity in the last two years than they had in the last 10 so they've used the pandemic as a you know the response to it and they've gotten kind of cover I guess you could say is to really. 10x down on fulfillment infrastructure where where you get the most feeling of that is that the last mile which is this DS p– program that they've just really scaled up massively. This touches my my day job because it's Biffy we'd service a lot of these folks and they're just they're everywhere and, you know it used to be they would kind of work out a fulfillment systems then they built these fulfillment centers now they've got these see the last word of station what are they call them. [31:02] Delivery stations that have a whole new nomenclature where they now are have these forward-deployed areas where the dsps are almost housed and Aggregates you'll go to these places and it's pretty well that I've seen several of them now and they'll be like 20 dsps operating out of there these little micro businesses and you know just. [31:22] Prime Vans as far as I can see. Where is the stat that I think is kind of the most interesting is the Amazon did disclose that they plan to ship more than then FedEx this year and then I think they said in the next couple of years they'll exceed the USPS as far as package delivery it doesn't surprise me just given the scale that they are throwing at this thing. For example you can't buy a van today because the Amazon is just pretty ordered all the vans so it's pretty fascinating the scale they've done there. The thing that in our will do our annual predictions but I've been annually predicting that they would compete more directly with FedEx and UPS by offering just package delivery to anybody I just feels like we're a lot closer to that but I say that every year so we'll see, the other surprise for me is the explosion of this 15-minute grocery delivery world the most people have probably their first experience this or the first company heard was go puff and it wasn't really a 15-minute thing it was just kind of faster it was almost hours then you had instacart really scale up and then what's happened is the service level on these things it's got lower to the point where they're all trying to get you something in 15 minutes. It's a smaller number of skus than you would get with like Amazon's 300 million skus available so it's typically going to be. [32:43] You know you probably have a cool word for it but it's like snacks and oh my gosh I'm out of a soda I need or ice cream things that you kind of have an urgent hankering for and are willing to pay to scratch that itch a little bit more. On the shipping and handling fees and those kinds of things these are kinds of things when I talk to people they're like yeah that little the economics will never work in the be no one will ever use it and then everyone's always surprised because you can never underestimate the convenience or any consumer that when you give them the choice to do something with convenience they will, they will do it and they will order things you would never have thought about. I remember when Amazon rolled out Prime now they were shocked that the toilet paper and personal products were such a high considered item and it's just you know. People people don't plan ahead and they run out of stuff and they want it right then and there willing to pay extra for it so that one's pretty interesting and you track this probably even better I do Amazon's going after this one and then there's like, 10 startups in there that are have all raised, billions of dollars go puff just announcer one and a half billion dollar extension of their last round by layering on some debt so there's one called like gorillas or gorillas and. [33:55] Tons of these things out there but Amazon scaling it up too so it's gonna be interesting to see if any of these guys can make Headway against Amazon or Famas on will just crush them. [34:05] And then the last one is live-streaming this one sputtering in the US, every data point outside the US indicates it's a thing and I do think this one's going to translate from I've seen it I've seen data that shows that as a has expanded out of China and that's kind of where maybe a year ago we were talking about it largely on Alibaba platform. But now I think it's there's European startups I'm starting to see some categories in the US where this is interesting I followed the collectible category and there's a couple of the hot companies are they do these live streams where they will do. Unboxings so they will they will buy a pack of cards from like the 80s and then they will open them live and and see what's in there and and you know, it's kind of riveting if you're if you're into that and you're like I wonder you know there's a one in 100 chance that this has a Michael Jordan rookie card or something and they pull that the column poles that can be fascinating so there's a lot of. Kind of very specific category activity going there that I think I think a lot of us thought okay Amazon's and do this Amazon is tried and it's been pretty terrible but I think it's going to come from these really niche of Articles at first and they're going to figure it out and then you'll see it get more more momentum up into the broader retailers so those are those are my three. Jason: [35:27] Wow those are three good ones I feel like you stole my three I'm just kidding um no but I totally agree with all those I do think like we've actually seen Amazon launch some. Selling of shipping services and I've seen Stan said they're going to deliver 90% of their own packages this holiday so like I think that definitely is a thing even Walmart is now, selling shipping services to other people including Home Depot so that's totally interesting Trend hundred percent agree on the live streaming like I kind of call it the D bundling of shopping and you know we have all these e-commerce sites that are good at buying things but we're not very good at product Discovery and it seems like social and video or where a lot of the, the new product discoveries coming from and then that that ultra-fast delivery for filling orders to give you all the words you are asking about the that that's a huge thing and if you think about you know how much retailers are struggling with with grocery profitability like it's a double whammy that wow they're trying to figure out how to solve for profitability the consumers moving to this even you know inherently less profitable order so it's going to be that that's going to be an interesting disruption of the industry so if I were to add 3 to that. I do think just the whole pandemic. [36:41] Acceleration of great digital grocery like is when I talk about a lot and I still think that that is a huge thing like all those predictions about how much the pandemic was accelerating e-commerce for probably wrong but grocery delivery Ecommerce probably did get accelerated five years and to me maybe you know what will ultimately end up being one of the most important things that happened during the pandemic is Amazon invented a new grocery store right this Amazon Fresh concept and it's starting to scale there's more than 30 of them now they have just walk out technology in them which I would have bet against them having this quickly and there are there are lots of investigative journalists that have found. Some interesting real estate footprints that would imply that it's going to scale their that there's a business plan footing out here that had like 300 of these in the UK which is a small island um I think we could look back five years from now and see Amazon is a very meaningful brick-and-mortar grocer and and I think 20:21 is the year it it happened without us totally acknowledging it so I think Jay W groceries an interesting Evolution one that I end up talking about a lot with my clients also driven by Amazon is retail media networks right so you know Amazon, is that a run right now of about 30 billion dollars in ads it's probably the most profitable business Amazon has I think this this. [38:08] Battle for eyeballs between retailers and traditional digital platforms is super interesting and I think you know you set the layer who is. One of the the. The key guys at Amazon media like we had him on the show when he moved to Fresh Direct and he's now running Walmart Connect Four for Walmart so you're seeing the Retailer's hire these like credible media sales people and I think that's a. [38:37] A going forward a significant part of every retailers plan is how to be their own media Network how to get eyeballs and how to monetize those eyeballs and that's a new new skill for a retailer so I think that's a big deal and then the last one I'm gonna throw out, is one that I am surprised doesn't get talked about more but it's the apparel retailer she in and I think they are super interesting they've had phenomenal success they're probably globally the largest apparel reseller on the planet right now and their their annual revenues are more than than H&M and Zara combined so so remarkable. [39:18] Story of fast acceleration but the bigger story here is, to me Sheehan is very representative of the democratization of apparel that like for the longest time we expected Mickey Drexler or Versace or Yeezy to tell us like what was cool to wear and then we waited until we can buy those clothes and we bought them and I just I think that model is totally dead now I think the apparel that sells best the stuff that she and sells the stuff that target cells the stuff that Stitch fix cells is frankly based on customer data it's watching customers finding out what they like and then making it really fast and so Sheehan isn't isn't fashion driven by a stylist It's Fashion driven by Tick-Tock right and an Instagram and I think that's a, a lot of apparel companies haven't gotten the memo yet that the consumer is now squarely in charge of these fashion trends. Scot: [40:18] Yeah saw an article about these guys were this this one lady she did this Argyle Sweater outfit and. It was on Instagram it got some viral love they took that and it created a hole the outfit they had copied it or I guess fast fashion and I don't know how the how the IP Works in this world but they had replicated it and they I think they even used her picture which I think was with articles about that she didn't really you know, realize that that effectively shows open sourcing this thing to the world and then it became a top seller for them like in 60 days it was insane how fast that they identified the trend and get the. The product out there it was like you know NASCAR fashion or something. Jason: [41:03] Yeah it's crazy if you think about like the fashion traditionally worked like. Dudes would show up in Paris at the Fashion Show and show these cool Styles and then everyone would steal those Styles and send them an effector he's and two years later those fact those Fashions would be available at Neiman Marcus. Two years later and in so the genius of Gap was that they got those Fashions to the mall, 18 months later instead of two years later and the the disruption of H&M and Zara was that they got them to the mall six months later instead of 18 months later right. She and sees that woman in the crop-top Argyle Sweater and they have they have that fashion available in a week and here's what super interesting they don't make a million of them and hope they sell which is what all those other retailers had to do, they make 12 of them and if those 12 sell in 8 seconds versus 20 seconds then they make thousands of them. Right and so it's really data-driven real-time a/b testing on apparel trans at a speed that that these kind of traditional apparel Brands can't even imagine. Scot: [42:13] That's because they have the factory right there that they're able to do that or like to have some. Jason: [42:17] Yeah and they. In Shane's case they don't own the factories they have a net like that it's a gig worker economy for factories right like so in the same way that boober recruits a bunch of Uber drivers she and recruits a bunch of factories that they then go to and say hey we've got some some ideas for some new models and find one of those factories that accepts the order and makes the the stuff and so in sometimes there's our Factory driven ideas sometimes there she and driven ideas but but yeah that's that's the model and you know there is a Dark Side to this I got you know a lot of its there's a lot of questions about the labor standards and practices at a bunch of these factories and of course there's. You know a lot of the stuff that gets bought on Shion is super cheap and gets worn once and so it's a ecological disaster I would argue the industry it's disrupting is also. Kind of a you know it has a lot of dark sides and and is not very sustainable so I like I'm not sure she and improves on on any of those problems but from a pure consumer demand standpoint, I don't think we're ever going back to you know these like anointed tastemakers that like decide what we're all going to wear for the next year. Scot: [43:32] Yet clearly clearly that model is sailed having. Jason: [43:36] Indeed well listen Scott I know we both have to run but that is probably a great place to wrap up our final show of 20:21 I need to take some downtime not to see my family or anything like that but in early January we always like to record the forecasts show and hit traditionally you crush me and so I feel like I need to spend a lot more time thinking about my forecast before the forecast show comes up. Scot: [44:07] Yeah challenge accepted I will also be thinking about this in a background processes I'm enjoying the holiday I think this is a good time to thank our listeners you know we've you know we've seen our listenership grow pretty steadily over the years and we really appreciate everyone giving us time to your day to talk about the topics we talk about and we get a lot of great feedback and really engaged set of listeners and we really appreciate you listening and if you want to share your appreciation one of the ways you can do that is through a five star rating so fire up your favorite podcast listening technology and if you would leave us a five starters we that would be the perfect holiday gift for us. Jason: [44:47] Yeah that's exact five stars is exactly my size to Scott. Scot: [44:50] How about that. Jason: [44:53] Awesome well most of can't appreciate enough the listeners for spending this time with us every week this is a lot of fun for us to do and I learned so much from the the chats I have with folks after they listen to the podcast so I'm that is one of the things I'm super grateful for. Scot: [45:10] Everyone have a great holiday Jason you how enjoy your trip to California. Jason: [45:14] Thank you you have a wonderful holiday as well and until next time happy commercing!
Episode #40, The year in review includes Tanner, Jason & Scott. The guys take a look back on the inaugural year for the #nfp Podcast. They recap the last few weeks including the PBR World Finals, PBR Canada Finals, Las Vegas Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, current thoughts on the covid situation, recent events in everyones lives and much much more. The boys share what is in the works for 2022, pay respects to the close friends we lost recently and send everyone off into the Christmas season and onwards and upwards into 2022.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Friday news briefs including an update on a nationwide online threat affecting some schools in Metro Detroit, plus Detroit Public Schools workers will need to be vaccinated. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott has your Thursday news briefs including updates on power outages across Michigan due to high winds. Also WWJ's Charlie Langton reports from a water main break on Detroit's eastside. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott has your Wednesday news briefs including a report from Charlie Langton on the latest from Oxford two weeks after a massacre at the high school. Plus schools aren't the only places getting threats. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Tuesday news briefs including an update on Oxford Schools cancelling classes due to a threat. Plus Mike Campbell reports on an online petition calling for remote learning for the rest of the year. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Monday news briefs with more on a scheduled court appearance for suspected Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley. Plus thousands remain without power after a weekend windstorm. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Thursday news briefs with the latest on the Oxford High School shootings, plus a woman is dead after a crash on I-96 in Detroit. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott has your Wednesday news briefs with the latest on the Oxford High School shooting. Plus Detroit police catch a man suspected of kidnapping a child. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Tuesday news briefs with stories from WWJ's Mike Campbell and Charlie Langton about Michigan drivers receiving $400 refunds from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association and Oxford school leaders rejecting a request from AG Nessel to investigate the school shooting. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Pat Vitale have your Wednesday news briefs with the latest on the investigation into the shooting at Oxford High School. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
EP282 - Cyberweek Recap with Salesforce's Rob Garf Rob Garf (@retailrobgarf) is VP and GM, Retail at Salesforce. Rob returns to the show for the third time (EP249 and EP110) to talk about November, and especially cyber week e-commerce sales. The Salesforce shopping index combines data and holiday insights on the activity of more than a billion global shoppers across more than 54 countries powered by Commerce Cloud, billions of consumer engagements and millions of public social media conversations through Marketing Cloud, and customer service data powered by Service Cloud. We cover e-commerce sales in November 2021 vs 2020 and 2019. First mile issues, last mile issues, inflation, winning and losing categories, predictions for December. Episode 282 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 http://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Transcript Jason: [0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 282 being recorded on Tuesday November 30th 20:21 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scott Wingo. Scot: [0:39] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott showed listeners well Jason we're in the thick of it we are recording this the day after Cyber Monday this is our favorite time of the year and who better to help us recap the turkey five than longtime friend of the show Rob Garf he is the VP and GM retailgeek at Salesforce and he is here to sling some hot data and some fresh takes welcome Rob. Rob: [1:06] Hey Scott Jason it's great to be here as always happy holidays. Jason: [1:12] Happy holidays to you Rob I feel like it wouldn't be holidays if I if we weren't recording a podcast with you it's kind of an annual tradition. Rob: [1:20] Absolutely look forward to it every year. Jason: [1:22] So before we jump into it remind our listeners who you are and what you do for Salesforce. Rob: [1:30] Yeah absolutely some VP and GM for retail so what that means is I oversee the industry product solution and insights and the insights portion is really what brings me here today we have a team whose Charter is really to stay out in the industry understand where. The retail space is going and that helps us really think about our products and solution but also have really interesting. And informative conversations with our customers as well and most of that data and Analysis is based on our shopping index are shopping index looks at all the data that flows through the Commerce Cloud platform we obviously bubble that up. We strip out all the pii data and it really becomes the de facto standard of what's happening in retail and this is our holiday it's our Super Bowl where we really allow the data to come to life and not only project where. The industry is going over the critical holiday time but report on it so it's been a couple of sleepless nights over the last week and really excited to be here today to crawl through the data and just have really good conversations with two good friends. Jason: [2:38] We are excited to do it and I'm extra excited because if I'm not mistaken it seems like you have a bigger scope than you did last time you were on the show did you get a promotion because of what a good job you did on the show. Rob: [2:52] I think it was exactly that and I appreciate it by the way your check is in the mail yeah you know certainly. It's important to Salesforce to look at Industries and industries as a practice within Salesforce has really then one of the focus one of the priority areas over the last couple years and so for retail taking a real close look at what products what Solutions we have to bring to Market across the entire supply chain obviously in Salesforce we grew up in the sales and service space grew to marketing Commerce now and analytics and data and collaboration but we want to look at it always through the industry lens and in this case that's retail so it's my Charter along with the insights that I talked about a minute ago to oversee our product and solution strategy so thanks for that help by the way. Jason: [3:43] It was well-earned and well-deserved so good props test Salesforce erect for recognizing talent and I want to call out I feel like you're famous for three things first for being on the Jason and Scot show. Second for all the great work you do foreign with your co-workers at Salesforce and then third you are the. Kind of egotistical center of the whole garfi movement. Rob: [4:11] Haha you know I miss that's one of the many things I miss about the pandemic is not being able to do live gar fees that I've been out on the road. Over the last I don't know how to say four to six weeks or so and it's been a highlight to get back at that a little bit so can you promise me gentlemen in a couple weeks hopefully knock on wood will be back in New York for NRF and we can get another garfi of us we can try it virtually here it's just not always the same so we can see how that plays out. Scot: [4:42] Yeah yeah we're always up for garfi and that's got several in my library. Jason: [4:46] So before we move on from that explain to our listeners what a garfi is. Rob: [4:51] Yeah of course so garfi obviously a play on selfie and you know I struggled for a long time trying to find my persona. Via social you know first was LinkedIn and you know what I realized is I spent a lot of time on the road and when I'm on the road I need a lot of awesome people and when I meet those people I get really inspired and so I just you know for no plan in particular started taking pictures with them and me whether it's one-on-one one you know a few of us or me up on stage and just turning around and doing I selfie with a bunch of people in the crowd and a much more creative person than I am. Salesforce's social media team all of a sudden one day said that's a garfi and then you know really where it came to life is over and our F that same person had a great idea to say hey why don't we make some money for a charity by. [5:53] Donating a certain amount of money. For every time somebody takes a selfie or a garfi with me and that I guess I don't know two or three years running we've connected and collaborated with the retail orphan initiative great music in friends and really raise money for kids in need and so it has a nice altruistic angle to it which of course is part of Salesforce and ar111 model and giving back really please really closely to our values so I'm able to do a couple of things, really share with those in the social sphere what I'm up to hopefully helping. Inspire them like it's expired inspired me and then finally raise some money in and around NRL so that's kind of I don't know if I've ever shared and not much detail the Genesis of it but it was fun doing it so thanks for asking. Jason: [6:49] Yeah and I also admire I feel like it's an underappreciated talent to take a good selfie I feel like I really struggled frame the photo well with my arm fully extended and hit the shutter and you I don't know if you started out doing it this easily but I feel like in more recent years it seems like you do it effortlessly so just hats off to you on your quality of your selfies. Rob: [7:12] I mean that's the best compliment I'll get all day or holiday I can tell you that right now I started I was really bad like really bad and now my family like I'm the go-to during holidays to be able to do it so yeah it's you know chin up don't go you know don't angle to I don't go to Le I mean I could write probably a social posts are a blogger I don't know there might be something in there. Jason: [7:36] Art of the the art of the garfi. Rob: [7:37] The art of the confit. Jason: [7:39] Yeah I strongly I strongly encourage that and then getting slightly closer to like topics that that our listeners came for I do want to caveat one thing we're going to be talking a lot about how holiday has played out and what the interesting Trends are and just I want to underscore the mainland's you're looking at this through is a online lens so I'm sure I'm sure the bulk of your clients are omni-channel and you get some some good insight into what's happening in stores but the actual data set is measuring how much consumers shop and buy on websites is that do I have that right. Rob: [8:16] Totally you got that right I mean if you think about it as I mentioned the shopping and X which we have throughout the year and we release it quarterly is really the backbone of it it's billions and billions of Shoppers digitally it's across thousands of sites across dozens and dozens of countries yeah like you said we do do primary research and we do have some instrumentation understand some of the things that show the intersection between online and digital but the short answer to your point Jason it is really primarily the digital shopping that we've seen. Scot: [8:53] We'll call let's that's really good backdrop and we should definitely dig into the garfi thing on another episode but the enough foreshadowing how are things going for the holiday season give us kind of the the big picture. Rob: [9:08] Yeah well you know coming into this sky the way we're looking at it even going back till June was you know if last year's headline with ship a gettin was all around a smile how and if products are going to get to the doorstep of the consumer this has been all about the first mile we've all heard about it I think you're going Supply pain right so it's more of the inbound Logistics the container stuck off the port of LA and trouble getting the containers off the vessels in through the domestic supply chain and that's really, kind of cast the context for the holiday and you know the headline in addition to the first Mile and the issues that retailers have been seeing is a pulling forward of holiday demand you know it's something that retailers have wished for four decades upon decades and this year it actually came to life I have a lot more to share on that you know I can keep on going but I can also pause as well to see if you have any. Follow up questions are just you know you can just fly me up I can tell you a little bit more of what we're seeing broadly in the holiday so far. Scot: [10:22] Yeah one of the theories was that you know the Press wasn't shy about the supply pain and consumers you know when my aunt ji is asking me about this stuff I was I know it's reached the zeitgeist. How do you say it pull it Forward are you talking like right even like before Halloween you saw unusual activity or like give us an idea of like how how much of the the oxygen move to the front of the balloon there. Rob: [10:47] Yeah yeah yeah well like that oxygen moved to the front of blue and I like that might have to borrow that Scott yeah so so what we saw is that. Real demand got pulled forward you know if you look at the first two weeks of November we saw an 18% year-over-year increase and that is significant last year we saw a bit, in October because Prime day if you remember got pulled into October and we had that halo effect so if you were named Amazon you were still you know getting some of that Halo of the demand and the buzz and the conditioning that happened but it really simmer down late October through. November until the week before cyberweek this year really you know again as I mentioned 18% year-over-year increase for the first two weeks of November you pull that out to the first three weeks in November we saw a 10% your of your increase so there actually was a pull forward and you know I want to. [11:48] Put this in context I mentioned retailers have been hoping and dreaming for this forever I call this discount chicken you might remember I reference this last year probably last couple years I've been on the show and this is this phenomena where retailers go into the holiday season with this amazing promotional calendar all the expertise all the data all the analysis and after the first week. They usually rip it up call an audible and they chased the discount and you know consumers have been conditioned to wait it out. Consumers typically win the game a discount chicken they wait until Black Friday they wait until Cyber Monday, for that last big deal and this year I have to say given what we've seen so far consumers aren't winning at that game. Retailers have really held their own on discounts and you combine that with like you mentioned the headlines that consumers were seeing around the supply chain and you know inflationary concerns as well and they were actually buying early and that did have an impact by the way spoil alert on cyberweek all you know all in. Jason: [13:06] Awesome will you open the door so let's dive in there so first of all you you call it cyberweek and so what what is that weak to you does that start Thursday Friday when does it. Marker 01 Rob: [13:17] Yeah good call so yeah we look at cyberweek from the Tuesday before American Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday it's the way we've been, reporting on it for the last bunch of years than just for like for like now analysis we've kept that I know there's the turkey five and the Cyber five that certainly are looked at for benchmarks and you know partly why we do that is we started to see early on a smoothing out of demand not just through the course of November as I just referenced before but over the course of the week and we wanted to represent that in a more holistic way so you know the short answer to your question we look at it from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving all the way through Cyber Monday. Jason: [14:01] Perfect and fun fact for our listeners Thanksgiving is obviously a North American holiday but Black Friday and cyber week our Global phenomenon which is interesting the holiday is not Global but the shopping is so how did cyberweek play out we're recording this a day after cyberweek so we're we up from. 20/20 and I'd also love to know how he did versus 2019. Rob: [14:24] Yeah absolutely so we wore up so for the course of cyberweek we were up four percent year-over-year and that represents about sixty two billion dollars with the be of digital revenue and you know you look at that number and you say wow that's kind of you know muted it's kind of leveling off and I can't lie it is because we saw such a significant Spike to your point from 2019 to 2020 so there's a whole new Baseline that's been set but to really replicate that seismic growth that we saw last year with non-essential retail closed people really focused on their health and their safety also looking at dealing with retailers that provided convenience and Trust. I see four percent year-over-year as as good as you know a retailer should hope right again because retailers should have seen brand should have seen that pulling forward of demand earlier in the season. Jason: [15:28] Yeah and then can you and part of it is last year was a monster year for digital so like do you do you have your like do you do it a two-year year-over-year or do you remember what the growth was last year for cyberweek just for frame for comparison. Rob: [15:44] You know I don't have that exact number in front of you what I can say for the holiday so November December was 50% year-over-year growth so you know you got to imagine suck cyberweek was way up there I could tell you that Force four. Black Friday in the u.s. because those are u.s. numbers just to remind you to sixty two billion at the four percent year-over-year we saw 20 percent growth. On Black Friday so that gives you a sense of what you saw throughout the year a lot of the growth last year actually came the week before. Cyberweek and in large part because the two of you everybody saw a ship again in like everybody right it made the Today Show. Large part really in the growth the for cyberweek last year we saw something like eighty percent year-over-year growth for the week before. Cyberweek because consumer saw the headline you know I was asked by a customer just recently in the specialty apparel space. Who worked for the wholesale division asking will this year. Consumers understand the issues that are happening in the inbound supply chain unlike last year where ship again was front and center I mean we all felt the Bermuda Triangle of packages being you know delayed significantly so as a consumer. [17:07] That kind of triggered you to think hey maybe I should buy early to make sure I get the product and also by the way maybe I should buy online and pick up in store so I know I can actually. Pick it up because it's more black a smile under my control. [17:22] That's my long way saying once again we saw growth last year in large part 3 cyberweek Black Friday we saw twenty percent so this 4% bringing it back today. Around cyberweek was you know leveling off from prior years but was on such a significant or based on such a significant New Normal that we really hit last year and by the way we don't see the snapping back to what we saw before the pandemic. Jason: [17:51] Yeah and I think that's a mistake people make and in their head when they're looking at growth rates they see this year's 4% is smaller than last year's twenty to thirty percent and they say oh gosh digital shrinking and no it's growing off a huge number from last year it just growing in a smaller slower rate than it than it did last year. Rob: [18:13] Exactly and by the way people are getting back into the store right especially for those not essential retail we're experiencing something and they want to go talk to a knowledgeable store associate and want to touch and feel the product you know they actually want to see friends out in a mall believe it or not and so there's you know. A rising tide here that's really lifting both digital and physical so you can't kind of look at one without the other I don't think there's a cannibalization happening per se because you're still seeing growth but you can't forget what's happening in-store this holiday. Jason: [18:48] Yeah it's super interesting and inside just to highlight like macro Trend that you're sort of underscoring here so this year cyberweek grew around 4% but holiday digital is growing in like ten percent so I'm gonna I'm gonna do risky public math that sounds like the holiday spike is kind of flattening out and holidays becoming more about that hole. Um cyber November if you will instead of instead of cyberweek is that do I have that right. Rob: [19:21] You got it spot-on Jason you know just throwing some more numbers at you because I know you love them but I know there's a lot is that for November and you hit it by the way you said 10% we saw based on a nine percent year-over-year growth across, the month of November and so in the US that represents 136 billion dollars of online sales so there is this smoothing out there is this flattening I'm not ready to put the nail in the coffin for Cyber Monday and Black Friday just you know consumers are just so condition to shop on those days but retailers can't ignore the fact that you know these spikes are still relevant but there is this smoothing out that started even before this year and we saw even more pronounced this year. Jason: [20:16] Yeah I was talking to a very big client and they were talking about how early in his career they used to celebrate this anomaly where the wear like during cyberweek they would have their. There billion dollar day in total retail sales and this year every day in November is a billion dollars for them. Yeah. So I am still curious even though it does seem like it's slightly less relevant it still is a super interesting novel to me novelty to me can you break down. The key days within cyberweek like I'm always interested in. E-commerce sales on Black Friday versus Cyber Monday and whether you know with the Advent of the smartphone are we selling more stuff at the Thanksgiving table on Thursday what sort of Trends did you see across the week. Rob: [21:11] Yeah I love it that's awesome yeah so let's dive into that you know a couple of things here you know Cyber Monday we saw a three percent year-over-year growth representing eleven point three billion and digital sales on Black Friday we saw five percent year-over-year growth which represented thirteen point four million and online sales and so we saw. [21:38] And this isn't the first year on this it's happening over the course of the last three or four maybe even five years. That Black Friday is a bigger digital sales day van Cyber Monday let me say that again Black Friday according to our data is a bigger digital sales day and Cyber Monday a lot of that you hinted at it Jason is that Cyber Monday you all know this was really. Coming to bear from our friends at the national retail Federation. To coin a term to signify people getting back into their office when the internet was not so great at home so they can get high-speed connectivity and Shop but now. We're all connected right we're all connected all the time and so in fact over the course of cyberweek 61%. Of borders and close to eighty percent of traffic was on a mobile device by the way that's phone. To be specific that doesn't include your tablets. And so there is this moving out partly because of connectivity what we saw in Thanksgiving for the last couple of years is a growing. [22:56] Disproportionately growth I'll say over Thanksgiving because you kind of. Finish your meal you're done with your crazy uncle Lou and you want to sit on the couch a little bit you can press and you pull out your phone and you know shopping generally and especially over the holiday is you know totally embedded and fragmented now you often get inspired by what you see on your phone. When you start shopping what we saw this Thanksgiving actually was. There was a little bit of leveling off we feel like people were more present last year I know I didn't have Thanksgiving and the one or two times over the holiday we did get together last year was underneath our patio heater we probably one of the last people in the country to get one and our fire pit and people want to be present this year and so. It wasn't as strong what I thought was interesting is two more points I'll make is. [23:55] Saturday Sunday we're pretty strong and those are generally pretty light days but this year people are online and people were buying so. You know I'll pause there probably a lot more to talk about but certainly again you see these Peaks happening with Cyber Monday with Black Friday in particular Black Friday where I should say one more thanks I'm just thinking about it is you know obviously Black Friday digitally was really large because more stores were closed and even if they were open people still felt more comfortable buying online. Jason: [24:29] Yeah just just to sort of echo that point Walmart told me that in 2019 they sold a billion dollars worth of turkeys on Thanksgiving and this year they sold 10 billion dollars worth of turkeys. So like a twenty percent jump in in American turkey consumption so that. Rob: [24:50] That's crazy that's amazing. Jason: [24:51] Yeah so sir clearly indicating that people were excited and did get back together so I almost wondered if that was gonna put a damper on the online shopping but it seems like it really didn't. Rob: [25:03] Not across the entire cyberweek it was still again I I'll risk even say healthy but probably closer to moderate growth is what I've been talking to our customers about but again that growth. I'm really or moderate growth is because of the earlier demand which retailers that's what they wanted that's what they got they should be smiling and be happy. Scot: [25:27] Very cool so just for the record Black Friday bigger than Cyber Monday for the first time that's pretty I think it's worth saying again. Rob: [25:36] Yeah it is it's kind of interesting because you know Black Friday think about is such a physical store holiday right and. It's really smooth it out and I know I've used that word before but it's really the theme for this holiday, and I think we'll see how I think it is a sign of things to come by the way I don't think this is now an anomaly but rather. How we're going to view the holiday season moving forward finally it didn't really by the way pull as forward as I would have suspected into October we saw some blips here and they're based on. The promotional calendar but it really started in Earnest on November first. Scot: [26:16] Yeah as a pure play e-commerce guy I'm glad we kind of overtook Black Friday and so yeah the so now that now that we're through these key days does it change your forecast up down or you feel like it's kind of right in line with what you guys were expecting. Rob: [26:34] Yeah we were expecting 10 percent growth over the course of the holiday in the u.s. and 7% growth. Globally we're sticking to that right now we're about just shy of 50 percent of All Digital sales in the books for this holiday. But we still have a way to go and in fact fun fact I guess that wasn't the exact questions got you ask but I'll grow it out there is about one-third of All Digital sales happen in November and December. So yeah we expect there are still a lot of sales to be had out there and we are anticipating similar results and so we're staying Pat on our our ten percent growth year over year across the entire holiday season for digital. Scot: [27:22] Wrinkle any indications of the data so far if you mentioned kind of that first mile any indications of other than it pulling forward that it's you know that it's causing any kind of problems like increased stock outs or we've had this first wave and you're worried there won't be anything on the shelves at the back end or what do you see in there. Rob: [27:43] We do see some concern with that you know I've been cautioning anybody I've talked to so I'll say here now is if you see something you like buy it don't wait for that last big discount we can talk about discounts in a little bit if you like but you're not going to necessarily get it in the product might not even be there what retailers have done based on our data is pull back on their assortment and so what we saw is. First cyberweek in the u.s. we saw a shrinkage of 6% of product catalogs so retailers are being conservative. They're selling what they know or hope is available but there is a concern as we go into these last couple of. Weeks of the holiday as The Last Mile and shipping cut off window starts to creep up what it will look like for those replenishable items if they actually will be replenishable but we thought was super interesting as I just mentioned is retailers were really being conservative and trying to do you know going deeper in there. [28:55] Inventory rather than going broader in their assortment and that's evident by what we saw in cyberweek with a six percent decrease in the product catalog where is generally speaking for cyberweek you're seeing you know anywhere from a five to ten and some cases of fifteen percent increase in that product catalog. Scot: [29:14] Nursing and then let's flip to the other side last year we had ship again in the indications there that that the shipping infrastructure was having problems keeping up. Rob: [29:26] You know we're feeling a lot Rosier than we did last year certainly you hit it on the head with chip again and we. [29:35] We anticipate in Saab 700 million packages at risk and those in most cases were delayed that was pulled back tremendously this year retailers really moved over the course of the last 20 months from Scrappy standing up some pretty Innovative but Scrappy nonetheless solutions for Last Mile and they've really worked to scale that and to not only do it effectively but efficiently efficiently meaning don't crush their margins by trying to get the product to the consumer buy online pick up in store still seems to be the winner, this holiday so those that put it in place over the course of the pandemic are actually seeing. Some really nice benefits from it one interesting fact that the team was able to gather was for those, retailers on Black Friday that offered buy online pick up in store so orders placed with the confidence at home and being able to picked up in and around the store grew at a 50% higher rate than those that didn't so consumers think about it over the course of the pandemic really showed loyalty retailers who are able to provide health safety convenience and Trust to the denominator there is removing the friction from the shopping process and those that offer that service were really. [31:04] Able to leverage and benefit from that in the new consumer Baseline of removing the friction. Jason: [31:12] Yeah you know it's an interesting thing on the last mile. Last year Amazon passed FedEx in terms of the number amount of packages they delivered themselves right in there. Depending how you count something like 30 to 40 percent of all e-commerce the middle news this week one of the supply chain guys that he expects by the end of this year or the first quarter of next year that they'll not only will they ship more packages than FedEx they'll ship more packages than UPS so Amazon could be the large the largest non-governmental last Last Mile in the in the country by next year. Rob: [31:50] Yeah you mean it's quite amazing how large Amazon has gotten with Last Mile and I give credit to anybody who isn't last excuse me who isn't Amazon. And who is in a big box retailer who has you know some capital of fro at The Last Mile Challenge and you know those that partnered with these you know collaborative networks to be able to. [32:16] Outsource if you will the the last mile or even provide buy online pick up in store to you know Outsource The Last Mile to the consumers have really benefited and you know where we saw unfortunate gap between the large players and the neighborhood and local players they somewhat of leveling the playing field. [32:39] Will be leveraging the stores not only for a filament Center but an experiential Center as well and I know I'm shifting a little bit but it's something that comes to mind Jason Scott is you know our research showed coming into this holiday. Those retailers that leverage their store for more than just scanning and bagging will benefit in fact 60% of. Online orders will be influenced by the physical store let me say it again 60% of digital will be influenced by the store which is somewhat the opposite that for store really came at us with five ten years ago about digital orders. Influencing store orders and you know that could be whether the store is generating demand or fulfilling demand and that could be from fulfillment or store associates being social media managers or you know even Service agents whether they're in the store or they're picking up micro shifts at home and then certainly obviously pick packing and shipping and getting the products ready to either be picked up or Filled from there so I know that was a little bit of a tangent to say you know most don't have the scale of an Amazon and so you got to get really crafty and Innovative of how you're going to kind of level the playing field particularly around Last Mile. Jason: [34:07] Yeah no totally agree and it's actually if you have too much free time on your hands it's really fun to read all these retailer Q3 earnings reports because like they often embedded in the back of that they do talk about like the percentage of their sales that are fulfilled by store influence from store and that that's a standout stat for almost every retailer now is how important that store is for the digital supply chain so that's that exactly mirrors your data I want to like there's so much going on this holiday I feel like we could we could do a two-hour show which we won't do to our listeners but another interesting one is pricing promotion and inflation and how all that pays out like it was a lot of the growth from this year in your guys estimation was it. Inflation and consumers just paying more for less or or was it. Rob: [35:00] Yeah yeah we got the data and it's it's fascinating it is really it's you know it's fascinating on one hand but it's like pretty basic on the other which is a lot of the growth was driven by increase prices and so what we saw for instance over cyberweek the average selling price was up 11%. In the US and 5% globally what we also saw at the same time is that order volume was lower, and average order value was higher so the math says, that people are buying fewer items at fewer retailers because they have kind of a zero-sum game you know they have a specific budget and so if you're buying things at higher prices you're buying less of those things and you could equate the 11%. [36:00] Increase of average selling price to inflation and we're seeing that across the board meeting across the different product categories so you know. That's happening we predicted that for the second half of the Year retailers and brands. We're going to have an incremental 223 billion dollars of cost of goods sold and that's from manufacturing supply chain labor they absorbed a good amount of it but. They had to pass some on to the consumers consumers they're happy they're positive. They want to focus on buying things that they want versus just needs. [36:40] So they bought now what retailers did to the discount piece of this and why consumers are likely to lose out on discount chicken this year is discounts were the lowest levels and we've seen. Andres when I say that discount rates where some of the lowest we've seen in recent history and so the discount and the rates being lower I think it's something like eight percent. Down your view here in the u.s. is because you know retailers. Just had to hold their own right and really protect some of the margin and you know even on Cyber Monday where you see some of the biggest discounts it just wasn't happening this year. Jason: [37:28] Yeah interesting you know you talked about consumers picking fewer retailers and buying being a few items for more money I wonder to me that sounds like it's a recipe for sort of retail, I hate using this word because Steve Dennis will get all excited bifurcation that you know if consumers are buying less items than their first choice retailer is likely to win and they're you know kind of longer tail retailers are likely to lose those that are using that at all or do you think that's how it's going to play out this year. Rob: [38:02] Yeah I do just plainly you know loyalty has been redefined we don't mention it before in terms of health safety, convenience and Trust now that's the Baseline and retailers really need to focus you know what we're hearing from consumers they want to be treated special they want to E M I don't know what personalization means but when you ask them the attributes of it they want that right they want to feel like they're unique two-thirds say they want to, have a unique experience and feel like they're being treated uniquely the challenge based on Research that we just conducted is only one-third of retailers can actually harness and democratize that data and turn it into personalized promotions and prices and offers and so. Yeah there's this will give a shout out to Steve face Steve happy holidays there is this bifurcation taking place and it's you know so important especially as we go into this cooking this world for retailers to really harness their data more than they ever have it's not, a new story right we've been talking about for a while but this first part is zero party data so important because that same research showed three strikes and you're out after three bad experiences retail with a retailer or brand consumer is going to abandon and go somewhere else and not come back so yeah just I think you're onto something this and I need to really not just a choir but think about the consumers that you have those loyal shoppers. Jason: [39:31] Yeah if only there was some kind of tool set that merged I Commerce and data and it all lived like I don't know in the cloud that would be amazing. Rob: [39:39] It would be kind of amazing woman that I know I think we're in a pretty good spot. Jason: [39:43] Someone should do that. Another thing that's been interesting to me regarding the inflation is it seems like some retailers are. Passing more of the the costs on to Consumers than others and it's been funny I don't know if you followed all these all these Q3 earnings but there's retailers that are like. We pulled a lot of levers we got a lot of extra inventory in but it came in way more expensive we didn't raise our prices a lot and so our sales have been great but our profitability is down and then there have been other retailers that are like, consumers have been willing to pay more for a good so our sales are up in our profitability is up. Side note I don't I don't follow this is much but the investors like the retailers that took the prophet a lot more than the retailers that acted as a shock absorber. Rob: [40:31] Shocker yeah I think generally that equation that you just talked about not only sales but profit come back into play here retailers and of what I've seen I've gotten somewhat of a hall pass over the course of the pandemic because you know the focus on. Consumer safety. Associate safety getting the product through the supply chain and so the Retailer's took a hit there I think we're taking you know a. Refocus you know back on to profitability and you know that's why it's interesting I was hosting a Roundtable virtually just recently and one of the participants one of the executives reminded all of us is of the profitability of the box right we kind of lost sight up that'll is what I mean by that obviously the physical store. And I think we lost sight of that purposely over the course of last 20 months but. And I think we're going to have to really hunker down and really look at what that looks like especially as you know consumers have gotten used to having a lot of flexibility and choice around how they get in where they get the product. Scot: [41:44] Cool and interesting data from the categories apparel has been under a lot of pressure since the pandemic Electronics have been surging Home Improvement seems to be running non-stop it anything any changes to those kind of Trends we've seen for the last 18 months. Rob: [42:02] Yeah you know I'll look I'll give you some information and across cyberweek. Because it's most recent but I think it speaks to what's happening Scott or what has happened over the last 20 months. Um what we saw in the hottest categories across cyberweek are luxury handbags with a sixty percent year-over-year growth. Furniture at a 56 percent year over year growth. In general Footwear at a 22 percent year-over-year growth now luxury handbags in general apparel I get it. That's going off of a base that shrunk last year nobody saw my feet on any zooms right so my slippers were just fine legs are handbags. I know we weren't really going out to many restaurants in SLE need to refresh that so the growth on Lower base or. Shrinking base from last year makes sense for getting back out in the world you know we're focusing on exponential categories as consumers like entertainment and travel and being outdoors. [43:11] What really is super interesting is furniture. Furniture has been on a tear because we've all been home and whether we're redoing our outdoor patio set because that's where we're spending time outdoors I did for the holiday as I mentioned or it's my home office. You know what I can think about as my team look through the data is it's a shifting slightly of what people are buying for their home they're buying more entertainment type of products whether it's home appliances or its couches. Or the like where people are coming back into your home after a long respite and we want to spruce up our home as well so you know like I said the handbags from where I get it which is great to see Furniture you know ears. Really didn't know walls over the course of the pandemic and as we come through this holiday. Scot: [44:07] Nursing how about any interesting toys you want to highlight like I think Jason mentioned the mixy as one that was kind of called out as being a hot toy. Rob: [44:16] Jason what's the Mixie tell me more. Jason: [44:20] You are I don't I actually haven't seen any data on whether it came to fruition but the toy it was the toy the toy industry was leaning into and it's like it's like a combination of a chemistry toy with a plushie so like like it create smoke and then a plushie comes out of the smoke I think is the the gist of it the the big toy I've seen in terms of sales velocity is that the gaming platforms are selling like hotcakes. Rob: [44:51] Yeah yeah yeah that's what I was saying it's really just a sample size of one where it's like for my boys 15 and 12 they're all about whatever's digital whether that's devices or Dean's on those devices so you know shopping is gotten a little easier on one hand but we have to also be really creative as well. Jason: [45:12] Yeah I wonder we'll see how it plays out but it doesn't feel like Last Mile has had a big impact on on shopping up till now but like even if give last-mile holds up in there's no capacity problems we still have these holiday cut-offs right you know we still get to this date where we can no longer cost-effectively ship something to your home in time for the holidays and I feel like there's more digital gifts out there than ever before so you think of all the streaming services you can gift a subscription to all the content for these these gaming Platforms in these Computing platforms and I'm not super Bush for this holiday but like I think we're going to see more retailers offering enough teas and things this year so it I'm kind of curious if the back half of. December becomes the sort of digital holiday season. Rob: [46:01] Yeah we certainly saw that didn't we Jason last year in terms of the shipping cut off. Come in really early on the heels of Cyber Monday because the last mile issues and a lot of retailers really honed in on gift cards as another source of. A gift and I think you're right I think you're right in terms of you know whether it's and FTS maybe we're a little early for that but we'll see. My colleague Michelle Grant has been tracking that really closely and she's pretty bullish about the whole category as relates not only gifts but the intersection between that and loyalty programs but yeah I mean I think it's you know whether it's gift cards to restaurants or travel or the like gaming as you mentioned just I think there's something that I really think there's something to that. Jason: [46:50] Yeah well listen this has been a super exciting conversation and I always like to end it on a total Debbie Downer note so the. I'm curious if you have seen or have you guys are trying to figure out how you're going to model like any impact from the new covid variant like in my world it feels like people were definitely planning to get together and more in person events but it does seem like people are starting to second-guess those there's all the news articles are talking about what what's the correct pronunciation is it Omicron. Makan. Rob: [47:27] Sounds good to me I'll let you stick to that one I will try to because I know all. Jason: [47:31] Got you I think a Peyton Manning screaming Omaha is my. Rob: [47:34] Hahaha I like that reference nicely done yeah. That's a good question I as I mentioned earlier I only hope we can see each other in person at an arrest in January you know where. We're at Salesforce tracking just. [47:53] Now this new digital world really closely because we're not going back to the same. You know mindset as we had before as our newly assigned co-ceo put it is work isn't where you go but it's what you do and you know we're living in this digital headquarters and it's going to be hybrid I've. Attended plenty of hybrid types of executive meetings over the course of the last month or two as people start, get back on the road as it relates to retail you know I can't really speak to what's to come. But what I can say is we tracked digital sales across the last 20 months as it relates to cases and maybe it shouldn't be a surprise you know as. Non-essential. Stores closed and I hope that doesn't happen again but people want to hunker down and be home and order products online there was a direct correlation between cases and order and sales growth in fact over the course of 2020 we saw a 50% year-over-year growth. And by the way that was I'm sorry 57% to be precise and that was driven in large part by 40% growth in net new digital Shoppers so these are people would hang on a line right they go to social media they be able to browse and. [49:22] Do some research but they ultimately go in the store and buy they're also buying new categories as well and so you know as things. As we look forward we can certainly based on history see a correlation between digital which is set a whole new Baseline as I mentioned before and what that looks like as it relates to traffic orders and sales. Jason: [49:47] Yeah it is certain there is no short – of variables to impact this holiday as it feels like we've gone from playing checkers to playing 3D 3D chess a little bit with all this stuff. Rob: [50:02] Yes you're right I need to bring in my 15-year old to help me play that game because yeah I'm a couple moves behind but you know we can look at data and that's the fun part about our part of the fun part about my job as looking at the data and seeing what people have done. Jason: [50:17] I I do other and that's why we love having you on the show so much is because you bring the data in Rob that is going to be a perfect place to wrap for tonight because we have used up all our a lot of time on this special cyberweek / Hanukkah edition of the show so if you if listeners enjoyed this show we sure would appreciate it as our holiday gift if you would jump onto iTunes and give us that five-star review. Scot: [50:45] Rob we really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us here on the day after Cyber Monday you guys have a fancy cool new portal or I don't know what you want to HUB how do folks find that. Rob: [50:59] We do have the insights hub for the holiday and so perhaps we can in the show notes or however you do it these days share it with the crew but if you also searched Salesforce holiday insights Hub you'll get right to it so you'll see all the data that I talked about and even more across marketing as we get further into the holiday season you'll see it for service as well and so I encourage your listeners to engage through that portal and you know Scott Jason thank you so much sincerely I mean it's been a long week not a lot of sleep for the team and me but. It's been a highlight to share this with you and make this an annual tradition so happy healthy and safe holiday season. Scot: [51:46] Thanks Rob will have Jason put a link to the hub on his friend stir page. Rob: [51:52] Perfect. Jason: [51:55] I will do it I will put it in all the socials and if folks want to keep track of the gar fees that's its retail Rod right is it retail Rob Garf is that your Twitter handle. Rob: [52:07] You got it retail Rob Garth and then I'm on LinkedIn as well. Jason: [52:10] Awesome I will put links to all of the above Rob really appreciate it one of the conversations I look forward to every year and absolutely look forward to seeing you in person at the interrupt Big Show next month and until then happy commercing!
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Monday news briefs with the latest on travel restrictions to slow the spread of a new coronavirus variant. Plus Cyber Monday is today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Wednesday news briefs with a report from Charlie Langton on travel at Metro Airport. Plus an update on a big night expected at Detroit area bars. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
EP281 - Mark Mahaney, author and top internet analyst Mark Mahaney is Senior Managing Director at Evercore ISI, Research Division, he's one of the original and longest lasting internet analysts on Wall Street. He recently published “Nothing but Net: 10 Timeless Stock-Picking Lessons from One of Wall Street's Top Tech Analysts.” We cover a variety of fun topics including the beginning of his career with with Mary Meeker. His initial evaluation of EBay. His long positions on Amazon, Netflix, and Priceline, and butting heads with Jim Cramer over Google. We also discuss what's next for Amazon, and where the best investments of the future might be. Episode 281 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, November 18th, 2021 http://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Transcript Jason: [0:00] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 281 being recorded on Thursday November 18 20 21. I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scott Wingo. Scot: [0:16] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners. Jason as you and the listeners know I am a huge scene in b.c. junkie and you can't turn on CNBC Durning Earth during earning Seasons without seeing Mark mahaney he is one of the top internet analyst. He was actually on recently talking about the artist previously known as Facebook meta Mark has a new book out called quote-unquote Nothing But net and is joining us tonight give listeners an early peek of what is sure to be the best seller in the bookmark covers some of our favorite companies including Amazon Apple Facebook / meta Google Netflix Twitter and Uber Mark welcome to the show. Mark: [0:56] Thanks for having me on guys. Jason: [0:58] Mark we are thrilled the chat with you is you know Scott is a huge Amazon fan boy so I anytime he gets a chance to talk Amazon he's excited. And I'm super excited because after tonight show I'm going to be smart enough to get rich like you and Scott so that's pretty pretty exciting for me. But before we jump into all that we always like to give listeners a little bit of a feel for our guests background and in your case I know I think you're officially the the oldest analysts on Wall Street is that true. Mark: [1:29] Well that's the oldest and longest lasting internet analyst on Wall Street but I don't look the part so how about we do that yes I've been covering Internet stock since 1998 do a series of bank said I started, working with this tremendous analysts her name was Mary Meeker her name is Mary Meeker and started the first Friday I was on Wall Street I got a call from the CFO of this tiny little online auction company that sold Pez dispensers and was looking to see whether any banks would be interested in their IPO that company was eBay so I wasn't there at the beginning of the internet but I was there pretty close to the beginning of the commercial for the public market to internet and it's been a fascinating ride and I thought there were a lot of lessons I could draw both from the successes the market and failures in the market and my personal successes and failures as a stock picker. Scot: [2:20] Cool what's so name some of the firm's so in my recollection you've probably worked at six firms like how many firms have you worked out over or that career. Mark: [2:30] Yeah now I don't want you to think I you know I jump around too much but I started off at Morgan Stanley also worked at Citibank Royal Bank of Canada. A small boot wonderful Boutique called American Technology research and I'm currently at evercore isi but I've been doing nothing but net. Hence the title of the book that's been my email tagline or always online is one of those two it's been my email tagline for 25 years but nothing but net and that's just doing my best to try to stay ahead of these internet stocks the early ones the the eBay's the Amazons the Yahoo excite if you might remember them infoseek. And then and then AOL and then and then later on some of the more Dynamic ones came out ended up with names like uber including most recently one you talked about Warby Parker so it's been a fascinating span and arguably one of the most dynamic. Parts of Wall Street I guess if you were working as an analyst on Wall Street. Or portfolio manager portfolio manager if you could have picked two sectors to be a part of to track over the last 25 years one of them has to have been the internet just how explosive it's been a been plenty of – explosions in there but there's been some wonderful wealth creation the other sector would probably be software just just too wonderful Industries I got lucky I was I was part of the internet. Scot: [3:49] Yeah I'm glad you didn't pick Mall Focus treats that would have been a bad choice. So you know as Jason mentioned there's kind of this auspicious title that you have of the oldest I would say wisest and most longest lasting internet unless. Tell us about some of the as you reflect in the book is kind of got some really good stories and you've been kind of on the front row seat of a lot of cool stuff maybe tell us what was your worst pick and best pick in the span of the career there. Mark: [4:22] Well I had a sale on Google it close to its IPO I was brought on to CNBC show and told by none other than Jim Jim Cramer that I was an analyst with a three-egg omelette on my face because of my cell phone call he was right I was wrong so you know one doesn't pretend one doesn't tend to forget moments like that on public television being told that you know you're pretty much an ass. But it does happen you know there are axes and then there are you know others and so I made plenty of mistakes I had to buy on Blue Apron although the lessons from that turned out to be different than I thought I got the call wrong but the lessons were different than I thought I kind of dissect that a little bit in the book. So those are some of my some of my worst calls I think my to my three best calls have frankly been sticking with a buy on Amazon for pretty much the last 15 years Netflix for the last 12 years and Priceline and now now booking for. [5:18] For a solid 12 years both Netflix of all three of those were really decades-long S&P 500 Best in Class stocks for a variety of different reasons and in the book I try to call out what were those reasons what were the what's that what's the pattern recognition so that you know we as investors can find the next Netflix and the next Amazon doesn't mean and Amazon and Netflix can't perform well from here but what are the things you can see in common that can help you as a stock picker you know kind of see ahead what really kind of started a lot of the the insights the idea of the book was this wonderful book that was written in 1980 called that one up on wall by Peter Lynch kind of a Bible or primer for anybody really looking to invest invest in the market with some wonderful advice and I really had any wrote it based on some wonderful examples of successful stocks and companies of his generation and I thought somebody needed to write one about our generation and you know these phenomenal money-making we know wealth-creating stocks that have. [6:19] That have soared the charts top the charts over the last 20 10 5 and even two years that have been dramatic dramatic winners from the covid crisis to I try to keep it long term in duration and frankly that's one of the big lessons I have in my book is. Is you know long-term I've found stocks do follow fundamentals they just do companies get bigger more Revenue more profits their stocks go higher almost always that's the case if you're a patient long-term investor so you can make money just investing you don't need to day trade and I think that was the last thing that really inspired me to write this book there about 15 million new. [6:53] Trading accounts that have opened up over the last two years you know the mean Traders the Robin Hood accounts and I just wanted to step back and say look you can have very good returns in the markets by buying high quality companies especially Tech and growth companies you don't have to day trade you can sleep better at night I got plenty of examples of companies that created wonderful. Shareholder returns over time and their stories you can take your time and really understand and stick with and anyway that's it this is this book is a little bit of little bit of personal Memoir but really more of a history of the Great. Companies and the ones that failed and then what are the lessons you can draw to apply going forwards. Jason: [7:32] Got it so I know it's not in your coverage area but you would have a buy on GameStop is that what you're saying no. I Nostalgia requires me to ask though I am staring right now at a pets.com. Puppet still in the box that's like sort of a Memento I have on my on my desk like we're you covering like those guys at the at the. Dot-com boom. Mark: [8:00] No no I didn't but I refer to that in the book and I make this I draw the comparison you know pets.com and smoke you know pets.com went public with trailing 12 month month revenues of 5 million I don't know if you heard that right five million dollars. [8:16] Trailing 12 months they had been an operating company for under two years I mean how that thing got out you know in hindsight is is is pretty shocking but wait a second go you know go forward 15 years and what came out. To e.com chewy.com went public with 3 billion in trailing sales and you knows the same sort of basic value proposition to Consumers it's just that the market was a lot bigger it allowed for a lot more scale and a bunch of other things came out o like cell phones smartphones cloud computing which allowed companies to scale up at much lower costs and so the markets really were proved out at that you know the time of pets.com there were three unknowns is there really an internet Market are there really good management teams and other really good business models today the first question is emphatically yes they are huge Market opportunities and they've been proven in in the Internet space advertising retail entertainment a lot of different ways you can cut it and there's some business models have generated enormous amounts of free cash flow and then there are yes of course there's always a few select excellent management teams who find that right combination it can be it's proven to be a great path to making money in stocks and chewy has been a stock that I've really liked since its IPO even though it's the next pets.com and that's the cynicism that people be placed in front of it when they went public. This was a very different puppy. Jason: [9:39] Yeah it does it seems like timing it seems obvious but timing is such a big. Part of all that you referenced Peter Lynch and I know you know there's. There's all the old Netflix stuff I actually started my career at Blockbuster entertainment and so in my in my industry everyone makes fun of Blockbuster that we got Netflix stand and all those sorts of things and I always have to point out. You know we sold Blockbuster for 18 billion dollars in 1995 like five years before Netflix was invented. Then it was a good business with a good exit you know every every business has it it's it's moment and it's time and you know the the railroads aren't the investment that they once were either. Mark: [10:28] Netflix is a fascinating story so let me let me let me jump to it a little bit you know one of the things the punchline of I asked people if you're going to remember one thing for my book I hope you'll still buy it but if you're going to remember one thing from my book it's dhq it's not DQ That's Dairy Queen dhq is dislocated high-quality companies and. You know time you mentioned timing I was thinking in terms of stock timing I thought those were your going to take us I think it's very hard to the time stocks but you know you can clearly see when stocks are dislocated I either traded off twenty Thirty forty percent so that's usually you know time if you think it's high quality asset and it dislocates them they all dislocate from time to time even the best highest quality names. That's when you can kind of Step In add the positions by the stock knowing that you in a way mitigated some of the valuation risk as investors your tries an investor you're trying to do two things mitigate valuation risk and mitigate fundamentals risk you know the chance that Revenue falls off a cliff margins get crushed the way you mitigate that fundamentals. Risk is to focus on companies with large Tam's excellent management teams great product Innovation and superb customer value prop and Netflix screen so well for me on those four things I'll just take this off super quickly if you don't mind. [11:42] The industry Vision so let's see Reed Hastings invented or started Netflix back in 1997 Netflix the name itself sort of implies that somehow we're going to be doing some streaming thing and this is a 1997 when it would have taken you four hours to download the first five minutes of Terminator like there was no streaming Market there but yet. [12:02] That was the premise of the company in 10 years later you know you look at the first initial interviews with Reed Hastings I mean this is where he was going to take the company all along so I was just giving him kudos for industry vision and the fact that he was willing to cannibalize his existing DVD business first dreaming business very few entrepreneurs can do that so management you know checks My Box customer value proposition the best way to tell whether a customer a company has a great value proposition is do they have pricing power will do people love it so much that they'll pay more for starting in 2014 Netflix started increasing pricing just about every other year and there's some ads accelerated that's a compelling that's evidence of compelling value proposition third is this product Innovation and you know they just don't have a lot of things not just streaming but there's a lot of these little tweaks that the side like binge watching you know kudos to Netflix for just rolling out new series all at once I mean practically invented binge-watching and of course you know they sort of invented the streaming thing or the people who founded music really did that but but Reed comes in a close close second on that and then you know I'm finally in terms of Tam's large Tam's total addressable markets. [13:13] You can add it up a couple of different ways but you know home entertainment video consumption it's it's a couple of hundred billion dollars in total you know Market opportunity and then who knows these things come along like smartphones and all of a sudden the majority of usage is on smartphones that tells you that these markets could be a lot bigger than we traditionally thought just like Spotify blew out the market for what really could be music advertising revenue and music subscription Revenue Netflix is did the same thing with me with Video subscription Revenue they blew up the tan they made it a lot bigger so that's right you know I love that story about the stories about Netflix I gave him a tremendous amount of Kudos I think the sometimes people under appreciate just because it's kind of a singular company just you know video video streaming I think they I think they don't get enough credit for what they've done and what they could still do because I think there's still one more one more trick up Reed Hastings sleeve and I think it's gaming and he's reached they've received such so much skepticism about this pivot or missing expansion in the gaming but you know management team to figured out dvd-by-mail streaming original content International expansion mount give them the benefit of the doubt that they can figure out an Innovative new way. To deliver gaming and therefore further increase their value proposition you'd want to stick with a company like that I stick with the stock like that. Scot: [14:34] Ever kind of a random question let's say there was I'll pick something at random a company that was Reinventing Car Care and making it mobile and digital would you call that a dhq. Mark: [14:45] I think that yes yes absolutely. Scot: [14:51] All right leading the witness. I do have to give you Kudos because in the Netflix section you do have a Star Wars reference you talk about the Disney death star which is which is appropriate because they now own the Death Star it's got a part of there is one of their IPs. Mark: [15:09] But by the way that was you know there were a couple of Netflix there's a rocky stock Rocky stock here that's right that's a that's a rocky stock for you it's had there were two times they miss Subs because of uncertainty over the price increases and they got some pushback it was an obvious that they had pricing power but they proved it over time and then they've got this great competitor risk with Disney and I think what the market missed on that this is just kind of leaving aside the book of just talking about stock picks is you know people are going to sign up for multiple streaming services now not now not five six or seven but they'll sign up for two or three if there's original content and they have original content I mean there's some things you will you have to sign up for Disney Plus for if you if people are like use God and you know dramatic. [15:52] Star Wars fans of course you can sign up for Disney plus but you know there's because its original content if you want to watch squid game there's one and one only place you can go for that and you know there's going to be another squid game or you know another show that just kind of breaks through the site-geist and by the way that's where Netflix is so I'll leave Netflix aside but I'm so struck by is this company shapes the Zeitgeist whether they can cause a run on chess board sales worldwide with the Queens Gambit a year ago where they can cause more people start studying Korean on Duolingo a language app which I actually like is the stock because they can you know they've introduced this show squid games like when a company reaches the Zeitgeist when they when they become almost like a lucky lexicon like they become a verb like I'm gonna google that or you know it's the Uber of this that or that you know that's that's something special and those are usually stocks that have gotten very long runways. Scot: [16:44] Yeah and I'm here in North Carolina and we have all these MBA we have all these universities and I was actually speaking earlier this week at MBA class over at Duke. And you know I have this whole little joke track that I do where I talk about my first company was profitable and I learned I could never raise VC because get the TV season that's a your profit we don't invest in property companies so yeah I often joke that I've been doing it wrong and ever since then I haven't made a dime. And I kind of thought it was those funny because you kind of. The internet sector was kind of early before SAS where and you point this out where there's kind of you know what we learned is there is an investor that loves Revenue growth and in a way that the opposite side of that coin is it can actually hurt you if you start to make profits maybe share with listeners that that you know probably many of them come from traditional businesses where that sounds nonsensical maybe maybe explain kind of what happened there. Mark: [17:41] Well I want to be I want to be on to get nuanced here which is you know I that chapter that says the most important thing out there is revenue revenue revenue you know for tech stocks and growth stock. But of course earnings and free cash flow matter it's that sometimes the public market is a lot longer term focused than people give it credit for Netflix is a great example that also is Amazon. I mean those those businesses had if you look at near-term valuation PE metrics price to free cash flow there's no way you would have bought those stocks. But what I think long-term growth investors realized is there's this you know when these get these assets that can grow their Top Line twenty to thirty percent Plus. From scale for multiple years like that can that creates an enormous amount of value over time and it's so rare I came up with something of a 20% rule you know it's one to two percent of the S&P 500 that can consistently grow at from scale their Top Line 20% which is like five times faster or six times faster than Global GDP growth so it's rare for good reasons but those companies dramatically outperformed the market because they're rare and it's not like growth and scale solve everything but geez they solve a lot of things I've yet to see it's got you know you go way back on this I'm sure you had these comments like Amazon will never turn a profit my first year on the street. [19:04] There's a person who's not one of the most influential investors out there put his finger in my chest. And said you know Amazon will never be profitable and you know I guess he must have been writing he was so smart but he was wrong because he didn't realize just what how powerful Amazon could be as it's scaled over time I mean you generate billions and billions in revenue and you can you can run over a lot of your fixed costs as long as you're not selling dollars for 95 cents you know if you're you know if you're selling them for a dollar and two cents and then you get scale against your fixed cost yeah scale will solve just about anything and I look at what happened with Amazon and I've looked at more much more recently its bring it up to up to date to Uber Uber just printed its first free cash flow quarter ever even though it's Rideshare businesses like down 40% since Pre-K covid levels how the heck did they do that because it took a lot of costs out of the business and then they had this delivery business that really scaled so look earnings matter it's just that when we look at tech stocks and growth stocks you know especially early on is IPOs they rarely go public. As profitable businesses the question you have to answer yourself is can they be profitable long-term are there companies that are already you know similar business models that are already are that's one way or their segments of the business that are already profitable. [20:19] Is there a reason that scale can't drive profitability for the company and the fourth what I call profitability Action question that detail this in a book is yo Are there specific steps steps that the management team can take to bring the product the company to profitability so I've yet to see a company. [20:36] And I'm sure there are some but I've yet to see one that hit the public markets that couldn't scale itself to profitability now some blew up. Well you know that's because they couldn't hit the enough scale so that's that's kind of my answer to the question of yes of course earnings and free cash flow matter at the end of the day that's what they're going to be valued on but just watch these companies that they really execute well they can take what looks like really aggressive valuations and overtime those valuations can turn awfully awfully attractive and a lot of times the stock wealth creation goes from point A to point B it doesn't start at point B. Jason: [21:10] Yeah the you know it's you mentioned then the Netflix. Effect on the cultural zygous fun fun stat on Queen's gamut it drove the sale of millions of chessboard and caused hundreds of people to start playing chess. I do one of the things that comes out strongest in in the book to me and that you alluded to upfront is sort of the difference between trading and investing. You know I always have people come up to me and they're like hey you know a lot about these retail companies what's a good investment and I'm like. I have no idea can you can you talk a little bit about sort of what you mean by sort of fundamental investing versus trading. Mark: [21:56] Well I sum it all up in the pithy expression don't play quarters I find playing quarters is almost a Fool's game the number of times I get questions you know what should I buy for the quarter and for little sophisticated institutional investors that could be I've got a position in. [22:15] Amazon or Google or Twitter and you know do I should I be you know heading into the position prior to earnings or you know facing back and adding to it more afterwards okay that's a different setup but if you're just playing a company for that quarter pop the problem is quarterly earnings reactions there's two things that drive them. Fundamentals great get the fundamentals right that it's expectations so the quarter trades are really about expectations you may get the quarter right you may be right that Nvidia or Roblox are going to have super strong quarters because I see how many of my friends kids are all over Roblox you maybe well right on that but you have to know you know what the market is actually expecting and numbers can go Revenue can accelerate but if the bar is higher than that then you're going to see these stocks trade off it happens a lot so I just unless you're unless you're a pro less you're in day in and day out. You know working working these stocks and really have a sense of where the expectations are. I think it's just a Fool's game to play play stocks just four quarters instead you know you want to stick with stocks for the you know you want to find an asset that you think is going to be. [23:29] Materially bigger in two to three years down the road and you think it's high quality based on some of the screens I threw out then stick with that name and don't try to play around the quarters and it's in fact sometimes you can use weakness or strength around the quarter to adjust your position but don't use it too initiator close out a position at the then you fall trap to these expectations game that is very hard to participate in if you're just a regular you know retail investor and you can make just as much money just staying invested in some of these great assets. Jason: [23:59] That is great advice and it's I certainly resonate with the sticking with the Investments I am curious though on the other end of that on the really long Horizon you mentioned you've you've been had a buy on Amazon for like 15 years. Wait. Like are you going to have a buying them for the next 15 years is that how I mean like does there come a point when they achieve their potential and you have to start worrying about them getting on the other side of the Hill. Mark: [24:26] Yeah I think you can I think you can one look for the fundamental towel and so I'm going to I'm going to spin over to another stock I talked about in the book Priceline. Which is actually the single best performing S&P 500 stock for like a 10 year period 2005 to 2015 phenomenal stock travel name everybody knows it William Shatner excetera although they're real secret sauce with what they did in European markets but. But that's a company that you know sustained premium growth like they were growing their bookings in the revenue 40 percent year over year for years and years and years and years and that's what powered that that that stock and when it stopped materially ah performed Market was when the growth rate decelerate it below 20%. [25:10] And so I don't want to you know create a hard and fast rule but I do feel strongly about this twenty percent rule 20 percent you know we're close to it you know don't don't Nick me at 19.8% you know could close to twenty percent is unusual rare growth. [25:23] And the markets usually pay up for that and when you see a company over time either because of Miss execution it happens or Market maturity and their growth rates you know kind of slide below 20% then that's when you reconsider your position that's a simplistic rule as a lot of caveats to that when I see with Amazon here is despite the size of this business I think they're still growing 20% for the next five years so in that if that's the case. [25:48] You know the simple rule of thumb is companies that can grow like. They can I like to see stocks that can double in in three years in order to do that you kind of have to do you know 20 to 25 percent earnings growth that's what a Maps out too. And you know you can double a stock in 3 years your handily beating the market in almost all time periods. And so when I see what it'll change my opinion really on Amazon is if I believe that this company is going to go X growth it's going to go you know well below 20 percent Revenue growth I just don't see that in the next couple of years given how much growth they have in retail in NE ws and cloud computing and in some of these really newer areas that I'm really interested in whether they really can crack the code on groceries and they can that's a large opportunity and business supplies Industrial Supplies I think that's a very underappreciated part of Amazon's business so I don't see myself changing my opinion on Amazon although you don't want things that we talked about this earlier that I love to see your founder LED companies that's no longer the case with with Amazon so that's you know at some level I've got slightly less conviction than the in the by case but I'm going to stick with it as long as the numbers prove out right and long as I can see this path that's consistent 20% Revenue. Scot: [26:59] Yeah and this is kind of breaking out of the book thing but since you brought up Amazon it wouldn't be a Jason Scott show if we didn't kind of double click on that what did any thoughts on the Q2 and Q3 earnings feels like they're slowing down a bit and feeling some of the labor and see what we call Supply pain on the show are you are you getting nervous about it or you think it's just a little one of their little kind of investment phases. Mark: [27:23] I called the six billion dollar kitchen sink that's how much lower their guidance was for operating income in the December quarter then then what the street was looking for like she was looking for close to eight billion and they guided to billions six billion dollar kitchen sink and they threw it all in there wage inflation you know you right you drive that route 95 on the east coast and you'll see Amazon Amazon is hiring Billboards up and down the East Coast Seaboard I did it recently so yeah they're aggressively hiring at higher wages that's impacting their margins there still some covid related cost shipping they're just not able to a sufficiently source and bring in product and so they have to bring in product into the the ports that aren't optimized for their distribution Network so just a lot of. [28:14] Positive blowing up now the question you have to ask yourself as an investor is are those are those cost increases elective structural discretionary temporary it's kind of like which of those are they the more that you can make a determination that the cost bikes are temporary the more you stick with the name if you think there's something structurally changed about Amazon okay that's different I don't think there's anything structurally changed about Amazon and certainly not its competitive position and then the last thing what I really like to see. [28:44] Frankly is this company. I mean the level of investment this company is making its distribution Network you know you talked about Facebook earlier they're dumping 10 billion into the metaverse which I think there's a there there but I don't know Amazon is dumping billions and billions into its own Logistics Network like they're doubling down on their core competency you bet I'll stick with that and what they're going to what's going to come out of that is even faster and faster delivery and they're going to prove out this concept what I call shipping elasticity the faster you ship the more that people are going to use you in a more of their of the more of their wallet and per-share you're going to Amazon's going to get so we're going to actually going to Super up one day delivery and then they're going to Super up super same day delivery and I think they'll be able to just grab more and more and offer more and more products to people so I like those kind of investment initiatives so I think a lot of that margin pressure by the way it was really due to these kind of elective investments in the infrastructure they added more distribution capacity the last two years than Walmart has in its history. That's how aggressive Amazon is being an eye you know my guess is that third we're going to see dramatic market share gains from Amazon in the next 12 months so I like those companies that kind of really lean in bendin and the double down on our core competency that's what the Amazon is doing now. Scot: [30:00] Yeah. The Press is making a lot of noise around Shopify versus Amazon and Shopify is kind of amplifying that with they're arming the rebels and everything. Jason Connor makes our I won't say his thing but he's not a believer in that I think it's kind of interesting in there's definitely no love lost between the company's what what's your take on that is that a real battle or is that just kind of genda by to kind of raise awareness for Shopify. Mark: [30:26] You have a quick point of view on that Scott. Scot: [30:29] I think Shopify becomes a Marketplace adjacent thinks that's crazy Jason what do you what I'll let you state your own opinion. Jason: [30:38] Yeah I mean I think Shopify is a phenomenal company and a good executor so I'm not throwing rocks at Shopify. They're to me they're not a competitor to Amazon they don't acquire customers they have no traffic there there. Piece of infrastructure and a great valuable piece of infrastructure but a piece of infrastructure. Doesn't draw any customers in so I call these people that are like oh man they're like Amazon they have all this aggregated gmv and they could sell ads to it and they can you know recruit more sellers because they have this this audience and all these things will they don't have any of those things they don't have a single b2c marketer. In their company and I would argue that's that's been one of Amazon's Court competencies is they've they use the flywheel to build this this huge audience that they get to sell all the. Their goods and services to so I just I don't think. They compete in any in any meaningful way and I think if Shopify were to try to become a true b2c company like Amazon. It would just be a phenomenal pivot it would be you know. Can't you know obviously they have the resources to fund trying for it but I'm not sure that's the best move for them. Mark: [31:57] Yeah I don't so I Do cover Shopify I've been really impressed with them I don't know them as well as I know Amazon but I've been super impressed. With them and terms of the product development and they are just providing more and more services to small Merchants so I think there's an are now bigger than eBay in terms of GM vo but I can never there's not enough disclosure to figure out so where's that GM D coming because I think some of that probably does come through eBay so a little bit of double counting that goes on in there but it's really impressive what they've pulled together whether they can actually aggregate demand in a way that Amazon has I think that's I think that's unlikely I think that's a very hard thing to do it's possible they do have a shop app I just, yeah I guess that's the action question we often ask ourselves do you think you're going to use the shop app to shop. [32:45] I don't think so I don't think people are going to do that but you know if they can get enough people to do that boy they will have really they will have some really circled it that you know because they got the infrastructure okay they're talking about building out fulfillment and doing fulfillment for people and spending a billion dollars on it sorry my friends you're gonna have to spend a heck of a lot more than a billion if you if you really want to you know compete. Because the bar is getting higher it's not getting lower it's getting higher in terms of funeral the speed of delivery eBay learn this the hard way and so shockfights Memphis spend a lot more than that so anyway there's a lot of wonderful things about Shopify and I don't know whether if you listening to slammed on by if you think they can build up an aggregate an audience I don't think they can so does it make doesn't make it a slam dunk by it's it's you know it's a deep three point shot put it that way. And you're not Steph Curry. Jason: [33:41] I think we're going back to the basketball references in the book. Yeah it you know I tend to agree I'm not I don't think the shop app you know has attracted an audience that uses it for shopping yet it's a shipping trapping tracking app at the moment. But the it is funny like there are lots of companies that facilitate huge amounts of gmv so I think of like. Excuse me and Akamai is a. Is a CDN that's that used by almost every retailer to help help sell stuff right and so if you said well what's the CD the gmv of Akamai well it's bigger than Amazons. Um but that doesn't mean that Akamai can compete with Amazon so yeah I don't know. [34:28] I do want to go back to Amazon earnings just briefly because I you know I think a lot of the Slowdown is kind of a covid blip and I don't know if you ever think of it this way but. They're there their times in history when. It feels like the external factors aren't a big influence and and you know some companies perform really well and other companies struggle so you know there could be a year when you see Home Depot doing really well and lows struggling and you say. There's something special about Home Depot that I might be interested in investing in at the moment it feels like the external environment for retail is having a. [35:07] Sort of a consistent effect on everyone right and so you look at the industry average is you look at all of them is on Spears and they all have sort of the same shape of deceleration. That Amazon has so it's to me it's hard to attribute that to some. Some fundamental flaw in Amazon but there is one thing I noticed this quarter that it was interesting and I wanted to get your opinion about because I know as an investor you like seeing companies that have pricing power. And you know of course Amazon famously raise the price of prime a while back and seems like that was wildly successful this quarter. They've raised the price for grocery delivery there now charging ten dollar delivery fees even for Prime members. And then this week we saw that they made a pretty substantial increase to the cost of f ba which is you know the fundamental service used by almost all marketplace hours and they they just raise the price of that by like five percent and I'm curious do you look at that as a good sign that hey. They have pricing power and they're doing so well that they can command those prices or to me it's a potential warning sign because I feel like Amazon is so. Zealous an advocate of the flywheel in the flywheel is all about driving costs down to get scale up I just was surprised to see some of these like price increases in in you know. Especially grocery which isn't super mature yet. Mark: [36:33] Well I'm not sure really of the answer to your question Jason it's a it's a it's a really good thoughtful question on the on the groceries I think they raised it because the unit economics were just not working for them in terms of grocery delivery that's that's my guess they also you know yet to have that get to really crack the code on the grocery business and so I sort of see that as they tried it and it just can't right size the economics of they got to charge more for it so I read that kind of negatively what did the raising fees to sellers. But my guess is it's a mixture of things but it's largely driven that my guess is that this largely driven off of Just Rising. [37:17] You know Rising infrastructure costs have been rising shipping costs I mean Rising the two costs that they called out specifically on the earnings call my recall is correct is our steel costs because of all of that dish construction they're doing with their fulfillment centers and trucking services and so my guess is that they've they're doing is not necessarily the right size the economics is I think the economics are working but because they want to try to keep their unit economics relatively intact. And that's sort of the way I think they thought about the raising the price of prime it wasn't they did it because they could. It's they did because they sort of had to like the costs are rising it's just that what I found interesting in terms of pricing power is van acceleration in in Prime ads you know post that price increase like that and so does Netflix to me Netflix is essentially raise fees use the fees to you know generate more Revenue by more content is like a flywheel that they've worked with their make the service more bringing more users allows them to get a little bit raised money just a little bit more so it's not so much raising fees to extract excess profits it's raising fees to further accelerate growth and the value proposition is strong enough that they can do that and not lose customers that's that's that that there's this is subtle nuance and maybe it's too salty but but I think it's an important it's important difference it's not it's no it's raising pricing not to raise margins it's raising pricing to fuel growth. [38:46] And when you so either way it's good I happen to think you you want to the the better one is the latter one is a more impressive the latter one is more impressive because you're raising pricing just to Goose your margins you know you just put a Target on your back. Scot: [39:03] Reading the book made me nostalgic and maybe we'll do a little bit of a lightning round but one of the companies you wrote about that I kind of forgot about and those interesting was Zulily I remember when they came on the scene and we were all like. They were all blown away by how fast they could just get product up right they had this thing where they could. They could have most of those kids so they'd get like all these little kid models in there and throw some clothes on them take a picture and then like changed outfit take another so they could do something like you know thousand different products an hour or something. What's your recollection on Zulily. Mark: [39:40] She really is that was one of my calls that didn't work and. So I and I learned some lessons from that I think to me the lesson I drew a to do with value proposition they had wonderful cohort disclosure in their S1 when they went public I mean it was truly impressive. And you know the they also raise kind of an analytical question because the first it's not too dissimilar to stitch fix today the first three or four million customers were extremely happy the question is. Were there another three to four million customers that could be extremely happy and the problem that Zulily faced is that it customer value proposition had one major flaw which is that you couldn't return product if you didn't like it they didn't they didn't accept returns oh I'm sorry there were two problems and there was no Speedy Delivery you know you could get stuff in seven days and 20 days. That was good for the first day of the first three to four million customers who are fine with that you break into the mainstream and you mean I can't return something if I don't like it you mean I gotta wait how many days until I get something like that ended up. [40:45] And it was very hard being the survey you really had to go with gut instinct on that to realize in advance that they were going to hit a wall in their growth. Geez when you saw what happened to their growth rate when they went public it was Triple digits six quarters later they were doing 10 percent Revenue growth they hit the wall because the value proposition. Wasn't strong enough and then they end up going going private that to me was kind of a lesson which is you know the. [41:10] Growth was impressive but that value proposition if it's not if they hadn't they didn't have it nailed down and you knew from the beginning I knew from the beginning what the two Falls were I just I didn't know when it would hit them and hit them earlier than I thought so you know it gives us another reason to really focus on how compelling do you think this value proposition is how many you know will that can the can a customer base double given the existing value prop. And that's one of the big lessons if I spin it a little bit I mean that's to me is and Scott you look through this entire history like you know the first decade of the internet the king of online retail wasn't Amazon it was eBay and they had like six times seven times the market cap of Amazon that's completely changed and why is it change and I think in part it's because of the value prop I mean Amazon just beat him on price selection and convenience year in and year out and that really mattered but a more recent example in my book. [42:02] In literally and figuratively is doordash and GrubHub and that's example many people will will know but grub have that great business model wonderful investor Centric business model High margins and doordash had this you know generating tons of losses but they had the better value prop because they had more restaurants selection and the end of the day that they want and they were able to scale up and generate serve reasonable profits over time that was the case where my quick tag line is you know customer-centric companies. Beat investor Centric companies most of the time in market cap and market share Amazon versus eBay, GrubHub versus doordash those two examples really drilled that less than to me. Jason: [42:48] Yeah I've been fighting those companies because you know there. They're like increasingly overlapping with a lot of my Commerce clients and like you know a big. A big sort of disruption and commerce right now is all these ultra-fast delivery services and you know it seems pretty clear that doordash and Uber are both gonna want to play directly in that space so it seems like some of those those sectors are on a collision course to chase that Tam. Mark: [43:15] I think you're right Jason I also think Amazon I mean you're talking about logistics like that's Amazon's competency so whether you need to. Whether you're going to vertically integrate and do that or whether you going to do that virtually you know Foo you know a gig economy Network. I don't know which which is going to work better long-term but yeah and you know it's going to raise the bar and make it more and more expensive for anybody to operate in that in that segment I have a bias that Amazon in the end wins that but it's big enough of a market it's so early stage that you can have multiple winners for the next five years I don't know that you can have multiple winners for the next 10 years. Jason: [43:56] Yeah there was a funny question in the Amazon earnings call someone asked about ultra-fast delivery in the CFO kind of I thought brilliantly threw some shade on it he's like. He said something to the effect of we like where we are and ultrafast like we have one hour delivery on about 178,000 skews right now and we're you know we're going to continue to scale that and I don't know how many people follow this but all of the competitors in this space are are desperately trying to figure out how to do one hour delivery for like 7000 skus. So so like they're you know they definitely are gonna be able to leverage the infrastructure there and I'm sure they're making some big investments in that space too. Another area that's that's been kind of interesting lately and I know you've been following this little bit is obviously there are all these privacy changes and the depreciation of the third-party cookies and especially the IDF a you know mobile privacy changes. That Apple has instituted and that obviously had a pretty pronounced impact on the value of some companies like Snap recently A View you have a opinion there is that. Is that a blip or is that a systemic change. Mark: [45:08] I think it's a big pothole in the road. But it's not there but the but the it's a big pothole in the road but it's not a bridge that it's not a collapsed bridge that get that mountain out. Yeah so poor that hey yes. Yes it is yeah that's it that's pretty I mean that's a big pothole that idea Fay allowed Facebook to offer amazing attribution to millions and millions and millions of businesses and now that's gone and and and to their credit to Facebook's credit they warned about it for a year two snaps discredit they didn't warn about it ever and so that's why their stock went off you know 22 decline 25 percent whereas Facebook stock even the numbers came in weaker than expected you know kind of fell off to the 3% and by the way then is traded up above where it was at earnings time so what I mean very intrigued by is I think it will be a son of that idea of a. [46:12] You know child of idea say I like I think there's so much at stake here both from the advertising platforms like Facebook you know and Google's to some extent a little bit and Snapchat but also for you know the millions of marketers out there who you don't you were able to thank thanks to Facebook use of people's privacy data you know from right or wrong I mean that's what that's what they they did I mean this help Merchants really know which of their campaigns worked and allow them to you know run creative and that creative could be automatically you know a be tested abcdefgh like 8 times 8 different ways in which ever those creatives work best. You could actually beat successful one of them then you can just pivot all of the dollars behind that one campaign you know campaign h for campaign be your campaign e.e. and that's just a wonderful way to help these small businesses you know really succeed and that's been taken away now you know there's I think there's first a little bit of shock shoot I can't get the attribution I had I'm going to pull a my marketing dollars but marketers got a market. [47:13] And I think you're going to see those dollars come back and my guess is that Facebook and other companies are going to find some way to do. Better targeting they may not quite get to idea that a type of levels but they were going to be able to do some sort of audience targeting they also have a lot of first-party data but they'll be able to do it in a way that doesn't that you know respect people's privacy and yeah you'll see those dollars come back so that's why I referred to as a pothole I it's a big pothole it's but it's not that it's not a bridge that just collapsed you know you're going to be you can they can they got stuck in that pothole more than anybody else but you know the cranes there whatever they're getting a tow trucks they're they're getting out of it they got to do some nobody work they'll fix the car and it'll be back on the road in part because they've got the talent to do it but in part because there are millions of small businesses that are given to going to give them the incentive to do it because they'll get those marketing dollars back once they figure out some of the idea that a. Jason: [48:09] Yeah I always like to remind people that are like The Skys Falling on the advertising industry that you know. It wasn't very long ago that we had much worse targeting than than we have in digital even with idea of a I mean targeting used to be deciding which publication you were going to print your ad in. And they still got a lot of money in the advertising industry so like I kind of suspect that that marketers are going to figure out you know the best ways to invest their money even if it maybe isn't quite as. As real-time as people got used to for a short while. Mark: [48:42] I think you're right Jason. Scot: [48:45] So Mark you in the book you recap kind of this awesome 25-year career and you know one of the things I've learned is if you're in the game of making predictions you know that it's kind of humbling but then you kind of slowly but surely get better at it right you never get to kind of you know a hundred percent but over time you get better and like like for example you learned the lesson of. The companies that are customer focused to do better than investor focused think founder based in that kind of as you as you take those backward 25-year learnings and project them forward what are some of the things that you get excited about looking out the next five or ten years. Mark: [49:23] Well in terms of Trends even the next year or two I think whoever solves. Marketing attribution is going to be worth a lot more in two years than they are today just because there's so many businesses so many marketers that will pay for that. So I you know so that's that's kind of a debt that whoever whoever fills in the pothole that's going to be a very valuable company it's going to be a lot more valuable to years and it is today my guess is that there's gonna be Facebook so I'm interested in that then there's thing this thing called The Medic verse which I don't know this is just virtual reality just renamed do a Google Trends search on metaverse just watch that just spiked up in the last love so you know you kudos to the person who came up with that idea may be excited maybe Jason or Scott maybe was you I. Jason: [50:09] It's just a rebranded second life. Mark: [50:12] Okay and. But but you know the fact that it was two things that kind of struck me there's some pretty big companies throwing a lot of big money at metaverse you know Facebook Microsoft there's a bunch of others and then there's this Roblox generation people young people who are perfectly comfortable living in the meta verse in virtual reality and. [50:38] You know participating in concerts safely and you know and shopping and communicating and entertaining and learning. [50:49] And learning through the metaverse and so you know we knows 8 18 year olds you know get out into the real world you know they're going to be perfectly comfortable in the meadow verse maybe not the way you know not the way that we will naturally be but you know though they'll help us figure it out and so so I'm really intrigued by the metaverse I think it is going to take 5 to 10 years because that to really develop and I'm trying to trying to figure it out who the big winners are but but I'm very intrigued by that. [51:18] Yeah I'm also got one of those oculist you know I've gotten two different versions Generations the it's the iterations of the Oculus Rift and you know i-i've always it's kind of like when I first saw the Kindle you know the first Kindle I ever got was pretty darn kludgy but you know I just love the idea that you could just download any book on the your kludgy device will you know whenever you whenever you were in a Wi-Fi area and and I and you and you just saw how that device got better and better each iteration and so I just think about that with these with these virtual reality headsets I mean they're clumpy their clunky their kludgy it's kind of embarrassing to be have a picture of you taking them but you know just you can imagine already know how much they've improved over the last couple of years and just think ahead is it possible the next five to seven years it's going to be just it's going to be like putting on a pair of sunglasses I think that's what we should be thinking about if you can easily put on a pair of sunglasses and and enter the metaverse and have you know share a virtual you know in presence experience that sounds but that sounds odd or not but you can do that, I think a lot of people will do that and you know the education the work applications around that so I'm very intrigued by that. Jason: [52:28] So you're saying that that could be chewy.com to Google Glasses pets.com. Mark: [52:36] Yes yes I love that yes I hadn't thought about that way yeah and by the way I've got my Google Glass here you know I'm. Got that I got that early version I got the Amazon Fire Phone you know but just be the the early failures sometimes see these I mean they're kind of in the right direction I don't know exactly what there's a there's a backstory to Google Glass that we only partially know but anyway they have the concept is there and and you know the big iterations that these products do get better and as they get better easier cheaper lighter cooler you know like Main Street cooler not Silicon Valley cooler then then markets can appear. Scot: [53:17] I think that's something the three of us have in common I think the three of us are probably the only people that ordered and probably still own an Amazon Fire Phone. Jeff Ellis. Mark: [53:29] And I've Got My Socks.com puppet to it's in my office I put the hits I got it as a warning. Scot: [53:31] I have one of those too yeah we all I guess we all have one of those too. Jason: [53:36] That that puppet ended up being the most valuable asset from pets.com sidenote like I don't know if you followed it but there was there was there was a whole intellectual property fight with Triumph the comedy dog and all that stuff yeah. Unattended value unintended value creation. Scot: [53:53] Mark were you you know we've used up about an hour of your time we really appreciate you coming on the show to tell us about the book when's it come out where can people find it do you do you want them to order from that Seattle bookstore that we've been chatting about. Mark: [54:09] So yeah and thanks Scott Jason I've always enjoyed listening to your show I did tell you it beginning I your analysis recently all birds and Warby Parker I took the heart because I initiated Warby Parker as an analyst but I after after I've seen what your thoughts were on it. So thanks for having me on the show and to talk about the book nothing but Net 10 Timeless stock-picking lessons from one of wall Street's top Tech analyst I just like to nothing but net on a big Hoops fan. And my kids are hoops and that's been my email pack lines there's a lot of meaning for me in that that title it is available wherever fine literature is sold it is available on Amazon it's the it's a top bestseller now and in the business category so I've been I've been just it was just a it was a labor of love for me and throw like a chance to talk with both of you about it because you've lived through the sister just as much as I have and it's fascinating the lessons we can draw from. Jason: [55:01] Well Mark is been entirely our privilege and it's a great sign that you know just halfway through your career you had enough material for an amazing book so I can't wait to read the the sequel after the next half. Mark: [55:13] All right I will talk with will do it again in 25 years. Jason: [55:18] I'm booking it right now. Scot: [55:20] Bring our sock puppet are and pets.com puppets in our Amazon Fire Phone. Mark: [55:24] That's. Jason: [55:25] Yeah everyone else will be living in the metaverse at that point in no one's going to get it but it's cool. But Mark really appreciated your time and until next time happy commercing!
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Tuesday news briefs with stories about a deadly crash along I-75 in Hazel Park and two Detroit casinos to implement mask mandates. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
EP280 - Anker Innovations Head of Global Communications Eric Villines Eric Villines is the Global Head of Communications for Anker Innovations. Anker is one of the most successful brands to be started on the Amazon platform. In this broad ranging interview, we discuss the origin story of Anker, their evolution from early Amazon FBA seller to Global Omni-channel brand. Eric covers their incubator, Anker Innovation, and their Amazon FBA consulting service OceanWing. We also discuss his recent book, Get Funded!: The Startup Entrepreneur's Guide to Seriously Successful Fundraising. Episode 280 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Wednesday. November 17th, 2021. http://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Transcript Jason: [0:00] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 280 being recorded on Wednesday November 17th 2021 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scot Wingo. Scot: [0:15] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners Jason is a fellow Gadget addict one of our favorite brands that we love from consumer perspective is Anchor and then we also spend a lot of time here on the show talking about anchor because it's a very interesting brand that is one of the few that we call kind of digitally native Amazon born so today on the show we are very excited to welcome Eric villines he is the head of Global Communications at anchor and is based out of Sunny Seattle Eric welcome to the show. Eric: [0:50] Thanks for having me we've also been having about two months of rain so we're living up to our our cliche. Jason: [0:59] That for the last two months that might have sounded bad but being here in Chicago I have a feeling that rain is about to start looking pretty good to me. Eric: [1:07] Yeah means known cold and wind. Jason: [1:09] Exactly all of the above although it's been pretty mild so far. Eric before we jump into all the anchor discussions we always like to get sort of a brief background about our guests and maybe you could tell us what your role is an anchor. Eric: [1:25] Sure so I run Global Communications at anchor Innovations which is essentially a fancy way of saying public relations. Which in time it's sort of corporate Communications you could be crisis Corporate social responsibility and then obviously the most exciting part of what I do which would be product PR dealing with the media on reviews and, I'm getting the word out of on the cool gadgets we. Jason: [1:51] That's awesome so does that mean you have one of everything. Eric: [1:55] I have two of everything. It's a funny story I've worked in consumer electronics for a long time and I remember Steven Yang who hired me personally for the role, I remember I was in China and I said I want to make sure that I've got budget to give everyone on my team, you know one of the products and he giggled and I'm absolutely serious, we all have to you know live it and breathe it and love it and know the good and the bad aspects of all of our products because we're talking with the media all the time so I kind of. I'm kind of insistent that everyone on my team has the products and then the other part is we all we can never run out of battery that's like that's like a major faux pas here, if I ever hear the words even coming out of my own mouth that my phone is almost out of juice that's super bad as a charging company. Jason: [2:45] That does seem off brand I am I have a little bit of a fetish for your products and the thing I've noticed is every time I have a family gathering I get completely cleaned out. Eric: [2:57] Oh yeah there is. Jason: [2:58] So I yeah I didn't realize you were in such a replenishment category but it's ended up being one for me. Eric: [3:04] It's funny because I started out an entertainment before I came into consumer electronics and one of the first things I did here because I'm just using my own family Dynamics as I have three children. And my wife of course is involved in this as well and we steal each other's cables constantly and then we lie to each other, about you know and it's gotten so bad that people take you know colored Sharpies and all sorts of things but we had done a survey, on you know what are some of the most irritating things that happen in the family and this came in like is a top four. People stealing each other's charging components and then lying about it so it's a national issue that we just haven't spent enough time talking about. Jason: [3:48] Yeah we'll have to dedicate a whole nother show to solving that problem one last product related question do you have a favorite anchor products. Eric: [3:57] Well gosh I so we have these new cables that you said fetish I don't want to take it too far but it's. It's the material that's made out of is reminds me of certain things and that Dominion but it's a super soft latex like, cable that seems to never because of the material it seems to never not up. And that's one of my favorite things and they come in all these super cool colors and that's really new for us we've always offered two colors a beautiful white and the Beautiful Black Version, and so this year we started getting into more colors and that's been really exciting because that's a really easy way to distinguish your product from say your son's because you can have different colors but the material it's really nice I keep them in my bag I've got him for all my products. Those are really cool we launched a new line of Mag go products which we have a desk version which allows you to, put your phone against and it'll you know magnetically charged it but the battery is removable so you can actually bring it with you, so it serves two purposes and I keep that like in the kitchen so when I'm cooking and I have my recipes but then I can grab it and go. So those are really cool but I mean man we launch new products every day so you ask me next week I'm going to tell you something completely different. Scot: [5:23] Yeah this is an unsolicited but my favorite is there's a little Hub you guys have for the Macbook so I can just plug in one USB C and I've got this thing I'm looking at it now it looks like a mutated octopus with with 800 things, poking out of it that I no longer have to plug into my MacBook so you're you're saving me a lot of ports which I really appreciate. Eric: [5:40] Yeah as they move to usb-c only but you still had a myriad of other things you needed to connect to it. Scot: [5:47] Yeah well now the magsafe is a now they're back yeah they decided they're giving you guys too much Martin said so now they now they have like they're like oh man when you need to add more stuff you know. Eric: [5:57] Well I've talked to a lot of pro users and they're really excited to see the HDMI cable come back it's just a you know it's a strong connection that cables is still different. And sometimes it's a huge hassle putting a hub attached to the computer and then attaching your HDMI cable and everything else to it. Scot: [6:16] Yeah absolutely especially when you're traveling and you're popping into someone else's conference room you'd never have that one little cable, so we obviously we talked a lot about anchor on the show and we can just kind of stopped fan blowing on the on the user side would love to hear kind of your view of the founding story of anchor, you know we kind of classify it as you heard is this kind of like Amazon born would love to know how you guys tell that story. Eric: [6:43] Yeah I mean it's you know I had relatives that move during the Dust Bowl and move to Pasadena and built. You know a chain of gas stations and it's this true Americana story but he what's interesting is I think Steven Yang story is very similar it is that that's story of an idea and perseverance and building and Global brand that. People have in their purses and backpacks even if they don't know it's anchor there's a strong probability that it is and that's that's one is exciting the others a branding dilemma. But Stephen was a senior engineer in California at Google and he had he was trying to find a new battery for his Toshiba laptop. [7:32] And as he was looking online including Amazon and the Toshiba websites he realized he had sort of two choices you either going to buy the one from Toshiba that was super expensive, for take a chance, on all of these other versions white-label versions and unknown brands on Amazon and and purchase one from their sort of buyer beware. And he kind of had a light bulb moment and thought you know this is this is ridiculous like who are the people that are putting these online how they've been tested how can I know that, what I'm buying is going to work with my laptop and you know give me a year of battery life. Long story short he moved back to China with his wife who was then his fiance he took a small loan from his mom. And he started anchor and in the beginning what Stephen did was go around to different factories and and Developers, and with his engineers and they went and tested all these batteries so in the beginning it was a white label play was him finding and filtering through. [8:38] I'll just say it a lot of garbage and trying to find the absolute best, alternatives to all of these laptop batteries and they started selling those through Amazon and that was the first point was the easiest place for them and selling specifically and exclusively to the United States. A year later it was a massive success beyond anything that he had ever imagined, and the next logical step was to take that concept and move it into mobility and start looking at mobile phones and chargers and portable batteries and all these things that were at the time, really starting to come out but the big difference when he went into Mobility is the idea was we need to get as fast out of, the white labeling as we can because we have some ideas that even these these smaller factories and people that were producing, can are doing that we can find ways to make it better, so that sort of unearth the world of you know contract manufacturing where they're Engineers were developing and designing, you know the specifics and then Contracting manufacturers to develop those products and the rest as they say is history. Ironically today we are celebrating our 10-year anniversary actually last month. [9:58] And that's a pretty big deal so we went from a guy and his wife. And a little mama money from his mom to a you know a multibillion-dollar company. With multiple Brands and over 3,000 employees all around the world. So in addition to charging which is still a huge huge part of our, DNA we've developed a number of Brands subsequently over the last three to four years everything from robotic vacuums and future robotic products, to home security high-end true wireless headsets. Smart Home Entertainment pet products baby socks I mean like you know smart baby socks I mean just like the whole gamut. [10:45] And the sort of the common line through all of this is that Steven and his team are constantly looking for areas within an emerging or establish consumer electronics area where they can bring value. And you know usually we might come in and the play might be okay we're going to come up with a really great product that's going to be, a little lower cost and that gets our foothold and then the the long-term strategy is then to LeapFrog over the competitors with something truly innovative. And this is kind of a phenomenon that's worked really really well. For Stephen and his engineers and the marketing teams and all of our sales people around the world. Scot: [11:28] Did he have an industrial design background hurry just had the pain and kind of cheeses and created the company from there. Eric: [11:37] Well he's a Hitman he's a True Blood engineer so I mean he's he's right at that right at the hardware level and into coding and all of that so the industrial design. Was not his core competency so bringing in people that that could fill in, those areas and ultimately well they say 10 years later we brought color right but of course then we had great devices that worked really well but we're but when we look at industrial design, I would say that you know that's what's going to propel us over the next 10 years with with the Thinker charging. Scot: [12:14] Yeah it's been the you know I really like kind of the functional but still kind of modern kind of vibe you guys have with your products it's really nice is he still with the company is you still still involved. Eric: [12:27] Yeah yeah I mean I talked to him regularly he is very approachable. It's interesting because he shares his office with two other people at the company and it's kind of this kitchen table set up he doesn't have a private office, because there's so much collaboration and you look around the company we're all like that even though I'm in Seattle, and in my office I do the same thing with my team we just take some long tables and we connect them up and everyone just sits on them because it's like jazz we're just constantly. You know coming up with ideas and talking and it's just more efficient. Jason: [13:06] I do want a Lobby by the way I feel like you have some cool colors now you have like a like a lavender and a mint but what you really need is like a retailgeek blue I think would be. Eric: [13:18] Retailgeek blue yeah. Jason: [13:20] Yeah I could send you the PMS colors at that. Eric: [13:22] Okay yeah send me the Pantone colors yeah the, yeah I mean we I would think the colors are sort of muted so they're they're a joke they don't offend anyone so they're not they're not super striking their kind of muted across the color spectrum but so far they've been. They've been received really really well there's there's an old joke and consumer electronics that people are always screaming for color. And then when you look at the sales and you find it's the white and black that sell the most. So it's like you need to have the color but in the end most people end up choosing the the kind of safer black and white. Jason: [14:05] Yeah now I actually I'll be honest the style of the colors fine and actually think they are attractive kind of pastel colors but the it's just nice to have a diversity because I actually have a system like I have one color for my USBC cables. Eric: [14:19] Mmm. Jason: [14:20] One color for my lightning cables so that I can you know quickly distinguish them in my back. Eric: [14:24] You're not messing around man. Jason: [14:27] I have a little I have a problem. So I it's funny in the early days of these kind of digitally native direct to Consumer Brands there used to be this religious battle there were companies that were like. And the path to the customer through Amazon we're going to sell this stuff on Amazon and I would characterize anchor as the poster child for the most successful brand that was born. By primarily making themselves available on Amazon and selling through Amazon's traffic. But for every company like that there was another company that's like that's crazy Amazon is going to steal your customer and knock you off and they're all these you know potential, downfalls to Amazon and you know we should own the customer ourselves and we should have our own website and so increasingly that became the Shopify contingency and so it used to be, you know a company was either an Amazon company or a Shopify company. And more recently I feel like the increasingly the answer is not or it's and that. You know the consumers on Amazon so you need to be on Amazon but you also do have consumers that want to buy direct and you should have your own website and. My proof point for that is I want to say in the last year or so anchor has launched its own Shopify site so I now can shop anchor on Amazon but also on your own direct website is that like. [15:54] Like you got did you guys have debates and conversations about that and was that a very overt decision or is it just something where you just swept up a Shopify side at some point and you really still think of yourself as an Amazon only company. Eric: [16:07] Well there's a lot to unpack I'm going to I'm going to try to I'm going to try to find the question in that statement, the first of all we started definitely start on Amazon and one of the things I would argue about Amazon is that it is direct, so whether you're selling on your website you know or you're selling on Amazon you're ultimately. [16:29] Selling direct through the Amazon platform and you're engaging with your customers and your you know you're dealing with customer service and all the things you would normally do so I think Amazon has been a great partner and it is it continues to be definitely a big part of our DNA. But as we evolved into different regions around the world you know that there are different channels, that in our sort of different stages of development but the omni-channel approach meaning, you know in our case Amazon which is always a big part of us our own website which is great for Branding and direct connection and through our Retail Partners because in the United States were sold everywhere we're sold at you know Best Buy Walmart Target, Etc you can go to medium art overseas, so we don't see ourselves as just a single Channel we definitely are see ourselves is an omni-channel but I think you know Amazon is provide us an incredible platform to launch on, the ability the ability I think for a person that has a great product looking to sell something and any part of the world where Amazon is is so convenient and so easy. [17:41] And you know the financial Commitment if you're just starting out and you're Distributing your products the platform has evolved its improved. And it's ultimately pretty easy to get going on the platform without you know a tremendous amount of financial backing. Jason: [18:02] Yep and it is interesting because you have you know been a heavy practitioner on the platform from the early days in it does feel like it's evolved a lot. From your guys's perspective do you still feel like there's a. Competitive advantage in knowing the platform better than other sellers like it feels like there's a lot of levers to pull now and I mean you know different companies with different levels of sophistication in their Amazon presents. Why does everybody learning all the best practices now and they're sort of parody or do you feel like you guys can still kind of win more than your fair share of eyeballs on Amazon. Eric: [18:38] I mean we we've been doing this for you know for 10 years now and so they're the they're the tools and there's the Instinct and then there's the the lessons learned from the billions of mistakes that we've made, along the way and I don't know those things are those things are harder to I think grass for people that are just coming into the space so I think we absolutely have an advantage, but you know I mean I think it's not magic it takes a lot of work and a lot of patience, and a lot of observation, you know if you're putting a listing on Amazon and you're putting that listing in Italy or France or the UK or whatever, you know simply Translating that listing into the local language is just the bare minimum I mean you're dealing with customer service and being able to communicate. With customers being able to deliver products on time being able to answer their questions be able to take returns and then that's you know even before you've really thought about marketing because there are. [19:44] Something like nine million sellers on Amazon right now and that is a huge ocean, just filled and filled with Fish And you are you're battling against the the those eyeballs every day. Organic search or even direct search you're going to you know if you go up and look for toothpaste I mean you know, in the search engine you're going to see a myriad of players in there including you know ones that are common Brands to others that seem interesting and what's going to draw the eyeball away from the common brand that everyone knows too, the new brand what's going to make the consumer just try and reach out a discover you and take that extra effort so everyone going on to any platform, that may deal with a bunch of Brands is dealing with you know millions of competitors and it stopped. [20:39] I think getting set up on the platform and getting started is easy but that's that's you know that's step one, but then you got to get people seeing your listings and you got to get people reading your listings and you got to get people putting stuff in their shopping cart and clicking the shopping cart and, fulfilling and then you know being there at the end of that process to give them great customer service in every language, where you're selling that product because if you can't do that and that last part is critical, you're going to get bad reviews and people don't buy products with two and sometimes even three star ratings when you're dealing with you know consumer electronics they're looking for four and five. So you could have the greatest product in the world but you could have a lot of mad consumers out there where you haven't done right by them and they're not going to give you some great star ratings and you can pretty much. You know kiss your Prosperity goodbye. Jason: [21:33] Yeah I sometimes describe it as a. A darwinian meritocracy that like you know if you think about old school if you sell a product to Walmart and they give you shelf space and you screw up and run out of stock, you lose all the sales while you're out of stock but the day you restock your back on the Shelf your kind of entitled to that that shelf position. The duration of a program but you have to earn that visibility in the front of the Amazon shelf what every minute through a wide variety of best practices and if you screw up, you fall off that shelf and when you get back in stock you don't get your spot back you got to climb back up the hill. Eric: [22:10] Yeah yeah I mean especially now in today's climate there's a lot of. Material shortages and other things and that's been you know super painful for four people across every, line of business not just consumer electronics and that very same thing you know you're working hard to develop customer base and then, you don't have the materials to produce the products or the factories that you're working with and then you can't fulfill you been all this great marketing you brought everyone to your front door and then, grab we don't have any products, and that's it's painful to see for especially you know entrepreneurs and people new to the game because they have brilliant ideas and great products and. You know they've done an amazing job building word-of-mouth and it's super sad to see that fail at that last step. Jason: [23:03] For sure that actually is a great segue we're recording this in mid-november double 11 day just happened Black Friday is next week. As we sit here I think there's something like ninety one container ships off the coast of Long Beach either a bunch of cool new anchor products like trapped in those boats what's holiday looking like for you are you guys well well stocked and well positioned. Eric: [23:30] I think we are with some things and we could be better and other things I mean again we have the advantage of having a lot of skus so we I would say it's easier for us, to adapt, then than others and you know I can say from my perspective if I go out on a media to and September and I show a lot of really cool gadgets. And then we reach the end of October and I'm like well crap so that isn't coming we're going to we're going to delay that because of something it is what it is what we're used to it. But we have so many skus that you know we were Prime day or Black Friday or Cyber Monday or just basic Christmas shopping or Hanukkah shopping we've got something, so we can adapt it will get past it. Jason: [24:23] Yeah speaking of which I given that you're in the consumer at Rackspace is CES ordinarily a big part of your marketing mix. Eric: [24:32] I would say it is I think in the new world order it isn't as important for us. But we you know we've done Big Boost and we've done stuff and you know our sales teams of gone out there I think it's wait and see. This January we've done some some interviews with with media and I think we found that maybe forty percent of those that normally attend are coming, the rest are waiting and seeing we didn't do a booth this year I've also heard from our sales team that their counterparts at some of the retailers may not be coming in January as well. So I don't know is it going to be like a bad prom or nobody dances. I think we're going to have to wait and see I think maybe for many it's going to be a real last minute decision. Jason: [25:25] Yeah it's interesting I've attended like 28 CES has and I'm not going and, talking which I used to catch a flu at CES every single year so it's the I'm not care. I think Tom Clancy wrote a book where like the terrorist likes bedspread the biological Weapon by disseminating it at CES just for. Eric: [25:47] Perfect yeah I think it's you know I think people I think you have to have a vaccination card this time around to get in I think that's what I've heard but yeah I mean from point A to Z you know your. There's a lot of airplanes. Jason: [26:02] I'm kind of curious I think less people are going to but then the magic question is. Does that kind of will they discover that the world didn't end when they didn't go and put your point like does that accelerate the changing World Order and CES becomes less important or you know is this just going to be a down year and next year they'll be back to normal I think, that's going to be interesting to watch. Eric: [26:22] Yeah I mean there's CS is just the beginning you've got Mobile World Congress you've got aoife you've got you know as we move into next year and all of them are going to have to be making those tough decisions. And then I think that the repercussions of companies that didn't go in the world didn't sink either going to be wondering you know what are these what's the value of these trade shows. To us as a business you know I think for us they're valuable you know on the one end of the communication Spectrum it's super beneficial to scale our pitching by having an enormous number of people from all around the world in ones. But it's also very noisy so you know you're competing with a lot of large names. And we've always been very Scrappy so we tend to do a lot of are moving and communication before CES. And after CES or even entirely outside of the you know the wake of any of these trade shows. So and that's that's generally how we've been successful. Scot: [27:27] Brickell any other interesting holiday Trends or anything you guys noticed as we've kind of gone through covid and or kind of hopefully coming out the back side. Eric: [27:37] Yeah I mean I you know not to sound boring but charging is always a big thing during the holidays people bought their new iPhones people are buying new MacBooks people are buying peripherals. And you know around that time usually you know a couple of weeks later when they lost their cables already or you know they realize they won't one for travel and they wanted to stay home and they want one in their home office and they want one in the kitchen, so it's always a good time for us in that category, so charging definitely the other big part of our business right now is audio so our sound Core Audio brand, we develop a super popular line of true wireless headphones the Liberty series, and one of the things that makes it unique is we work with a bunch of grammy award-winning Engineers to help us tune them, so they would come out of the box sounding like the mix that the engineers originally in planned versus over based or over traveled, that's been really really popular for us all around the world I mean as far as India hugely popular in the United States the UK Germany, Emerging Markets that's a big thing and then I'd say home security that's been a big a big Boon for us we launched our home security brand yuffie about three years ago. [28:59] And you know we're developing a lot of unique products in that space that separate us from the rest for one we don't we don't use the cloud when you buy the product at your. [29:12] All of the footage is captured on a secure SD card that's integrated either into the base station or the independent products that you put outside the house. Which is really cool and we have millions of users around the world right now, using that product because they see it not only is protecting your security but also their privacy. [29:32] You'll see a lot of people do personal gifts to themselves during the holiday so a lot of those those big, tend to be you know people in a house saying hey how about we get this for ourselves for Christmas, and and we recently launched a super-smart robotic vacuum called the X8 it's are you fee robotic vacuum. That's super smart so instead of bumping into walls and trying to figure things out at uses both Visual and Laser mapping. And will actually draw up a map of your house that you can look at on your phone, and see it's how it's found the most ingenious way of cleaning around chairs and couches and other things and making sure that it can do everything and then you can create zones, I didn't say well I just want to let stay away from the baby room because the baby's sleeping but you can clean this Zone and that zone and this Zone. That's been really popular and we had been doing kind of lower in robotic vacuums until that point. Entry level and this was one of our first push and super-premium summarize forleo some but that LeapFrog, so in the beginning we might find Our Place coming in as as a lower-cost alternative that still is super quality, and then with the X8 we're doing the LeapFrog moment and trying to jump past the competition with the technology. Scot: [30:59] Frankel, so one of the things we want to do is Pivot you guys have some other innovations that are not gadgets or charging or anything like that, you guys launched a new division that both Jason and I were excited to learn more about called ocean wing. My guess was it was drones but I think that's wrong tell you tell us more about what ocean when you. Eric: [31:24] Yeah so I say first with the title but when I first started working with anchor Innovations in the United States over four years now, I was actually working for ocean Lee that was our that was how we presented our Corporation, and the the story is that it was ocean Wing to essentially take our technology and fly across the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean and bring it to the United States. So when the idea came up of developing a Consulting business, under anchor Innovations the ocean Wing name came up again and simple it's actually makes a hell of a lot more sense for this than it may have Hazard LLC in the United States when we were bringing anchored to the United States. [32:14] But long story short we established in 2019 so we've been around awhile we have about 200 employees around the world. And the long and the short of it is that we're trying to take the the decade of experience that we've developed. Again with all those mistakes along the way to become you know the 7 billion dollar, consumer electronics company and give people an option to improve their business lines, so that's from the beginning to the end of the process and what we're looking for is companies that have already gone in and let's just say made their first 10 million, and they've hit a wall. [32:55] Because they haven't been able to expand the business or scale either through supply chain issues through fulfillment customer service maybe the advertising has become, complicated and convoluted because they've developed so many skus there's just so many problems that when someone reaches a certain point and they want to get to that next 10 or 20 million dollars when they're doing business, it's a different skill set, you know what they've done is worked it to a certain point and they is try as they might they can't get past that threshold and that's where we come in, so we're developing essential overall Amazon selling and operations processes that could be digital marketing marketing insights, advertising management helping them develop their Brand store and their product pages to customer service and relationship management which I mentioned earlier is. Reticle to get those star ratings in a good place through good authentic communication with your customers in a great experience with the products. [33:59] Obviously e-commerce and all the financial systems, and then what we're dealing with a lot these days is supply chain and Logistics management so you get yourself to a certain point and there's a lot of people that are coming to us and that is the area, where they're really hurting the most and they need help they need help developing new contacts new supply chain partners, for how do I deal with the issue if you're dealing with something that might spoil like we're dealing with a company that, deals in collagen and when something spits on one of those tankers out in the middle of the ocean for too long when it arrives in the warehouse, it's past its fresh state so you've just lost all that inventory so each client is unique, but with this kind of broad scope of things that we can help them with and we can help audit the business and hopefully help them transcend whatever's keeping them from moving to that next 10 and 20 and 30 million dollars. Jason: [34:59] Very interesting so going back to our earlier conversation this is sort of a way for other young young Brands to leverage all the expertise and skills you guys have have built-in staying on top of this ecosystem. Eric: [35:14] Exactly it's an opportunity for us to take what we've learned and apply it to that young brand I couldn't have said it better myself. Jason: [35:22] Yeah and it at this point is ocean Wing primarily focused with Amazon distribution or would they also leverage all the other distribution channels that you guys have expanded into. Eric: [35:36] Yeah I mean I think I think our sweet spot is definitely FBA so specifically Amazon. That is not to say that we can't help them with other things like supply chain and Logistics but for us, it's a recipe and you know where we've had our success with the clients have come in or people that have been focused on Amazon and then we can kind of look at what they're doing and we can evolve the recipe a little bit, and and get it all the ingredients in place and help them be successful because they all work together, so but I would say Amazon is definitely our primary focus right now at least dealing with businesses that are on Amazon that isn't to say that these businesses are you solely focused Amazon because they're not but Amazon is a key Channel especially if they're going globally and that's where we come in. Jason: [36:31] Got it and obviously over the last year there's kind of been a lot of Buzz around these I'll call them FB a roll ups where you know these, these companies have raised a bunch of money and they go out and acquire Brands and aggregate them and try to help them with their Amazon presents and we you know we've followed thrash Co and perch and, and all of those is, is this kind of your version of that do you see your value prop being different than those other companies or is it just that you have. Sort of more experience and and product scale than some of these companies. Eric: [37:05] How to say this without sounding like it like it's not a jerk but the again we this is what we do, this is how we built our business so we can take. The lessons learned the hard ones too and we can apply it to our clients and I think that alone is super unique that we're a company that's already done this and you know in spades, and now we can apply those learnings to irregular company the other part of it is that most consultancies are focused on Consulting, and but we're a consultant that actually you know rolls up our sleeves and gets into the nitty-gritty of the business and helps and and and that's really depending on the level of the contract or the engagement but you're not only dealing company that can come in and, say some pretty words and show you a powerpoint of what you should be doing, but you know we've already done it and we can roll up our sleeves and get deep in there with you and help you do it or do it. And then that last part in terms of supply chain and and Logistics and you know dealing with manufacturers around the world or suppliers and stuff I think that's a definitely a secret sauce because of our relationships. In China and around the world that we can bring to bear that others can't. Scot: [38:23] So I'd be remiss as the entrepreneur on the show if I noticed in your bio on LinkedIn you have written a book and it's very much in my wheelhouse it's called get funded the startup entrepreneurs guide to seriously successful fundraising I wish I'd had this 20 years ago but I'm glad it exists now tell us tell us about this book and how it came to be. Eric: [38:46] Well my writing partner John Biggs is a little bit of a media icon we've known each other for I think I took them on a media tour maybe 12 13 years ago and. [38:58] We just became very good friends and our families have subsequently traveled the world with each other and we just kind of dig each other and we both have the same kind of sense of humor and sensibilities. [39:10] A couple of years ago he reached out to me that he had been approached by McGraw-Hill to write this book, and thought that I could help provide sort of the second part of the book so the book is broken out into two parts one is is about financing but written in such a way that whether you're trying to develop a taco truck, or you know a retail store or something else what are the different options out there from let's say SBA Loans to even using cryptocurrency, 22 you know set up fundraising all the way down to the meetings and how you value the company how do you pitch people, how do you put presentations together, so very very very this is not this is for the person that was really starting out with very limited knowledge, on the fundraising process and how do you present yourself at the end of the day so John really focus more on the fundraising side and I focus more on the presentation skills, how to pitch how to talk how to prepare how to answer questions the technical aspects of doing a presentation when everything goes wrong. Obviously if I could if I could rewrite a whole section on this now since the book was published last year in September I probably be a whole section on how to pitch during covid because that was. [40:35] That was definitely not it was not a reality when we were writing the book but it was definitely a reality by the time the book was published and I hope and we've heard, the people the industry has adapted that investors and seed funders and people are hard at work and investing but, for the person that might not have the background in this I still think the book for evaluating your company, getting all your ducks in a row building your presentations and how to pitch is still very valuable. Scot: [41:12] Very cool yet this kind of books I think they're kind of Evergreen and it's kind of a little snowball kind of effort so be patient it'll it'll catch up. Jason: [41:22] I am curious it does feel like there's a little bit of a disruption in the fundraising World why you know there for a long time there's this kind of traditional VC path, and obviously there's still a lot of money that flows through that path but I feel like the the role of Angel Investors and sort of other untraditional fundraising. Is becoming more common than it used to be like you guys try to cover that those kind of approaches in the book as well or is it mostly focused on on moving through Sandhill Road. Eric: [41:52] Well it's we wanted it in some ways to be the antithesis of Silicon Valley so for those people that are going down that road you know inevitably they're going to partner up. Let's say at the app generation. They're going to partner up and kind of go down that road our book really tries to focus everything from the pros and cons of using your own credit card friends and family, crowdfunding as I said SBA Loans if you're a minority or women owned business looking at options they're looking at. Prices and options like through FedEx has a great program for entrepreneurs and trying to cover the whole gamut, so we could make fundraising more reasonable and open to the entrepreneur is opposed to. Yeah the tech bro going to Silicon Valley and looking for for someone's bill. Scot: [42:45] Awesome I had one follow-up on Ocean we just took kind of clarify it for listeners you guys are your kind of more in the agency side of things you're not going out there and finding, new brands that are also born on Amazon and acquiring of in kind of rolling them up like the thrashes of the world is do I have that right. Eric: [43:04] We're talking about anchor Innovations right. Scot: [43:07] Yeah the ocean Wing synchronization set. Eric: [43:12] Well on the ocean on the ocean Wing side it's definitely consultative but I mean those things are going to evolve as the business comes in and I don't know if you mean like Financial stakes and the business and stuff but. I mean who knows right if if something came along that looked amazing and a great partnership I'm sure we would consider that. On the anchor Innovation side I think you'll be seeing and you know in the future probably incubator initiatives and things like that, it would be to me it would be a personally exciting to get involved in as seeking out and finding you know exciting. Developers all around the world we tend to be very myopic here and look at the United States as being, where everything's happening and I'd say you know maybe from apps and things like that might be true but when you're looking at Innovation and medicine or innovation and Robotics or innovation and Farm Technology or whatever, you really have to look outside and around the world and you're going to find that Innovation and really unique an unassuming places. So is is if we do get into more ink you know becoming more of a global incubator, I would imagine in our direction would be all over the place and looking in places like India and Africa and you know wherever cool things are being developed. Scot: [44:34] Cool so no almost boundless growth opportunities for you guys it sounds like an exciting time. Jason: [44:44] Well this is certainly going to be a exciting and different holiday season and this is going to be a great place to leave this conversation because it is happen again we've Perfectly Used up our allotted time, But Eric we really appreciate your time and enjoyed hearing about anchoring some of the exciting new initiatives there. Eric: [45:05] Thanks God and thanks Jason. Scot: [45:07] Yeah if anyone wanted to follow you or you are you big on Tick-Tock or I said it's usually or Twitter or LinkedIn or you publish their and then where should they go for some good the latest Anchor Information. Eric: [45:22] Someone can connect with me on LinkedIn my focus to be quite Frank with you as I'm So Married to my work as I tend to focus my communication through work as opposed to myself. I think it's one of those things when you work in Communications you got to be careful about what use you say. So mostly I'm just talking about my company in the things that we do. Jason: [45:49] Awesome well we will put a link to your LinkedIn profile in there and certainly some links to Anchor and until next time happy commercing!
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Monday news briefs with an update on the melee involving the Pistons and Lakers. Plus travelers hit the road for Thanksgiving holiday. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to the Modern Electrician Podcast! It's Thanksgiving week! This is one of my all-time favorite weeks and favorite holidays! In today's conversation, we delve back into the territory of tradespeople being the keepers of ancient traditions. But, unlike my brief discussion of a local blacksmith forging ahead to keep his tradition's ancient techniques alive, today's guest is bringing an age-old tradition into the future using new technology. Surveying and map-making is one of the oldest trades and traditions in the world. And it's a trade that we often times take for granted. Nowadays, no one could get from point A to point B without a GPS system built into their phone. Not only that, but no one would be able to drive anywhere if it weren't for the roads and other infrastructure in place in our society. All of those luxuries that we take for granted on a daily basis come to us by way of surveyers and map-makers. Today's guest is Jason Scott. Jason is a surveyer, data-collector, photographer and drone pilot. What's best, in my opinion, is that he did not graduate from a prestigious college with a Masters Degree in drone piloting... he simply followed his passions into a career field that he loves and now he finds himself in very high demand in his area. Oh... and he's my cousin. I hope you all enjoy this conversation and can take something from it! Have the best Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/doug-powell9/message
WWJ's Roberta Jasina and Jason Scott have your Friday news briefs with an update on the investigation into Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance. Plus some people watched a lunar eclipse this morning. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Thursday morning news briefs with stories about a manhunt in Detroit for a man who shot and killed a mother of two after she dropped her kids off at school. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Wednesday morning news briefs including stories from Charlie Langton and Mike Campbell about drivers dealing with flat tires along I-94, and President Biden heading to Factory Zero this afternoon. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Roberta Jasina and Jason Scott have your Tuesday morning news briefs with a story about a deadly SUV-pedestrian accident on Detroit's eastside. Also, two Metro Detroit men killed in a plane crash in northern Michigan. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Roberta Jasina and Jason Scott have your Monday morning news briefs with breaking news on journalist Danny Fenster being released from prison. Plus, four killed in a plane crash in northern Michigan. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Friday news briefs including a report on Metro Detroit journalist Danny Fenster being sentenced to 11 years in prison in Myanmar. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Thursday news briefs with a report from WWJ's Charlie Langton on a Warren police officer hurt in a motorcycle crash. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Roberta Jasina and Jason Scott have your Wednesday news briefs including a report from Charlie Langton about an attempted carjacking and gunfire in Warren. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Tuesday news briefs including a story about a missing woman in Livingston County, and Triple A expecting Thanksgiving travel to be the highest since 2005. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Monday news briefs with updates from Charlie Langton on border changes, plus a six year old girl is hit by a car and killed. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Since 2015 we have been broadcasting Cave Crew Radio and we culminate it with Episode 300. It was a fun show with some special stuff. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed making the show! Here is to 300 more. We have lots of recordings from old friends and listeners including the man of 1000 voices Matt Vanderpool, Mike Jolitz and Raymond the Amish comic. The main event was another first round match in the Big B Believe it or What! Challenge. From Canada we welcome Canadian and Choo Choo Stu Mania finalist Jason Scott to face American Scott Morris, the former producer of Cave Crew Radio. It was a hard fought battle. Who comes out on top? Also Mike reads the news is back. Cave Crew Radio airs live every Friday on http://www.cavecrewradio.com Also on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/CaveCrewRadio and on Facebook. You can download the podcast anywhere here https://gopod.me/cavecrewradio Click here for all our social media links and to buy exclusive merchandise https://linktr.ee/cavecrewradio
WWJ's Jason Scott and Roberta Jasina have your Friday news briefs with stories about Oakland County setting up vaccination clinics for children. Plus, a Macomb County student facing charges after making a threat at school. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
WWJ's Roberta Jasina and Jason Scott have your Thursday news briefs including a report from Harper Woods where a man has barricaded himself after firing a shot during a family dispute. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Its our annual Halloween special. Joining the Big B and DK is non other then AFKA and he is coming has Choo Choo Stu! Big B is dressed in Squid Game theme, and it seems that the show has left scares on Stu. DK is all done up in make up has a zombie warrior. The epicenter surrounding Big B is of course Halloween and its one of his wife's favorite times. We continue to remind you that next week is episode 300 with lots of big things planned. But the main event is another round one match up featuring Jason Scott vs producer Scotty in Believe it or What! Big B has a couple of Halloween themed stories About how Witchcraft is becoming more popular and a wizard that lost his job in New Zealand. To top off the evening Choo Choo Stu is reading tarot cards and telling fortunes for the hosts. Cave Crew Radio airs live every Friday on http://www.cavecrewradio.com Also on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/CaveCrewRadio and on Facebook. You can download the podcast anywhere here https://gopod.me/cavecrewradio Click here for all our social media links and to buy exclusive merchandise https://linktr.ee/cavecrewradio
We are back in the cave this week and Big B is the epicenter of all things head cold, as Big B struggles his way through the show, DK announces a couple of big shows around the corner. Next week is our Halloween Spooktacular and in 2 weeks it is not just episode 300 but it will be round two of the Believe it or What! Tournament. This first round match will feature a show down between Jason Scott (contestant on Choo Choo Mania 2) and Scott Morris (Former producer at Double Talk Radio) Also up this week The popular dating app Tinder. Now helps you find a wedding date. Researchers have discovered ancient poop, that shows people enjoyed beer and blue cheese. We have a strange story of a cave woman who has a solar vibrator. Learn how this drunk man, ends up joining a search for himself. We also have Mike reads the news! Cave Crew Radio airs live every Friday on http://www.cavecrewradio.com Also on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/CaveCrewRadio and on Facebook. You can download the podcast anywhere here https://gopod.me/cavecrewradio Click here for all our social media links and to buy exclusive merchandise https://linktr.ee/cavecrewradio
EP278 - Adobe Holiday E-Commerce Forecast with Taylor Schreiner In Episode 277 we covered some of the early overall holiday sales forecasts, and the issues likely to impact this holiday season. In this episdoe we get the very first look at Adobe 2021 Holiday Shopping Forecast. This is a deep dive on digital shopping behaviors based on Adobe Analytics, which analyzes 1 trillion visits to retail sites and over 100 million SKUs. We break it all down with Taylor Schreiner, Director of Adobe Digital Insights. Episode 278 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday. October 14th, 2021. http://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Transcript Jason: [0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this episode is being recorded on Thursday October 14 2021 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-hosts Scot Wingo. Scot: [0:38] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners we are smack in the middle of October and for all of our retail listeners you know what that means it is go time for Holiday 21 way back in episode 277 last week we talked about the supply chain challenges I like to call that Supply pain and we shared the e-commerce retail forecast from Salesforce Deloitte and beIN but there was one notable missing forecast from that list and that's one of our favorites the Adobe forecast well in this episode we're going to fix that hole in the universe we're going to fill it and Adobe is releasing their holiday forecast here on the 20th which is when we'll be releasing this podcast and we are really excited to have with us today Taylor Schreiner he is the director of Adobe Digital insights and fun fact this is adobe's fifth time on the show Welcome Back Taylor. Taylor: [1:34] Thanks God do we get a free sandwich. Scot: [1:37] Sure if we were there together we would have a sandwich but we'll we'll do a virtual high five instead how about that. Jason: [1:44] Just to warn you Scott's character is like grilled into the sandwich so some people find that. Taylor: [1:49] Oh no I'll close my eyes this could thank you Scott thank you Jason it's great to be here we'd love talking to you guys and we love listening to you guys so it's a fun conversation to have. Jason: [2:03] We are thrilled to have you Taylor and I do want to Dive Right In to your methodology and then your data but before we do real briefly remind. Um the audience what your role is at at Adobe to sort of frame frame where your perspective is coming from. Taylor: [2:20] Sure so I run a group called Adobe Digital insights it's got mentioned and we are charged with, using aggregated and anonymized adopted in data to. Help the industry retail and other Industries as well understand the major trends that we see in the data that comes through Adobe analytics or adobe Commerce or any of the other. I could get it to Commerce and experience cloud services that we have. So so our job is to tell stories to make it take all that huge area did it and tell stories that help people understand their world. Jason: [2:59] That's awesome and so there's a bunch of different components of the the Adobe marketing cloud in the do Adobe Commerce Cloud but. Sort of Marque things Adobe analytics which a long time ago too many of us that are super old was Adobe was omniture, is a is a key component of the analytics suite and Magento is a key component of the marketing cloud and so you you get to see, an awful lot of, Commerce transactions across the web via those two products and the rest of the the Adobe stack and you get to use that anonymized data to sort of formulate this holiday forecasting this case is do I have that right. Taylor: [3:41] Absolutely and I really appreciate you calling me super old. Jason: [3:44] I didn't say you called it I'm not sure I said I. Taylor: [3:47] I remember I remember the under two days I do but yes. Jason: [3:50] I'm pretty sure there's like the URL for the analytics dashboard still says all mature. Taylor: [3:54] I think sometimes it does yeah now it's absolutely right face. Jason: [3:58] And then one important distinction some of the. Holiday forecast that Scott mentioned in the intro are actually overall retail forecast and one of the things that that is unique your forecast is slightly more focused you're focused on digital Commerce do I have that right. Taylor: [4:16] That's right we have we focused exclusively on digital Commerce and we're looking what makes us unique is that we are looking across, over a trillion interactions with retailers across thousands of retailers across over a hundred million skus with a boatload of AI behind that sort of categorizing and understanding it but you know the core of it I think for your listeners is weird. The where the group is actually looking at what people are buying in what quantity and what they're actually paying for it. It's ridiculous prices we're not doing surveys were actually looking at the the behaviors that we can observe a huge scale and using that to do both the reporting in this case are forecasting of the holiday season. Jason: [4:56] Yeah and that's super exciting to me because that I frequently rail against the value of stated preference surveys in our industry and and what we're talking about today is observed preferences lies actual data and consumer behavior that you're watching. Taylor: [5:11] Absolutely and it's gonna be fascinating. Jason: [5:13] Yeah so just two other minor precursors and we'll jump in because there is so much variability out there when you say holiday what date range are you talking about. Taylor: [5:22] Good point right now we're talking about the first of November till the end of the year although arguably make it into it you know some of the stuff is starting to creep into October 2 but when we talk about numbers were talking about November 1 to December 31. Jason: [5:34] Perfect we'll come back to that but yeah I think I think the the shoulders of that season are going to be more interesting than ever and then when you say, retail. Like approximately like what is in retail to you I could go US Department of Commerce restaurants and gas stations are in there like do you guys have a standard definition of retail just to kind of frame what we're talking about. Taylor: [5:56] We generally look at a thing where the transaction the Fulfillment are fully executed online we exclude from this things like travel which is a different industry or anything where it's simply a payment system online but you know any Commerce where you're doing your shopping, your your payment and your fulfillment online generally falls into into our space so not restaurants are delivery services but but the goods that you would normally associate with with retail shopping outside of that. Jason: [6:27] Awesome and so digital grocery than would be in there. Taylor: [6:29] Yes he's a digital grocery appliances apparel all that kind of thing. Jason: [6:34] Perfect okay well I think that's enough Preamble and we've done enough teasing what's what's the Top Line are we all going to get our bonuses this year or is it going to be bleak. Taylor: [6:43] It's your our data showing a good year or days showing a year where the story is really consumers want to shop consumers wanted to go buy online but it's going to be really different year for retailers and for consumers because of the supply pain that Scott was referring to earlier they're going to see a lot more out of stock they're going to see a lot, you know a lot higher prices frankly and that's I think it'll hold us back from having a incredible year. Now just keep in mind I'm talking about a 207 billion dollar, season which you know we don't have a great aggregate retail forecast that we based off right now but that's roughly $1 and for of all of all retailgeek. As far as we can see maybe a little more than that. And it's 10 percent up from last year which you know in the long run of historical growth rates is a little bit low but we're getting off of a 33% jump the year before so if you kind of look all the way back to 2019 we're still. Accelerated from where you would have expected us to be if you've been projecting from a prepaid nemec stance so it kind of depends on where you're looking at it from. But however you look at it it's going to be a big year. Jason: [7:58] Got it so in my mind I sort of think of it traditionally year of e-commerce growth for Holiday being kind of like pre-pandemic. We were kind of running in this like 10 to 15% a year sort of range, um and all of retail would be growing at like four percent a year so then last year the pandemic forces everyone online we have this monster year 33 percent and then this year you're looking for you're looking at 10% on top of last year's monster year. Taylor: [8:27] That's right that's right still going to grow it's still good grow significantly it's still good grow you know maybe as you stay at the kind of lower bound of what we used to see but it's a real real growth rate now they'll be some differences in what grows and how it grows you can get into that but it's going to be a good year. Jason: [8:44] And one of the thing that's always funny to me is I guarantee you when the the sort of superficial press get ahold of your forecast they're all going to write the story about how e-commerce has is slowing way down. Taylor: [8:58] Right yeah nobody wants to talk about two year growth rate or you know try and digest everything that's happened over over the course of the pandemic and fine and but I know, when you step back even a little bit e-commerce has transformed over the past 20 24 months I think the bigger story is people are shopping for their groceries people are shopping for their Furniture you know folks out here in Berkeley or buying compost online, the way that people engage with e-commerce has radically transformed over the course of the pandemic and that's here to stay and that's this the basis of that growth and that you know that's the part that really has accelerated over the course of cobit so if you want to look at a particular growth rate and say it's slowing down, fair enough, but I don't think for instance you know I want to make predictions in 223 but I don't think this 10 percent growth rate in 22 is telling you that 23 is going to be slow I think it's more of a balancing act between. 2020 and 2021. Jason: [9:58] And again like this still means e-commerce is almost certainly growing faster than brick and mortar. Filming the whole industry is still growing in a very disruptive year I do want to like maybe double-click on covid just for a second because this was the big open question when we were all living through, the first half of the pandemic was sure. Everybody's turning to e-commerce people don't want to go to the stores there's health and safety issues they're all they're all these open things so not surprising that it drove more people online a big question at that time was. Is this just an acceleration of a trend and this is going to be the new normal or will those people all be desperate to go back to the store and resume and back to the mall and kind of resume their pre-pandemic. Shopping behaviors and. My read of your data says no no we're locking in all those changes that happened last year and then we're we're growing at a pretty healthy clip from there is that a fair way to be thinking about it or am I wrong headed as got usually points out. Taylor: [11:02] No in this particular case you happen to be right the that's absolutely true if you look at the aggregate growth I think it tells exactly that story that it, it is we're banking all the gains that you got through covid and there were growing on top of that, I think another stat I think really tells the story is our buy online pick up curbside. Data which you know followed that trajectory you talked about Jason, getting up there as we got into the pandemic and retailers adjusted we have a we have a set of retailers we look at the median portion of their online purchase online orders that are fulfilled curbside and that ramped right up last year with all of its fulfillment challenges ranked right up right before Christmas you about 25% we thought that's a that's a high peak right we got into April of this year and it gone right back up to 25% people are still going and pick you up curbside that's a habit that they're in their shopping online and fulfilling next to the store and we expect that to hit a whole new record frankly as we go into this year so it's a it's a habit that people have gotten into and they're not letting go of. Jason: [12:10] Wow and if this is from memory but I want to say last year you guys said that well well e-commerce grew at 33% the dopest segments are the curbside pickup segment grew way faster than that it was like a hundred and ninety-five percent. Taylor: [12:25] Yeah I don't have enough time I have like it's something like that it was it was significant and this year's going to be. Going to be crazy and you know anecdotally you know there are a number of stores where I think hey I really like this I'm not going to set foot in number of those I'll shop with them but I'm against it putting them again for a while if I don't have to this is great for me. Jason: [12:47] Yeah you know it's maybe only partly analogous but I talked to a lot of Quick Serve restaurants. And you know they have the same thing right they sold they sold meals but it was all off Prem consumption and you know the restaurants that have the biggest intrinsic Advantage were ones with drug through. And I've talked to an awful lot of restaurant tours that are like if I could wave a magic wand and make my dining room go away and have a more robust drive through. I would do it because that's the customer that that appears to be the long-term customer preference. Taylor: [13:19] Yeah I think and I think a lot of retailers who have got good real estate or obviously having to rethink how much of this is a you know distribution center and how much of this is a shopping experience and you know it's gonna be different than it was two years ago for sure. Jason: [13:34] And then I guess the one other sort of observational thing I've noted is. Yeah so you know our store is going to get people to walk back in the store to pick up those digital orders are they going to continue to pick them up at curbside and you know one who knows but one clue. Um is pre-pandemic Walmart had these in storage lockers these robotic lockers this cool Tower and all their stores. Um and they d installed all of those towers and they're now doing a national remodel with a much more robust, curbside picking lot parking lot right so it seems very clear and Walmart's case that they're saying hey the. You know this isn't just a reaction of the pandemic this is a you know a permanent infrastructure change we're making two. To make to eliminate in-store pickup and make curbside pickup more. Taylor: [14:24] I think that's right I think that is likely the trend I think you know it there's a lot. A lot of the hassle of of shopping that you're removing with shopping online and pick you up at the store is, is that last not mile I mean the last you know a hundred feet hundred yards of going in there and getting in the inline or whatever if you can just sit with your app and check your email with some well so they put stuff in the trunk that's a lot of a lot of value add there so I would expect that to be continue to be the trend. Scot: [14:52] Bullets as I introduced I'm kind of keenly aware or following the supply chain stuff and I noticed in the front of your presentation one of the bullets is unprecedented out of stock levels if you guys can you share like you know what you think that's going to be and is there any way to put a number on that like you're numb your forecast would have been you know twice as big if it wasn't for this or you just guys are just flagging it as this adds risk to the holiday. Taylor: [15:21] It's a fair question something we think a lot about I mean it's really hard to characterize and we probably just need more more. Time with the with the day I met don't make time to think about it but time series data to really understand how out of stock. Alters people shopping behaviors whether they abandon or whether they take some to which they redirect themselves. I will tell you is that you're going into if you look at sort of 2019 isn't as the normal it was growing when people were getting more out of stock items more of stock hits over time maybe you know creeping up toward fifty or a hundred percent more even over the course of the year and the pandemic hits and people are five times more likely basically four and a half to five times more likely to get an out of stock message and that's today that's not necessarily going to Holiday where things could get more challenging. So that could go up where we see it often isn't most often is in apparel so again you know I think it's going to affect different categories differently out of socks in the Peril can be if you're looking for a particular stereo pair of sneakers or particular you know this is the 20th so what made you I was buying for my wife but something you know a vest or something right that is her birthday is on the 23rd so I want to tell her what's what I was shopping for, anyway the you know you might not get that. Scot: [16:46] Is your wife a listener. Taylor: [16:48] I really doubt it. But yeah you might get redirected to something else whereas in electronics for instance we see you know a lot of chips shortages but. But price is a bigger factor in some of that marketing and decision making and so you're able to see apparel prices creep up a little bit but a lot about a stock you see for instance Electronics prices creep up a lot from what we would have expected but that that has reduced the out-of-stock challenges that they faced. Scot: [17:24] So so it's hard to put a quantity quantify on at this point maybe you think after the holiday you guys will be able to. Taylor: [17:31] I think it'll be easy yeah I mean you know we have a clear estimate of what things might have looked like before I think after the holiday talk to us in January we can we will have a better sense of how this played out this holiday season one of the challenges that I think is out there is it's not clear yet how much out of stock consumers are really going to see this season, based on you know when retailers are running promotions how they're stocking us those promotions how they're managing their their portfolio of goods so. We'll have to see but it's something that yeah had Beyond in January we'll talk about. Scot: [18:09] Okay it's going to be more of a chess game because the retailer they have the only information about what they have and what they can expect and then matching that to the promotional calendar this year is going to be interesting and playing a little game of chicken with the consumer to because consumers should be reading about this a lot so it's going to be fascinating to watch watch how that plays out. Taylor: [18:29] Yeah I've been recommending to Consumers frankly to make two lists, say look you got one list of things where I know I want this for the holidays and you got to buy it early because you might worry about your your out-of-stock situation and then another set of goods were you think hey you know if this doesn't come through or if I don't get specifically the version of this that I want yeah if I don't get this TV but I get a different brand TV I'm okay and then those things you can really shop for on the big major sailed is but it's you know. It's going to be it's a lot of a lot of work for the retailers to figure out how this game is going to play out and frankly it's gonna be a lot of work for consumers to figure out how they're going to address it. Jason: [19:10] I guess one of the ways I think about this it's important to remember that out of stock does not automatically mean wah sales like a lot of times there's a. Customers first choice but the they'll make on the Fly substitutions are switches when they discover some things out of stock so we still capture that. That's a land it seems like all like you know all the people forecasting retail sales for this holiday are pretty robust numbers you're coming in with a pretty robust number, everyone saying we're not going to find, consumers first choice of goods so the sort of logical conclusion here is the consumers in a spending mood when I go to the store to get baby grow goo for Scott for Christmas and it's out. Um Scott's going to have to settle for some cool dune toy that I find. Taylor: [19:58] Hey didn't really cool the The Arc right and I think maybe the way to answer Scott's question directly is you know. In the face of this rapidly increasing out of stock, we're seeing at least you know up to the 5x of what we saw in 2018 we have still seen really impressive growth this year especially we're 2019 so so far whatever headwind it is is not. Super significant now I think you know the experiment that will be able to look at is if this starts to spike as we go into the holiday season if retailers have a hard time matching their inventory with with consumer demand then that might have a bigger impact in the they'll be saying we can look at more closely. Jason: [20:42] So you alluded to some of the categories and I have a feeling that. Um that both out of stocks and the impact of out of stocks could play out very differently in different categories right like if someone goes to the grocery store and we're out there out of your preferred brand of toilet paper. You're probably going to switch to another toilet paper but if there's a particular luxury fashion item or a particular toy that little Johnny is asking for for Christmas. Um you might be more inclined to hunt her harder for that product or defer that purchase and get it later or something like that right is does that make sense. Taylor: [21:16] Absolutely yeah and you know grocery out of stocks are not not at all infrequent with your particular Goods at a particular moment and then apparel is something I don't know about the rest of you but I've gotten. Pretty acclimated to the notion that I'm not necessarily going to be able to find the size and the color I'm looking for on the first try that it's quite quite possible I have to hunt around but you know there's a lot there a lot of style choices that go into that whereas I think you know if you're looking for a you know something specific as you say you know for particular. Particular toy your gift you might have to hunt them different retailers to go find it but you might be willing to do that exactly well. Jason: [21:58] So when you roll it out all that up are there any categories in your mind and end up being clear winners or losers for holiday. Taylor: [22:06] Well you know I think the it's it's a good question the the. [22:17] Clearly where we've seen growth is where we've seen the clearest growth in the holiday and in e-commerce in general has been in the things that are not holiday specifics of groceries apparel those kinds of things have really grown and we continue to see them grow so in some sense they are the Commerce winners because they've really absorbed the, I think what's going to be very successful early on are going to be these deals that get spread out around electronics and other gifts in an apparel we expect to see those went out very well I've got my eye though on non physical Goods things like downloadable games and things like that that happen the mic pop up toward the Christmas season is people who are looking to deliver something that is great experience especially for kids that isn't going to be constrained by shipping challenges and then. [23:18] I don't know where to put my bets this year because I've got my eye both on the demand that I see in a lot of things like gaming consoles that are looking great but also on you know there's a big question mark over over Supply challenges and how that will play out for them so I would be cautious in spread my bets but but electron you know the traditional gift areas are going to do really well and apparel seems to be continuing to take off very strongly in what we've seen so far. Jason: [23:48] So you the non-physical thing is super interesting ordinarily and holiday like as you get closer to the end of the year and you kind of hit shipping cut-offs and last year we talked about a lot about ship again I didn't, and you know bottleneck sit ups and FedEx and all of that you know retailers pivot to trying to sell. Intangible products pretty hard right and most notably gift cards so I imagine that with the the inventory situations this year that that's going to be more prominent than ever that you know if you can't find the, the toy you really want you know it might be an IOU you're getting, it holiday in the hopes of getting it in January or February but there is a new kind of intangible that kind of didn't exist last year and is having a little bit of moment and I have a feeling Scott's way more into it than I am but why. Does all do all of these out of stocks kind of play into the the the. In Ft kind of hate this year do you think that we could start to see some of them on the holiday wish list. Taylor: [24:52] I think I think in a few still have a ways to bleed into you know consumer experiences and consumer expectations that I see a lot of reading and not a lot of a lot of buying but if people can figure out how if retailers can figure out how to make. You're kind of cross that Chasm and figure out how to make it a real consumer experience and yeah I think there's a lot of opportunity there for that and you know and speaking of things that are not necessarily tangible and expire or unique you know we don't forecast travel into our into our data but we do look at travel and right now you know prices for. Plane tickets are about 13 percent less than they were on average in 2019 so you know depending on how. Vaccinations and mask mandates and travel restrictions all play out there may be a push if knock wood covid gets better for more experiential, experience driven options for people to give as gifts to. Scot: [25:49] One of the things that I've been really intrigued by and this is because some of the companies have gone public but this buy now pay later and I saw you called it out and I've seen a lot of the Wall Street analyst as a for my generation I look at it I'm kind of like, you know why don't I just put that on the credit card what's interesting is I've seen this whole generational thing where Millennials and gen Z years they're looking at it as they associate the credit around the item they don't like kind of having open credit and they want it to be around a specific item what what are you guys seeing as it relates to the be npl. Taylor: [26:25] We love new acronyms right be in PL no I have exactly the same experience you just got where I think exactly what you do this but we had two sources on this one is we looked at the actual data that we see flowing through our systems and we saw skyrocketing last year of buy now pay later Behavior we saw about 44 percent growth over the course of the year, weeks that slowed a little bit in percentage terms as we went through this year but you know as we get back into the holiday season I have every reason to expect that to re-accelerate, and you saw quite the distribution two of you know sources of this is some retailers got into this business a lot of financial institutions got certain play in this area so there's a lot more more options we saw those we saw the minimums for buy now pay later come down from those institutions and simultaneously we actually saw consumers spend more or put put bigger purchases on buy now pay later, and when we surveyed about it we, we saw what you were alluding to Scott this is a generational difference in the way that people manage and even think about what credit really is and was striking to me is that the top, category that folks told us that they were interested in using buy now pay later for was was clothing that they were making those kind of purchases and and Spring Meadow over time because they were, lumpy in their year and then they were spreading it out across their income without affecting their credit. [27:52] Electronics was obviously on that that set to you going to buy your television as televisions get bigger and more expensive or cheaper but bigger but what was the. [28:02] Third category that I thought was fascinating was groceries. And not again we dug under that that wasn't just people it wasn't generally people saying look I've got a week's worth of groceries and I spread the payments out over four weeks that's hard to make sense of but but more you know I'm throwing a party or having an event and I have a spike in my grocery budget no one at this I want to smooth it so it is a and then they were everyone was managing it sort of separately from this notion of having a lump of credit card debt they had a managed versus a purchase they had to think out and pay off those are two really different categories so it is it's a really different way of thinking about credit that's manifesting in buy now pay later and it seems to continue to be growing at a significant rate. Scot: [28:49] Yeah do you think. The pitch that a lot of these so that the two big companies are there's three there's a firm karna and after by and I'm sure there's more egg even like shopify's coming out with their own and what not, their pitch to retailers is it bumps up your cart size right do you think, is this going to be a factor this holiday in our is it going to bump up the ASP you think there are still too small to be a meaningful consideration. Taylor: [29:17] You know when we when you average across the enormous event that is the holiday season I don't think we're going to see average order value is our average basket, values go up significantly more noticeably are or more to the point me off trend of what we've seen in the past that said, you know I think. If these retailers are thinking about their customer base has more granularly and they're thinking well I've got a group of folks who I can actually juice where I can do sup there their basket sizes and their purchases by offering that I think that probably is true and, you know as with these kind of generational shifts it may make a difference in the longer term as you change consumer buying habits it may open up a door for that generation is incomes increase and time goes by so I think probably more of a long-term play when it comes to aggregate average order values but for specific audiences for specific customer bases I think it did make a difference. Jason: [30:18] Yeah it's going to be interesting you know there's a payment method that historically has been really popular holiday that you know. Rich people that listen to e-commerce podcast don't tend to think about but it's layaway. And I like one of the interesting Trends you know Walmart which does a very robust delay way business retired their layaway this year in favor of a buy now pay later service. Taylor: [30:44] Yeah I remember the I remember the Layla way shelves. Toys R Us when I was a kid and just sitting them seeing all these items sit there waiting for people to pay for them but if you can get the same effect. And both for the consumer on their credit and for the retailer in terms of getting paid then it's certainly more enticing for the customer to actually get the item rather than wait for it. Jason: [31:10] I know for sure I do like to sad things there was kind of a fun tradition because of away away some very kind people would often go into a retail store. And pay everyone's layaway. And it was kind of this like secret Santa thing and you know it would happen every year there would be lots of these cool stories so I worry we're going to miss out on that which you know probably isn't. Isn't hugely meaningful but it said to me but the other thing that worries me a little bit about holiday I do think like based on your growth forecast like this is going to be a bunch of consumers first experience with these buy now pay later services, and I would still say there's a lot of consumer confusion because like I look at the landscape of these services. And the spectrum is very broad there are you know some kind of thinly veiled payday loan operators that are you know charging like huge interest and late fees and all these things on one end and then there's there's some like. Really generous programs that are very popular in here that don't charge interest in don't have late fees and you know is sort of a. Very low cost and so it. I'm not sure consumers are going to be Savvy enough to differentiate all of those for this holiday I know Target in particular is offering two different buy now pay later options and. Consumers are going to have to learn how to shop for those vendors now. Taylor: [32:35] I think that's absolutely right Jason it's very hard you know it's sort of an unstructured product that can have a lot of different attributes and it's not like a credit card where you we serve reduced it to something like credit limit and interest rate right with some with some bells and whistles and it's also not, it's not even something that consumers know how to frame necessarily like I certainly didn't when I got into the space what is this what are these payments mean what is the penalty if I miss the payment you know what are my other options how are we going to communicate how you get paid what information do you need has if at my credit score it's a lot to think about and it's going to you know thinking has a lot of costs especially when consumers are shopping this quickly so you know I think we'll have a reckoning Reckoning but a moment to pause and. Reflect on how this all evolved we get to the holiday season it will see some things shake out I would imagine. Jason: [33:31] Next well let's pivot to something near and dear to my heart the we alluded to up top the shape of holiday so there's two. Parts of this that are super interesting to me, ordinarily when we talk about holiday we're laser focused on these five days at the end of November the turkey fiber that I think you guys caught the Cyber five. Taylor: [33:53] Yeah they're my wake up at 3 a.m. 5 so I have I hold them in a different regard but they are. You know the story that you know when we would talk to you guys before for the pandemic would always be you know hey this the the season is growing but these big days are growing faster retailers are concentrated you're competing and concentrating their deals on those days and we're seeing retail consumers follow suit and they're expecting those deals on those days that really flipped around last year we had a massive growth last year about 30 odd percent 33 percent for the season. [34:27] But the individual days were growing in the low 20s there are growing about 10% slower then the season as a whole and we expect that again this year we expect the season to grow at about 10% expect the big days to grow about five-ish percent. To be clear they're going to break records I mean we're going to have an 11 plus billion dollar a day on Cyber Monday we're gonna you know Black Friday is going to going to inch up close to 10 billion Thanksgiving is going to be you know over five it'll, level that we used to call Young used to be Black Friday of numbers it's going to be massive but both because, retailers are spreading out the deals for supply and fulfillment reasons and because consumers have really shifted what it mean what e-commerce means in other words they've established sort of water level of shopping for things that are not holiday and promotionally driven, those percentages are harder to move than they used to be so yeah it's going to be they're going to be big days they're gonna be huge that last hour before the end of Cyber Monday we're going to see $12,000,000 move through the system in a minute so, every minute so it's going to be big but it's going to be a different pattern especially the thing from the Retailer's perspective than we've seen in the past. Jason: [35:40] Interesting and do you have a feel for like how much it like I think you hit on the 2 reasons for it like one is the lot of large numbers there already huge. Huge numbers and and you know frankly in some cases quite you just can't squeeze more Goods through the. The funnels on those days and then the other one is changing consumer patterns and and just you know more General e-commerce consumption on every other day of the month and all those other things like it, I'm assuming it's a blend of both of those but but is is this year more prominent that people are going to be holiday shopping on other days or you think we've just. Taylor: [36:18] Yeah it's hard it's a hard call I think what's unusual about this year's really the retailer side I mean you could imagine a world where with fewer Supply constraints where retailers are more willing to put big sales on those big days and compete for eyeballs and four dollars so maybe a maybe there's a new normal where that changes but what I don't think is changing is that consumers are now permanently going to be in a state where Ecommerce is more and more available to them where you know be their home. Certainly their phone is is increasingly an easy place to go shopping and so all this concentration on these days is going to make less and less sense to them in terms of shopping behaviors if you go back out you know the origin of these days is really about sitting outside a big box and and can't be out and trying to get deals because you had to go in person but if you don't, if you if you if it's less and less the case that you actually have to go get things then it becomes easier and easier to spread out your purchases over time and if you're always shopping online you're not, you know just sort of the complete opposite of what you know going going to the office for Cyber Monday to go shopping which is what some of us used to do then you know you're much more open to these deals and opportunities that that retailers can offer you throughout the season so that part's not going away. Jason: [37:40] That's a great point so so then let's let's zoom out a little bit you guys are counting holiday is November 1 through December 31st a lot of retailers would, include January in there, holiday season again a lot of you know gift cards and returns and people you know come in with that return and they buy more stuff so January normally is a good month, and then this year the deals. Started in October right like Amazon Started Black Friday deals on October 4th time to get started on October 10th I think. Sort of boosted because of the supply chain concerns retailers are fighting really hard to start holiday shopping in October, and because all the stuff we really want is stuck on a boat off the coast of Long Beach we might not get it until January or February so with all of that supply chain squishiness. Like is there like what you know. Taylor: [38:39] What do we see. Jason: [38:40] Holiday in November and December but is it even a like the rate of growth is even bigger if you were to kind of you know redefine holiday as a October through February. Taylor: [38:51] Yeah I mean the way that shows up in our data is that we see a we so far I've seen a very strong October, we've seen very strong October in terms of overall e-commerce growth not not on par with you know the big holiday months but it's you know we're looking at you know roughly that ten percent year-over-year a little bit more for October so it's a good sign. [39:17] The what we're also seeing though is we're keeping a close eye on prices and as I said we're see we see. Data at the transaction level and it gives us a particularly unique view into into prices and we're going into your September are digital price index which is the of the basket of goods that we see purchased online through retail was up 3.3% over last year less than the CPI was up last month but still really significantly and for context up until the pandemic we had never seen digital inflation it always be always in prices going down on part about 5% order of about five percent so people are going into this season with higher prices there will be some discounts but we in October but I don't think they're going to make a dent in that inflation yet. And frankly from what we've seen historically over the other holidays of this year we expect to go in with higher prices for goods in general and we expect discounts to be, significant but a little bit shallower than they were at their last year their deepest point so consumers may be paying significantly more, this year on a Black Friday for a particular item than they were they would have been last year on that same date when you add all that up. Scot: [40:35] Nursing the so I know we're up against time so a little lightning around here it wouldn't be a Jason and Scot show if we didn't talk about Amazon any any tea leaves on Amazon. Taylor: [40:47] So we are we assiduously avoid commenting on particular retailers for a number of reasons but everybody's going to have a big year I would imagine this year. Scot: [40:56] My theory is if the supply chain matters Amazon Amazon Walmart and maybe Target are so dialed in on that but it was some a bit of an advantage and could hurt the small guy this year but we'll see how that plays out. Taylor: [41:11] What do you think the large versus small is a good good framing of that, you know bigger retailers in and out of stock in a world without of stocks have more options to to offer and complete a sale and then small retailers who may see their carts more likely to be abandoned I think that's a significant factor. Jason: [41:31] Okay so then the next lightning one is you talked a little bit about inflation you talked a little bit about like discounting not having to be quite as deep. How does that all washout in terms of profitability I do do retailers make more money on fewer sales this year or does do all these supply chain costs eat it up and, and it's you know thin margins. Taylor: [41:51] Yeah well so I think margin management is going to be a whole different game and retailers of already had to think a lot about that this year that you know the top line is going to be bigger per item so you're going to get more Revenue but I don't see that really being driven by some kind of margin maximization Behavior it seems to be largely driven by increasing increasing costs of goods and so you know I don't see a real Gap step open it up between increasing costs and and increasing Revenue to create a giant chunk of margin there. Scot: [42:28] How about anything on device Trends any news kind of done to be a bit of an old story that you know the smartphone is overtaking the desktop. Taylor: [42:37] There is a little bit of news it's kind of fascinating so we that's that's it if you looked at the share of Revenue that was doing through smartphones from 2014 till even into the pandemic you could have basically drawn a straight line I mean it was a it was a sort of, Early College regression experiment that we've been super easy for First Years to do that's changed a little bit smartphones are still gaining cheer don't get me wrong they're still growing faster than desktop in terms of the revenue is coming through them. Ever so slightly more slowly than than they used to and it may be an indicator that, in America at least we may be headed toward an equilibrium to looks more like a sort of 50/50 World between desktop and phones which is obviously really different than some other parts of the world where that it may be 80/20 or 90/10. [43:33] Right yeah I got two expense that so I can you know make it part of our part of our. Jason: [43:38] If we get our new app tops in time then we're all shopping on our laptops otherwise we're all shopping on our floor. Taylor: [43:42] Exactly. Jason: [43:45] But it wasn't a or we could talk all day I know you're in super high demand this this time of year and and you know quite frankly not in demand at all the rest of the year so I'm sure we'll talk again when. When you're less popular, but this was awesome we really appreciate your time as always if folks want to continue the conversation or have questions you can hit us up on, on the Twitter or the Facebook page, and as always if you got value out of this show we sure would appreciate it if you'd go on to iTunes and give us that five star Christmas review. Taylor: [44:19] That's what I'm going to do Jason. Scot: [44:21] Awesome we push it if that's aren't your gift to us and it's digital so we don't have to worry about Supply pain if I think in past years you guys have set up kind of a cool holiday news Hub is that something you're going to do this year and we're world where will we find them. Taylor: [44:37] It will be there I need to get you the URL we can put the URL in a link to this if you guys are watching this online I will make sure you guys have it before we got there but yes there will it'll be there. Scot: [44:47] All right we really appreciate the time. Taylor: [44:50] Right thank you guys I really appreciate Scott real patient appreciate Jason happy to do this anytime. Jason: [44:56] We appreciate you Taylor and until next time happy commercing!
EP277- Holiday 2021 Preview Holiday 2021 will be one of the most uncertain holiday events in modern retail history. Major disruptions to the supply chain, the last mille, and to consumer behavior as a result of covid, will make this year extremely hard to predict and manage for brands and retailers. Will shipageddon 2.0 play out again this year? Will the supply chain become the supply pain? With Amazon and Target starting holiday deals early in October, and consumer still looking for scarce inventory late into January or even February, Holiday 2021 is likely to be 5 months long. In this episode we break down all the potential issues, and make some prediction about how it might all play out. http://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Episode 277 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Sunday October 3rd, 2021. Transcript Jason: [0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 277 being recorded on Sunday October third 2021 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scot Wingo. Scot: [0:40] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason and Scot show listeners, Jason this is a really good time for listeners to pause because we're going to do a deep dive here so that means it can be a little bit of a longer episode. And leave us that five-star review this episode is going to be so good you can go ahead and pre leave us the five star review so we'll wait for second for you to come back. All right thanks for doing that that really helps us out as we get the word out about the show, Jason last year at and I went back and had a one of our many interns look at this and it was exactly this time last year I think was actually October 2nd recording this in October 3rd so it's a pretty darn close. We coined and we were doing our annual holiday preview and we both coined and predicted ship again and that is where we saw pretty early on I think before a lot of the rest of the folks in the industry that there was going to be both a surge in digital adoption due to covid plus the normal holiday increase from e-commerce and that that was going to more than absorb all of the available last-mile demand and that's the why we coined ship again and it happened and it was bad but we all survived and made it through and hopefully the folks listening to this show got in front of that both on their business and personal side. [1:58] Well this year we want to use this episode and do a deep dive into what that's going to look like this year and it's a more complex situation last year was pretty easy to lie to read those tea leaves because you know we were already pretty close to capacity before covid and it was kind of pretty easy prediction to say that we're going to far exceed the ability to deliver the packages. This year we have a lot to unpack for you spoiler alert it's going to be worse than last year much worse because not only is it that last little piece of the whole digital retail chain of events The Last Mile that's going to be a problem but it's all the other pieces leading into it that are going to be a problem something we call the supply chain but this year we are going to call it the supply pain so we're going to peel the onion on this and first we're going to look at the economic setup heading into holiday 21 then we're going to look at the global state of supply chain then we're going to look at some of the holiday trims that are kind of factors we think that are going to tie into this last some of the pontificate errs are out with their forecasts and we're going to go through those and kind of see what we think about those. Jason want it could suck kick it off with the economic setup coming into holiday 21. Jason: [3:15] Yeah awesome Scott so first of all let me start by saying on the macroeconomic picture most of the professional analysts that look at this. Are pretty uniform in feeling like the consumer is generally in a good place that the economy is in a pretty good place and they are all very bullish on the consumers ability to spend this holiday. And I say that because my own personal feeling is that there's a little more uncertainty cooked in there there certainly are some encouraging favorable things. And there's a few worrisome things and I think. What's going to become the theme for all of these sections we talked about today is there's a significant amount of uncertainty there's a lot of things that could swing either way and have a dramatic impact on holiday so. It is what it is but. Sort of giving you how I look at the macroeconomic situation the first thing we'll talk about is inflation and there's a bunch of ways to look at inflation but a simple one is there's this thing called the Consumer Price Index which kind of. Factors in how much of each good consumers purchase and how much prices are raising for that, and the the CPI is it about 5.25% right now so that's pretty significant we more expensive Goods that consumers are having to pay. And ordinarily that inflation can be problematic for the economy a couple of things to know though. [4:43] If you kind of look at the shape of that CPI it actually is going down a little bit from a peak in July and so possible we've seen the. Peak of inflation and it's starting to come back down. Inflation is a mixed bag for retailers and holiday because they get more money for everything they sell they tend to sell less stuff but make more on each in certain circumstances it can be more profitable. Um but you know the goods are costing more we've got this 5.25 percent inflation. We also though have a pretty significant increase in wages so people are getting paid more for their work, particularly low-income people, are getting paid more for work retailers and warehouses and all kinds of companies are having to raise their wages to compete for the for this labor force that's been hard to find right now and so, wages are going up and in general the analysts would call those two things Awash that that consumers. Are getting bigger paychecks and they're having to spend more on their necessities and that at the moment that's about Break Even so two interesting things to know. [5:52] A kind of predictor of future spending is this this huge survey that University of Michigan does every month the consumer confidence index. And when when we were kind of in the peak of recovery from the first wave of covid-19, that index was a leading indicator that said consumers were starting to feel good about the economy and it hit like it's this index it over a hundred today it's sitting at 71, which is the lowest point since January of 2019 it's not, like a historic low or anything like that that you know you go like oh it's way below normal, but it does appear that consumers are in general feeling less good about the economy than they were, um you know just a month or two ago now there's a bunch of political news out right now and there was fear of government shutdown that we've already averted and those kinds of things have a big impact on the consumer index oh. [6:49] Um I that consumer index doesn't have a perfect correlation with spending so I don't spend too much time thinking about it but just to know, that's a number that had been favorable and is kind of shrinking down. A big one we talk about is unemployment because people don't have jobs it's hard for them to spend on Goods obviously at the beginning of the pandemic we had a huge spike in unemployment, unemployment is actually pretty good right now we're at five point two percent. The kind of pre-pandemic average was about four so we're not all the way back to pre-pandemic average but that pre-pandemic. [7:22] Point was a historic low so historically 5.2 percent is pretty decent for unemployment. Um so like most most analysts would say that's a favorable indicator the two things to know there is, that's based on the people that are seeking jobs and not getting it there actually is a ton of people that kind of took themselves out of the workforce we. Fully understand where all those people went but a big chunk of those people were second incomes for household so like a lot of women. That like maybe don't have as good a help childcare as they had before or more school challenges or things and so they haven't gone back to the workforce and many of them are seeking work so they don't show up in the unemployment number so. Just be aware like household incomes are somewhat stressed because of that factor and then as we've talked about before on this show like as of July. People that make over $60,000 a year the unemployment is actually ten percent better than it was before the pandemic so they're doing great. And the low-income people that are making less than $30,000 a year their unemployment is still 21 percent lower than it was. The beginning of the pandemic so so a little bit of a bifurcated recovery on the jobs thing. [8:38] One of the reasons that we historically have that we had high unemployment was because there's all these rich benefits this enhanced unemployment benefits that people got that all expired last week. So if people were staying at home because they could make more and unemployment that that justification probably ended. The bad news is that ended in 26 States over two months ago and in general the data shows that people did not rush back to work when it ended. So there's not necessarily a reason to think a ton more people are going to rush back to work now that that it's ended everywhere but we'll have to see. Um the other macroeconomic things all these natural disasters are negative to the economy so you know when hurricane Ida takes a hundred billion dollars out of the economy that's a bummer. Um [9:25] Another hugely favorable one in the one that most of us are hanging our hats on that are looking for a good holiday is the savings rate and this is the most unprecedented recession of all times. Unemployment you know went way up at the peak of the pandemic but so did savings which has never happened before, and part of that was because we had all this stimulus money we were pouring into the economy but the savings rate normally hovers around 8% it shot up to 32 percent during the peak of the pandemic, it's way off of that Peak it's a nine point six which is still a little higher than it was before the pandemic and that. All that extra money that a lot of household socked away because they got the stimulus and they spent less during the the peak of the pandemic. [10:18] Arguably puts consumers in a good place to spend for this holiday the counter-argument would be all that stimulus. Is mostly over there still are you know very lumpy employment situation and a lot of that savings has dwindled, um so we'll see how it goes, um but then the last fact I'm going to throw up before I go at Scott get a word in edgewise is that the stock market has done phenomenally right and, we're way up from the pre-pandemic level and so the investor class and people that have you know as a meaningful portion of their wealth. Tied to the market. Did terrific right and so if there is economic uncertainty and instability in this economy it's bifurcated and it's the lower-income people that like do not have equity in the stock market. Um there were her but roll all that up and the the professional analysts feel like. Macroeconomic situation all to all in is pretty good and of course when rich people do well that help certain sectors of the economy quite a bit right and at the moment luxury and jewelry are doing phenomenally well for example so. That's kind of my snapshot of the macroeconomy Scott anything you'd violently disagree with or anything you pay particular attention to. Scot: [11:45] I think I think that's right I think you know there's a lot of folks that feel the inflation the CPI isn't the right inflation number it's kind of this old metric. This basket of goods and doesn't capture a lot of things you know there's, I follow a lot of the crypto people and, so there's been a huge wealth creation through crypto and that whole world which is kind of interesting and then you know there's there's a feeling that the FED has pumped so much cash into the system that is just sloshing around and kind of crazy ways which is why you saw that savings rate kind of go up as high as it did and you know they're they're talk track goes that that's why we're not seeing as much employment where folks have taken so those free free dollars and and you know. Done something with it so that they don't need a job now or they're going to be less likely to enter the workforce but I think at all. Yeah I would say I agree with the analysts on that it's going to be a pretty good holiday. [12:51] But I think the problem we'll get into that as I just don't think there's going to be a thing to buy so I don't not sure if it matters. Jason: [12:56] So step one American families probably have some money to spend okay so now as we've already alluded to the next challenges what is the supply chain look like and what could they spend it on and Scott what's your kind of read there. Scot: [13:13] Yes Supply chains from those things we always talk about but then you know in in your mind you have this kind of linkage these things linked together I remember as a kid when you would cut out the little construction paper strips and make the little chain to go around. The holiday tree there II reminds me of that and we kind of vaguely talk about it as this big, big thing and we want to really unpack it on this episode so as a summary you know there's when you make a product let's say it's one time in a million familiar with right now is a vehicle that which is one of the more complex products or even a. You're relatively simple product like an electronic toy or an apparel item or almost anything it's going to have first of all it. It's going to have component parts right so there's going to be some form of pieces that go into that I kind of mentally think of them as the Lego blocks that make up that item so if it's a cool trendy trench coat there's going to be obviously fabric buttons may be a variety of fabrics and things like that so there's generally it's hard to make any product without there being at least 10 inputs and then many times, thousands if not tens or hundreds of thousands as you get into like iPhones and vehicles and stuff like that. [14:33] So that's important to remember is each one of those component parts has a supply chain right and you can't make a widget until its component pieces are all there so what happens is we're seeing this really interesting and it's hard to know the root cause or theirs some of the economic stuff you talked about is part of it we're we're just having labor shortages that cause things but then you know we'll talk about some of this there's we import a lot of our goods from China and they're having all kinds of issues of their own there's covid related things non-covered related things but generally let's think about the supply chain and kind of the broad sense of you have typically the bulk of goods are made offshore some of them are are made on Shore but let's kind of assume in this example A lot of these products are coming from offshore or at least income the many of the components maybe there's some assembly in the US but at least the the components for a any widget are made offshore so that's number one so that has to be made in a factory somewhere and then shipped here so there's the port of origin so it leaves a port in a foreign land and then needs to come on its way to the United States for a consumer to buy it. That Journey can go a variety of different ways will to it can go by boat or air, the standard way that products are moved is through containers so you by everyone seemed these containers there's all these cool. [15:57] We just opened up here a restaurant container Village kind of a thing so you have those containers their specialized boats that carry these and and or you can put them on airplanes. So then they get on a boat let's say the bulk of products do go by boat there is some by are then they have to go over the sea and then they get to a destination port so there's you know there's two ports involved with every product that comes across in a container then it has to be unloaded from that boat you've probably seen these giant cranes somewhere. [16:29] Fun Star Wars fact those are the that's where George Lucas got the idea for at-ats he saw some of the cranes and one of the ports on the west coast and thought of what if you had a giant walking robots that look like that so those have to be unloaded and then typically you're going to put them on either so then when they get to the United States in one of the ports they're going to be offloaded onto either a truck and then part of the truck that's really critical in this is called a chassis so if you've ever seen you've probably driven by a million of these container trucks but if you take the container off that's the chassis part as you've got the front part of the truck, then you've got the chassis which holds the container and then the container sits squarely on there it's pretty clever if you think about how it's all been designed or that same container can be put over on rail so there are specialized railroad cars for carrying containers and then and then the product goes on its way then it makes it to a warehouse and then it goes to from that fulfillment center it gets distributed many times do a couple maybe from a big kind of inbound fulfillment center to some regionals to some locals and maybe even one step closer to kind of hyper local and then it gets into the last mile delivery part of the world so it gets onto the virtual shelves and then is sold and goes into that last month so [17:52] There's there's a lot that has to happen right in there and we're going to go through some of the things that are not working right now and you know like any any chain any. There's at least common denominator problem so all that can work great and if you don't have Last Mile Vehicles then you've got a problem or, the factories aren't making things fast enough then the whole chain is compressed and you've got this other set of problems and you know where we are now is almost every single part of that chain I just walked through is is kind of you know sport or in a bad situation right now and we'll take you through some examples. Jason let's start with factories what's going on there. Jason: [18:34] Yeah well a couple challenges with factories so obviously the we have the most factories in China and the good news with China is. Covid is mostly under control they definitely have had a. A spike from from Delta they almost had had down a zero before Delta. [18:55] Because of their their concerns about the the virus they have China has what's called the zero covid policy and what that means is. If they have a single case of covid they will they will shut down an entire business or. Even a sector of business so while there's not huge outbreaks of covid and factories right now. There have been a bunch of examples where only a few cases of covid showed up and that caused a factory to be closed for two weeks so there there have been some disruptions with the Chinese factories. But the bigger problem has been that it, from before and in the very beginning of covid a lot of manufacturing got Diversified and moved out of China right and so the second biggest manufacturer of apparel behind China right now is Vietnam. Vietnam has had a lot of trouble with Delta and about a third of the factories in Vietnam are shut down right now so a lot of the factories that make goods are not making as many Goods either because. [19:56] They don't have very good access to vaccines and they're having covid problems or they have really rigid government policies like China. And then forecasting a future problem that's a huge Debbie Downer, is China is actually experiencing a real energy crisis right now and China always has to kind of, ration electricity and they give quotas at the beginning of every year to these factories and factories often have to shut down because they exceed their quotas. Well this year like they have less. [20:31] Energy capacity in China for a variety of reasons in the cost of coal has gone way up. Um there's there's fixed pricing for for energy in China and said the producers can't charge you more even though the cold cost more and so they have less incentive to make it which means there's less energy and so there's a lot of fear that there's going to be a ton more slowdowns of Chinese factories because of this looming energy crisis so all of those things. Our kind of conspiring to make like the amount of product available from the factories like. Significantly inconsistent and hard to. Scot: [21:12] And then say the call thing and because I have read a couple articles on this and I haven't under Center so they're in an attempt to be green they've lowered the price of coal so cold manufacturers have stopped making goals that. Jason: [21:26] So I think that's what the the green thing has a significant impact here but the the communist country they set the the. It's a. [21:37] The energy industry is a tightly regulated industry and so the prices are fixed so that so the government decides the beginning of the year what the price of electricity is going to be. [21:47] So then these factories are only allowed to charge that price or plus or minus 10% of that price, and coal is four hundred percent more expensive so a lot of factories don't want a lot of power plants don't want to make energy electricity from coal right now because they can't do it profitably, they don't have permission from the government to charge for hundred percent for their electricity but they're having to pay 400 percent for their coal so. There is less production because of that it is also absolutely true that China has some, zero emissions by wants a 2060 things and they have concrete milestones in place every year and so even before cover that constrain how much electricity they were going to be able to make this year with current production means. And it meant that factories had a quota, um and and often that means Factories do periodically shut down when they use up their quota factories are rushing to get more efficient so they're all its, it's like everything it creates all these Downstream effects whatever equipment you use to make your stuff there's probably a more energy efficient version of that equipment that you now want to buy. But it's hard to get your hands on so all the factories are competing for the more energy-efficient versions of all this this materials, but the it's likely that more factories are going to be shut down for longer this year than ever before because of energy shortages. Scot: [23:14] And I saw an interesting graphic I forget I think is there Bloomberg or Wall Street Journal where the government then said well if you're going to shut down energy they created these zones and they put like a lot of that Apple manufacturing plants in The Greener zones that we get more power but then they neglected a lot of the input parts so. But the factories that can make the iPhone 13 or operating but they're sitting there idle because the the red zones that aren't getting a lot of power or only able to run like half a shift are. Jason: [23:44] Per your point like even if the Lego factories allowed to make Lego castles if they're not allowed to make red blocks. It's tough to make a lot of weight so castles so that that is yeah. It's a mess and then to give you an idea how cute it is normally they only shut down the the industrial areas there's so much constrained energy now that they're starting to shut down residential areas so people are. Are like having their power in their residences turned off as well. Scot: [24:14] Interesting and then I've been tracking ports here in the US very closely but what are you seeing at ports of origin in other countries. Jason: [24:24] Well this is one we're very publicly this zero covid policy that China has instituted has come into play. So that that all the biggest ports in the world are in China the third largest port in the world is divided into four terminals one of the four terminals was just shut down for two weeks because of a single. Positive test of covid and so that again to the extent that the factories are making stuff and they need to load up all those containers, um if they have to stop loading for 2 weeks that that creates a real lumpiness in the in the supply chain and that is a particularly hard thing to predict right like if you're just saying like oh man of. Factory you know has a bunch of sick workers it's going to shut down you can kind of watch that and see it coming but what you can't see coming is, you know a very small number of cases having a very material impact on the supply chain like these these ports that are shutting down and so the. The those impacts are sort of outsized on the supply chain at the moment. Scot: [25:34] Yeah and then so so now we've got our products you know, if they can make it through this Gauntlet that we've already laid out they're going to get on a boat and they are going to go get packed into a container and there's a fun if you're a business you're trying to get as much of this product into a container as possible because it's pretty much all you can eat once you once you buy a container there's fractional containers whatnot and because of there's a shortage in containers and then the cost to send these containers has gone way up so right now as we record this the cost there's actually an index you can look at this so if you were will put a link to show notes but if you Google Freight Fredo's fre IG HT o s index there's an index that tracks this and we have hit a record of 20500 86 average dollars to send a container and that's twice what it was in July of this year and that was twice of what it was in January so we effectively you know in July it was about ten thousand dollars and in January as about five thousand dollars now another interesting Factor here is depending on how many units you put in a container you divide that that unit cost right so if you're putting I'll keep the math easy a thousand units in one of these containers which would be something relatively big you're going to you know you just added effectively another. Yeah. [26:57] Let's see I should have smelled your $15 to the product just in kind of Landing cost with this with this increase so whatever your cost is on a per unit it's gone up effectively 4X since January so that's a factor to consider. [27:15] And what I'm what I'm hearing from people on the ground is you'll go bid and you kind of get get in front of this number right now so you're actually out there bidding today 30,000 to get a container and then you think you'll have one and then they'll say oh you know we need to re-evaluate that because they can the shipping company I'm talking to is now saying is 33,000 so there's this like running auction to get. Space on these boats that are coming over because of some of the rest of the supply chain that will talk about so. [27:46] So how about are so that's that's what it looks like by boat what are you seeing on the air side. Jason: [27:51] Yeah and obviously the most cost-effective way to get all this stuff here is via boat so you'd prefer to do that but when the boats aren't available or if you you need stuff considerably faster like a, in Good Times it takes about about 40 days to move a container from China to the west coast of the US so. Some Goods do come via air and little known fact 50% of Air Freight that comes into the u.s. comes on the bottom of, passenger airplanes right so it's not it's not FedEx and UPS planes flying from China to the US cargo planes it's, it's the bottom of these passenger planes and guess what is not happening right now is. International so there's just way less flights and said there's way less capacity for this Air Freight and so both, because there's more demand for Air Freight because of all the problems with the ocean Freight and because there's less Supply that the air option has you know been dramatically diminished from where it would normally be. Scot: [28:56] Yep so then so then you decide okay well I've got to put on a boat you do that you wait your 40 days and then what you find out is your delayed for a very long time because the heart problem is the u.s. ports are all pretty much maxed out so we've kind of done this very big under-investing in our ports so one of our our biggest one is in Los Angeles at Long Beach and then we have Savannah New York New Jersey and then there's a lot of secondary and tertiary ports but those are the big ones and there's another index that Bloomberg, puts out which is effectively the number of boats that are anchored offshore and you know what you want to you never want to Anchor these things because effectively they're just sitting there all that product just sitting there you know. Doing nothing waiting and the reason the reason why they're sitting there is the ports are they can't unload the products fast enough. [29:55] There's a million reasons why we'll talk about that in a second but this just actually ticked up over there's over 40 boats, and this is interesting I've read a data point this has 74 Los Angeles and 40 I think there's 40 anchored in 30 actively kind of being done there's these Maps if you look at my Twitter feed I just tweeted one to just show you know the port and the congestion there's just all these boats just sitting there waiting to come on shore I have a friend that lives in LA and they can just as they drive around they can just see the boats out there just fact it's very unusual time frame. Jason: [30:30] One of the supply chain guys I work with suggested that we should start a new company Uber barge where we deliver like In and Out Burgers to all these boats that are stuck offshore. Scot: [30:39] Someone someone tried to actually get a helicopter to go out one to get their container often. You can't do that because if you've ever seen these things are stacked like 50 deeper someone is crazy you can't just say I really need that one right there so this this index just ticked over 70 for the first time ever since has been created which is just just crazy. [31:00] And so why is it taking so long to offload the boats well we have under invested in these things and then we have this discontinued problem with the supply chain. Number one there's not enough people to I think it's longshoreman there's a lot of these Union type jobs that you hear about that do this so there's a longshoreman or the ones that offload products for a long time due to covid they were only running like half the number of shifts that used to so they have actually spun that up, they're running more shifts but now there's a shortage of chassis and then because of that. [31:37] You know if you don't have chassis you can still off load the boat but now you have to put it into kind of medium term or short term storage and then all that is full so there's not enough chassis there's not enough truck drivers if there is chassis and then if there's not chassis all the storage is full and then, the one when a product comes off the boat at the Port it can either go by truck or rail the whole rail system is all jammed up as well the this is interesting I read this one article that. Near you in the Joliet train yard which is one of the biggest ones in middle of the country they're so jammed up they have over 8,000 containers stacked there waiting for more training capacity and then some some days the trains are backed up for 25 miles waiting as they're loading these containers on there to try to do this, normal turnaround for a chassis to go at a port to deliver something to where it's going and come back is three and a half days due to all these various shortages that is extended out to 17 days so that's pretty crazy. A big factor in this port jam up is also the shortage of drivers and I call them CDL Drivers which is a commercial driver's license. [32:49] To drive one of these 18-wheelers that's going to carry a container you have to have a you know a certification for a certain type of vehicle there's It's relatively, no time-consuming to go get the certification and the number of drivers that have this is actually decreasing over time as they age out and enough people are coming into the profession so I read one article and this was by one of the one of the professional groups of CDL drivers that there's about 240,000 shortfall of CDL Drivers compared, kind of where the demand is there's about you call it to and 50,000 fewer drivers than they need so we're seeing you know I think I can remember was you or someone but Amazon and Walmart are ineffectively gunfighter these people where they're charged their they're paying crazy signing bonuses and hourly rates and salaries for any kind of truck drivers and so because they're the biggest. Employers of these things they tend to have the better economics and its really starving out other parts of the market as they absorb all the available CDL drivers. Jason: [33:57] Yeah that Walmart's paying a hundred and for a new driver $160,000 a year and eight thousand dollar signing bonus. Scot: [34:04] Yeah yes it's not uncommon uncommon thing to see out there it's pretty crazy, so that's what's going on at the ports it is a hot mess on this side as well so even if you are fortunate enough to get your product here to the US then you know you're looking at probably an extra 40 days I think is kind of you know what everyone's saying right now and that's average it can take a lot longer the LA Port is so jammed up that people are are they're rerouting you know rerouting boats across the sand getting them to other other ports but there are no like there's one in Georgia and it's the Savannah one and it's getting backed up I just saw they authorized building this this kind of effectively opening up a big giant parking area to put containers and that's going to give them some more storage capacity but you know where if you add up those, here we are you know in October and you start adding these things together the the holidays pretty much baked at this point right there's you maybe have 15 to 20 days of window here for stuff you already ordered. 80 days ago to kind of get here but none of this stuff is going to get fixed fast that's going to be part of the problem. Jason: [35:17] Yeah yeah if you follow the earning calls like Nike for example like dramatically lowered their guidance and they said Hey look it's it's cost four times as much to get a container of shoes here and the container takes twice as long to get here, and so we're just not going to have the supply to hit our original guidance and and Nikes better this than a lot of other people so it's a. [35:41] Pretty prominent problem and then there's all these secondary impacts right so you mentioned the math of the container right like you'd like to fill up that 40-foot container with Goods if your goods only take up 90%. Ordinarily you'd put someone else's Goods in the last 10% to try to make it more. Cost effective and efficient and share those costs but when the unloading is so gummed up what you don't want to do is have a secondary process where that container comes off the boat has to get re packed your stuff goes One Way their stuff goes another way, so people are actually shipping containers less full than they normally would which is entirely counterintuitive for what you would expect. The boats are all slowing down because they can use less gas to come here and 80 days then to come here in 40 days because there's no place to unload them. Um and the the supply chain guys I'm like we've been helping a lot of retailers hire truckers lately and they kind of summarize it real simply like the average commercial truck driver was 55 years old with multiple comorbidities a bunch of them. Retired and all the trucking schools that can teach people to get these licenses shut down for covid so there were no new licenses being issued for like. [36:54] Year and so there's just this this huge acute problem. And then you know without those truck drivers with the train problems and Barge problems of your on the Mississippi there's just like no place to move all those goods. You mentioned people are moving the boats from from some ports to secondary ports. That helps somewhat but the biggest cargo ships can't even fit in these ports right so I Long Beach the one of the most advanced Sports we have certainly the most advanced on the West Coast, um [37:27] Can't take the two biggest class of ships it can only take the third biggest class of ships and then as soon as you divert that ship to Portland instead of Long Beach. The the that class of ships won't won't fit there and so like there's there's a limited option to just move the stuff around so we're just we're gummed up like never before and most scary of all Gap and their earnings call kind of said like Hey we're loading our guidance and we're going to very lumpy inventory and we don't see any alleviation of these inventory challenges until at least 2020 3. Scot: [38:06] Yeah in the Auto World we're having a huge problem here where there's a chip shortage and then. [38:14] Another problem is you spend down these factories they don't just get spun back up because all the component parts are you know they stop ordering them and then those factories and everything so so even as chips are starting to come in a lot of vehicles can't be made because there's some other component that now is stuck in one of these containers that that were talking about I read this other interesting article where Coca-Cola has several of their bottling facilities that are down waiting on replacement parts so they went and basically least 20 or 40 bulk ships they didn't even worry about getting containers and they just jumped onto those ships the pieces they need to make their factories work and and are bring him over in this kind of crazy never done before way for a big company. Jason: [38:58] Yeah and I guess that that's one last point on this supply chain thing. It definitely is favoring the biggest players in every industry right so if you're the you know the biggest receivers of goods in the US. You're still being impacted by all of this but you're first in line for what capacity does exist and you you mentioned the games that the Brokers are playing with the price of containers that's going to happen a lot more to the independent shipper than it is the you know number one or number two shipper for that port and so. Well this this is a pain for every retailer in America it's going to be less painful to Walmart and Amazon then it's going to be to the, the medium-sized specialty retailer for. [39:49] And I was just going to point out I think you saw this as well as got but like Salesforce kind of put together a holiday forecast and they looked at all these supply chain problems and they're estimating, that this is going to add about 233 billion dollars in extra supply chain cost to holiday sales for the US so that's. Going to come like straight out of margins basically or or drive more inflation. Scot: [40:13] Yeah that's for the products to get here there's this another side of that equation where which is the opportunity cost right because you know. There's not gonna be a lot of exciting merchandise on the Shelf so we're what's opportunity cost of that we'll have to kind of. We'll get to that I guess we talked about forecast so what what holiday behaviors are feeding into this. Jason: [40:34] Yeah so tricky this one is there wild swings both ways right so you think if you remember at the beginning of covid there. Fundamental changes that happen people spend a lot less on travel they spend a lot less on restaurants they spend a lot more on their homes and they spent a lot more grocery stores right and so then as, people got more comfortable as people start getting vaccinated as infection rates are going down we started seeing all those things swing back right and you started seeing, a lot more bookings that are being be you saw a lot more Airline reservations you saw a lot more traffic coming to stores and you certainly saw a lot more people going back to restaurants. Then Delta hit. And we saw a dip again and people started returning to the the the kind of earlier covid behaviors not as dramatically as the first wave. [41:25] You kind of had a second wave and so predicting which of those, behaviors are going to be at the at the peak for holiday is really hard right now so retailers are looking at consumer sentiment and Doug mcmillon in his investor call he's like hey. Our consumer has told a strongly they want to have a normal holiday that they want to sit down with their family and have a meal, they want to travel they want to do the normal things and there's a strong desire and that if it is remotely safe they will do it and Doug's I kind of under his breath comment was. [42:05] Even if it's not safe they're probably going to do it right so, his viewing is there's there's so much fatigue in all of these like covid change behaviors that were going to see a significant return, you know closer to pre covid behaviors but you know we are we are seeing some signs go the other way, in the u.s. store traffic never fully recovered we are still down about ten percent versus pretty covid levels in China store traffic totally recovered and then Delta hit and store traffic drop back down, 30% below pre-pandemic levels and so since China has historically been about 4 months ahead of us. That that would predict that we're going to see another drop in. Um store traffic which again doesn't mean people won't spend it means they're going to buy more online instead of in store and that exacerbates all of The Last Mile problems that we talked about last year and we're going to talk about it. [43:09] Again this year so it's really risky to predict. What's going to happen with the coded behaviors people were starting to buy a lot of clothes again after having not buying clothes in here and now the closed sales are slowing down and then we talked about. Apparel is one of the categories most impacted by all these supply chain issues so there just may not be close to buy and so really hard to predict that stuff. Um but what I can tell you is retailers now have a couple of reasons to desperately get you to shop earlier right one reason is they're not going to have very much stuff and they don't want to be the Grinch that caused you to miss Christmas so they desperately want you to come in early, and give yourself the best chance to get the stuff you want so, the every retailer is more loudly than ever before trying to incentivise and entice customers to shop early. [44:03] Also if this ends up being another digital Christmas where people shop a lot more online than they do in stores, we have a huge problem with the last mile we don't have enough capacity in FedEx ups and u.s. post office to deliver twice as many packages over holiday, and so we need to spread that those those orders out over more days and so for all of those reasons we're seeing retailers start their sales earlier than ever so. To kind of paint you a promotional picture Amazon Prime day normally is in summer it historically celebrated Amazon's birthday which is in July. So then the pandemic kids they can't have a July sale so they have an October sale and it went really well. So this year they went back to Summer but they went to earlier summer they had the sale in June and a lot of us think they did it earlier in June for one of two reasons either they hate their own C fo and wanted him to have to talk. On earnings calls about the sale being in a different quarter every year for the last three years or. They were having a sale earlier to make room for a second big sale they intend to have this year during holiday to kind of repeat the success of. [45:11] Of holiday Prime Day last year and we haven't seen any all the announcements yet but Amazon has already announced a 30 day. Beauty and personal care sale starting in October of this year Target match that and said hey we're going to start our deal days in October, and we're price-matching for the whole holiday so if if you don't believe us and you think we're just making a joke about these early sales and you think there's going to be better sales waiter know if you buy it early will guarantee you, that will match any lower prices that you see anywhere for the rest of holiday so targets leaning heavily into that. And we think most retailers are going to launch their sales. Earlier than ever before to try to pull in these these early Shoppers because of all the supply chain and inflation issues. The sales aren't going to be as good as they usually are like that what used to be 40 percent off is going to be 25% off but what deals they do have are going to be earlier in the year to try to drive those, those sales earlier. [46:21] And people aren't going to get everything they want they're going to be limited inventory and so what's going to happen people are going to get more gift cards people are going to celebrate the holiday later and we're going to sell more stuff in January January is always a good holiday month anyway but January is going to be disproportionately large this year because of the lumpy supply chain think so, if you think of holiday as generally like being a strong peak in October between that that the kind of turkey five, this holiday more than ever before that spending starting in October and is going to last all the way through January. Scot: [46:58] And then as we get to the last mile we're definitely have another ship again so we've got we haven't increased our capacity hardly any because you can't really buy Vans and the everyone's renting Vans and there's just this fixed number of biliary vehicles and if we're going to have this Less store traffic even more e-commerce than last year even if you throw you know maybe. [47:23] Low middle digit low single digits on there like five or 7% or something well we effectively had 98, we can only deliver like 97% of the packages last year so it's going to make it a now will only be a little deliver maybe 90% of the packages so it's going to be really tough delivery, set up coming into the holiday. Jason: [47:46] I think the like some data points I saw the that are alarming like so number one. All the Fulfillment centers have an average turnover rate of like four hundred percent a year right so they're having a hard time hiring people and keeping people. FedEx in their earnings call said that like we just can't staff some of our distribution hubs so we're having to reroute packages in a less efficient manner, because for example we only have sixty percent of our labor force in our Portland Hub right so ordinarily they would try to, be at a hundred and twenty percent of their labor in these hubs for holiday with all this seasonal labor and this year. [48:24] They can't even fulfill all the permanent jobs they have so there's not going to be a seasonal Flex. For the main carriers you know the Retailer's do a lot of seasonal hiring for stores but they're prioritizing the seasonal hiring for their fulfillment centers over the stores because they're so. Worried about enough labor to fulfill all these packages and then you know when when FedEx and UPS have less capacity. What do they do they smartly charge more for it so we've seen gas surcharges we've seen holiday surcharges and and they're now announcing their rate hikes for January and FedEx announced the largest rate hike they've had in the last ten years so on average, it's almost six percent as 5.9 percent rate hike it varies wildly depending on the class of service so some kinds of shippers are going to get hit much harder. Um and just like last year all of the the big shippers have a quota and they're not going to be allowed to ship more more packages. The maybe one silver lining in this is that. Because readers are likely to be more successful in spreading the demand out this year than last year that's going to help a little bit and. [49:37] As a as challenges everyone's going to be with the capacity last year there were political challenges that that particularly got the US Post Office sideways which is a big part of this whole chain. And they don't anticipate that that will be as bad this year and so there is absolutely going to be ship again in 2.0 this year with the, the The Last Mile but the most of the analysts I'm talking to are saying the first mile is going to be so disrupted this year that the last mile is going to seem. Less severe in comparison whereas last year the the holiday challenges were all about the last mile. Scot: [50:16] Yeah and you know the double-edged sword of there not being enough product is maybe there just won't be enough product and it won't you should be getting but if whatever there is is going to get jammed up I think. Jason: [50:29] Yeah so that's a great transition to so like that's a lot of Doom and Gloom what's going to happen for Holiday should we all be shorting the retail stocks like what's. What's going to happen. And spoiler alert I don't know well we'll talk a little bit about our educated guesses but maybe before we do we can walk through some of the the forecast from the the brave souls that have been willing to share their holiday forecast. Scot: [50:56] Yeah the one the one I saw was from Salesforce and they, they say that e-commerce is going to be up 7% versus kind of that huge surge last year which was like you know fifty percent so they're coming in kind of with a moderate 7% growth which which is done yeah I think that would be the probably the slowest e-commerce growth since 2008-2009 yeah. Jason: [51:24] 2008. Scot: [51:26] Yeah that's that's the one I was tracking and you know when I read through the bullet points it made sense they're definitely putting a pretty wet blanket on things due to the this kind of quote-unquote Supply pain. Jason: [51:38] Yeah and it is tricky so they were the only one I've seen that's done an e-commerce forecast right and I would say that's the most uncertain because. Of we just don't know whether people are going to go back to stores or whether they're going to be worried about health and ordering online when they start having constrained. Um supplies is that gonna. Push them to online more because they can hunt more places or is that going to entice them to go to the store because they can use their eyes to see the inventory for themselves like there's, there's a lot of variability in that e-commerce number but I would remind people even as low as 7 percent sounds its. 7% on top of the huge bases from last year right so it's it's that's not a decline in e-commerce by any means that's a slowing of the increase just as a reminder for. People. But then I did see several like of the other the kind of traditional Consultants put together an overall holiday forecast right so beIN predicted that they were going to they thought holiday was going to be up seven percent from last year. [52:45] Deloitte said that they thought holiday was going to be up between seven and nine percent from last year. And MasterCard said they think holidays going to be up 7.4 percent from last year so. To put all three of those numbers in context those are all huge numbers. Um last year was the best holiday year in 10 years and sales were up 10% but the average is about 6% so saying we're going to grow if. You know these three things kind of all averaged out to about seven percent growth if we're here we go. If all holiday store an e-commerce gross 7% on top of the ten percent from last year, that's a phenomenal holiday and so that says, that these guys are pretty confident that the consumer is going to spend even if they can't find exactly what they want right that the supply chain is going to be painful but that the all the macroeconomic stuff we talked about at the beginning is going to win out and consumers are going to spend a lot of money this holiday I. [53:49] I want to believe this I'm going to be pleasantly surprised if it plays out like that right and my um, the the one caveat I'll say is that us retail is incredibly Diversified right and so for every category that's going to get shellacked by the supply chain or by changes in covid behaviors. Some other category is going to benefit right and so. It is true that the holiday could absolutely hit these numbers like I'll remind people that cars are 25 percent of retail sales gas is another huge chunk of retail sales. Some of these forecasts have those things in some don't some of these forecasts are for November and December some are for November December and January like everybody has a different definition of retail and a different definition of holiday so, you can't really apples-to-apples any of these but I pulled all the US Department of Commerce data and again last year November through January 10 percent growth, average of the last ten 10 years is about 6% growth so 7% growth is a. A terrific number and. I don't know I could see it happening if it happens it's going to be because there was a we had the most Monster January ever because I just don't think there's going to be enough Goods on the Shelf in November and December to do. Scot: [55:17] Yeah I'll take a so I think the winners are going to be the companies that have the most power and smartest supply chain operators so I think Walmart and Amazon. Maybe Target I don't know them as well do they have a you think they feel like they have a pretty dialed in. Jason: [55:33] They Walmart and Target both in their earnings said like look our inventory isn't going to be isn't where we want it it's not going to be where we want it but we we in general are feeling good and neither one lowered its guidance for holiday in their last earnings call so they both felt that they were going to weather the storm but you know below that you go look at like a Bed Bath and Beyond and they're like look there's no way we can hit our numbers with the supply we're gonna get. Scot: [56:00] Will they miss this quarter and if you miss this quarter you're just going to get worse the next quarter Seth. Jason: [56:04] Exactly exactly. Scot: [56:06] It's a poop storm now and it's gonna be a bloodbath and in 90 days yes I think I think if I kind of do the calculus on that I think those three guys win I think everyone else is net negative and. You know I don't think those three are big enough let's say they represent Amazon's kind of half of e-commerce only think about e-commerce the rest of retail is. That's your bailiwick yeah Amazon's half, yeah I could see it being flat to down five percent because. Amazon Walmart and Target doing decent isn't it be enough for to make up for the whole that it's created there so yeah so that's kind of, where I see it it's going to be the big get bigger and stronger and because they you know they have Prime, they have more technologies that this has been on their radar longer they have more containers they have more trucks they have more dollars to spend on solving these problems they're going to be the winners so that's going to be you know it is going to be I think a bad year for the small medium sized business the incumbent brands that are just getting their legs under them and you know having to kind of have a Miss effectively miss a holiday because you couldn't get a bunch of product it's going to be be a rough rough year for everybody. Jason: [57:25] Yeah no I in a way it's going to be the exact opposite of last year when covid first hit nobody obviously had Advance warning or was prepared for this and so a secondary impact was a bunch of eCommerce sites that didn't traditionally get a lot of consumer visits, got a lot of Trials because Amazon constrained FBA in Amazon head supply chain problems right and so suddenly you were looking to get your instant pot from Bed Bath & Beyond suddenly a bunch of people are looking to see what eBay had, that hasn't shopped eBay in five or ten years right so a lot of those kind of second-tier eCommerce sites got extra visits as people were. Trying new address the supply chain shortages this year I think we're going to have exactly the opposite there's going to be a ton of supply chain shortages there's going to be a lot of, news stories every day about supply chain shortages and the big players with the best infrastructure in the most advanced supply chain planning, like the Amazons and Walmarts of the world and and targets, are going to be the winners and it's going to be a lot harder for those specialty retailers and Regional retailers to compete unfortunately. Scot: [58:41] Yeah I think that that is the setup and we will continue so that hopefully that gives everyone an idea of the big talk in the industry and you were just at an industry event is this what everyone was talking about Jason. Jason: [58:55] Yeah yeah slightly less than I would have expected I mean it was a huge topic everyone understands the supply chain thing. I do think it was the first conversation a lot of you know customer experience folks and people that you know we're kind of had their head down in their own in their own Silo you know we're suddenly getting their eyes open to the fact that like. Yeah your customer experience is going to stink at there's no products on the. Scot: [59:20] Mix the CX person's job a lot easier they just you know just take the holiday off. Jason: [59:26] Yeah and so you know it is interesting though again like. [59:31] You know we may we may hit the top line numbers and it may be from a lot less items that sold more expensively. The you know category there's going to be winning and losing categories by far and again because of the consumer health and the supply chain issues, the supply chain for diamonds is looking a lot better than the supply chain for Budget shoes and so you know you just may see what jury where you know you say you sell a few things for a while, do better you know where there's extra scarcity then you know some of these low-margin high-volume consumer goods and so I think. [1:00:08] My key takeaways for everyone is it's going to be a very lumpy like the averages will be interesting we should all follow them but but every. Um retailer and every category is going to experience a very different holiday and there just is more uncertainty than there has been in the last 30 years of retail so like for anyone, to definitively say this is how it is going to play out I think is super risky because there's so many things that could go either way at this point, will consumers you know by another toy when they can't get their first choice will consumers go to a restaurant you know or not will consumers take a vacation or not. You know all of these these will they pay 5% more for something or not like there's just so much uncertainty that you know this is going to be. Holiday that really rewards people that do good scenario planning and are prepared for any eventuality. Scot: [1:01:06] Absolutely and we will keep you posted here on the Jason Scott show but hopefully this gives everyone kind of a framework to work within and we'll be updating various components of the supply pain as we get closer to Holiday. Jason: [1:01:22] And until next week happy commercing!
EP275 - Mickey Drexler on DTC Mickey Drexler is the former CEO of Ann Taylor, The Gap, J. Crew, and is a former board member of Apple and Warby Parker. He is currently the CEO of Alex Mill, a digitally native vertical brand, founded by his son Alex Drexler. He has been dubbed the “Merchant Prince” for his successful turn around of Ann Taylor, and his dramatic transformation of The Gap. In this broad ranging interview, we cover his distinguished career, his opinion about the recent direct to consumer trends, and much more. The interview is full of juicy tidbits including: Getting kicked out of a Levi's meeting after turning The Gap into a vertical integrated brand with its' own label. His efforts to sell J. Crew to Amazon. He turned down Steve Jobs first request to serve on the Apple Board of Directors, and how he later helped Steve and Ron design the Apple retail store. Steve Jobs desire to be a direct to consumer brand. The pros and cons of intuition versus data to select merchandise. His cameo on Breaking Bad. How Old Navy was partially inspired by Targets early private label efforts. And much more Episode 275 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Wednesday September 8th, 2021. http://jasonandscot.com Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. Transcript Jason: [0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 275 being recorded on Wednesday September 8th 2021 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scot Wingo. Scot: [0:39] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason and Scot show listeners. Jason last week we did a deep dive into the Warby Parker and all boobs s-1 filings which was a lot of fun and we got a lot of really good conversation out there with listeners talking about digitally native vertical Brands and we thought you know who could we bring on that keep this conversation going who has experience with wholesale Brands retailers in a vertically integrated d2c brand I'm pretty sure there's only one person in our industry that checks all those boxes and it is industry luminary Mickey Drexler we are very excited to have Mickey on the show Welcome Mickey. Mickey: [1:19] Thank you for having me and I'm excited to be here. Jason: [1:23] Oh my gosh Mickey we are we are thrilled to chat with you I'm eager to get into all the juicy topics going on in the industry and kind of cover your background but we have to start with the most important thing first and you may not know this Mickey but Scott as very successful in the e-commerce industry and he's invested a lot of his earnings from that industry into the car wash industry and. The reason I bring this up is because you you have famously been on the TV Show Breaking Bad. And I think that Scott is basically the plot for Breaking Bad is that. Scot: [2:05] Yeah I'm sitting on pallets of cash right now. Mickey: [2:08] One of the highlights of my life nine takes but it was really a lot of fun and I love that show. Scot: [2:17] It is a it is a great one. Jason: [2:19] One of the best shows on TV. Yeah so yeah we could probably do a whole show about breaking bad which I'm going to resist the temptation so, Mickey normally we start up the show by letting the guest kind of tell us a little bit about their background that could be tricky in your case because a lot of us orders probably know some of the highlights of your background and your backgrounds amazing but like when you meet someone that doesn't know you like how do you describe your career. Mickey: [2:50] Well I say I'm a retailer and I leave it at that, no reason to go further sometimes people after the fact say gee I didn't know you are who you are and cetera but if they want to know then maybe answer some specific questions, but I don't give them my resume. Jason: [3:16] Nice well for the sake of our listeners I am going to break it down a little bit although I appreciate the the humility of it and you you tell me if I have a ride but like you grew up in the Northeast and and started your career in the apparel industry so you work for a bunch of storied apparel retailers Abrams and Strauss Macy's Bloomingdale's and if I ever write your first big job that I don't think that many people remember is you were the CEO at Ann Taylor. Mickey: [3:51] Yes by the way the Northeast means the Bronx to move is that was very special in my life so that's who I grew up. And my first after the three I had joined say Bloomingdale's then briefly Macy's, Then I then I decided I did not want to work in the department store business anymore and I was fortunate enough to, become CEO banjo which is a tiny company losing a lot of money owned by a larger company that happened on Brooks Brothers and probably never heard of the other companies who spoke to March around anymore, and I did that for four years and we were then taken over by big bureaucratic department store, and I decided I was never more disappointed at that point in my life I was a pretty young guy, and I wanted to leave because they didn't appreciate the business we were in it was all about bureaucracy was Alex Stewart. Who then eventually like to play towards I'm not sure who they bought but so I left I left a mess a mess I left it in Taylor. And moved to Gap in San Francisco. Jason: [5:14] Yep and then for other young kids listening to the podcast Gap is going to sound like this famous iconic brand but when you joined in the late 80s um they haven't may be achieved all of their success yet and so like, frankly you you are traded in for being that the CEO that led this, enormous expansion and growth both financially and in terms of popular awareness of the Gap and I want to say you, you watched a couple of the Gap Brands like Old Navy and Gap Kids and somewhat relevant to the conversations we have on this show a lot I think you made a pretty significant decision to take Gap from being a wholesaler that sold a fair amount of other people's Goods to a vertically integrated brand that primarily focused on making your own goods and selling them direct to Consumers through your stores do I have that right. Mickey: [6:09] Yeah yeah correct I joined Gap you don't mind if I correct details I join Gap, at the end of 1983, which is then it started as a hundred percent Levi's company they only bought from Levi's and then when I got there was about one-third of their business was Levi's, and long story short, I learned in my retail life than especially having worked alongside Brooks Brothers which was at the beginning of the decline Franklin, in the mid-80s but they were they own their label and they didn't sell wholesale them, and they did not have to worry about competitors etc etc and going on sale. [7:05] They also with the highest profit company in a relatively small conglomerate of retailers and the reason was their margins were very high. Because again they weren't dealing with competitive sales my department store experience was the opposite, if you're in buying wholesale someone else will put the goods on sale and of course today you know 30 years later plus it's the standard. [7:35] And so I decided when I got to Ann Taylor. [7:39] To own our own label over time I didn't want to deal with competitors who have the same Goods as we did and we did, to consumer or whatever you call it today and that was in 1980 1980, 1970 actually 74 5 trans legally 1980 exactly I joined them in 1980 so when I hear about direct-to-consumer today being the new heart area, it's been there has been a number of your few of us who did it, and through a profit point of view it was the only way I wanted to go not want to buy wholesale we, leave ours ironically after nearer to kick this out because they said we were copying them I'll never forget the lunch was a long boring lunch in San Francisco, and I said after I said they should have told us that right at the beginning so we didn't have to go through this long boring lunch when they when they then said would not sell you anymore well frankly I didn't really care and when you have news like that, you figure it out better than you don't have these like, so we stopped being buying wholesale from Levi's and great brand virus they were no hugely monstrous plan, and we did it on their own but that was fine and that's how it began. Jason: [9:08] That's amazing and I'm totally with you it's I talked to all these young entrepreneurs that just started a new direct to Consumer brand and many of them are under the misguided impression that it's a new business model that they just invented. Mickey: [9:21] I know well there's a few of us then and now there are many many of us, but it is what it was it was not where you could build a business and wake up in the morning and control, your inventory and your prices when I joined the apple board in, I think years later in 1999 Steve Jobs basically felt that's what he wanted to do with apple that was his first year there. And he wanted to go direct and of course she did continue doing business with Walmart and Target and all that but he became. Direct, probably the greatest retailer ever and but you know it's a standard today and there's nothing new about it in fact it's old and it is what it is. Jason: [10:18] Yeah no I tease people that the very first merchants of all times I you know made their own rugs and sold them direct to Consumer so that's that was the first Model like wholesale is the newer the newer model. And so I do so then the next chapter is going to be J.Crew and we're going to go back and talk about some of the interesting issues that you confronted in some of these places but I do want to just highlight, I assume you still follow the Gap the, I would check out because it seems like you took them predominantly Direct in a lot of their news lately I don't know you fought it but they have a partnership with Walmart for their home goods and I just saw something today that they announced that they're going to distribute Athleta which is there they're their work out a pair of brand on this doing really well through REI so it's almost like they're it's interesting that they're now adding some wholesale back to their mix. Mickey: [11:13] Yep well each company is entitled to you know they all have a point of view they have a vision and I think that's what there is is can argue with it. Jason: [11:24] Yeah no and obviously pros and cons to all of these so then you left the Gap was it around 2000 2002 something like that. Mickey: [11:33] Yes I think I left in I think 2001 yeah yeah they say I think I left in 2001, in fact September 26 to be exact. 2001 and I started at J.Crew who's counting January I think 25th or something in 2002. Jason: [11:58] Awesome and what was the circumstances that J.Crew when you started. Mickey: [12:03] Well it was a mess a complete mess by the way I know you mentioned this but I started Old Navy I do it you probably know that story right. Jason: [12:16] No no tell us. Mickey: [12:18] Well it's an interesting story there's an article in the New York Times page 4 5. In terms of some some things I never forgot that like that and I read about Target Corporation then known as they Hudson starting a company to copy the gap. And what do you do when someone wants to copy you get emotional you get crazy and then you fly to Minneapolis to the Mall of America and say okay I want to see what it looks like. And I walked in on you say probably four minutes and I said this is way way off so I was relieved, because to me everyone would sewing machine is your competitor potential, I walked out and said you know is a big research company you know they I know they do a lot of research very successful and today more than ever, stopping Chicago on the way back to San Francisco I visited. Two stores demographics would be a price point below where Gap trailer very few me we were very much. [13:29] Not expecting, and I spoke to the store managers which you have to do in this world today you speak to who deals with customers it's like I've always done that it's my rule in any case they taught me a lot of lessons, Gap was too expensive for this area things are always on sale and I knew that I pick those tubes that low-margin stores, long story short got flew to San Francisco thinking about that, check the jeans Business 80 percent of genes in America than was sold 25 years ago sold below $30 a hundred percent of our genes are above 30 dollars, so I say this is not this is not a stupid idea, for them because we are considered a little more expensive I gave 10 of our Associates, then two hundred dollars each I assign. Them to shop certain categories: Target Walmart then you came on versions and come back. [14:39] Let's discuss it in one week they all came back bottom line is, they care about product they carry about price they couldn't care less if it ended 99 Cents 87 cents as Walmart used to do, etcetera and and right after that meeting I just said we're going to do it we're going to open up, our version of it was called everyday hero, and a few people from Jenny mean who worked at Marvin's was running for the gap, Jeff Eiffel we moved over we started with a small group to do what was then had no name. [15:23] And Don Fisher was always you know he was always pretty open about entrepreneurial stuff and I said was starting his company we didn't have a name long story short, I couldn't come up with the name I was in Paris going to the airport and I see a bar on Rue Saint Germain called Old Navy. And I said to Maggie who was with me marketing I think what a great name for a company, registered the next day in America no one had it and that was the name now of course my board didn't really like name you know but to me your name your kids you're not going to have a negotiation over what you name them, we have a negotiation I hard to naming companies that have with horrible names and later on I'll tell you how we got the Old Navy from olden days, and that was the beginning first store open whole Gap Warehouse only had three names and I said, we do this and we have no gaps in five years so then the next door is called Old Navy and that's how we started today it's about probably 80 and 90% of the earnings of the Gap Corporation I'm guessing. But tremendously successful. Jason: [16:38] Yeah that has been the tide that has lifted all the the Gap boats for a while. And yeah that that is amazing you raise something that I have to ask though because it comes up a lot I work with a lot of Brands and these days I spend a lot of time cautioning them about how good the retailers are becoming it inventing their own Brands and and their first reaction is always the same is your trip to Minneapolis like you know targets not very good at this I'm not very worried right, and I think that was absolutely true back then and in many categories it still is true but I would argue that in some categories, and Target more so than most is getting darn good at this and you look today at like cat and Jack and they're very successfully competing with with Baby Gap and and you know sort of traditional brands. Mickey: [17:30] Hundred hundred percent I totally agree but you know what you're good at and the products right. And I think their inspiration I was told was the crew cuts I don't know if that's true or not I'm not the kids business anymore and I don't pay attention, but absolutely true look if it's a vision, and and the product is right and I always say the product has to be right and in their case you know the price is right well the past its product, quality of product value and that's by the way we did oh maybe that's the story in any business right product right value. Right marketing and emotional connection to it and then we had operated retail. And the style and taste is all for us it's very important. Jason: [18:23] So then we mentioned that you you started that that January a J.Crew which was a mess at the time, and I want to say one of the things you did for J.Crew kind of mirroring the Old Navy story is launched the Madewell brand there. Mickey: [18:41] Well I did that before I join J.Crew. I bought the name Madewell from a fellow named David Mullen who was it really nice company, hear that David used to work with me in wash it was a wash consult very talented guy showed me the name before I went to J.Crew, I love the longer it's very hard to name a company and the name immediately resonated with me, and I should Wanted You by Sly can't afford it, and so I paid $125,000 for the name which you know once you finish with those naming companies which I wouldn't want to do they'll charge you a million dollars will come up and bad names no offense the main companies. But but I thought the name 1937 already it had history it had a feeling it had emotion so I bought the name and tucked it away, and when we went public when we turn Jake you around, see I was there to about three or four years to you actually turn around always starts a year and a half later and that's three years later or whenever I thought it was time to start me. [20:04] So that's what we start the username and that was unlike every day unlike the everyday hero. Target this was a this was more complicated because the Old Navy was price point or two or three below gas. [20:25] This one and I might say was the first company to get to a billion dollars in sales as fast as they did until Apple get there. So it took off like a rocket at Old Navy like a rock it was really a very nice toy and maybe well was much more difficult, we took it we had a number of different people leading it, and we just couldn't get it going the right way I made a number of mistakes in opening up. Bedroom state which knows things it was real estate wasn't on Vine and that didn't work, we just didn't get our act together for at least four years in five years, and I was really upset because I said you know this is taking away from the value of our public company so we must 15 and 20 million dollars a year which I think we were maybe 15 million a year, you know you take the multiple of the stock and all the sudden you know the company's worth three hundred million dollars less because we're starting made well, so that kind of aggravated me couldn't get rid of that aggravation way things are but then some set. [21:43] I came back to the corporation he left for you or two and he was putting to be in charge of. Male and he did an incredible job and so he and I work very closely together. And I always merchandising Missouri involved. [22:06] And he did the design and he had a vision for design I had a vision well the storefront, it was kind of a I was always inspired by I think they're still around but I'm not sure a bread bread store in the village called the suvi oh maybe, I don't know if it's still there to be the bakery yes I always loved the way the storm was so we designed a store. I kind of felt like a see it was the studio I'm just actually look at a picture again we fun and we built a really I was really pleased with the store but I was not pleased with how the business was going, and some sack pinion looking at the storefront now online beautiful store and it's beautiful store goal, and emotion, and then when he came in the rest then this is starting to take off like a rocket plus woman named Mary. Who was jeans made merry new Mary knew more veggies. [23:19] And she joined us from Jay Vernon and Mary came in. Thanks Gary Pierson and she and some set and it takes people to do it we put together we became a major genes, that was our vision the best kind of jeans that not crazy designer prices and the company took off also at some point like a lock. And that was the story of Nemo. And you know all the retail to be all the over companies to Fashion they hit a wall at times and then they come back or they don't come back, and hitting a wall is part of what goes on every company I've been involved as hit a wall at some point it's a wall in any me to save it and bring it back or it or it continues to have a hard time. Jason: [24:17] For sure the side note another company hit a wall sadly was Vesuvio which is a hundred year old Bakery in SoHo I have some good news bad news they had a Hiatus and they reopened in like 20/20 so the last and I was is in SoHo they were they were open I had not heard what has happened since the pandemic and I can imagine it wasn't a great time for them so I hope they're doing well. Mickey: [24:43] We'll check it out and we'll let you know that's cool. Jason: [24:47] Awesome so then I do want to kind of just wrap up the clear stuff and then we're going to dive in a little deeper on a few of the things that we've already talked about but so today you are Alex Mill and do you want to tell us a little bit about Alex. Mickey: [25:01] Yeah sure Alex my son or Alex. Jason: [25:03] We're both I was waiting for you to tell that yes. Mickey: [25:08] Well my son started the business in 2005 13, and he just started I was very involved and I pretty much had nothing to do with it at all which he reminded me when I started here, he says you know you don't even wear our t-shirts which were famous for. And he was right I just didn't pay any attention and I probably should have but he didn't ask me really and he was a wholesale come. And we do business it was kind of cool we had a little bit of a cult following and and I'm allergic to high prices which really gets translated as too bad value, you know I don't mind high prices in certain categories or where you get what you pay for for a you know the prices are ridiculous but you might learn from his luggage or whatever from a mess, but we designer clothes in general so he went along I went along he. [26:18] When I left J.Crew I didn't think anything about his business but when some stack. Who is he quit he had a non-compete and I was his age. So we need help I hope to get jobs in the industry part-time jobs freelance because he walked away from a very very big job, and so the day his non-compete was up, I that was the day he was a beginning of a new Alex will be in some segments and do each other, and Alex was very happy that he would find some partner and some seconds considered the founder of the company he's a major shareholder long of Alex and myself, and he joined us. [27:16] And then I was very happy kind of had a job again because I was doing stuff but not doing what I love to do which is be involved in building a company Vision etcetera, so I joined I think it was about two and a half years ago I'm not even sure the day. And we had a little tiny office which I'm now we doubled the space instead, that we start to build a business and we had a vision and a woman's and Alex and I at the beginning or I would say it wasn't a marriage made in heaven, it's the it's the come one since when and it took a lot of work and a lot of a lot of help. And we finally listening I'm going to say that he's going to listening to his mother my wife about making certain that he and I get along and I did that with him, it was like another else conversation and it's been really really nice over the last number of months but it's hard. To be with your dad and I was trying to figure out is he. Someone I work with or is he my son and it's extremely difficult and he kept dealing with me as whatever I done. [28:40] And so now he's you know he's a partner along with some set and and Hussein. And we hired a team and it's very hard to start a company I had the bank of Gap in the Bank of J.Crew in my other two startups now I didn't have their back. And so we funded us elves which in a way is really good I also do want to have for the first time in my life. Too many opinions that weren't right and that was a blessing even though you know I'm doing this for a million years, if we're right we're right if we're wrong way wrong but my best board members were always people I knew anyway not necessarily on the board. But when you have a money partner which I certainly did they think about profits they think which is nothing wrong with it but, take its long-term to build a profitable company, and when you have hit a wall you succeed if you're good at it I always had a kind of ability to. Knock down and I just get right back up and I don't stop. [30:00] But some cases that doesn't happen but here we are independent Leo and not negotiating colors or Styles or what someone else thinks we should do. We're expanding in the business is starting to really kind of take off now so I'm really excited I've always been excited. It's about the taste quality I look at the landscape out there. And I think this is not a lot of things going on that I feel or what I would say are incredibly impressive there are those winners, and you all know who they are so what I'm hearing so I think we're all excited but small you know. But that's small anymore 20 people work there and we all have like multiple jobs which is good I've say snorts growing pretty rapidly, so and you know that's our mission. Jason: [31:03] My I have a some great empathy for your son Alex I'm a fourth-generation retailer and I think I can imagine poor Alex just wanted his famous dad to wear his t-shirts and he got an activist investor instead. Mickey: [31:15] What your fourth generation retailer. Jason: [31:19] Yeah yeah my family sort of started out in the in the grocery and then later jewelry business, I did want to highlight you've referenced it a couple times that you're also you had a long stint on the board at Apple and I want to say I've been, worked with Ron Johnson the number of times and I've seen some interviews with Steve Jobs and in both cases they reference you as the the retail Savvy board member and Apple. Mickey: [31:46] I met Steve in I loved Steve idolized ski and I still love him to this day, he was extraordinary and I give very slowly thinking about the way he died went through, and to excuse me per. Steve we met what he wants he gets when he doesn't stop at anything the most seductive human being I've ever met in my life, we met at a mutual friend's birthday party in Napa Valley came up to me and we start the shoes and, you don't say what's the job so long Steve you know a niche wasn't and we're talking and he. [32:32] Got in touch with me after that asked if I would join this board, and I said no I don't like public companies now I took my schmuck anti schmuck pills after the okay, because hello is that a bad word to say she's no and I realized holy shit, and I just you know I was yeah I was on a board you know bless them family board, in other words and items on a number of other boards and I get bored very quickly on boards because that's the way I am and I need to be action busy, and I'm not a technologist I don't know much about it but. So a year later he came to me after becoming come to me and said you join my board I will join Apples by Gap store, well Steve hate Sports also, but he and I said deal why because God will he be amazing on the board, just as a factor of not going along with everything already. [33:50] And he became a pain in the ass to the number of people who isn't always on Tiny going and what's up this kind of but he privately we had a really nice strong relationship. And she joined the board I would say made a few enemies on the board because he whatever he thinks he says that's it he says. And and sometimes he says it doesn't make people happy so so that's essentially what happened so in any case I join these board. And first thing he wanted me to do was to design a store. [34:31] And we had a really bad looking store and that he designed and then we got a warehouse which we used to do with my old company, and we got a warehouse you designed a brand new store in the warehouse p.m. for 5,000 square feet and. The store was really good-looking that's basically what happens students are today simple it showed off the price. And it wasn't a story that was czechia where the product was competing with the design and that was our first Apple Store, and then after that I just you know he asked me about color of iPods he always want to review the colors Etc. You know it's like you're 16 years and lives through extraordinary success and you know appreciate it I don't know you and appreciate it well he was alive and well. But just I just always you know he went to the meetings he started every single meeting for it spent most of his time on the. [35:46] And you don't find that many people and many companies they spend most of their time necessary not on product that was steamed on product, things tough he was titled in an infant in a good way in my mind you know Obama didn't call him back, one morning he wanted to President Obama to launch the first iPhone he was Furious Obama didn't get that I'll never forget that, he says how do you not call me back like this light in four hours Al Gore was on the boy houses Steve I'll get him to call you back whatever. [36:24] You know Obama told and back when you had a minute came back and says he's going to launch the iPhone pushing never did but that's what Steve wanted to believe anyway amazing amazing run, an amazing person he and Johnny I everyday had lunch and every day was you know what's the future going to hold. For apple and he the other thing he did, is he kind of made me for sure and numbers feel stupid at the end of a board meeting I wasn't in technology guys sometimes I'd say something that you look the righteousness gee how can I say that, and then you can bury yourself and say oh I don't want to disappoint Steve yeah but he was to me was a special unique gift to the world. And I miss him and I think the world misses in today. Scot: [37:18] Absolutely, because I'm the entrepreneur on the program Jason has a fancy corporate job and a title that has more words that I can keep track of the so you've been a successful entrepreneur for decades what advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur listening to the show like what are, distill down some of the things you've learned through there. Mickey: [37:36] I was explaining to him that every single day this we haven't really nice marketing business we do well but every day I come to work. And I reach for the sky. [37:52] And I'm trying to explain that no matter what we're doing oh he also time says I'm too critical of things or people or whatever and I said you know Alex everyday. I come to work I said every day you come to work I come to work and I look for what. Could be better not for what you write and I think a lot of people have a hard time with that vision is, where you going how you get there with the unknowns is critical, so people say well how do you do this that and the other thing and I said I had a photograph of what Gap should be I didn't in Maine. I didn't J.Crew and I actually I did yet in J.Crew and I didn't Old Navy and I didn't so I had a photograph in my mind we get sale in one Business book. Because it was actually misses you by I had to do with those. [38:56] That didn't work but yet not them to get up into the skill set whose huge toes. What you need to do and I can't speak about Instinct in other areas but I think Instinct judgment. Seeing around corners where they say skate to where the puck is going. Is extremely important in the fashion business and knowing when to go knowing when to stop when things slow down extremely. [39:30] Picking the right team is something rules that rules but got to pick the right partners and when you make a mistake in a partnership and so many of us don't do this for cleanup face up to you but. [39:46] And do something of that. You know and the bigger companies are no longer into the smaller company like this. About your all living together and it doesn't take long and when you're writing your own checks, that's a big difference when you're writing your own checks which I know most people probably don't have the ability to do, it's very different than the private Equity the joint venture etc etc but he country each business, as if you own it it's your money in and that's part of it and then you know we will passion, I say leadership curiosity I think anyone was not curious in my mind can't do well running a company, they have to be curious unless it's look like you speak about technology I just assumed the same rules. But building a retail company it's kind of like painting a very beautiful picture as to what we'll stick together you know I once went twice went to visit Ford motor. Design. [41:01] Headquarters and the first time I got was because Anna meaning with Jeff Sons yeah. Surrender they show the new Mustang this is probably seven. The co-host and I said he says what do you think of the car in front of all these people I said it's a very cool looking car. [41:26] The wheels are really big and I would never want to Market or sell a car for have one myself with a wheels are bad, I know it's kind of silly ish but it's not it's putting together a painting and there's nothing worse, there are worse things in wheels that stand out like a sore thumb so he invited me to, Detroit with designer factors Co didn't go with me which I thought says. He's no one not because of Nations and it was seven people designing the one car. Now you understand why the cars a lot of cases look like they look. Steve always wanted to talk he would have done now they were to get when I he was he was fascinated with Tesla very impressed night, from his point of view it wasn't I said I know if you remember the to see your test sports car. Scot: [42:28] Register yeah. Mickey: [42:29] I said Steve it's such an ugly looking Paris looks to me like you are pathetic it's not about the course looks you can always design a beautiful car it's about what's inside. Mechanics engineering but anyway I think. You know as for me I'm accused of being a micromanager you really better be, you better care about the wheels better care about this hear about that Medicare by recalling about he just you know we have a few new bad colors in Arabic in Arabic. The color is of opinion L and if you buy three good colors and then two bad ones you don't morejon out on the product because you have bad colors which I don't think people pay enough attention to. And I could know what I'm trying to think what else to go on. Scot: [43:23] You know I know we're running up on time but just quickly quickly so you you kind of were very early on what this kind of direct to Consumer now there's this whole digitally native vertical brand what what do you think's driving that Trend and where do you think it goes. Mickey: [43:39] Yeah I think it continues to go because if you're buying wholesale you know the pricing is all off. And I saw that when I was you know young guy you know like when I was at Bloomingdales I was 23. Alexander's department store maybe Fourth Generation member states they I was a swimsuit sweater and t-shirt. And everything else I wasn't I didn't do that for terribly wrong but for the year I was in there you are Alexander's cut their prices. In the middle of June and I'll never forget I had a couple my prices we had a policy to meet price. Young kid in the business and I was Furious Alexander's just here and now my my profits and margins. Then what to help. Because I hadn't worked out on my bathing suits that was a stupid rule but it wasn't a bad I kind of like the idea of Crisis competitors that was the beginning, what's happened to the last 30 or 40 years T.J.Maxx the most important department store. [44:58] And you know the word stimuli, we have all the discounts that and you go online and you we had a big discussion here yesterday you said well we sell this to Nordstrom Rack and he said well if it was an existing item, we want think if it isn't bad covers and they said you can't miss anything going to go online, given a look for this island yes my little bit Nordstrom Rack will whoever Valance T.J.Maxx before you see Alex Mill so the pricing. Is critical so white and a lot of what I did was also because who I always admired Ralph Lauren Bailey – pricing and I know all these things cost and so I said we can put together. A design team that will hopefully be as good as a design team ourselves if we do that I say I don't I don't want to have another problem. [45:59] So the prophets were always all the retailers are inflated in America in Goods that are wholesale purchases, because it is plant safety and cost, and here we might sell 250 you spend fifty yourself Bloomingdale's 425 and hundred twenty-five goes to 275 or $300 is the difference. In pricing so TJ Max knows that really long Ross stores. Everyone knows it and and I think that's why I don't think there's a future to be in that business. And I sit to the parks to excited family with a lot and probably not have to hear this but. Jason: [46:46] Yeah no department stores listen to our show I promise I'm. Mickey: [46:52] So I said I really don't want to see I said where you going to be in five years or ten years if everything you bought. Is available at a discount and that's the truth. So and I have friends in the business they do hello mrs. with teaching marks they do with most of the partner stories and what does that leave you and Caroline Woods is a great coach. And really smart nice person but what is forty fifty sixty billion dollars huge profits so, and really big believer must now this is where I'm standing in the luxury business is not. We have they probably can do it now via makes does. They do with brilliantly I guess the other one you know they have they can probably do it who's those customers probably like it exclusivity they like paying more money and so on and so forth but it works through that I think it does, so so I know if I knew the answer to that question with that pricing thing is huge. Jason: [48:06] No it's a it's a big issue for the industry to figure out and people that don't are going to. Have it have a challenging future I think as you've highlighted I did want to ask you a question so, if anyone Google's Mickey Drexler your you're gonna find all these business articles with your picture on the cover and some variation of this title that we've all given you the merchant Prince um and that the kind of just I hope you're okay with it seems like you get that title whether you want it or not. The gist of all those is that man, Mickey had a really good run of picking a lot more winners than losers of therefore it having the the products that that consumers wanted and you know they're there for achieving a bunch of financial success for your various businesses and I've always wanted to ask you, is in your mind is that success as a merchant is that we're you better than other people at, identifying the trends that were emerging in what people wanted or were you better at getting people to want what what you liked. Mickey: [49:19] I think it's a little box I think our industry is lacking. Merchants today as much as I've seen over the last many many decades. I don't know what it is but I think you have a sense of seeing around corners you must see around the corners, I believe except if you're a seller if you're a Discounter and you're good at it you don't have to see around the corners just have to Source right, and I have the right price and have a great way to view or but those businesses are out there I don't really know them well. But that's important in most business not enough you know, worthy I think mostly eyeglasses they sell what's true of all of us most of what we sell, are what we would call her oh it items iconic but you have to feel it you have to see it. You have to have an inch and in the instinct is incredibly. [50:39] I think I was talking to a friend yesterday and he said in his 15 year old is now color rather than know what need p is. The expanse was something I said you know it's interesting I said to Henry I said do, is there anyone in your family who is musical I always ask someone that question whoever I interview, and sure enough Henry's wife plays very good these though and Henry was a musician. [51:13] Growing up. And now here's their son they are very talented musician artist creative there's always some kind of. DNA is connection is fine and it always also depends on who works I was very lucky, I started working for a woman named King Marcin I didn't work for she's the best Fortune taste Isle and when I got to Bloomingdale's like this young. [51:42] And I was after the first day in the house was checking on what they gave me a department to run, Stand start that's it you're the buyer one department and Katie Mercy was my mentors go off to Europe together factories and I guess I learned from her, and she the best merchants in the company if she wasn't a woman she's Co she was fantastic but there is something you get. Fun styling taste that you were born with and I think that's true in stinking with anything in the world. Tonight and it's not a scientific illusion but I everyone I interview I kind of want to know what their parents did. [52:30] For what this family that might have been a grandfather and a lot of especially creative it. So so I think that's really important the other part of the question is mostly was what you're going with and then creating your maker, well there's a lot of things under the radar and if you go after it you create demand for the people just don't expose it so we have recording a items we bring in, old mr. white we doing that way of doing this and they take off like crazy because someone wanted. And understanding what someone might want and Steve Jobs has tasks. [53:17] Is all part of the skill set with meeting. I'm not too bad Commodities during this price I thought would worry Parker bids was absolutely brilliant at figuring. What's out there with the stylish kind of cool pumping where people are going to pay $95 for their eyeglasses the only thing I say that Neil and Davis I think we need to at times. Balance or if you read Tales they could probably leave me come to my newest company of record I said I think you can have one more fun and I prices and however Orange. But the most important so then just like friends but no I think you you kind of born I see, I see him every time you sit down and look at it woman and she gets it it's in her blood why she has. And she's had a chief Merchant and see something and feels it and knows it and you know and then you have to be go to the message you're not quitting. [54:23] You have to know numbers you have to get Four Kings you have to figure out how long it'll be around you know has has everything. To the end of the numbers of databases we've been doing data since with 23 years old, whatever you always needed you need to know how much to buy anything happens to the forecast and you need to know how many sizes you do but now they have another fancy name for it. Act like merchandising second you're not going to succeed in affection. Jason: [54:58] I think you just answered my next question but that's like so obviously the traditional merchandising you have this science part which is the math and the forecasting and open a by and all that good stuff and you have the intuition which like to a certain extent seems like a god-given talent the, what's interesting to me is lately some of these new companies that have been born and Amazon being a great example like they used to hire a lot of merchants in every category so that have a, pet food buyer and you know and apparel buyer and a battery by or whatever they've kind of gotten rid of the merchant title and they've gone all-in on the data so they call it hands off the wheel and they let the computer decide what to buy, instead of a merchant and I've told lesser extent I think Katrina it Stitch fix, has that model a little where she uses data to inform her product a lot more and then you think of like she in and the Uber fast fashion space is, is that a future Trend like do you see that mostly working for these discount categories is that. Mickey: [56:03] Well I think you can argue Amazon but you know I thought when when I was I thought Amazon should have purchased J.Crew. I thought it would be really smart purchase they get a culture fashion and style. I think they'd be dangerous if they could figure that out. [56:30] And so we had someone approached them and of course it was done yeah not the personally I won't be there. I think that. If you look you can't even Stitch fix success but you cannot argue with kind of goods they sell if you. I like what I do I love I love what I do and it's about taste and style and if you do that for. Many have a point of view you'll probably do well so I need you to it is really good at the Bronx Science I couldn't get arrested enhanced you G I was always really good, I think you have to be good so I guess I do all the stuff they do I do. We're just hiring people do single stitch. We haven't been there but then again we are you know my choices to be the style formation with fun and emotion I give credit to any company. Whatever they do is stand financially successful of your poems but I don't know enough about Stitch fix lots of opportunities and Stitch fix. Jason: [57:50] Chien have you follow them at all. Mickey: [57:52] Like they're wildly successful I don't follow them when it's but you know. Jason: [58:00] It seems like they're a lot more about like plugging into all the social media you know like picking up the latest trends on on Instagram and Tick-Tock and things like that and then like you know super fast supply chain 2, didn't get those Trends in. Mickey: [58:16] Yeah and then again I care about quality and I care about all the stuff maybe bit different but if they're really from Julia. Jason: [58:25] It is it's a Chinese company they don't love for people to know that. Mickey: [58:29] Yeah well you know I wanted but sourcing their secretary like giveaway Price is Right. Jason: [58:36] Yeah it's super inexpensive like some people call it disposable fashion which is probably a. Mickey: [58:41] Yeah this is not what we want to do it's a kid's business on young business. I don't know we'll see how I like you know my company's that well so we'll see. [59:01] But but no I think the maths we really need a good mind and and for me I'm a huge micro. I'm looking at. Right now jumpsuit made dead which is brand-new and we're going to sell a lot of it is you know we just put it it's kind of comes naturally if you have the big jumps in the cellar. And and so you know you always create but you're not creating months Salem I just looked at. [59:36] I'm just really upset I looked at it I see why did me five men were 87 and it's $295 I said that's important just came in yesterday to the bad mark. And usually they can get away with doing that as a rebuttal so when you got it. And right now syllables troops crossed because it's not being self so you kind of get something you kind of knowing side and sort of okay. It's just bad news and it's not us. And you have to have a sense like covers the same thing most of them look alike so that the finger it comes. I think it's an offender brand new bottle and it's made by making sure it's a really good looking car and. I looked at it I said I don't want to renew pop color something that's you know not everyone's driving it's a very good looking car and you can see it's going to be a big guy. Because it's really designed well you know part talking about it over. Jason: [1:00:48] No I'm trying to switch. Mickey: [1:00:50] It's called The Defender I like your car like this. Not to me but you work committee should whatever but you could see the second Network, Tina news needles and I think it is I see a lot of them and cars used to be a lot more interesting design, then they are too maybe it's because is definitely people decide on here maybe it's the vision see it's hard to find cars and is Towing it. You know you all have an interest in cars. No we talked to what good looking car and not a lot of them are right so and I used to collect isn't nice. But but I kind of collecting child fantasize you've been having some cool cars but they are all kind of well design. They were uniquely designed and today you know it's a different world. Marker 06 Jason: [1:01:52] Yeah no for sure and it's it, interesting there sort of both out there there's you know people that you know still go for that unique distinctive looking care about the Aesthetics and there's people that you know just want to take an Uber for, for transportation so seems like a parallel is going in the same direction as that there's you know strong stuff with a strong point of view and that's that's quality and unique and then you know there's some people that you know just want, affordable inexpensive sweatshirt. Mickey: [1:02:23] Sure was were those for sure but you know I like the integrity. And not expensive I personally don't like expensive too expensive you know I mean I know maybe this is for sure. Jason: [1:02:43] Yeah well is it Mickey we could go on for hours but it has happened again we have used up all of our allotted time and I actually think. Mickey: [1:02:53] I'm having so much fun here guys. Jason: [1:02:55] I know I know why we will record the Extended Cut and you and I can just keep chatting. Mickey: [1:03:02] Anytime seriously. Jason: [1:03:04] You're our new guest host you're in. Mickey: [1:03:08] All right listen thanks a lot I appreciate the time and the questions and the schmoozing you know I do like two shoes so this is a great shoes. [1:03:26] Never ever I was on that I was on Instagram for about a minute and I came off like I don't want to forget. Scot: [1:03:36] Okay well you if people want more you exclusively come to the Jason Scott show that's where you'll be going. Mickey: [1:03:41] Anytime. Jason: [1:03:42] We really appreciated the time and enjoyed chatting with you and until next time happy commercing.