Why Data is King With Rick Watson

June 24, 2021



Our special guest, Rick Watson, joins us to provide his perspective on the ingredients required to win in a competitive retail environment, and why retailers are approaching KPIs completely wrong. 

What does omnichannel really mean? How can DTC retailers win? What are the biggest challenges that brick and mortar retailers face as they reopen stores? What are the KPIs that retailers should really be paying attention to?

  • We ask these questions and more of our special guest, Rick Watson, founder, and CEO of RMW Commerce Consulting and eCommerce specialist. 
  • Rick leverages his engineering background to provide a no-nonsense approach to the customer experience. He believes data is king, and that retailers need to truly understand their customers by leveraging data in order to stand out from the competition.

Conversation Rundown

[ 3:03-4:30 ] Advice for D2C retailers to gain new customers
Rick Watson's view on technology is spot on. People in the technology realm know that technology alone cannot fix all of your problems. Often it all comes down to people, culture, and processes. As a technologist, Anil Patel deeply believes that good technology is needed at a foundational level. But even the best tech will not guarantee a spectacular customer experience if your associates are not trained and if the vision is not clear.

[ 9:05-10:30 ] How to achieve BOPIS success
Implementing BOPIS is not enough. BOPIS was created to improve the customer experience, particularly convenience. But many retailers are achieving the exact opposite experience by forcing customers to wait in long lines to pick up. Or having to tell customers that their orders aren't ready. Rick Watson discusses what BOPIS success really looks like.

[ 15:40-17:22 ] How legacy retailers can master product returns
Inventory inaccuracy continues to shock me every day. Some of the biggest retailers out there have a very loose grasp on their inventory. If they reject an order today due to lack of available inventory, they don't even have the processes in place to prevent further orders for the same item tomorrow. This baffles me because the technology is out there to fix this problem. The fact that retailers continue to fly with one eye closed is generally due to a hesitancy to integrate and innovate.

[ 25:15-26:47 ] Why offline & online should work together
Rick Watson says- “I sound like a broken record, but it is critically important for your online and offline teams to work together.” Very few teams actually do. Most retailers don't capture enough information in-store. So they have no idea how in-store traffic correlates with eCommerce sales in that region. Studies show that there is absolutely a correlation between these activities. So you simply can't call yourself a customer-centric company if you don't treat your online and offline channels as one and the same.

[ 31:17-31:56 ] Why KPIs and goal measurement metrics need to change
We're so used to building KPIs that we often forget what they're meant to do. Rick strongly believes that many KPIs are misguided and they don't speak to the questions retailers are trying to answer. When asked why they are tracking certain data point or KPIs, most retailers don't have a good answer.

Meet the Experts

Rick Watson is a retail expert who is the Founder and CEO - RMW Commerce Consulting LLC. In February 2019, Rick formed his own eCommerce consulting firm, after spending the last 20 years as a technology entrepreneur and operator exclusively in the eCommerce industry with companies like ChannelAdvisor, Barnes & Noble.com, Merchantry, and Pitney Bowes. In addition to the expertise, he has a vast network of industry experts and talent across marketing, business development and solutions providers to add bench strength to larger projects and initiatives.

His practice areas are centered around supporting CEOs of B2B software and services companies, and investors and management teams incubating and growing direct-to-consumer businesses.

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