Ed Anderson

Ed Anderson

Recent Posts

There's value in measuring  displays moving thru the supply chain

Posted by Ed Anderson on Nov 13, 2017 11:00:00 AM

The current issue of Retail Customer Experience features a guest article from Shelfbucks CEO Erik McMillan on the many potential fail points that can be overcome by accurately measuring in-store merchandising campaigns.  

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Trends for in-store signage include Measurable results

Posted by Ed Anderson on Nov 3, 2017 5:11:39 PM

According to a recent article in Progressive Grocer, current trends for in-store signage emphasize more informative content, customized experiences, employee education and, most importantly, measurable results.

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Can Data make your Displays invincible?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jun 29, 2017 10:30:00 AM

"Business executives don't need to be fluent in data science, it is enough to be literate".



"Because the velocity of data is increasing and will always increase, the need for data literacy is increasing and will always increase. This does not mean that to be a successful executive you have to become a data scientist – quite the contrary. It means that in order to be a successful executive, you need to understand how data is turned into action, be familiar with the methods of data science and data-scientific research, and be able to think strategically about how to use data to create value for your business."...from a blog from Shelly Palmer titled, "Data Literacy Will Almost Make You Invincible"

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Topics: Data used where is need to be used, display execution, data analytics, Data Analytics can improve Merchandising Displays

How Close Is Retail To Adopting The Internet Of Things?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jun 15, 2017 10:50:00 AM

Stores Magazine featured an article in their May/June 2017 issue about the adoption of Internet of Things(IoT) sub-titled: "The reality of IoT in retail may look more familiar than you think."  Steve Rowen, a managing partner at RSR, the firm who did the research below, says "IoT is being enthusiastically received in retail, but until now, there has a been a question of how it translates into real-world use."

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Ten Specific Benefits from making Displays Smart

Posted by Ed Anderson on Apr 20, 2017 10:30:00 AM

 "The CPG brands and retailers have known for a long time the best way to drive incremental sales is with displays. There's been plenty of data on that for 10 or 20 years now."...George Garrick, formerly of IRINielsen, currently a Shelfbucks Board Member

CPGs know that as effective as displays are in driving incremental sales, they are placed in selling space less than half the time. This represents a lot of lost opportunities. Merchandising displays haven't changed much for decades. Making corrugated displays smart by adding sensors that can measure the trip from manufacturing thru the supply chain to the retail store is a daunting task, some might even say it would require a miracle.

How it works can be understood here...

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Topics: Benefits of making Merchandising Displays Smart, Data Analytics can improve Merchandising Displays, Identify Gaps in Your In-store Marketing, Get the right SKUs and right mixes

There is no such thing as "The" internet of things...says BCG

Posted by Ed Anderson on Feb 13, 2017 10:30:00 AM

From the Boston Consulting Group, Winning in IoT: It's All about the Business Processes, the following chart identifies 10 use cases that are poised to mature rapidly and experience widespread adoption:

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Topics: display execution, data analytics

The top ten benefits of making Displays smart

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jan 12, 2017 12:30:00 AM

CPG's and Retailers have known for a long time that the best way to drive incremental sales is with displays. What isn't known is how to put a program for continuous improvement in place so that every program you run is better the next time than it was the last time. In order to obtain data about the performance of your display programs, you have to make the displays Smart and institute Data Analytics. Adding a sensor to a POP Merchandising Display can make it smart and enable tracking through the supply chain of the retailer. You can know when it arrives at the store, when(or whether) it gets set up in the front of the store and how long it is up before it is recycled.  Now, even though efforts have been made as far back as 15 years ago to solve this problem, the technology is now affordable, deployable, and scalable. The demand for this knowledge base has been in existence for decades. The industry is ready for this now. To puncuate why the technology is more affordable, we quote McKinsey, January 2017: "we simply have computing power, with the cloud and connectivity, that is much, much lower cost than it was ever before."



The top ten benefits Shelfbucks creates by making POP Merchandising Displays Smart:

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Topics: SmartDisplay, CPS's & Retail, Best Practices for POP Merchandising Displays, Data Analytics can improve Merchandising Displays

Are You Embracing Best Practices for Merchandising Displays?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jan 9, 2017 11:00:00 AM

McKinsey recently published a report from the McKinsey Global Institute titled, "Making data analytics work for you, instead of the other way around. " Best practices are often not obvious, at least until someone proves a new approach is superior. In the 1896 Olympic Games, there was no best practice on how to start the 100-meter dash. McKinsey showed this picture in the report:



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Topics: Best Practices for POP Merchandising Displays

Shelfbucks Acquires Portfolio of Patents for In-Store POP Display

Posted by Ed Anderson on Dec 6, 2016 4:21:10 PM


24 patents originally held by Goliath Solutions provide Shelfbucks with industry’s largest portfolio of patent protected technology to assess the success of its customers’ retail campaigns.

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Topics: Development and Analytics, Measurement and customer value, Shelfbucks merchandising optimization platform, Erik McMillan, Packaging, Shelfbucks, SmartDisplay, CPS's & Retail, Compliance, Performance measurement technology

The Path to Make Merchandising Displays Smart

Posted by Ed Anderson on Sep 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM


Retailers ship millions of corrugated displays into their US stores every year, but 42% of them never get executed on the selling floor. CPG's and retailers have told us that they don't have the data to tell them which campaigns should be expanded, which campaigns should be cut back, and which campaigns could be improved. Retailers comparable store sales growth have languished for years, traffic is down and subscriptions for newspapers have fallen at least 70%. Seventy five percent of shoppers have a smart phone with them when in stores, yet engaging the shopper with their smart phone is rare. There is an imperative for a solution that offers the likelihood of faster innovation, increased revenue and decreased costs. At Shelfbucks, we have an Internet of Things Ecosystem that addresses these issues for Merchandise Displays:


Source:  Business Insider

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Topics: Development and Analytics, Measurement and customer value, Shelfbucks merchandising optimization platform, Erik McMillan, Mckinsey, Brick-and-mortar to E-commerce, Accenture, CPS's & Retail, Smart displays with an As-a-Service model., Bain

Accenture's new world of "As-A-Service" for Business Improvement

Posted by Ed Anderson on Aug 24, 2016 10:30:00 AM

A co-worker's friend recently completed a 100 mile running race in 29 hours in Utah. Friends and family knew where their runner was at all times during the race. Sometimes, a business improvement initiative can seem as daunting as running your first 100 mile race.   Do you know where your displays are during their "100 mile journey?" The founder of the Leadville Trail 100 race came up with the following motivation to help new runners embark on a somewhat daunting journey:


Accentures New World of As-a-Service infographic:

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Topics: Accenture's New World As-A-Service Model, Retail Merchandising Optimization Platform

Is Shopper Marketing at a tipping point?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Nov 2, 2015 10:30:00 AM


By Ed Anderson

The current state of advertising and is being challenged. PepsiCo's Brad Jakeman gave a fiery presentation at the

Association of National Advertising's annual "Masters of Marketing" conference in Orlando, Fla...


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Shopper Marketing info graphic: "Perspective is worth IQ 80 points"

Posted by Ed Anderson on Oct 5, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Xerox Parc's Alan Kay's famous quip about context is appropriate when considering major new initiatives like making POS Displays in retail stores smart. The following infographic, prepared by Jill Anderssen, VP of Marketing of Menasha Packaging, provides great perspective about why now is a great time to invest in smart POS displays. 


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How to place beacons in a supermarket for high sales conversion

Posted by Ed Anderson on Feb 6, 2015 2:55:00 PM

Beacon solutions for brick and mortar retail are mentioned in most of the published reports on hot retail trends for 2015. The devil is in the details is a phrase that applies to initial beacon solution deployment set up. Good intent isn't enough...immersion in the details is a huge help in crafting a solution that will work with your customer. As one of our advisors, Mike Clifford former CIO of Whole Foods said:

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What's the key to getting Beacon customer traction? Answer: Listening

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jan 29, 2015 9:25:00 AM

During the last couple weeks, Shelfbucks splashed onto the scene as a leader in the newly emerging space of beacon solutions for in store marketing. Need some proof points to corroborate that claim? Yes you certainly do.

The Best of NRF's The Big Show here. Acclaimed TV business news-CNBC here. Leading big city newspaper, the Washington Post here. The highest retweeted item from the NRF's Big Show from ad agency Leo Burnett here. And, leader in the in store marketing segment of Trinity Ventures Mobile Market Map 2.0:

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Want to join the journey for smart POP displays?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jan 16, 2015 9:51:00 AM

There are millions of Point of Purchase (POP) Displays in thousands of retail stores in North America. The advent of smart phones for 70% of the shopper population along with inexpensive beacons has created an interesting opportunity to:

  • help identify which displays in which stores haven't yet been set up on the selling floor
  • measure the traffic passing by the display
  • measure the dwell time for individual displays
  • improve the shopping experience
  • initiate digital campaigns with shoppers on smart phones
  • track conversion to purchase of campaigns for displays

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG's) companies have wanted the above capabilities for ten or twenty years. Menasha and Shelfbucks are introducing these capabilities in three phases in 2015. A summary of the program:



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Beacon solutions require a lean and agile approach

Posted by Ed Anderson on Dec 31, 2014 11:27:00 AM
There is an often-heard narrative that the journey to improve the shopping experience necessitates an intrusion on your customer's privacy. Assessing the validity of this fear requires an understanding of how the combination of a retailer's app and beacons work. The chart below depicts how beacons work and can be found here
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Feedback is critical to improving your performance

Posted by Ed Anderson on Dec 22, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Whether you are training for bicycle race or launching an innovative retail app with beacons, feedback is critical to improving performance. The infographic below, titled How and When You're Losing Your App Users, provides a useful laundry list of things to be on the look out for when you've launched a mobile app in-store. 

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What is the "right" percent of push vs. pull messaging?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Dec 9, 2014 1:06:00 PM

We now have multiple ways to push deals to shoppers in a store by leveraging beacons. Multiple zones can be set up to push notifications to a shopper who breaks the "virtual cone" for a department such as diapers, fish, wine etc. 

Web site content management systems have had a suite of tools for years to enable companies to send thousands, if not millions of emails to promote products and convert prospects to buyers. But new leaders in InBound Marketing such as HubSpot now advocate not only targeted email, but personalized email campaigns: 

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The marketing funnel is dead…check. What's next?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Dec 2, 2014 11:31:00 AM

Some of us grew up with the traditional marketing funnel:

In the good old days you used push advertising on TV to create awareness and maybe if you're really good you achieive differentiation, which drives traffic into your stores, and newspaper advertising to create urgency to buy. Ok, it's slightly more complicated. P&G won the war on purchase insight with the first and second moment of truth: the first moment takes less than 7 seconds and that's how long it takes to make a purchase decision at the shelf. The second moment is when you first use a new product...which, according to urban legend means the buyer becomes a promoter of the product if everything goes well. But that description, along with the marketing funnel are just sooo yesterday.

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Delivering a personalized experience is more important than technology

Posted by Ed Anderson on Nov 28, 2014 11:01:00 AM

Location based marketing is the term used to describe the use of in-store technology like Bluetooth LE, Visible Light Communication (VLC) or security cameras to determine the location of a shopper while in the store. Technology is relevant, but business purpose trumps technology...and it's very important for retailers to decide where they are going before they argue about how they get there.


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How Millenials are using mobile devices for shopping.

Posted by Ed Anderson on Oct 31, 2014 1:17:00 PM

Nuggets on How Millenials Shop This Holiday Season:

  • Percentage of Millenials shopping directly from mobile devices
  • Biggest frustrations with mobile shopping apps
  • Percentage of Millenials using multiple mobile devices to shop
  • Preferences between a native app and a browser on the mobile device
  • Percentage of Millenials who abandon slow mobile device loading

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How does your chain compare to the top 100 retailers in mobile use?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Aug 8, 2014 10:23:00 AM


We know that retail leaders are interested in transforming their business. But for many, the specific path is not yet well defined. For some, it's about omni-channel. For others it's about digitizing offers and rendering them on smart phones. AppLovin asserts push notifications and email will play a role. Lastly some think personalization is central to transformation. This infographic from AppLovin allows you to compare where you stand vs the the top 100 retailers in the use of mobile apps, mobile commerce and improving the shopping experience. They titled it "Retail Brands Who Don’t Go Mobile Lose Out on Billions."

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Start with your shopper in mind when considering iBeacon rollout plans

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jun 9, 2014 10:29:00 AM

In our last blog post, we created a sample set of pilots to test alternate ways to improve in store conversion, and cross selling frequency and quality as a means of improving the overall shopping experience through enhanced personalization. With visibility into what your shoppers like about iBeacons and what they use the most, you are ready to roll out chain wide. 

The question is one of context: Is your frame of reference: (1) what is ready technically or (2) what will make it easy for your customers to get acclimated to personalization, as well as delivery of deals and product information at the shelf of the brick-and-mortar store? We would argue that if doubt exists, it is always better to focus on the customer rather than the technology. The following chart highlights a recommended rollout plan:

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Craft several pilot tests when beginning the iBeacon journey

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jun 5, 2014 10:30:00 AM


In our last post, we concluded that now is the time for retailers to increase ad spend through their mobile apps at the shelf. Many retailers have wanted to digitize and personalize their brick-and-mortar stores for some time, but lacked a promising delivery process. Today, however, emerging mobile platforms uniquely offer the possibility of solving both the fundamental challenges of personalization and conversion.

The emergence of Bluetooth Low Energy sensors, now often referred to as iBeacons, has fundamentally altered our ability to present offers and product information to shoppers at the shelf in a much more engaging way than before…a way that is analogous to the best practices of personalization in e-commerce, but delivered in the brick- and-mortar store.

Kurt Salmon has created a particularly interesting measurement methodology to assess the improvement in traffic, conversion and cross sell resulting from 1:1 personalization:

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