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Dan Berthiaume

Senior Editor, Technology

Dan Berthiaume’s Retail Insights blog is a 2020 Eddie & Ozzie Awards honorable mention winner in the category of B2B overall column/blog.


February 2021

Retail is an intensely personal business, and the best artificial intelligence deployments recognize that fact.
Digital engagement with customers makes it easier than ever for retailers to craft product offerings around the specific needs and wants of their shoppers.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, here are a few suggestions for winning the hearts of your shoppers – through technology.
Apple and Microsoft provide a possible template for how business at Amazon will proceed once Jeff Bezos transitions to executive chair.
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March 2021

Best Buy is providing a full array of health and safety services via Apple Watch.

A shipping giant is focusing on electric vehicles and sustainable facilities as key components of a plan to achieve carbon neutrality.

A familiar name is ranked number one in the fourth annual Retail Personalization Index.

New Zealand’s largest home improvement chain is streamlining enterprise communications to enhance store execution.

A heightened emphasis on e-commerce has made brand trust the top priority of consumers, according to a new survey.

Charming Charlie is extending its comeback efforts online.

Walmart will spend $350 billion in the next 10 years on items made, grown or assembled in the U.S.

Trader Joe’s kept its customer satisfaction score steady during 2020, which is more than most other retailers can say.

North State Grocery is analyzing the prices of rival supermarket chains at a granular level.

An activewear retailer with a Hollywood connection is boosting its search revenue and transaction rate metrics.

A quick-service restaurant operator is purchasing an artificial intelligence-based consumer insights and marketing performance analytics technology provider.

The world of Ralph Lauren now includes a subscription apparel rental initiative.

Walmart is building up the advertising partner network it launched in January 2020.

A specialty home furnishings retailer is targeting designers and businesses with a new omnichannel service experience.

Retailers with exceptionally high sales growth are more likely to take steps to address supply chain issues that are rising in the wake of the pandemic and social strife.

Online shoppers are dissatisfied with many aspects of customer service, but satisfying them can pay dividends.

Walmart is continuing its efforts to draw shoppers away from the Amazon Prime Now same-day delivery service.

Elma Beganovich

Social influencers offer retailers the opportunity to engage with customers in a direct and personal way, but they must understand this new environment.

February 2021

A specialty teen retailer is blending financial results with workforce and operational data to provide better business insights.

Global e-commerce shoppers who are baby boomers have different expectations than younger groups when purchasing online from international brands.

The latest illuminated structure in Las Vegas is not a casino.

In the upcoming year, retailers want to ensure customer satisfaction by getting them products accurately and quickly.

Costco Wholesale will soon have one of the highest starting wages for U.S. workers in retail.

A tech-focused e-tailer is taking a novel approach to ensuring shoppers have a fair chance to purchase high-demand items.

The Asia-Pacific region is driving a broader global shift to mobile wallet payments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft is preparing a public preview for its new Microsoft Cloud for Retail platform.

The number of brands selling and advertising via Amazon has sharply risen since the outbreak of COVID-19, and other e-marketplaces are also growing.

A celebrity-founded activewear retailer continues introducing new omnichannel initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon is continuing to expand its high-tech grocery format with a new location in California.

Roughly one-third of U.S. consumers use social media to discover products to buy, but that percentage rises for shoppers under 35.

If local businesses are wondering who reads online reviews, a vast majority of their customers probably do.

Fraudsters are reportedly trying to obtain personal information from Market Basket shoppers via fake Facebook messages.

The nation’s largest bridal retailer is launching the “Little White Dress Boutique” across channels, with leading-edge virtual features.

A Midwestern grocery retailer is successfully detecting counterfeit coupons at the point-of-sale with a new, free solution.

A handmade and vintage goods e-commerce retailer is stepping up its carbon reduction efforts.

Walmart is integrating another major e-commerce platform with Walmart Marketplace and offering a discount to new sellers.

Subway is connecting franchisees to universal payment software.

A mixture of national and regional retail chains take top honors in a new ranking of the top retail loyalty programs across a wide range of verticals.

Carrefour’s franchisee in the Middle East, Africa and Asia is increasing its use of inventory control robots at stores in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Cashless payments are on the rise in the wake of COVID-19, but don’t write off hard currency just yet.

Walgreens is launching its third partnership with a major online delivery platform in less than a year.

A fashion and accessories retailer is maintaining customer relationships during COVID-19 via in-store and virtual appointments and email consultations.

Amazon is teaming up with MIT to add driver intuition to the machine learning (ML) models used for optimizing delivery routes.

A specialty omnichannel menswear retailer is offering a personalized wardrobe and recommendation portal accessible via web and mobile sites. 

A hack of a data file transfer services provider resulted in unauthorized access to personal information of some Kroger shoppers and workers.

Some familiar names and a couple of surprises pop up among the 10 e-commerce sites with the biggest pandemic growth in Google search performance.

Consumers often judge e-commerce retailers by how their online stores look.

An omnichannel retailer of team sports equipment is ensuring products show up when and where they are supposed to in search results.

Peavey Mart is modernizing its e-commerce site to drive personalized commerce, order management, and fulfillment across channels.

A specialty footwear brand is unifying customer engagement and merchandise management on a cloud-based retail platform.

A new survey reveals five steps that direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailers can take to increase customer engagement with subscription programs.

A value-oriented grocery retailer is obtaining a single view of all activities involving its warehouses and distribution centers.

A global payment app and a major young women’s media brand are entering a leading-edge digital shopping space.

E-commerce helped drive Kirkland’s sales during the fourth quarter.

smart cuckoo clock

If you buy it, the latest Amazon Alexa concept will become a reality. Amazon is launching a new program called Build It, which ensures new products integrated with its Alexa voice assistant technology have paid orders waiting before it commits to

TikTok logo

The Chinese parent company of TikTok is reportedly putting an end to efforts to spin off its U.S. business with Oracle and Walmart as minority owners.

Crocs store

A specialty footwear brand is streamlining the delivery of visuals on its e-commerce site. Crocs is deploying the Cloudinary Media Experience Platform to automate its entire image management lifecycle, with the goal of providing a more engaging,

Supply chain diagram

Online retailers need to prepare for a continuation of some of the supply chain issues which arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. DHL E-commerce Solutions, a division of global logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group, has identified four overarc

Kroger vaccination

The Kroger Co. can manage more than 250,000 daily requests for COVID-19 vaccine appointments online. Kroger Health, the health care division of the nation’s largest supermarket retailer, is rolling out a new vaccine scheduling platform.

CSA recently spoke with John Pennisi, a former member of the New York-based Lucchese Mafia family, about the extent of organized crime’s involvement in retail and specific ways criminal enterprises attempt to exploit the industry for profit.

Three major retailers are attempting to reinvent the single-use plastic shopping bag, and may integrate leading-edge technologies such as mobile and IoT into their effort.

A Northeast wholesale club retailer is streamlining mobile access to a wide range of omnichannel shopping services.

The Kroger Co. is preparing a high-tech upgrade to its at-home COVID-19 testing solution.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is introducing an on-demand educational platform to its remote employees.

A global supermarket conglomerate is backing up a commitment to boost its online capacity in the U.S. while increasing its competition with America’s largest grocer.

Retailers with a mobile marketing strategy should include content generated by TikTok users.

A Canadian discount retailer is integrating inventory forecasting and replenishment for its distribution centers and franchise store locations.

A specialty digital outdoor retailer is applying customer preferences across a wide variety of merchandising functions.

Supermarket conglomerate Ahold Delhaize USA is unveiling a detailed strategy to provide healthier products with a more sustainable supply chain.

Augmented reality may be a leading-edge technology, but consumers appear comfortable in using it when they shop.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is selecting Oracle as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology provider. 

The list of companies offering their employees incentives to receive the COVID-19 vaccine grows longer every day.

Consumers can now buy and sell secondhand items such as toys, cages, beds and feeders for their dogs, cats, birds and other pets on Postmark.

A leading customer messaging platform has appointed a new chief product officer and executive VP of engineering, among other recent key hires.

Amazon is opening its third Amazon Fresh grocery store in the state of Illinois.

A major e-commerce platform is facilitating payments for its retailers on Facebook and Instagram.

A regional grocer is the latest retailer to accept federal benefit payments for eligible online orders.

A quick-service restaurant chain discovered a loyal hunting segment and tracked its sandwich preferences using social media.

Two-thirds of the winners of a global search for innovative products are women- and/or minority-owned.

Consumers are open to engaging with retailers via text for a wide variety of interactions.

The Biden administration is reportedly putting a hold on an effort by the federal government to force a popular Chinese social media app to sell its U.S. business.

4 Wheel Parts is streamlining and personalizing the processes of obtaining financing and making payments.

Despite the disruption of global supply chains by COVID-19, regionalization is a low priority among supply chain professionals.

The nation’s largest specialty mattress retailer is extending its personalized customer service efforts to where shoppers sleep at night. 

Almost all grocery retailers now share the same top priority in their category planning and assortment optimization strategies.

Alibaba Group is continuing its efforts to expose U.S. businesses to the Chinese market and beyond.

Retailers should focus their strategic supply chain activities in areas including customer experience and automation in the upcoming year.

An online prescription eyewear retailer is expanding the ability of customers to use augmented reality to “see” how different frames look on their face.

A specialty health-and-wellness retailer is introducing delivery of online orders in as little as one hour.

A Canadian department store giant is teaming up with Mastercard to offer a credit card which links to a customer’s mobile device.

GNC Holdings Inc. is leveraging an artificial intelligence (AI) solution to add personalized content to omnichannel interactions.

Group Nazan is transforming from a physical store and catalog-based operation into a digital omnichannel enterprise with Oracle Cloud.

Google is partnering with Global Payments Inc. to offer cloud-based digital payment solutions and services.

The electric vehicle manufacturer owned by Elon Musk is reportedly becoming the first major automaker to accept bitcoin as currency for payment.

A fashion and accessories retailer is building a new fulfillment center that will feature smart picking robots and automated conveyors.

A specialty health and wellness retailer plans to tie its store and digital channels together via a single, cloud-based platform.

An operator of more than 200 KFC and Taco Bell locations is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to support customer-facing decisions.

The online grocery vertical gained new users across the board in 2020, with on-demand delivery platforms seeing particularly high increases.

A CPG giant is opening access to data on slow-moving and obsolete goods (SMOG) with cloud-based inventory visibility.

The volatility and disruptions of 2020 impacted high-performing retailers more than their peers.

An omnichannel platform or buying and selling used cars is debuting in Louisiana and extending its reach in Texas and New Mexico.

A leading discount retailer is the latest in a growing line of retailers outside the grocery vertical to partner with Instacart.

America’s largest auto retailer is providing customers with a streamlined, omnichannel shopping experience.

Amazon is developing a supply chain facility equipped with advanced robotics technology in the Volunteer State.

A Northeast regional grocer is debuting a new contactless option for fulfilling online orders.

A specialty apparel retailer and a regional grocer are both enhancing their understanding of customer demand by utilizing Oracle cloud technology

Belk is launching a new dedicated section of its e-commerce site to advance its commitment to inclusion.

Walmart is continuing to bulk up its media business with technology acquisitions.

Amazon is beginning to deliver orders with custom electric delivery vehicles, with an eye toward rapid expansion in the next year.

A digitally-native handbag reseller is adding machine learning (ML) capability to its pricing tool.

The year 2021 is anticipated to be one of the busiest years for weddings in decades, but with COVID-19 precautions in place.

In addition to being worth 1,000 words, a picture from a customer may also be worth a lot of sales.

Saks NY flagship

Saks Fifth Avenue is adding services and benefits, including free rush shipping, to its SaksFirst program.

A Midwest grocer is ensuring that its products and equipment do not get too hot or too cold.

Seven in 10 consumers agree that one specific factor makes them impressed with a brand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uber Technologies is acquiring leading on-demand alcohol delivery service Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash.

Amazon is moving ahead with the design of its second headquarters, in Arlington, Va.

The online retail marketplace arena is gaining a new challenger – in Canada.

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Eiko Kawano, retail experience lead, North America, at digital consultancy Publicis Sapient, about how COVID-19 has both driven more consumers online and made them more aware of supply chain sustainability issues.

A second grocery division of Ahold Delhaize USA is partnering with leading CPG provider Procter & Gamble (P&G) to aid consumers hosting at-home Super Bowl celebrations.

Retailers hoping they could ease or eliminate in-store COVID-19 mitigation efforts in the event of widespread vaccinations may need to change plans.

Kohl’s is now offering a variety of in-store pick-up options for digital orders — in as little as one hour.

A Walmart store in Texas is the retailer’s 3,000th location to fulfill local online grocery orders.

Amazon will soon offer its Amazon One contactless payment device at eight Seattle-area stores.

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