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How to Harness the Power of Technology in eCommerce and Retail with Sucharita Kodali
Ninaad Acharya, Dan Coll, Sucharita Kodali
For this episode of the eCom Logistics Podcast, we welcome Sucharita Kodali, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. Today, she shares a wealth of knowledge on retail and the consumer goods space. We go through topics including trends in the ecommerce and retail world today, strategies for retention and improvement, and the potential of technology in the space.
Sucharita serves digital business strategy professionals. She is an expert in e-commerce, omnichannel commerce, consumer behavior, and trends in the retail and consumer goods space. She is also an authority on technology developments that affect the online commerce industry and vendors that facilitate online marketing and merchandising.
In her research, Sucharita covers areas such as e-commerce trends and global, regulatory, and technology issues shaping commerce. She is the author of Forrester’s “The World’s Most Future-Proofed Brands” report, which reviews global consumer-facing brand manufacturers. She is often the keynote speaker at retailer conferences around the world and is frequently featured in national media such as NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Information, and more.
Prior to Forrester, Sucharita was the director of marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue, where she managed the customer acquisition, retention, and market research efforts for the $2 billion luxury retailer’s online channel. Prior to Saks, she held management positions at Toys R Us, where she was a merchant in the Babies R Us division and a store manager in one of the company’s largest toy stores. She also worked for the Walt Disney Company, where she was part of the strategic planning team.
Sucharita holds a BA in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
- 02:18 How Sucharita’s journey in retail started
- 09:10 The boom in online commerce during the pandemic
- 14:51 The bullwhip effect in retail supply chain recently
- 21:05 Can we expect more automation and robotics in warehousing?
- 27:07 Don’t try to match what Amazon is doing
- 34:24 Will there be conflict in CPG when working with consumers and being a direct-to-consumer brand?
16:58 Don’t diversify only when there are issues – Sucharita: “One of the things we learned from the pandemic was that maybe we are too concentrated with our supply chains in Asia, particularly in China, then you add on some of the geopolitical issues. I think companies are gradually recognizing that maybe they do need to diversify their supply chains. But it’s a painful decision to have to make because then you have to increase the costs of your inputs.”
27:07 Look inward instead of trying to compete with top players like Amazon – Sucharita: “I think that the companies that created a lot of the frenzy around shipping were the ones that fundamentally didn’t really have differentiated offerings. They were selling the same things Amazon is selling and net-net all being equal, if you are slower than Amazon, you have the same products, and you’re not even pricing better, you really don’t have a choice but to either lower your prices or increase your speed of shipping.”
Find out more about Sucharita in the links below:
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